Search Marketing Consultant
Many businesses will hire a search marketing consultant to plan and execute online marketing campaigns that will increase accessibility and exposure of a website or group of websites. Most entrepreneurs are not experts in how to maximize web presence. They need help developing ad text and landing pages, tracking website performance and using web search engines to attract new customers. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is of the most productive ways to gather quality leads and is vital to the livelihood and success of online campaigns. When used correctly, SEO places a website in front of individuals who are looking for the particular product or service that company offers. Traditional media forms - print, radio and television - place products and services in front of very casual audiences who may or may not be interested in buying at that time. This is not the case for online media. On the Internet, consumers make an effort to seek out a product or service by typing in keywords into online vehicles such as Yahoo or Google. A search marketing consultant can help companies rise above their competitors to get prime space when those results pop up on a consumer's screen.
Search engine optimization is more than simply driving a lot of traffic to a website. Proper SEO only attracts individuals who are looking for particular information and want to find websites that provide it. When an individual types in a keyword, he or she receives links to websites in two ways: a list of related links that the search engine has determined fits the criteria of the words provided and links to companies that have paid to have their websites listed when certain keywords are used. Web engines generally scout web pages for repeated words in text and HTML coding to determine the rank of listed results. Paying clients usually submit the specific keywords which will bring up a link to their site. A search marketing consultant knows the technology well enough to provide guidance on both techniques. Clients who choose to pay for top visibility must realize that when payment stops, so does the top placement. Companies that take the more traditional approach may not hit the top spot, but continue to be successful without shoveling money into additional advertising costs. In both cases, keyword selection is vital. Companies and consumers tend to use different language in regard to products and services. Entrepreneurs must be willing to sacrifice industry jargon for the everyday language of the common person.
A search marketing consultant is an expert in web technology and can develop effective campaigns that are customized for each business. These professionals analyze the existing or proposed website and creates a strategy to optimize the site to meet the business' goals. This analysis includes what keywords people use, which search engines referred them to the site and top exit pages. Consultants use this data to define project benchmarks, develop a plan and follow it through from start to finish. The plan focuses on bringing people specifically interested in the company's products and services to the website. Consultants track visitor traffic through the website to make sure it is performing well. Many search marketing consultant agencies also offer additional services such as pay-per-click management, social media optimization and the creation of landing pages. Realistically, even these professionals cannot guarantee top positions in search engines, but they can help increase and maximize visibility as much as possible. Space in online directories in highly competitive industries are limited and search engine algorithms change often. Professionals are aware of the best techniques to draw specific traffic and know that ranking is not always an indicator of success.
Hiring a search marketing consultant isn't ideal for every situation. Business who can only afford to place a minimal amount of funds to SEO will be limited in who they can hire. Most agencies will only consider companies who are willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars each month in advertising. Long-term goals must also be taken into consideration. Companies that would eventually prefer to hand their own SEO should consider investing in an intense two-week training with a consultant. The initial cost is high, but it could save a lot of money in the long run. "Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments." (Psalm 119:66) Other businesses prefer to pay a few extra dollars each month to have a professional handle the promotion for them. Consultants are paid in a variety of ways. The most popular method is by the hour, but many are paid according to the percentage of what clients spend each month or by revenue share based on the amount of profit made.
Picking the right agency can be one of the best decisions an entrepreneur makes, but choosing the wrong search marketing consultant can spell financial disaster. Services vary from agency to agency. Some deal with only certain aspects of SEO like keywords and ads, while others assist with the entire campaign. Be sure to choose an expert with experience developing campaigns for similar websites. Ask for a list of current or past clients and evaluate their marketing efforts. Meet the actual person or team who will be managing the account. Some agencies are nothing more than sales forces for other agencies that actually do the work. Review the contract thoroughly for fees and cancellation policy. Consult a lawyer if possible.
Even with the help of a search marketing consultant, it takes a lot of work to remain at the top of search engine rankings. Each account needs constant monitoring and planning. For every company trying to maximize visibility, there are hundreds of other competitors trying to do the same thing. Getting to the top is not the ultimate goal. Continuing the momentum is. Staying at the top involves continually revising content so that it is appropriate and optimized, building targeted links, and enhancing website features so that it continues to bring in the needed customers.
