Friday, May 22, 2009

My Take: SEO - Are You Cha$ing Your Tail?

The dog chasing its tail may catch it momentarily - but tires itself out in the process.

Search Engine Optimization is like the whirling dog - exhaustive activity to get momentary placement in search results.

Local business advertiser have three problems with this:

1. Accepting unfavorable terms of competition - the premise of SEO is quantity - how many times your name appears on a monitor - not quality. You are surrendering your best competitive weapon - your reputation - when you elect to slug it out against competitors' SEO ad budgets. Your sales leads are now determined by how much you spend, not how good you are.

2. Continual, fixed expense - no guaranteed results. If you stop SEO spending for a moment your competitors immediately push you down in the rankings. Result: you are no longer found even though you provide better quality. You're addicted to spending - and it's a tough habit to break.

3. Low return - your best customers are not found through search. Would you prefer to spend time landing a customer who'd never heard of you before? Or one who came recommended? Customers with the greatest lifetime value are those who refer their friends and neighbors. And you get most of these via word-of-mouth referrals.

As Andy Sernovitz says, "Advertising is the price of being boring." I'll add that "SEO is a hefty sales tax."

Image credit
blog comments powered by Disqus