Yes, in this case the hype is true, search engine optimization (SEO) is the advertising bargain of the century. SEO is the process of tweaking and positioning websites so that they rank well in the search engines. And as most website owners know, if their website does not appear on the first two or three pages of search engine results pages (SERPS), then their website is not being found by prospective clients searching for their products and services. SEO is such a great bargain for a number of reasons.
SEO, the gift that keeps on giving
The benefits of SEO continue long after SEO services have been commissioned. Traditional advertising is like buying a plane ticket: once you’ve gone on your trip, the benefits have been used up. SEO, on the other hand, is like buying a car: it will keep on transporting you long after it has been paid for. That said, for most markets, once the initial SEO campaign has been implemented, good SEO requires a certain amount of upkeep. In this way, of course, SEO also resembles owning a car.
I want it now!
Unlike traditional advertising, which builds brand awareness and may eventually lead to more sales, SEO targets prospective customers who are actively searching for your products and services. They are using the search engines to find you! But is your website ready to be found?
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half.”
John Wanamaker’s adage is still true, but it’s not true about SEO. Why? Because the results of SEO can be quantified and tracked. This is why in a recent article the Economist notes that “Thanks to the power of the internet, advertising is becoming less wasteful and its value more measurable. In terms of efficiency, if not size, the advertising industry is only now starting to grow out of its century-long infancy, which might be called ‘the Wanamaker era.'” (“The Ultimate Marketing Machine,” The Economist, 6 July 2006).