When you want to get your business out to potential customers the answer has always been traditional advertising such as TV and Radio ads.
Although TV and Radio ads still have their place, they are not the 1st step anymore. A solid SEO profile allows you to capitalize on all the other marketing work you do in a way that is much better for long term business health and success.
How Traditional Advertising Works
You pay a fee to run an ad campaign, normally on TV, Radio, or the Newspaper. Once the money runs out you get however many people that came from that campaign. If you want more people you have to pay more money.
There are a few major problems with traditional advertising:
- It is expensive. It costs a lot of money for them to stay on the air, or in print, which means it costs a lot for you to advertise.
- Once your ad stops running the campaign is over. You get no more benefits until you pay more money.
- There is no way to get accurate metrics on how many people your ad reached or how well it did. This means not even your advertising rep really knows how effective your ad campaign was. It’s the marketing equivalent to shooting in the dark.
- You can only target broad audiences which means you waste a lot of money on people that will never be interested in your product or service.
The Advantages of SEO
SEO has some pretty major advantages to traditional advertising. Google realized some time ago that there is a better way for the consumer and the business to interact and learn about each other.
The Advantages of SEO to Businesses:
- Return on investment – The whole point of marketing is to get new customers. For most businesses, the ROI on a properly run SEO campaign is substantially higher than traditional advertising.
- SEO can still get you new customers months or even years after you have paid for the work to be done!!!! SEO builds a solid base for your business to appear in search results and convert more customers. It tends to have a snowball effect when done correctly.
- With SEO you can target people that have the highest chance of becoming and staying your customer – You do this by targeting keywords and interests of the customers that are already searching for similar products and services.
- Real-time metrics – With SEO and online marketing you can not only see who is viewing your business online, but how they got there, what their interests are, and a lot more. You can even change your campaign midway to improve your targeting based on real-time numbers!
- SEO provides a better customer experience – This means more money from return customers and referrals. With SEO you are not shoving your message down people’s throats until they cave in. You are providing people with exactly what they are looking for. It is a much less painful experience for everyone involved.
The advantages of SEO to consumers (these are also advantages to your business):
- The customer finds you! – Nobody wants to be “sold” something. People are tired of ads and billboards in their faces everywhere they go. With SEO, customers are directed to a business that fit their needs the best. This puts people a lot less on guard, making them more likely to buy your product or service.
- It is not in google’s best interest to promote poorly run businesses – People trust google a lot more than they trust a commercial or print ad. If you come upon the 1st page of google search people consider you a professional before they even talk to you. This puts them more at ease, and again, makes the process easier for everyone.
- A more informed customer – Marketing isn’t about yelling the loudest anymore. You actually need to provide solid information so the customer feels you care about more than just their money. By providing this information both google and the customer see you as an industry expert and someone that cares. This makes for a happier customer, smoother transaction process, and higher rankings from Google and other search engines.
Do I think you should ignore traditional advertising?
Not at all! When you combine traditional advertising with SEO it can be very effective.
The advantage of having a proper SEO profile before paying for traditional advertising is that the customers you get from traditional advertising will actually strengthen your SEO profile bringing you more potential customers from google search and others.
This happens when Google sees more people coming to your website and “google my business” through traditional advertising (as long as those people are leading to interactions and conversions). If your SEO profile is set up correctly, google will be able to see that these customers are an extension of what you are already doing and will rank you higher. This will strengthen your long term business health is a way traditional advertising alone cannot do.
Combining SEO and Traditional Advertising allows your business to maximize all your leads and get a much better idea of what your advertising budget is actually accomplishing.
Alternatives to Traditional Advertising
I believe SEO to be the 1st step to all online marketing. But with digital marketing has come some great online “pay per result” or “pay per post” options.
Some great traditional marketing alternatives
- Pay Per Click with google – With this option, you bid to show up 1st when a customer types in a certain keyword. This is not as effective as SEO because over 70% of people skip the ads that show up on google. Surprisingly though, it can still be a much more effective use of your advertising budget because the ROI tends to be quite a bit better. Having done the proper SEO keyword research you will be able to better target potential customers through Google paid ads.
- Influencer Marketing – This may be the most overlooked, and possibly the most effective, form of advertising. It is surprising the amount of trust a YouTube personality gains from their follows. A large part of that is because the person chooses to follow that YouTube channel. Therefore, they are more open to suggestions from that person than from a TV ad. You would be amazed by how cheap this advertising can come if you build relationships. Influencer partnerships are also great for backlinks which strengthen your SEO profile and boost your ranking with Google.
- Paid ads with Facebook and other Social Media – Like with Google pay for click ads, you can get very specific with your targeting, unlike traditional ads. The way I see it, it is always better to pick who sees your ads. The other great part about social media advertising is that, like with the others, people trust social media more than traditional advertising.