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SEO in 2009: Understanding that SEO Does Indeed Provide Value
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
To be a great online marketer, you have to be able to roll with change. The online world is full of constant change, that's what makes it such a great place. To be an effective SEO/online marketer you need to understand that change is a part of life and that change can lead to greater rewards and great success.

In a previous post, I mentioned that there will be four elements of change for SEO in 2009. The first one is refocusing on metrics that matter and the second one that I want to discuss today is that in 2009, I suspect that we will see a true understanding that SEO does in fact provide value.

SEO in 2009 Means Understanding the Value of SEO

There are still many who are reluctant to change. Yet there are others who embrace change freely. I believe that it is those who embrace change that will be the ones to have the greatest success. Think about the recent presidential election of the United States. Many people were looking for change. The politicians themselves are looking for change. As Gord Hotchkiss of Enquiro pointed out, "Democracy Changed on November 4th". Part of the reason why Barack Obama was successful in the election was due to online savvyness. He had a great online strategy. For one, he is intune with the online world. He understands the value of social networks, of online environments and of PPC and of SEO. Try a search for "facebook" in Google, what do you see? For me in the number two organic listing, I see Barack Obama's facebook page. Mr. Obama's online strategy definitely helped him reach a number of voters that otherwise would have potentially been left unheard.

Speaking of "unheard", the understanding of the value of SEO has been "unheard" by many traditional managers who have not yet adopted the online marketing concept of SEO. In order to make SEO work, you have to realize that there is value associated with "organic online marketing efforts". Yup it's true, things like providing unique, informative, keyword rich content with optimized meta data that generates links can provide a lot of value for your brand or your business. Effective SEO can help you drive both branded and non-branded traffic to your site. From there, a well optimized site can lead to user engagement and eventually a sales transaction. Being found in the "natural/organic" portion of the search engines results page of Google or the other major engines can mean substantial traffic for your site. The most important part of this is that this is traffic that you didn't have to pay for.

With sponsored/PPC advertising you are bidding on keyword position. With SEO you are leveraging content (i.e. a webpage, a blog post, a video etc) to be found in the search results for a given keyword. The difference? PPC is instant whereas results from SEO take time. That is one of the greatest reasons why people are standoffish when it comes to SEO, it takes time to generate results. However once you get results, they are longer lasting and potentially the most cost effective form of marketing that you can find.

In 2008, we started to see it but in 2009 with the tough economic times, expect to see business who continue to use traditional marketing media take a good long look at SEO and search engine optimization. While there can be a cost up front, the cost tends to be a fraction of what you would spend say on a Superbowl ad, or a normal TV ad or even on what you would spend on a yearly PPC campaign.

In 2009, we are going to see more marketers, more managers and more C-Suite execs look towars SEO as a means to promote their products, services and brands. Sure they are going to have to cut marketing budget, but the smart ones will re-allocate pieces of this budget to the more cost effective SEO option. It only make sense and here's why:
  • SEO is cost effective, once implemented you can reduce your PPC spend on key phrases that you are ranking for organically.

  • SEO generates traffic to your site > which drives leads > which drive sales > which generate return on your investment

  • SEO can mean long term visibility - while this is changing a little with perosnalization and blended search, a strong organic presence can mean that you show up on a search results pages for months and even years with very little effort (once initial rankings are achieved)

  • Click-Through Rates - Depending on the source, 70-80% of click-throughs on a SERP are for organic listings

  • SEO works! SEO, although it can be difficult to measure at times, works. You just have to have the patience and understanding to begin with the fundamentals and evolve from their. You have to be willing to roll with change.
Organic search engine optimization is a medium for those with tight marketing budgets. In 2009, you can bet that there will be a lot of organizations with tight budgets. In fact I work with clients who have tight budgets and the SEO work and online strategies that we have worked together on have worked out very well for them. We have experienced great success with these clients, who for the most part undestand the value of SEO. If they don't understand it at first, they are quickly convinced once the return has been recognized.

Expect to see more organizations gain a true understanding of the value of SEO as we move into 2009 and beyond. Managers, marketers and business owners will be looking at cost effective ways of marketing their products, services and brand. SEO will be a viable option for these people in 2009.


posted by Jody @ Wednesday, November 26, 2008  
  • At 8:56 AM, Blogger Rob said…

    I agree - I've worked with sites in the past who both used targeted SEO and PPC campaigns and once the SEO campaign kicks in, the ROI is huge.

    With both campaigns running side by side, at their peak the SEO ROI was 20 to 30 times greater than PPC.

    In this case they were selling a product for $30 or $40 so you can imagine how quickly their sales grew. In the end the sales attributed to SEO were far far higher than those attributed to the PPC and with the fixed cost of the SEO versus the variable PPC costs, the return became even greater.

    Plus, even after the SEO contract ended, they kept up the PPC yet SEO STILL had higher returns - so in other words they had sales which didn't cost them anything.

    Overall in most cases I've found SEO to be much more effective when done properly - but in order for that to happen you need to know who your online customers are going to be.

  • At 11:50 PM, Anonymous citrix managed services said…

    By seeing the heading itself I impressed.I love your post.I will be back soon to read your great upcoming articles.

  • At 8:17 AM, Blogger Jody said…

    Thanks for stoppping by.

  • At 8:17 AM, Blogger Jody said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 11:41 PM, Anonymous annamarie said…

    I totally agree with the above comments.
    Using SEO as well as PPC Campaigns would generate more traffic for a site.

  • At 1:46 AM, Blogger ahk said…

    Tks 4 sharing precious information on SEM.

    SEO is really a cost effective technique for promotion of websites.


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