Search Marketing CompanyHiring a search marketing company is an effective way to increase sales and profits. But, this service isn't cheap and does come with risks attached. Some companies charge several thousand dollars to provide the service. Essentially, what these providers do is work to increase the number of visitors to a client's online website. Not only that, these providers also attempt to steer more qualified visitors to a client's website. And, more visitors will hopefully equate to more customers and higher profits. Running any business is difficult. Trying to run one solo or with a small inexperienced staff is even more difficult. Sales, marketing, public relations, customer service, and hundreds of other important details require day-to-day attention to keep a business solvent. Many businesses, from small mom and pop operations to large multinational corporations, outsource some of their work. Cyberspace is large and vast. As a result, products, services, and even business can be easily over looked and lost. So, in a sales arena as large and vast as the Internet, acquiring expert help from a search marketing company to increase product visibility makes good business sense. Visibility is everything. Without visibility there are no customers, no sales, no profits, and no business.
A search marketing company will use several techniques to help increase visibility. And, a market analysis is the first step in developing a strategic marketing plan. Part of the plan will be to enhance an individual or company's reputation and credibility. By examining market trends and key issues the marketing company will be better able to successfully position a person or business for greater visibility. According to results from a keyword search, there are five techniques used by many companies: web development, pay per click management, online media planning, search engine optimization, and reputation management. Arguably, reputation management may be the most crucial task that a search marketing company can take on. But enhancing a businesses' reputation may also be the most difficult. Obviously, the manner in which a business is perceived directly affects sales and profits because reputation is also directly tied to character.
Generally speaking, reputations are built over time. Once perceived as unfavorable by the public or community, a person or organization is fighting an uphill and arduous battle to change the opinion. Whether the perception is right or wrong is irrelevant. There are four categories that reputations fall into: excellent, good, bad, and ugly. Excellent and good reputations can be lost rather quickly. But bad and ugly reputations are difficult or impossible to shed. Hiring a search marketing company to manage a reputation may be considered by some people to be stepping slightly into the deceptive side of things. Reputations won't just disappear, but parts can be concealed. Basically, reputation management is nothing more than keeping track of a company's or an individual's actions as well as other people's opinions and reactions to those actions. Now, there are really only two ways of dealing with other people's opinions. The first is to respond to them directly. And, the second is to do nothing and hope they just go away. That's not very realistic nor is it good business.
So, the search marketing company has an interesting task because applying a public relations type spin that highlights the positive aspects of a client or business while burying the negative may cross a fine moral or even legal line. If nothing else, burying the negative aspects of company may call into question the trustworthiness of the organization, once they are uncovered. Reprehensible behavior will most certainly be found out. And, once it is, any negative situation will only become worse. Therefore, it is best to keep business practices beyond reproach. The Gospel of Luke is clear on both concealment and trustworthiness: "For nothing is secret, that will not be made manifest; neither anything hid that shall not be known and come abroad...If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteousness mammom, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? (Luke 8: 17; Luke 16: 11-12)
Once the reputation issue is under control, a search marketing company may use a tool called search engine optimization (SEO). This technique is used to increase the volume and quality of visitors to a website from the many Internet search engines. The way it works is quite simple and is often used in one form or another in other areas of the business world. For example, some retailers, specifically high-end specialty retailers, will place the higher quality and more expensive products at eye level with the customer. The theory is that the first thing the customer sees he or she will consider buying. Search engines basically do the same thing by ranking websites and assigning them prominent positions. Higher ranking sites will appear first in the search results. Therefore, it would be beneficial for a company's website to appear on top of the first screen that appears to online visitors. Optimizing involves editing a website and reworking the HTML coding to make it more relevant to specific keywords. This can be incorporated directly into a business website design by the search marketing company. Another way to increase visibility and direct potential customers to a website is called pay per click. When a person uses a search engine to find a specific product or service, advertisements will appear on the results page. Advertisers pay for the placement of the ad only when a visitor clicks on it. Basically, online media planning is identifying what parts of the internet a target group uses and then developing a strategy to direct the group to a specific website. Web development is complicated but is self explanatory as to what it is. Research all companies thoroughly before hiring. Contracting with a bad provider can be costly in more ways than ones.