If you’ve read my other posts here on Search Engine Land, you’ll already know that I’m clear about the importance of SEO for marketing any business. SEO is the master when it comes to pulling in prospects, and can help boost conversions too.
But I also believe that SEO is not the only game in town! SEO alone cannot help you reach your highest marketing potential. Social media, branding and other marketing strategies segue into and complement SEO, the combination strengthening and reinforcing each element to grow your business exponentially… faster.
As a manager or CEO then, your challenge isn’t about picking one over another, but how best to intelligently integrate SEO into your marketing mix to reap rich rewards.
And that’s why this isn’t a ‘battle between marketers’, with specialists in each branch trying to out-sell the other to their clients, but rather an opportunity for collaboration and partnership in leading a business manager or CEO towards the right mix of marketing services – including SEO – that will bring the highest cumulative benefit.
Instead of always “giving customers what they want”, it’s time to face the fact that, often, clients do not know how to select from the diverse options at their disposal.
As professionals, marketers and SEO consultants must not be dismissive or misleading about other specialties than their own, but instead help clients build the right foundation, mix and plan, and then guide them to effectively implement and manage the most cost effective, high-return strategies and tactics that are aligned with their overall business goals.
A part of the responsibility professional marketers share is to steer clients away from danger, or stop them from embracing populist tactics that will actually turn out to be a quagmire in which their business gets stuck, or quicksand into which it gradually sinks without a trace. In my opinion, ‘not telling the full truth’ is just the same as ‘lying’. This approach may not work for every company. Some might even frown at your desire to step outside your scope and field of expertise.
But for small and medium businesses and start ups, by adopting such an advisory/consultative role and offering professional advice, reaching out a helping hand to offer “business development” advice, and showing rock-solid proof to back up your offerings, prices and advice, you can go a long way in building trust. At that point, clients will be willing to follow you, even when you suggest an approach that points in another direction than what they believed would be the right choice.
It bears to always keep in mind that clients are buying a consultant’s expertise only because they don’t have it themselves, and therefore they are (logically) unable to ask for the “perfect offer”. Selling them whatever they ask for is often not in their best interests. And this is just as true for big brands with internal staff as it is for smaller businesses.