Five Myths That Stop Companies From Hiring
Search Engine Optimization Experts They Desperately Need
According to an August 2001 study by CyberAtlas, 80% of American
companies take care of search engine optimization "in-house",
even though optimization has become so complex that many in-house
experts make serious mistakes.
That 80% statistic may be even worse for the biggest companies.
According to a September 2001 study by iProspect, 97% of Fortune
100 company Web sites are difficult to be found by search engines
-- and 45% don't even use meta tags, which are the most basic form
These figures indicate most companies are doing an astonishingly
bad job at search engine optimization.
Why does this matter?
The vast majority of Internet users -- some 85% -- use search engines
to find company sites. If your site isn't optimized properly, your
chances of getting visited by them plummet.
What's stopping companies from hiring an expert to get their site
optimized so they can get more traffic? We've discovered five big
myths and realities --
Myth #1: We can handle optimization "in-house"
Do you have an in-house expert -- perhaps your Webmaster -- who
has told you they'll take care of optimization? The problem is they
may be far less good at it than they think.
Optimization and positioning used to be fairly easy; but not anymore.
Some tactics that were ok (such as submitting your site to search
engines repeatedly on a regular basis) will now get you in trouble
as a "spammer" and could cost you your rankings.
To learn just the basics of what works, you'd have to memorize
about 500 pages of instructions. To keep up with changes, you'll
need to read another 50 pages a month and get in lots of hands-on
experience along the way. Chances are your in-house expert already
has a full-time job, so he or she isn't doing a good enough job
of handling this as well.
You probably need outsourced expertise if any of the following
- You use your site for sales lead generation
- You have multiple products (or content articles)
- Your site features lots of Flash, graphics or frames
- You sell in more than one country
- You fear your in-house person may have 'spammed' search engines
Myth #2: We Bought Some Software That Does it for Us
It's a pipe dream to believe you can buy a low-cost program and
have your optimization all taken care of.
Have you seen ads for software programs that claim they'll "submit
your site to hundreds of engines"? Many of these programs are
worthless, and could get you labeled as a spammer. Other programs
on the marketplace create "junk" doorway pages that could
also get you labeled as a spammer.
Fact is, if optimization and positioning were so straightforward
that an inexpensive program could handle them, then hundreds of
experts would be out of a job. Plus the message boards and discussion
groups experts hang out in wouldn't be buzzing with constant questions
about new nuances.
Myth #3: Optimization Experts are too Expensive
Optimization is generally far cheaper by CPM than any other marketing
campaign you can conduct online or offline. It costs less than direct
mail, renting broadcast email lists, banner ads, print ads, booths
at trade booths, etc.
Confusion may arise because pricing is all over the map in this
profession. Some experts have six figure price tags, some have cost
just a few hundred dollars. However, most cost a reasonable amount
-- a few thousand dollars can cover the cost of an entire site getting
optimized for and positioned in the top 10 search engines which
are responsible for more than 80% of Web traffic today.
That means a fairly small investment could raise your site traffic
by as much as 75% -- which is a lot more almost any other marketing
campaign can do.
Myth #4: You Can't Predict the ROI of Optimization
Wrong again. Optimization and positioning are fairly easy to budget
for once you have three key figures:
a. How many people search for words, terms or phrases that relate
to your products or services each month?
b. Once a visitor enters your site (or special landing pagefor
a search term), what's your conversion rate to turning them into
a sale (or sales lead)?
c. How much is your average sale?
Myth #5: Search Engine Traffic Isn't as Good as Visitors from
Companies spend thousands on direct mail, email and online advertising
campaigns to drive targeted traffic to their Web sites -- but according
to CyberAtlas, 46% of marketers spend less than .5% of their budget
on optimization. Could it be because they think traffic from more
expensive marketing campaigns is better?
Fact is, the companies that have optimized have told us repeatedly
that both the sales leads and direct sales they get from search
engine visitors are equal or better than what they get from more
expensive marketing campaigns.
So, before you invest in your next marketing outreach campaign,
why grab the low-hanging fruit first? Optimize to get the Internet
users who are online right now actively looking for a product or
service like yours.