Let’s not talk about budget. Let’s eliminate the term costs from the vocabulary of the discussion as well.
When it comes time to think about funding your search engine marketing (SEM) or search engine optimization (SEO) program, it would be wise to create a mindset in which you are addressing these outlays as investments. Now, that may seem like an overused term, but what I’d like to point out is that we traditionally expect a Return on Investments (ROI), yes? Your expectations for an investment in SEO or SEM should be no different.
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you know that your expected ROI is one of the central financial metrics for making your marketing decisions. You can expect that a high ROI means that your funding investment gains will compare favorably to your investment outlays. In marketing your business, you have a number of choices: yellow pages, TV ads, radio spots, newspapers, billboards, direct mail, sandwich boards and search marketing. With any business-case scenario, the choice with the higher ROI is often considered the best choice. We would add that targeted reach and ease of measurement are also important factors, as this is where SEO and SEM begin to grossly outweigh traditional marketing.
At this point, there’s no reason to go into a lengthy dialogue about how search and web marketing has replaced mass communications as the dominant advertising policy, but here are:
5 Top Reasons that Companies are Shifting Money from Traditional Marketing to SEM:
- Through analytics, SEM is infinitely more measureable in its effects.
- Because the web has no specific print edition or time slot, SEM is a constant source of messaging, branding and advertising.
- Because SEM is tailored to your chosen audience, it’s better at reaching your targets.
- Via online communities and social media, SEM provides better word-of-mouth.
- Through your ability to change tactics and wording on the fly, SEM can also change to increase your conversions.
When it comes to advertising returns, measurement is the key. Very simply: if you don’t know what’s broke, how can you fix it? With search optimization and online marketing, the magnitude and timing of your returns are easily shown through your site analytics. Need to make an adjustment? Can do. No need to wait for the next edition of the phone book to drop.