It seems I get 1-2 emails per day in my junk email box that says something to the effect, “We are SEO experts and can greatly enhance the results of your website”. Not withstanding that I actually do this stuff for a living, wouldn’t the average person question this just from a common sense point of view? I mean seriously, if a company is good at SEO, wouldn’t they use SEO as their primary marketing method rather than email spam????
Sending this email just tells the reader in one paragraph that they know nothing about SEO, Zero about In-Bound Marketing, and maybe even less about Out-Bound Marketing… Scary.
Ok, I’m done with that rant.
On a more pleasant note, I’ll be attending SES 2009 [Search Engine Strategies] in NYC the last week in March. One of the reasons I enjoy this show is they usually have a good mix of vendors ranging across the entire spectrum of web based marketing.
Here’s why that’s important which hopefully will give you some insight into what I [and others like me] do for their clients.
More than ever, the web and everything associated with it plays a key role in the company’s market presence, sales, costs, and overall business strategy. This is true even if the company isn’t an “internet or technology” focused company. The internet has become integral to the way people work and conduct their businesses.
Unfortunately, most companies do a pretty poor job with their internet and web presence. This is because it’s a lot more complex than having nice graphics or a real techie web master. These are business level SYSTEMIC ISSUES that affect and are effected by every aspect of the business and the marketplace.
The systems themselves along with their associated dynamics are in a constant state of change and therefore require constant maintenance in order to maintain a level of performance, growth, and relevance. Company execs often think they can simply hire someone do an upgrade to the website, giving it a more modern look and all of their problems will be solved. Sales will increase and all will be well with the world. That kind of thinking while not that uncommon is nevertheless pretty far off the mark. [I have seen some pretty ugly websites that really perform, btw.]
Here are a few things I look for right away….
- Overall Business Strategy – How is the company approaching the business they’re in? Goals, competition, positioning,products, etc.
- Go to Market Strategy – How are they going to market??? Sales channels, distribution,manufacturing, direct, etc.
- Web Strategy – What is it? How does it align with business operations? Is it competitive?
At this point you’re probably ready to begin discussions on:
- Web design
- Communication Systems
- Security – product and back end systems
- Out-Bound Marketing Systems
- In-Bound Marketing Systems
- Integration with back end operational systems
The main point is that you need to have a high level systemic conversation with executive level people so they can get a picture of the real goals for the activities. After that you can develop executable plans that hang together from a systems perspective. There are quite a few things that can be done that are fairly inexpensive and can bring results. You don’t have to do it all at once but it does pay to architect it from the beginning such that it is capable of growing and changing without rebuilding everything from scratch each time.
Over the years I’ve become pretty good at all of this. It’s a big deal and all of these things [systems] are interrelated. Not a single one is stand alone.
As an example, if you talk top a SEO company your could get the impression that SEO will increase web traffic and sales dramatically. Well, not really. Particularly if you are doing a good job with your other business and marketing systems, like your Out-Bound Marketing programs. If the other pieces are in place I’d hope for about a 10% increase in traffic based upon SEO.
Then the question becomes, what do you do once they get there??? How do you know where they came from, where they went, and which were converted into buyers. This is one of the reasons I like this event. There are vendors with solutions for various silos within this discipline. Putting all of that together as a coherent system is hard work and not for the faint of heart. Most of the pieces are there.
That my friends is a big deal and well worth the discussion. If you’d like to talk with me about it you can drop me a line at the contact tab of the home page.