I’ve had many conversations with small businesses regarding their online marketing. There are often reoccurring themes that spring up when SEO or PPC comes up in the conversation. The PPC conversation might sound like this: “We threw some money at Google Adwords and ended up spending a lot of money very fast with limited results, I just don’t think PPC will work for us.” Lets talk about 2 of the major factors of why newcomers often see limited results in a PPC campaign.
- Inexperience: Google often rewards those who know the rules and play by them. While Adwords is set up to be user friendly and seemingly easy to maximize, most business owners lack the time or knowledge to make a smaller PPC campaign profitable.
- Limited Budget: Half of the PPC battle is being able to test results and optimize the overall strategy with consistent data over time. Running a $100 campaign in 1 week then throwing PPC to the side as a viable option is the pattern for a business owner who doesn’t have time to lose money on new marketing options.
As is the case with all marketing, you must have a long term vision and you should consider outsourcing the more technical parts of your business vs. trying to learn it all yourself. Much like you hired someone to build your website or physical store, you’ve understood enough about that process to know that they are both working when you flick on the lights or open up your website. Similar to your marketing efforts, you can gain enough information to then be able to outsource this effort and know enough to see positive gains.
The SEO conversation can go two ways:
- “We’ve used an SEO person before, it was the same people who built our site and we payed them for a year until we dropped them after not getting much out of the $99 a month we spent.”
- “We’ve been hesitant to spend money on SEO because of the lack of any guarantee and overall uncertainty of the method itself.”
Let me address both, as they are legitimate concerns and issues. First, hiring a web design company to do your online marketing will typically yield less favorable results than hiring an online marketing company. Much like your cable guy will come and fix your TV, you probably wouldn’t ask him if he could fix a leaky sink while he was there. Even if you’ve hired an online marketing company in the past, you cannot compare apples to oranges. Try talking to people who drive Fords then talk to the Chevy people and try to convince them that they’re both just trucks. Take some time with the marketing company you’re talking with and follow some of Google’s questions to ask SEO companies.
Having some inhibition about spending money on SEO or any kind of marketing is normal and means you’ve given it some real time and research. Since SEO can take several months to really start paying for itself you will have to evaluate for yourself the level of risk involved and make a business decision to invest a portion of your marketing budget. Our SEO brings some uniques to the industry and we’re pretty crazy about what we do.