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July 24, 2008

SEO, Online Marketing, Recession and ROI (Return On Investment)

With recession and (ROI) return on investment staring each other face to face, being brutally honest about the profit and return on your search engine optimization or online marketing campaign has never been so important.

For those who may not have noticed, various industries typically replete with activity in the market-place are coming to a screeching halt as result of inflation and the value of the dollar plummeting on a global scale. The trend for consumers to spend less on impulse items, auxiliary products or services and more on bare essentials continues to escalate as a result of a weakened economic state.Online sales are just one region taking the hit as the sales cycle and the consumers within this cycle are looking for greater value at the fair price. Needless to say, due diligence has taken on an entirely new definition as the business with the best offer, sale or SEO promotion gain the favor of the masses. To appease such value-conscious times, refining your content to represent the most compelling and tactful value proposition is necessary to supplement slouching sales and traffic (less money equates to less spending).

Despite this economic recession, observing the latest trends in competitive verticals while forecasting demand to convert new prospects into customers has become as much of an art as a science.

Incentives and promotions for cross-market exposure are just one example of businesses with larger budgets attempting to infuse and find the ideal hybrid shopper and capitalize on the vulnerability of other markets. Sign up for Product A (from one market) and receive a free 30 day trial period, or get 15% off your favorite movie, etc. from Industry B. In summary, the emotional triggers that incline consumers to purchase are evolving as well as those who are crafting the offer.

This is because tactics that may have worked 6 months or a year ago online or promotional methods based on years of success and stability from traditional offline channels no longer hold their sway over the masses as value is subjugated to the rules of survival of the fittest.

Is it the fact that A) the market is evolving, B) that money is tighter, C) the fact that online consumers are savvier than ever or D) a combination of all of the above? Typically, those with larger budgets (like publicly traded companies) wield the spoils of a collective advertising and marketing campaign piggybacking promotions on industries with less favorable returns (much like trickle-down economics).

This is not to suggest that smaller more nimble companies do not stand a chance, it is merely that the scalability of an advertising campaign designed to optimize 1000 keywords for example vs. a smaller company who may only have the budget to target 10 leaves a margin of opportunity and exposure that unfortunately provides advantages that the smaller firm may not be able to grasp due to budgetary constraints.

Now is the time to take advantage of narrow-casting instead of generalized broadcasting your message to reach the audience with the most likelihood for conversion.

Business is business and opportunity and expression determine the course of action for websites that need to produce a profit to survive. While being a highly trafficked site may be great for the ego, having a highly trafficked site that sells thousands of products, generates dozens of sales leads a day or has viral appeal to social networks is even more better.

In summary, make sure you identify your audience, growth is nice but stability amidst crisis is even better. Looking for greener grass instead of tending the yard you have can leave your marketing plan depleted and out of focus. It’s better to have 10% of something than 90% of nothing, so make sure before you extend your scope of the market to reach new prospects, you reap the equity of the authority and presence you have developed in your primary niche.

Healthy margins are the bottom line, so if you have them, then this message is not nearly as crucial as it is to those who are feeling the impact of a languishing economic crisis in their industry. SEO is a valid solution, but also being aware of the trends and circumstances that impact everyone in an economy can shed some light on why some periods are more fruitful than others. The key is not to get flustered and diversify your tactics to spread the risk and reward for your online campaign.

Jeffrey Smith is an active internet marketing optimization strategist, consultant and the founder of Seo Design Solutions Seo Company He has actively been involved in internet marketing since 1995 and brings a wealth of collective experiences and fresh marketing strategies to individuals involved in online business.