Search Engine Optimization August 24th, 2012
If the Internet has become the new frontier for planting your company flag and being noticed, then business owners/marketing managers are royalty and the search marketing firms would be their armies.
Certainly, there are differences between Internet marketing and the actions of imperialistic nations. That wouldn’t be the comparison I want to draw. However, there are similarities insofar as the rulers of many nations would scramble and compete at great expense to colonize territory. These conquests took time and capital. The more established their colonies, the harder it was to oust them.
A more familiar and relatable example is the expansion of influence and power by large corporations. At great expense the larger whales like McDonald’s, Rogers, and Foot Locker will compete to ensure they have prime real estate/locations in high traffic retail centres. Why? Because the more ground they cover, the more customers they can service then the more money they will make. Likewise, businesses should be concerned with ranking for multiple high traffic keywords to capture consumers.
It’s about being in front of the customer because that’s where the money is.
The importance of that endeavour will never change. However, what has changed is where the money is located. Users are now looking online and this will only become more and more the case. It will be more like ‘the only case’ as the new generation will have a hard time imagining what life was like when people didn’t have the internet. As it is today:
If I need to find a company to replace my windows, I’m going to go online and type ‘replacement windows Toronto’.
If I need a roofer to fix my roof, I’m going to go online and type ‘Roofing companies Toronto’
You know what I won’t do? I won’t find the phone book because I had already used it in my fireplace. I’m also not going to shuffle through the flyers I just end up tossing in the recycling bin without looking. You know what else? I’m not going to keep my eyes peeled as I drive into work for roofing or window companies. No. I’m going to click on my browser and find the people who offer the service that I require.
The companies I’m going to find today are the companies that were smart enough to start creating a space for themselves online. The longer they are there and the harder they work at it, the more they will cement and settle their position. 10 years from now, it will be hard for anyone to appear more legitimate/relevant to search engines compared to well established incumbents who will be far ahead with a massive footprint online already to get them to the top of the search engine result pages.
To illustrate the point, look at search engine optimization as a marathon…the name of the game is to keep going and let the tired fall behind. Even worse, those that enter this marathon late will have a very hard time catching up to the pack (taking over established territory online).
The difference in competing online today is: who is going to bat for you? Do you have the best team out there building your authority and running that marathon for you? Is your army digging deep, moving up in the rank and ensuring that you set the pace?
Of course, the game online could completely change, but who do you think will be there to adapt? Those who already see online as an investment for now and the future of their business.
So what’s the point? The point is that it is the Wild West out there. It’s ripe for conquest and only the strong and quick witted will do well. Eventually the dust will clear and the landscape will be settled. Will your company have a place page one of Google? Or will you have to rely solely on paid search as fellow late adopters run up what the clicks will cost?
Curious about how many pages the yellow pages is losing year over year? …132! That’s down from 732 pages in 2011 to only 600 in 2012! If this trend continues, the yellow pages will disappear in 4.5 years!