While discussing 2017 marketing budget planning with a prospective client, he asked me to help him come up with a compelling argument to present his management for why search engine optimization (SEO) for Google is so important.
The answer came to me while meeting with a company at a tradeshow recently.
“What would your boss say if you suggested that your company not exhibit at any tradeshows?” I asked. The answer seemed pretty obvious. “We have to be here. All our competitors are here, our customers expect us to be here, and we generate new leads among prospective customers.”
The follow-up question, for those who manage trade shows for their companies, also seemed fairly obvious: “Does it make a difference where your booth is at the show? What if it were in that far corner in the back, would that impact the number of leads you get?”
“We’ve been at this show for many years and our longevity enables us to pick the best possible booth location, because that’s important,” I was told.
Well, consider the Internet another trade show, was my advice. You’re already on there with a website, and for customers that know you, they’ll find you by typing in your company name.
But, for prospective customers that you want to reach who don’t already know you, it’s important that your website be easily found, that it’s located in the “main aisle,” so to speak, as your customers begin their search for a company that sells the products or services you provide.
The virtual trade show is Google, and SEO works to position your site in the main aisle.
A 2015 survey conducted by IHS Engineering 360 showed that 89% of technical buyers use general search engines, like Google or Yahoo, to search for products and services for their business.
Google is the 800-lb. gorilla in the market, with a 75% global market share. So, any discussion about Internet marketing must include plans to position your site better on Google, where your target customers are already looking for the products and services your company provides.
The most impactful way to do that is with search engine optimization (SEO). Google ranks websites using 200 different factors to identify which companies it determines are the leaders within their respective industries. SEO involves working with your site content, coding and backlinks to establish your website’s leadership position to earn top rankings on search engines, including Google.
While traditional marketing activities, like trade shows, still provide companies value in reaching some potential new customers, Internet research provides buyers the opportunity to find products and services right when they need it, without having to wait for the next trade show cycle.
The Internet becomes a year-round trade show for both buyers and sellers and, to reap the benefits, companies must make the commitment to position their websites to be easily found.