Long gone are the days of print phonebook, Internet marketing is here and it is here to stay. However, it takes more than launching a website to increase leads, product sales and ROI. To ensure your business stays relevant and your website outperforms the competition, it needs to be optimized for search and have enough inbound links. But one cannot simply rely on organic SEO to bring in customers, due to the constant changes to search engine algorithms. So if you are relying on organic search engine optimization to move the needle, you could be in for a rude awakening if your website was to ever be hit by an algorithm penalty.
As long as Google and Bing continue to make millions of dollars on ad revenue, they will make changes to their algorithms to display less organic results. Even if you are a local business you should consider using alternative methods of Internet marketing to drive and convert more visitors into clients. SEO is still very important and there are many websites that receive more visits from organic traffic than paid, or referral, but you cannot to rely on this traffic source for your livelihood.
Organic SEO vs. Paid Search
I have heard of organic traffic referred to as free, do not be fooled. It still costs money to get placement on the first page of the SERPs. You must hire an agency or consultant that keeps up with the constant algorithm penalties and uses best practices. When using paid search the money will go to the advertising platform you decide to advertise on, Google, Bing, etc. With Organic SEO there are no guarantees that your website will rank on the first page, since SEO professionals do not control how your website is ranked by the serch engines. Sometimes even the most optimized pages struggle to earn the ranking they deserve if the competition is high. When it comes to paid search the majority of the time one can control where the ads rank based on spend, ad copy, relevancy, and other types of optimization.
Therefore many business owners at times shy away from using paid advertising to drive traffic. But there are ways to keep costs down such as, bid on branded, long tail terms and using exact match types. If you are not seeing a profit from paid, it’s time to change the person who is managing your campaign.
SEO is Not Enough to Increase ROI
Google, Bing and the rest of the search engines are in business to make money then to offer a vehicle that will help users find the information we are seeking. Therefore, they do not make any money off of organic clicks. They make their money on clicks to their ads. For that reason alone business owners and decision makers with in corporations should consider using paid advertising. Still not convinced, here are three reasons to consider using alternative marketing techniques to help increase ROI and sales.
Algorithm Updates – Even if your website is completely optimized and you are ranking on the first page of the SERPs, there is always one thing or two things that might derail your ranking. Search engines do not always give proper ranking to websites that deserve it over ones with bad link profiles and thin content. In some instances when I have analyzed back link profiles, I come across websites that have acquired approximately 60 to 70 percent of their links from private blog networks. Yet they still own one of the first three spots on page one. Another example is algorithm updates, eample Google’s mobile friendly update. There are many websites that took a major hit since they were not mobile friendly or responsive. See example of the top 10 website that were hurt the most by the algorithm update, image courtesy of Search Metrics.
Lack of Resources – Due to the constant changes to algorithms, it takes more than on page optimization. Which means that for one person to take on an SEO campaign is more difficult. In today’s search engine optimization days, to run a successful campaign you need at least three people, content producer, link builder, developer and an SEO strategist. The content producer will create the content needed for the link builder to perform their job in an efficient and successful manner. The developer will make the recommended changes the search optimization strategist makes to get the website optimized. Therefore, it is nearly impossible for one person to succeed on their own.
Competition – There is no guarantee that websites will rank organically in certain industries based on the difficulty level. Also to move up on the search engines you must displace your competitors. Take for example if you are selling electronics online like HP, Apple, or Sony. Your main competitors will be the brands themselves, Best Buy, Walmart and other major brands. These brands have deep pockets and a team of SEOs. So if you want to take market share make sure you have the resources to do so or consider using alternative tactics to sell your products instead of owning an organic result on the first page.
Alternative Ways to Increase ROI and Traffic
As I mentioned earlier organic SEO is a great to drive website traffic but it should not be your one and only marketing tactic. Here are a few recommended ways to sell products, increase leads and ROI.
- AdWords and Bing Advertising
- Social Media Advertising
- Email and Newsletter Marketing
- Limited Print Advertising
- App Advertising
So if you want to protect your business from the next algorithm update it’s time to stop focus on SEO only and start exploring alternative marketing tactics to keep your business going while attempting to recover from a penalty. The beauty of paid campaigns you will be able to set up a budget to prevent from going over and most of the time one person should be able to manage all paid campaigns, which solves the lack of resources issue.
If you have any other alternative marketing tactics, feel free to suggest your ideas.