SEO

From PerryMarrshall.com this week:
Why buy clicks when you can get ‘em for free?

If your business isn’t a machine that you can invest in and generate more income out than what you put in, then you don’t have a business. You exist off of the generosity of others. Generosity that Google, Bing or Yahoo continue to send you lots of free traffic. Generosity from Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn that they continue to allow you to use their platforms for free marketing.

The only marketing avenues that a business owner can control are: PPC, email marketing to in house lists and traditional direct mail. Isn’t it interesting that these are the ones that require investment in time and resources? PPC requires management and the cost of the clicks. Email and direct mail both have similar costs in every mailer sent out as well as building and managing a list.

These latter three marketing machines may require investment to build and maintain, but they can’t be taken away from you based on someone else’s decision.

If properly maintained hey may also be ramped up to produce more income when needed. Try bringing more natural search visitors to your site during the holidays. You don’t have that kind of control over SEO.

I’ll take the additional income from the generosity of others, and even invest some money in optimizing and further pursuing those marketing channels.

But I think I’ll depend on the steady income from the marketing channels that I have complete control of.

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How many of you think of PPC in these terms?

Every successful campaign you build, from the keywords, to ad copy, to landing page you optimize, is a salesman working for you 24/7, 365 days a year.

Yes, we think about PPC in terms of ROI or cost per conversion all the time. Now consider the long term implications of what an investment in creating a profitable PPC marketing campaign actually means in relation to the statement above. Further, compare the immediate and long term results of PPC with that other online marketing buzzword, search engine optimization.

SEO is a truly valuable undertaking. The investment in time and resources to achieve a highly optimized website with a steady stream of organic traffic pays dividends for years and years to come in every aspect of your business. With SEO, you have many upfront costs and then usually a long wait for the results to start to build. Once the SEO work is completed, you have no further active control over the amount of traffic coming through your virtual doors. All you can do is wait and see. This is the the biggest difference between SEO and PPC.

Think about that… if you rely solely on SEO, you are at the mercy of Google, Bing, Yahoo and others to supply you with a constant stream of customers. You are putting the viability of your business into the hands of a very few.

What happens if you get the Google slap and drop down to the fiftieth results page overnight? I’ve seen it happen. I’ve had websites it happened to… for something as simple as running an automated Youtube video stream on a website and someone claiming they saw porn on it. Google owns Youtube… If Youtube’s content policing isn’t sufficient for Google, then who’s is? Worse, there really isn’t much of a review process to find out if the claims were legitimate. Yes, it is their business and their prerogative, but you also have a choice whether to place your monthly meal ticket solely in one entity’s hands.

PPC on the other hand is a pro-active undertaking. If you have specific product excess to move, you can advertise and move it. If you have random odds and ends left, you can advertise and get rid of them. If organic traffic slows down or stops, you can pay more to get more traffic. Try that with SEO. Yes, when you pay for traffic you are affecting the overall profitability of the business, but at least you have some control! If you rely on SEO for the majority of your sales, there is almost nothing you can do to quickly turn more sales if you get in a bind.

Of course, all of the examples above assume that the business has a profitable PPC sales process already in place. If you have profitable campaigns, it much easier to create more similar ones. If you have to start from scratch without any idea of keywords that work well for your business, no landing page designs tested, no history of what negative keywords work and no history to show what products work best with which keywords; you are months out from seeing much profitability out of PPC without more luck than you might deserve. Profitable campaigns can take two to six months to get properly dialed in. Older campaigns with a good history generate far more steady income than a brand new campaigns. It’s also worth noting here the importance of not _only_ advertising with one provider for similar reasons. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Now back to my original question… How many of you think of PPC in these terms?

Every successful campaign you build, from the keywords, to ad copy, to landing pages you optimize is a salesman working for you 24/7, 365 days a year. Research and learn PPC for your business so you can teach them the best way to sell your products. Once you get traction, hire more salesmen (create new campaigns) for different product lines so they can each learn their specific products and customers inside and out (specialization).

Every salesman (campaign) you create and train now works for you 365 days a year for (hopefully) little pay (CPC). He doesn’t need a vacation. He doesn’t get tired. No withholding or taxes to keep track of. No insurance, no employee drama. Those are real assets you are building for your company that will work for years to come.

Optimizing and managing PPC campaigns is part of what we do here at CartMetrix. Let us know how we can help you.

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