We are seeing an ongoing, secular shift from traditional to online media as marketers recognize that ad dollars invested in interactive media are effective at influencing consumers and delivering measurable results
Phoenix, AZ (Vocus) October 31, 2009
Ever heard the quote, “You can't do today's job with yesterday's methods and be in business tomorrow?” This is on-point for today’s rapidly changing economy. As companies worldwide cut costs, the demand is for more creative, high impact, reliable marketing techniques. Businesses from small to the corporate conglomerate are now focusing on the internet as a powerful resource and marketing tool, but Search Engine Optimization is what’s getting the job done.
Troy Bohlke, President of Niche Focus Group in Phoenix, Arizona states, “As business development and marketing specialists, we’re always looking for the most effective way to increase our clients’ exposure on the internet. The accessibility of the ‘net’ to the public has grown exponentially, so it is critical to be aware of and utilize the most powerful, productive tools. Search Engine Optimization fits the bill and is undoubtedly the new wave of marketing effectiveness. Utilizing it correctly can quickly catapult a business to the top of its industry. Without it, it is simply left behind.”
Effective Search Engine Optimization increases traffic to a website by improving the internal and external factors influencing ranking in search results. It is mostly technical in nature and includes Web programming expertise combined with business, persuasion, sales and a love for competitive puzzle solving. SEO marketing is the key to promoting a company's visibility, credibility and sales.
A survey on marketing budgets for 2009 was recently conducted by btobonline.com, a marketing strategy publication put out by Crain Communications Inc. In their survey, they found that nearly 43% of the 500 companies interviewed said their budgets for 2009 went down by a significant margin. Despite these decreases, however, 65% said that their online marketing budget increased, spotlighting a shift in the world of advertising.
“We are seeing an ongoing, secular shift from traditional to online media as marketers recognize that ad dollars invested in interactive media are effective at influencing consumers and delivering measurable results,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Part of this shift is the direct transfer of $25 billion of advertising dollars from traditional print to the internet. As a result, 24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in their circulation, and anymore, only 18 percent of television campaigns generate a positive return.
Combine the above with the fact that in 1984, there were only 1000 internet devices, but by 2008, they totaled one billion, with 31 billion searches conducted every month. In fact today, 8 out of 10 shoppers search the Web before they buy, with 49 percent of Americans conducting at least one search every day.
On an average, online marketing has been increasing 8.6 percent per year and is expected to continue doing so through 2011. It will have grown from $41 billion in 2007 to an expected $69 billion by 2011.
“In this uncertain economy, where marketers know they need to do more with less,” continued Rothenberg, “interactive advertising provides the tools for them to build deep, engaging relationships with consumers—the experience marketers gain from this will deliver dividends, especially after the economy turns around.”
The Forbes 2009 Ad Effectiveness Survey says marketers of all sizes should start with Search Engine Optimization. According to the survey, 48 percent of marketers said that SEO was the best method for generating conversions online. More than one-half of marketers with budgets over $1 million agreed. In 2007, only 19 percent of all businesses utilized SEO as part of their online strategies. As of 2009, 39 percent are using Search Engine Optimization.
Effective website creation is no longer limited to technical skills, copywriting, links and search engine submission. It necessitates an intricate blend of more than 200 variables woven into its fabric. When Search Engine Optimization is done correctly, it not only achieves high rankings in the organic sections of search engine results pages, but an effective website now capable of maintaining desired revenue goals. Considering the exponential growth and effectiveness of the Web and the unparalleled competitiveness it has generated, one could say that having a website today without SEO and conversion optimization is like having a store without a cash register, or having a billboard in the middle of an isolated desert.
Bill Gates once said, “The Internet will help achieve ‘friction free capitalism’ by putting buyer and seller in direct contact and providing more information to both about each other.” This is already happening, as 25 percent of search results for the world’s top 20 of the largest brands are linked to user-generated content. The contact has been made, and it’s creating a marketing revolution. The shift mentioned by Rothenberg is major, and it can no longer be denied. Any business that attempts to do so may find itself trailing in the dust.
“Online advertising partnered with Search Engine Optimization is paramount to the success of businesses today,” states Bohlke with Niche Focus Group. “It is an undeniable factor in the success of my advertising firm, as well as the success of all my clients.”