Hi, I’m Alex Bungener, founder of Digital+ LLC, Customers at the Speed of Light. We optimize businesses online to attract and capture new customers.

Passive Marketing

One of the questions that I always hear is, why should I invest in search engine optimization, or SEO? I think that it’s one of the wisest investments you can make with your marketing dollars. The reason I say that is because SEO is kind of unique in that I call it “passive marketing” or “passive advertising” because you’re just kind of sitting there waiting, until someone is looking for what you do, and then you pop up and say, “Hey, I provide that service. Pick me.”

That’s what search engine optimization does. It’s not the in-your-face advertising like print advertising is or radio advertising or banner ads and Facebook ads. It’s not that in-your-face. So what you’re doing is you’re investing money to get in front of people when they’re looking for what you do, which to me, is the most efficient use of your marketing dollars. It’s not like radio advertising where you just hope to throw enough crap on the wall and something sticks. That’s why a lot of my local business owners end up with 300 or 400 percent returns on their investments. It’s still the most common way people look for services and products, especially when they’re interested in actually purchasing it or actively looking to hire someone.

Long-Lasting Effects

The other thing with SEO that makes it very unique compared to any other advertising is that it has a long-lasting effect. Think about Facebook advertising or pay per click or radio ads. Once you do a campaign, maybe a radio ad, you buy a hundred spots at $50 apiece and it costs you $5,000. Guess what? After those hundred things are done, you’re done. So that means that you have to invest another $5,000. And literally you go through that hundred in a month. So you could spend $5,000 a month on radio advertising. A whole year of SEO can actually cost less than one month of radio advertising, especially local SEO.

Choose a Good Provider

You have to stay on top of search engine optimization, so you have to continually pay into it, but you are still paying far less than $5,000 a month. I’m not saying that radio advertising can’t be effective, but in terms of the ROI, the return on your investment, I don’t think you can beat what SEO can deliver if it is properly done. Unfortunately, as in a lot of industries, you have bad apples. You may have worked with an SEO company that really didn’t do much of anything. They may have had you up there for a short time period, then you disappeared.. Most likely they were doing what’s called “black hat,” which is not a good way of doing as SEO. So what you want to do is make sure that it’s a company that does a great job on the SEO. You want to make a point to talk to two or three providers, look at reviews and see if they show proof of their effectiveness with customers

The Best ROI for Marketing Dollars

I think SEO is one of those wisest investments you can make in marketing and it’s a great way to supplement additional marketing efforts that you’re doing, whether it’s Facebook advertising, social media, Internet banner ads, radio, TV, the local cable advertising, those types of things. It’s a great way to supplement that. But again, it’s that nice passive, quiet way to get in front of people. So in summary, SEO will give you the highest return on your investment for your marketing dollars.