Direct Marketing and SEO

Direct marketing and SEO work well together when used in conjunction with each other. Direct marketing is all about generating a desired response to a certain stimulus. SEO is all about getting the greatest number of people to a website to see if particular offer is appealing to them. It is fairly obvious why these two things work well together. If you are getting traffic to a website then you generally want those people to convert into buyers. However, what most people get wrong is that people mistakenly believe that they should convert everyone who comes to their website.

Direct response marketing is all about getting a response to a stimulus. However, what most people do not realize is that direct response marketing is also about repelling people who do not fit the unique selling proposition of that particular business. Many people go to direct response marketing because it is far more effective than regular marketing. There is also instant gratification tied to direct response marketing because this type of advertising generates a result. It also happens to be faster than regular advertising and it is also trackable. Most of the problem with marketing is that there are no hard and fast numbers when presented to the business owner by many advertising sales people. Many of the advertising salespeople that exist do not understand what it takes to run a business therefore; they cannot give right metrics on how a campaign will perform when in use. Direct response marketing does that for a person.

Therefore, SEO along with direct response advertising works well together. You drive traffic through search engine optimized funnels and then you track the effectiveness of those campaigns using direct response tactics. This gives you the best idea of the marketplace you are working in as well as marketing intelligence that will help you convert those people in the funnel into buyers.

However, if a business needs to do this much quicker they can always use pay per click advertising. This would be more like a direct mail as there is a cost associated in the game. The trick to the system is to optimize the amount of returns based on the money that is spent on marketing. Therefore, the return on investment is much higher in search engine optimization because it tends to be cheaper. There is a very low amount of money that needs to be spent (generally speaking) than with a pay per click campaign. That is why a small business should use search engine optimization hand in hand with direct marketing principles. It is a very low cost activity that can produce big results.

In closing, businesses should use search engine optimization with direct marketing approaches. This will give them the best chance of generating traffic and converting those people into buyers. It also gives the business marketing intelligence about who exist in the marketplace and what words they are using to access the information that they want. This means that a company can build a marketing campaign around those keywords and get more of those people who actually buy their products and services. Therefore, direct marketing principles with strong SEO always do well in the marketplace as long as the business owner or the marketer knows what they are doing with these particular tools.

The Value in Letting Return on Investment Drive Your Marketing Decisions

Based on the topics I write about, it could be easy to assume that I am against all forms of traditional marketing. This is not true. I am against marketing that requires a heavy investment on the front-end and that has a high or unknown cost per lead. In other words, in many cases I think companies take a great risk by using mass media such as television and newspapers to promote their business. A more prudent course in many cases is to use marketing strategies that place your message in front of a well defined group of people (your target market) and that has a lower cost per lead than mass media.

That is why my company still uses direct mail even though we are an Internet marketing company. Our sales letters go to a specific group of people whom we have determined would benefit from our services and are in a position to purchase them. Each letter costs us about fifty cents, which is way less that would cost as with mass media to reach those specific people.

That is also why I love search engine marketing and social media marketing. These marketing techniques get our message in front of exactly the people who need our services or who are potential referral sources. And we accomplish this not with a large cash outlay but by simply talking about and writing about the things we do (which we like to do anyway).

Also, we’re discovering that search engine optimization and social media and direct mail are not mutually exclusive. For instance, when we update one of our blogs, there is a search engine optimization effect because we are creating keyword rich content that links to our main web sites. Our blog posts then become the source of group discussion material in social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. When we send out a sales letter out, we always reference our web site.

All of this marketing is very low cost and highly targeted. It is also ROI (return on investment) driven. ROI is a wonderful gauge for comparison. I don’t think you can say the same thing about a TV ad. However, if you’ve got the cash to burn and are looking to generate a branding effect, then mass media is invaluable.

In Article Marketing Consider Your Reader’s Mindset

Quite simply, we put a lot of effort into article marketing in hopes of achieving one simple objective: Get more traffic!

Our articles accomplish this in one (or both) of two ways. First, readers might click the links contextually embedded within our articles or within the resource box at the article’s end, and search engine spiders will find our link and assign greater import to the linked page within our site, thereby eventually providing us with visitors who come from searches.

Trying to maximize our results from those two methods causes a problem. The pages that we want to optimize in the search engines may not be the same pages to which we would ideally send our article readers. Let me explain this problem in a little more detail.

Often we pay the most SEO attention to pages that generate revenue directly. We are optimizing, in those cases, for searchers who are in a buying state of mind–or at worst in the state of mind in which they just need a little shove to make that final decision.

On the other hand, the readers of our syndicated articles are, typically, at a much earlier stage in the decision making process. They are often in the very early phases of information gathering. That’s why they came to our article rather than going directly to a store or service provider.

Now, hang onto those two competing states of mind for a moment, while we consider how we construct pages on a business website. A basic marketing principle of good website design for a business is that any given page should be directed toward moving the visitor to one and only one action. That action might be buying or signing up to receive additional information (that we may hope to use to move them closer to deciding upon our product or service). So, if we absolutely obey the marketing rule, we can’t possibly optimize our most important pages and satisfy the human reader of our article, simultaneously–can we?

That is the dilemma we face. Should we focus our article marketing efforts on search engine optimization or providing a landing page for our readers that will give them what they actually want at this stage? Should we incorporate two objectives within a single page on our site, or ought we make a choice to abide by common sense marketing principles?

We must consider these options carefully in both our article syndication decisions and our copywriting decisions within the website itself.