SEO As A Marketing Tool

We have been looking at the different forms of Advertising and Marketing in our recent posts. As we have seen, there are a number of different tyes of advertising. But perhaps the most valuable is free advertising. This can be word-of-mouth or different types. 

We’ll look at some of those different types over time but today I want to consider a special form; the business you can get from the front page of Google As you no doubt know being on the front page of Google means being seen by a lot of people. And not just any people, these are people who are looking for the product or service you sell. Being seen by them translates into sales.

 

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of deliberately trying to get to that front page. This is a process that can be achieved for specific searches and you can hire a company to do it for you. There are a number of agencies around the world that focus on SEO.

 

One I have dealt with is based in Cork, Ireland Asterion SEO is an SEO services company that deals with clients around the world. They focus on what they describe as “moving your store from the Sahara to Times Square.” Implied in this is the fact that you can choose strategies that will get you to the location you want to be.  How is this possible? Well that’s a complex strategy that is outside the scope of this post. But lets assume it is possible to decide this and get to that front page. What will that do for your business? 

 

I think we can agree that it will make a big difference. The comparison to the move from the Sahara to Times Square is very descriptive. Getting that passing traffic (but in Googles case it’s not just passing traffic but traffic that’s looking for your product) is powerful. Suddenly you see sales – and it’s sales that you don’t have to keep advertising for; there was just an initial cost for the move.

 

Every sale is now achieved without any spend on advertising. And if it’s any good then the sales generated from Google also add word-of-mouth promotion.  

 

Brian O’Connell who founded Asterion SEO says that getting to the front page is achieveable – but takes time and, depending on the searches you want to get found for, can take some money. But doesn’t have to be. He says that you should consider it a long-term investment

 

Personally I find this to be the best and most pwoerful form of advertising. Many people claim that free traffic is not good because you don’t control the volume and can’t scale it. But that’s not the point. All businesses require a core income stream that acts as a base. Once you have that then you can decide to take paid ads later. But having that core is essential as a floor from which to grow and scale. 

Like all other free traffic sources SEO is a powerful tool and one that should be considered by all. We’ll take a look at the other free sources soon. 

 

Contact Details For Asterion SEO

Facebook: http://facebook.com/asterionseocork

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cork_seo_agency

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC884r8vJzRFx9uj-GfEUjxg/videos

Google+: https://plus.google.com/116008622806920531294

Marketing or Advertising?

For many small businesses the difference between Marketing and Advertising is vague at best and they are interchangeable at worst. Does this matter? 

 

First lets see what the differences actually are and then we can consider our main question of today; do you need to know the difference at all?

 

Marketing has been described by The American Marketing Association as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

Advertising is defined by the Collins English Dictionary as “the promotion of goods or services for sale through impersonal media, such as radio or television.”

 

As we can see from these definitions the difference is that Marketign is a process and set of tools that include advertising. Advertising is thus a subset of Marketing. Marketign in fact includes all the ways to communicate with a customer such as Public Relations, Advertising and even simply conversing. It is the system of communication.

 

Advertising is the direct message but only when presented in an impersonal media. Talking to your customer when they come into the shop is marketing but not advertising. 

Large companies tend to have both marketing and advertising budgets. But this is not the case for small businesses. Does it matter?

 

I think the answer in most cases is no. For a small business the expense is in the advertising; press, flyers, signage etc. However it is important that you consider your advertising in the context of your overall marketing. Think of the image and values you are trying to convey; are you focused on fresh food? In that case just having newspaper adverts that scream about low price is not the message you want. Sure you can use this occasionally for a sale or to generate a spike in interest but it is not the continual message you want to advertise. And where you advertise will also play a role; Rolex do not advertise in your community paper – they choose high-end fashion and business magazines.

Before you begin to advertise then you need to have fixed your marketing message. And then each advert needs to be considered with this in place. After that you can just go about your business with periodic reviews of what advertising media fit into your marketing plans; press, tv or radio? paid online adverts or SEO

 

But apart from that there is little point in a small business worrying about definitions.

 

 

 

 

The Benefits of Internet Marketing

advertising billboards

Marketing has changed significantly in recent years. Now it is possible for a small business in a small town to reach customers across the world. And to do so for pennies.

It’s not that long since global reach was the preserve of multi-national companies. In this blog we intend to look at what the changes mean and how to take advantage of it.

 

In this first entry I want to outline what it means…

 

If you run a small business your potential was always limited. Sure some could become big companies but a shoe store was limited to its local catchment. Now their market is the world. The current population of Earth is nearly 8 Billion About 5 Billion of those are on the internet.

All of those are your catchment.

 

Now that doesn’t mean all are your potential customers. Only a small portion will want your style of shoe and some will be loyal to competitors. There are many reasosn they won’t all want your shoes. But consider this;

In a town of 10,000 you might expect that 40% are your potential customers; That’s 4,000 people. But in a global market of 5 Billion then if only 0.1% are your potential customers you have 5 million people to sell to.

All you have to do is let them now you exist.

 

What is Internet Marketing?

Internet Marketing is simply reaching your potential audience on the internet. We’ll go into details in later posts but for now simply think that it takes two forms; Brand and Direct.

Brand Advertising is building a relationship with your potential customers when they are not necessarily looking to buy something. Instead you’re just letting them know you’re there and what you stand for. Then hopefully when they do go to buy they are both aware of you and have a good opinion of you.

Direct Marketing is reaching a potential customer at the time they are looking to buy. At the point they are researching the product you appear in front of them, tell them about yourself, and persuade them to select you.

 

Both types of advertising are legitimate and both are powerful. And both have found a place in the internet.

At the risk of simplifying things it can be said that Brand Advertising is dominated by Facebook while Direct is the province of Google Now of course both companies have the ability to offer you both options. But the broad split is valid.

 

Both types of advertising can also be split into Paid or Free. And both Facebook and Google can provide you with both. Again we will discuss this in the future but consider it simply from two examples; Business build pages on Facebook, collect followers and post updates. These can appear to the followers for free. The problem is that Facebook limits the number of followers who can actually see the post (it’s currently about 4% of followers who see a post). In Google’s case they try to put the most valid and relevant results in front of you when you search. If you cna be the most relevant result to a search then Google will put you at the top of the results without you having to pay them. This can bring a lot of customers.

 

This has been a brief post. We will discuss this further in other posts.