Search Marketing Myopia & Chasing the Google Rainbow

Posted by in General Marketing, Search Marketing (SEO) on August 6th, 2007 0 Comments

In my previous post I spoke about how the role of a [tag]Search Engine Marketer[/tag] has changed and in this post I want to touch upon an obsession that far too many businesses still have when it comes to implementing search marketing campaigns.

Some 40 years ago marketing guru – Theodore Levitt coined the term [tag]Marketing Myopia[/tag] to describe an unnecessarily common affliction among business people. At the heart of the issue is focus: marketing should focus not on products but on customers. So we’re now in 2007 and when it comes to [tag]Search Engine Marketing & Optimisation[/tag], their marketing eyesight has not got much better.

I decided to come up with the term “Search Marketing Myopia” to describe when businesses focus on rankings as opposed to customer or web visitor goals.

Businesses seem to think that if they can get to the top of Google for their targeted key phrases then they’ll reap the rewards and the leads and orders will come flooding in. I like to call this – “Chasing the Google Rainbow” as everyone knows there’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. There isn’t even an end of the rainbow.

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Even when many businesses get to where they feel they have the right to be on Google, they often find that the pot of gold is indeed empty. So they try looking elsewhere and start targeting different key phrases, in the hope that those key phrases will drive leads and sales. And when those key terms don’t deliver they repeat the same process until it becomes an unhealthy obsession.

So I thought what advice would the late Mr. Levitt give to help businesses cure themselves of Search Marketing Myopia. Here is my 5 step plan:

1 – Get your website in order: Sounds obvious, but many business websites still don’t stack up. No sound proposition, no focus on benefits, poor design etc, etc. First impressions are so important on the Web, if users don’t get the right impression when then land, they’ll go straight back to the search results and choose another site to view.

2 – Communicate clearly: Make sure you use the right language to communicate with your target audience. Understand their online goals and provide them with well written content that helps them achieve those goals easily. Build credibility through the use of testimonials and case studies.

3 – Make it easy for them to act: Make use of all the relevant communication channels that a user might want to use to make contact with you. Ensure your web copy contains strong and clear calls to action.

4 – Integrate your marketing activity: Don’t just rely on search engine marketing activity to help promote your business and website. Your marketing efforts will deliver better results when you use a variety of marketing tactics all carefully linked together and working as a unified force.

5 – Measure and refine the process: By putting in the place the right measurement tools and customer feedback processes you will have more intelligent information at your fingertips that will enable you to fine tune your marketing activity and website.

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