Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Is SEO dying out?

Mike Grehan on the Clickz Network states:
I've said many times that I sincerely believe the SEO only shop will become a rapidly diminishing corner of this industry sector. Clients want ROI from optimization efforts, not just rankings.
Debatable, perhaps SEO will rapidly diminish with the bigger companies who can compete with deeper financial pockets using PPC but I cannot see demand rapidly diminishing soon amongst the smaller players (not unless the search engines move to advertising only results instead of a mixture alongside organic).

More new clients (of which many are small to medium sized businesses though NOT Mom and Pop operations) come to me looking for web optimisation over and above PPC. They've all wanted higher rankings but for years they have all also wanted improved ROI.

When I talk with them about the benefits of PPC a lot have been put off by thinking it is too expensive for them to compete. A few of my clients have margins that are so tight that £500 a month invested in PPC is basically unaffordable and no matter what I show and demonstrate they prefer to have "free" organic listings over PPC advertising.

My clients also refer me to their contacts based on not only bringing them up for the keyword terms they wish to target but for the ROI that I bring to their business.

I am however quick to point out to them if I feel their keyword is unlikely to bring as much relevant (and therefore more receptive to buying) traffic than a keyword phrase that I have found which I think would offer a better ROI.

If the client refuses and wants to proceed with their nominated keyword phrase(s) then thats ok but I always give them the option. I usually aim to include my keyword phrase so that I can show them the comparisons later on when the SEO campaign is ongoing.
I've gone on record as saying I believe more SEOs should read more marketing books than Apache Server manuals.
Yep, true though I've gone for a 50/50 approach. Too many people offer SEO these days with no real basic understanding of marketing. My first marketing book was one from 1993 - amazing how much from what is an old(ish) book can still be applied now.

Try looking for used books on ebay to get you started... it will save you a few pennies and as you progress you can chart the marketing theory and techniques that have fallen in and out of favour.