Whatever your business: real estate, dining, travel or retail, the economy is certainly making itself known to you in one form or another. Managing your internet marketing budget during this time is a challenge, no doubt about it – you definitely want to get the most from your online advertising dollar. So…how do you decide what to focus on and what gets put on hold?
Search engine optimization is often considered a soft marketing tool that can be paused, delayed or done away with entirely, then pulled back out as a stop-gap measure when the going gets rough. Not so! Although SEO does lend itself to both short and long-term goals, when it comes to budgeting your marketing dollars, you’ll want to give careful consideration to where you’ll get the most bang for your buck.
More people do retail research and shop online today than ever before. Why? They can find:
a) Exactly the product or service they are looking for
b) Find it in their price range
c) Locate it right in their neighborhood or region if they prefer
Consumers are used to finding what they want by doing a specific internet search, whether they are looking to buy car parts online or enjoy a fine meal in their own city. If you aren’t visible in those specific, targeted search results, someone else will be!
There are a lot of ways to spend your online advertising dollar: beefing up your website, investing money into pay-per-click ad programs, email campaigns, the ever-changing world of social media, or professional search engine optimization. The goal isn’t just to reach as many people as you can for the least amount of money, but ideally to reach the most relevant target audience you can for the least amount of money. And better yet – relevant organic search results mean – amazingly – your market is looking for you!
Search engine optimization is the vehicle than can provide you with the most direct access to your customers or audience. Whether you have a shopping cart that allows you to sell your products online or simply want to direct people to your storefront, organic SEO is your partner in matching your product with the right audience. Basically, it’s like the ABC’s of internet marketing, helping you weed out irrelevant results and ‘cut to the chase’!
A thoughtful online marketing budget is a matrix that begins with a professional search engine optimization plan, enhanced by an amalgamation of marketing tools designed to bolster the visibility of the product or service. The best way to research the benefits of SEO? Testimonials, industry and client case studies, research and talking to the professionals.