A friend of mine was working with an interesting company than needed to Google AdWords help. And, as it turned out, some SEO help too.
It was a unique B2B biz in a niche you’ve probably never heard of (and aren’t going to hear of now to protect the identity of the guilty 😉
Anyhoo, they wanted me to review what their SEO company was doing for them cuz they felt they were getting hosed. And they wanted me to assess whether a bigger focus on PPC might be a better way for them to go with their marketing.
During the course of this search engine marketing consultation, there were a few key takeaways for me…
1. Yes, they were getting hosed by their SEO agency (though not for the reasons they thought).
2. The keywords they could focus on in either SEO or PPC were mostly being typed in by consumers… not the B2B clients they were looking for.
(This was no fault of their own. They’re just in a weird niche where almost all the search keywords have double meanings. And 99% of the time they were being typed in by the average Joe and not the corporate buyers they were after.
Their online marketing firm they were working with should have realized this but was all too happy to take the money and get paid for helping this B2B firm climb the rankings for nearly worthless keywords.)
3. Their clients were very easy to identify. They did business with very specific types of companies and people with very specific job titles at those companies.
After uncovering all the above, my (unexpected) advice to them was this…
“To heck with SEO and PPC. You should be focusing on LinkedIn or direct mail marketing instead.”
See, this company was making a very common mistake…
They were just blindly following the herd. Everyone seems to be doing SEO and PPC so they figured they should focus their marketing on those things too.
What they didn’t do, however, is think through the strategy.
SEO and PPC can be highly effective tactics. However, in their particular situation, they probably didn’t make sense.
Sure, maybe they could find the needle in the haystack and get a client or two from SEO/PPC. But it’s gonna be a HIGHLY inefficient form of marketing for them.
When you know WHO their prospects are and WHERE (in the real world) those prospects are hanging out… targeting them through a LinkedIn or direct mail marketing campaign is gonna be much more efficient.
It’s the difference between blindly throwing a net in the water hoping you trap some fish vs. having a fancy electronic fish finder that shows you EXACTLY where the fish are hanging out so you can drop your irresistibly baited line right on their noses.
Which approach would you rather take?