The “R” word. We all hate it, and it’s a big ugly fact that right now not just Americans, but the entire global economy is dealing with tough financial times. Things are hard and more and more companies are grabbing at straws, trying to stay afloat as the storm appears to be getting worse before it gets better. Everyone in every industry is feeling the brunt of the economy downturn. That is except the internet.
Our company, Customer Magnetism, has experienced record breaking growth year after year with over 50% growth in sales just the last year alone. Nearly half of our income last month was from upgrades and renewals of existing clients. SEO (search engine optimization) often receives a bad rap, typically because 1) there are so many companies who are simply ripping people off and 2) 99.9% of the business world is NOT appearing at the top of Google (and thus believe it has no value). Take a poll amongst the companies who DO rank at the top of Google (such as our clients) and you will hear comments like, “Best advertising investment I ever made, how can we do more?”
In spite of these desperate times, Google just had an amazing Q4 after many predictions and concerns that the internet giant might take a hard hit. The buzz is everywhere talking about how the ONE true recession proof industry is internet search marketing. Google is the search juggernaut, as described in this article: http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=11591 So, what does that mean for you? It means you can still turn things around for your business. It means that right now, more than ever, is the time to get involved in search engine optimization and internet marketing.
No Thanks, I’ll Stick It Out With Traditional Marketing:
Think about it. Really consider it for a second. Let’s say you currently market via the print ads, direct mail, tradeshows or maybe you do radio and TV ads. If you use these methods it’s like using a wooden sign on the shoulder of the AutoBahn. Sure, lots of cars will drive by, and lots of people will see your sign. But what is the likelihood that many of those people are even interested in your product or service? And better still…what is the likelihood that those who ARE interested are going to take the time to fumble for a pen to write down your information to contact you later? That’s traditional marketing (it should be called “shotgun” marketing). It’s a huge push to a ton of people, sure maybe a few will be interested, but most often you’re wasting time, money, and efforts on unqualified leads. This kind of wasteful marketing and promotion is not only hurtful it’s down right dangerous in economic climates like this. TV commercials are expensive, and get ignored constantly (at least I know *I* ignore them). Radio ads get tuned out, or stations get switched. Paper flyers get tossed in the garbage. And here is the kicker: the number of people using the phone book for local business contact is rapidly decreasing. Data from ComScore revealed that in 2008 more people turned to search engines to find local businesses than the phone book or yellow pages, and research suggests this trend will increase.
So What Makes Internet Marketing Better?
Return on Investment. ROI. Money in your pocket. THAT makes internet marketing better. With internet marketing, specifically search engine marketing, you are simply stepping in front of people who are already searching for your specific product or service. You get more qualified leads than with ANY other type of marketing strategy available. Period. When someone finds your product or service via a search engine, they are looking for YOU. They are looking for what you are selling; it doesn’t get more qualified than that. And now more than ever consumers are turning to the internet and participating in ecommerce as opposed to brick and mortar shopping. Why drive to the mall, waste the gas, look around to find out what you thought you wanted isn’t available, or too expensive? Now consumers are doing product research online, they are searching for very specific products or services, and they are purchasing via the internet. By doing their research and purchasing online, consumers are making more savvy choices to save money. Capitalizing on search engine optimization and internet marketing is vital for businesses that want to weather the recession. The times are hard, but it doesn’t have be a death sentence for your business.