Look Who is First on Yahoo!
With several thousand advertising, marketing and PR companies in Chicago, maintaining first position in the search engines is an unrealistic objective for a tiny agency in Ravenswood – yet there we are – #1 in Yahoo! for the term “Chicago marketing agency”. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure – we are currently on page 2 in Google – down from our all time high on Google of #3. Organic search marketing can be a vexing concept. It is so much more nebulous than most forms of advertising that it often gets pushed to the back burner – or handed off to in house marketing staff person with little time or training. This is a mistake. The dynamics of marketing have changed a great deal in the past 5 years. Search marketing is the fastest growing discipline in the marketing world. And if you have not committed to a search strategy, now is the time. Most of your competitors are spending fewer dollars and will be slower to move. This gives you a time advantage that can pay dividends because organic search takes time.
About 7 months ago we were virtually invisible to the search engines. Ranking below position 100 for just about every keyword we wanted to show for. Since we were constantly pushing our clients to do a better job with their search marketing, we decided to walk the talk.
As a small shop, we maintain a lean staff, so we required lean plan for our SEO work. We redesigned our site using best practice architecture, incorporated a blog and began actively publishing highly relevant content with embedded links to our site and to other legitimate resources. We have also utilized social media such as Facebook, Linked in and Twitter to provide more traffic and visibility to our site. We have employed a few other tricks of the trade, but all has been done with a relatively modest time effort.
The key to this effort for our agency and clients is the continuous learning of our online marketing team. We have dedicated specialists for search marketing and web development. We encourage continuous development, and require that they spend time each day staying current with best practice.
The most common mistake in this part of our industry is the casual approach that many marketers take to this very important component of their marketing strategy. Search marketing is a discipline that requires distinct and separate skill sets that include web development, search engine optimization and pay per click ad management. And while it may be an anchor point, search marketing is only one component in the rapidly evolving digital marketing space.
There is great opportunity in digital marketing, but managing and executing this work is still a great challenge for many marketers and agencies. This is reflected in the active turnover of agency relationships in the digital space as recently reported by eMarketer.
Scott LoSasso is President of LoSasso Advertising Inc., a Chicago based interactive agency specializing in content marketing strategies and customer acquisition for leading B2B and consumer brands. (See more posts by Scott)