“SEO, SEM, SMO & SML (So Much Lingo) Choose Wisely”

Jon Pederson by Jon Pederson 7.17.2009 care to comment?

SEO, SEM, SMO & SML (So Much Lingo) Choose Wisely

In times when the market is tight, budgets are tight, room for error is tight, and finding the best solution for online marketing initiatives in short order is difficult, it becomes a challenge to make objective decisions about S**. So much lingo, jargon and catch-phrases get tossed around with very little definition, and often even less data on their ROI. Your web strategy needs to consider these topics, and how they will benefit your company in reaching it’s goals on the web.

With a background in communications, and experience in marketing, I’ve learned a fair amount about the balance that needs to be maintained between the cost of utilizing methods of communication to reach people and the value presented to the people once the message comes through a particular mode of communication.

For example, if you were to play the telephone game with 10 people to get a message to someone else, and each person who passed the message on charged you $1.00, but you also had the choice to instead pay one person $2.00 to take your message all the way to the end, bypassing everyone else. What would you do? The decision seems like a no-brainer, but are you considering who that one person is that you are going to choose? Sending the message through 10 people is risky, but what if you pay someone $2.00 to pass your message, and they don’t even speak your language? You just wasted $2.00, and didn’t even communicate what you wanted. You can’t base your decision on cost alone, and you need data.

My point is this: You have a message to communicate to your customers and the culture of the Web presents you with many options for doing this (Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Optimization). What you need to do is choose wisely who you are going to pick to carry your message. You need to find a firm that has a track record for making their clients successful. You should put more weight in the success of their clients, than in the success they promise you.

Don’t get distracted by peripheral offerings. Work with specialists because they need to be good at what they do; it’s their lifeline. Think about this: Just because your contractor built your brick-and-mortar store does not mean you should hire him to find customers to bring in the door. In the same way don’t choose your web development company just because they offer SEO or SEM. Instead ask your web developer who they would recommend. Larger firms will have dedicated departments for interactive/web marketing, but smaller firms should be able to give you a recommendation/partner to work with because they are involved in the industry and know who’s good, and who’s not.

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