How To Get More Customers and Have YOUR COMPETITORS Pay For It

Posted by on Sep 9, 2016 in blog

The alternate title for this post is …

How our puppy Coco, taught me the value of Organic SEO. 

How many of you received a direct mailer in your mailbox this week? Better yet, because of the number of mailers you receive, how many of you sort your mail over the recycle bin? Of course, one person’s “recyclables” is another person’s “treasure”. Last year, businesses spent $46.8 billion in direct mail advertising. Another $126.5 billion was spent on traditional media channels.

Traditional advertising channels work, but they are expensive to be effective. Here’s why. Unless your prospect receives the information when they are ready to buy, it is ignored. That is why most ad campaigns need consistency over time. And that’s expensive. But, there is good news! You can leverage your competitors’ ads to drive more customers to your business! Simply make sure that your website is optimized so it appears on page one of natural search results. To illustrate, I will use a dog walking business as an example.

Old School Puppies vs. Digital Doggies

The focus of this example is direct mail advertising. But, this opportunity exists for most forms of advertising. That’s because it’s based on the decision making psychology illustrated in the Purchase Funnel. In summary, only a small part of your total market is active and ready to buy, at any given moment. So, in order for an ad to generate a sale, the timing needs to be right.

Let’s say there are two dog walking companies. The first, Old School Puppies, is investing in traditional marketing. As part of their campaign, they send mailers. The second, Digital Doggies, is investing in SEO for their website. Their focus is to ensure they have strong page one placement for all the areas they serve.

Now suppose we have been receiving mailers from Old School Puppies. The mailers are beautiful and they catch my attention, but we don’t have a dog, so the mailers go straight into the bin. This continues for some time. Every so often, we receive another mailer, and again, it’s ignored.

In the meantime, my daughter is wearing me down, asking for a puppy. Eventually, I break down. One day, I win the father of the day award, and get my daughter a puppy – Coco. Early on, all promises to care for, play with, and WALK the dog are kept. Life is good.

But, eventually, the new puppy novelty wears away, and the walks become rare. Now we have a problem. Coco needs to be walked daily. Aha! I remember seeing something in the mail about a dog walking service. But I can’t remember the company’s name. I am now an active customer seeking dog walking – the mailer’s intended target. I was educated on the service and am ready to buy, but I didn’t save any of the fliers. So what happens next? I search online for dog walking in our area.  In my search I find Digital Doggies on page one. As a result, I request their services and become their customer.

This simplistic example illustrates how one company’s traditional ads raised awareness about the service. But, without proper SEO, their ad investment resulted in a sale for their competitor. That is because their ads did not catch the consumer at the point when they were ready to buy. Instead, the customer chose the company that was visible online, when they were actively seeking the service.

In conclusion:

Large enterprises spend millions of dollars on branding and advertising. That way, when the consumer is ready to buy, they naturally come to mind. However, most medium to small businesses cannot afford this approach. Those with lowest customer acquisition cost enjoy a distinct competitive advantage. That’s why the smart money is to invest in your website’s online placement first. This should be the foundational element of your marketing strategy.

By investing in strong page one placement for searches relevant to your industry, you guarantee visibility by your active market. That way, when your customers are ready to buy, and searching online, they find you. This includes that part of the market that was educated and activated by ads – even those paid for by others.

To continue the conversation …

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