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Search Marketing Conversion, Recession And Return On Investment

Aug 1, 2008
With recession and (ROI) return on investment looking each other face to face, being completely honest about the profit and return on your search engine optimization campaign has never been more necessary. It is no surprise that times are tough and the dollar doesn't stretch as far as it used to.

For those who may not have noticed, various industries typically replete with activity in the market-place are experiencing arrested development as result of inflation and the value of the dollar plummeting due to the state of the economy. As a result, the trend for consumers to spend less on impulse items, auxiliary products or services and more on "bare essentials" continues to escalate as a result of prioritizing available funds.

Off-line markets in addition to on-line sales are both experiencing decreases in sales as the sales cycle and the consumers within the cycle are looking for deals, bargains and more value for less. Needless to say, due diligence has taken an entirely new definition as the business with the best offer, sale or SEO promotion gains favor of the masses.

Companies how insist on high pricing structures are losing their audience to less competitive rates or firms are moving their SEO in-house to compensate for the time and effort required to execute and manage an online campaign.

For savvy businesses who understand the laws of being a loss-leader, the focus has shifted to appeasing value-conscious consumers (20% of something is better than 80% of nothing). Needless to say, companies who mastering the art of the deal and deal-making to provide the most compelling value proposition to prospects are positioned to appeal to a larger audience to supplement slouching sales and traffic(less available money in circulation equates to less spending).

Despite this economic recession, observing the latest trends in competitive vertical industries while forecasting demand in niche markets has become as much of an art as a science when converting new prospects into customers.

Incentives and promotions for cross-market exposure are just one example of businesses with larger budgets attempting to infuse and find the ideal hybrid shopper and capitalize on the vulnerability of other markets. Sign up for Product A (from one market) and receive a free 30 day trial period, or get 15% off your favorite movie, etc. from Industry B. In summary, the emotional triggers that encourage consumers to purchase are evolving as well as those who are crafting the offer.

Tact and value are the new metric and performance holds the key to this balance.Tactics that may have worked 6 months or a year ago online or promotional methods based on years of success and stability from traditional off-line channels no longer hold their sway over the masses as value is subjugated to the rules of survival of the fittest (and may the best offer win).

Is it that A) the market is evolving, B) that consumer spending has decreased C) that online consumers are savvier than ever or and have greater access to options or D) a combination of all of the above? Typically, those with larger budgets (like a publicly traded company) wields the spoils of massive cross-promotion advertising and marketing campaigns across multiple niches. This is known as piggyback marketing where they piggybacking promotions on industries with less favorable returns (much like trickle-down theory and trickle-down economics).

This is not to suggest that smaller more nimble businesses don't stand a chance, it is merely that the scalability of an advertising campaign designed to optimize 10,000 keywords for example vs. a smaller company who may only have the budget to target 10 leaves a margin of opportunity and exposure that unfortunately provides advantages that the smaller firm may not be able to grasp due to budgetary constraints.

Now is the time for smaller firms to embrace narrow-casting instead of generalized broadcasting your message to reach the audience with the most likelihood for conversion. How many sales leads and sales a day does your business need to thrive, there is no gray area, it either produces results or it does not and any dead weight that lacks performance is headed for the garbage bin.

The rules of business remain the same,opportunity leveraged by aggressive lead generation and sales garner a larger piece of the market and market share. The fact that opportunity and expression determine the course of action for websites that need to produce a profit to survive. While being a highly trafficked site may be great for the ego, having a highly trafficked site that sells thousands of products, generates dozens of sales leads a day or has viral appeal to social networks is even more ideal.

In summary, it is important to refine your marketing and identify your audience (which is evolving). Growth is nice, but stability amidst crisis is even better. Looking for greener grass instead of tending the yard you have can leave your marketing plan depleted and out of focus. It is better to be safe than sorry, so make sure before you extend the scope of your advertising and marketing to reach new prospects, that you reap the equity of the presence you have developed in your primary niche.

Healthy margins are the bottom line, so if you have them, then this message is not nearly as crucial as it is to those who are feeling the impact of a languishing economic crisis in their industry. SEO is a valid solution, but also being aware of the trends and circumstances that impact everyone in an economy can shed some light on why some periods are more fruitful than others. The key is not to get flustered and diversify your tactics to spread the risk and reward for your online campaign.
About the Author
Jeffrey L. Smith is an seasoned search engine optimization expert and founder of SEO Design Solutions SEO Company. Jeffrey has been involved in internet marketing since 1995 and brings fresh optimization methods and affordable search engine optimization pricing to businesses seeking organic search engine placement.
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