I’m frequently approached by businesses owners and managers requesting SEO services. More often than not they believe that with a few hours work they will rank on page one of Google’s search engine results and be rewarded with untold business growth and success.
It seems that today everyone is sprouting SEO as the holy grail to business growth and prosperity, a direct route to success. Many believe that if you’re not ranking on page 1, your business is doomed.
As I highlighted in my book “How to Grow Your Law Firm”, there are many ways to reach and engage with potential customers, and SEO is one that may or may not be appropriate for the type, size and maturity of one’s business. Therefore, before blindly rushing into SEO, it is important that you have well articulated business objectives and a marketing strategy that directly supports those objectives.
The most appropriate marketing strategy may, or may not include SEO. In the right context SEO can generate excellent returns, but in the wrong context it can be an ill-informed primary marketing strategy that consumes budget better spent elsewhere. SEO is driven by content, backlinking and technical configurations, all of which can become very expensive very quickly to set-up and maintain. It can also take a long time, if ever, to reach page 1 for your targeted keywords, irrespective of the dollars you pump into SEO.
The decision to invest in SEO as an initial primary marketing strategy should be based on whether SEO will be the the quickest, most cost effective way to achieve your business’ objectives. There may be alternative strategies that achieve the business objectives quicker and more cost effectively.
Let’s have look at an example where SEO may be an ill-informed primary marketing activity. Assume you provided services to a highly defined niche market, for example, orthopaedic surgeons. According to the Australian Government Department of Health there were 1286 Orthopaedic surgeons employed in Australia in 2016*.
You could spend $1500-$3000 or more a month on SEO for many months in the hope that one of these surgeons undertakes a Google search and contacts you when they have a need for the type of services you provide, which may or may not ever happen. Alternatively, you could approach and engage with each surgeon directly, positioning yourself as an expert in your field and being top of their mind when they require the services you offer.
You may be thinking that a direct approach requires a lot of time and effort to execute, that the resources required to telephone surgeons would be well beyond your capacity. In reality, this isn’t the case at all. By using modern marketing strategies, interested surgeons can be identified and engaged with well before a single telephone call is made, ensuring only those surgeons with the highest likelihood of becoming customers or clients need be contacted.
There are many ways to facilitate this direct approach. One is to position yourself as an expert in your field, share valuable content and monitor those who regularly engage with your content. You then contact only those who have engaged with your content.
This strategy enables you to build your profile amongst your target niche and then reach out to the right people at the right time, on a personal basis, either through email or telephone.
Your website is then structured to support this approach by enabling your prospects to validate your credentials and engage with additional content.
If you would like more information on the most appropriate strategies for reaching and engaging with your target market, don’t hesitate to contact Gerald Chait by clicking here.
* 2016 (National Health Workforce Dataset (NHWDS): Medical Practitioners 2016)