I am often amused by people’s fascination with getting themselves on page one of organic searches – as an agency we have never tried to achieve this – rather it has beeen a pleasant and surprising side effect of what we consider as “just doing the job right”.

To the point where we have clients with from 100 to over 200 keyword searches that we check 3 monthly and find them on page 1 of organic searches for anything from 50 to 100 of them. It is quite a buzz to put in an industry relevant search term and find our client on page one 5 times – the client is pleased too!

There seems to be confusion over what is important and what we are trying to achieve – yes it is great to get your own website high up the listings – but there are a number of other considerations:

1. 3rd party listings gained through PR, Content Marketing and Social Media will get listed much more easily and more quickly because the directories and journals are more valued than a single manufacturers site – and their listing for you will still take people to you. Such listings will also keep out your competition. We frequently find our clients listings appearing on page 1  a number of times eg 3, 4 or 5 times for a single search string. These listings seem to get picked up very quickly and to stay relevant for many months.

2. Your blog is likely to get higher value than your website if you are keeping it active – not only does a blog get picked up quickly it can be quite a stable listing.

3. Your website can get up the listings supported by the value accrued from your total activity and traffic. Once there it is usually quite stable if you maintain your online activity.

Well lets think about this logically –
1. How much did you/would you spend on a brochure/literature? – £10K per year? £20K? £30K? More?
2. How much do you spend on a sales rep including salary, car, expenses? £50K per year? £60K? More?
3. How much did you/would you spend on a national exhibition? A shell scheme for £10K? A space only site at £100K – plus, plus, plus?

Now if you have a website then you don’t need a brochure – and if you think that you do for customers that do not like the internet ( we are talking about technology company customers, but there are some who don’t get on with computers ) then you can easily print one from your website – and the website should at least be up to date, unlike a brochure or manual which goes out of date the day before it is printed!

Well your website and blog are not sales people but they do manage to do a whole lot of things that sales people do – and they do it 24/7/365 – coupled to PR reaching a couple of hundred or more publications and Social Media reaching hundreds or thousands of customers and prospects, they do a lot lot more than your best people ever could on their own. 

And with the right approach to photography, graphic illustrations and video demonstrations your website and blog can between them do most of what you normally achieve at an exhibition – with the exception of shaking the customers hand and offering a drink.

Don’t get me wrong the personal touch is very important – I have personally sold £1M pa on commission and know well that people still buy from people – and I’ve yet to meet a website that can negotiate, research a client application or respond to a customers emergency problem – but let’s understand the sales function is expensive and lets get things in proportion – your other marketing/sales/promotion tools should have a budget in proportion to their value.

So now – how much should you spend on your web/blog sites?
Are you spending £10Kpa – roughly the  minimum cost of a catalogue?
Are you spending £50Kpa – the minimum cost of sales rep?
Or are you spending £100K plus?

The internet and our ability to use websites to substitute for these other sales tools has enabled businesses around the world to hugely cut costs, survive, protect profits and to do much more with less resources – but you should still be spending appropriately and not penny pinching on these valuable internet based tools.

So how much are you spending on your website/blog – enough?