I was just reading an article from Adam Stetzer over at Search Engine Watch on SEO, PPC, ROI and small business. Stetzer’s suggestion that small businesses should switch their focus from SEO to ROI is actually pretty close to our own philosophy. He’s right. Money is usually pretty tight for small businesses, especially in the first few years. That’s why ROI should be priority numero uno.
However, you absolutely should not forgo SEO in the name of ROI. Stetzer suggests that PPC is the best option for small business, at least in the beginning, and we agree with that approach. However, where Stetzer suggests you add SEO as PPC becomes too costly, we highly recommend you do both simultaneously. Stetzer does recommend doing both together, but not out of the gate. Recognizing that SEO takes time to “marinate”, our philosophy is to do both SEO and PPC together, right out of the gate.
Knowing SEO isn’t a recipe for overnight success, why would you wait to get started? You’ve got to lay the groundwork and keep building on it from day one. Running your SEO campaigns alongside your PPC campaigns gives you the ability to generate leads now using PPC while you build the foundation for future success with SEO. They’re both necessary and they compliment each other well.
That being said, cost is a concern. We recognize that fact. Actually, we recognize that cost is going to be a concern for the life of your marketing strategies, no matter what methods you use. That’s why we focus on delivering results with affordable online marketing. It doesn’t make sense to spend $2 to make $1. For us, it doesn’t make sense to spend $1 to make $1. If you’re spending $3500 a month on marketing, you better be making $3501 at the very least.
Do your homework. Watch your campaigns and make sure you know how much it actually costs to bring in a new client or customer. Then, keep an eye on ROI by focusing on Cost Per Conversion or Cost Per Lead or whatever you define as your measure of success. We say it all the time. Stop thinking about “traffic” as a success metric. Traffic is meaningless if it doesn’t create more business for your business. Rather than focusing on traffic, focus on how that traffic makes money. Focus on conversions. Focus on landing page optimization and tweaking your ads and copy to drive those conversions. That’s how you increase your ROI and, in the end, online marketing is really all about improving your bottom line.