Twitter and the future of Internet Marketing Tools — Part 1
2010/08/26 17 Comments
As a social media giant Twitter has already impacted the future of Internet Marketing and the tools used in the craft.
To understand the impact and value of Twitter’s Resonance advertising model to internet marketers we must take a look at search engine optimization or SEO.
Internet Marketing ROI vs. SEO Metrics
Ironically marketing executives have unknowingly and implicitly placed their trust into the hands of keyword ranking reports to guide the future of their brands and products without knowing the impact of search engine optimization or SEO metrics on investment ROI.
The promise of SEO is intoxicating, it simplifies the lives of over stressed internet marketers, is very simple to measure and the defacto SEO metric measure of success has become search engine page rank, Google’s or Yahoo’s or BING’s.
You’ve put your trust in an algorithmic black box.
To SEO marketers the justification for using page rank is simple. Buyers of your products or services are attached to the internet and use their finger tips to explore purchasing options by constantly typing in their needs into a search engine. Of course they don’t quite say it this way but as you peel back the statistics and behavioural profiles of buyers, sellers and the correlation between search and internet buying behaviours you end at page rank.
The healthcare industry should take note as it could easily show the correlation between blood pressure or heart rate and a successful purchase outcome related to search engine behaviour to internet marketers. This link might well result in a renaissance of drug research and boost sales of drug manufacturers well into the next century.
Let’s explore some SEO assumptions and search engine keyword rank might affect you.
Search engine keyword rank is a key metric for internet marketing programs and it;
- changes constantly regardless of marketing expenditure
- varies within various data centers where it is measured
- won’t generate traffic to internet sites because of ‘out of fashion’ or old keywords
Marketing ROI and SEO Programs
Marketing professionals use measures to determine the success of their efforts or return on investments, ROI. SEO vendors justify the investment in their services the same way.
- Will an SEO program generating qualified traffic to the site?
- Is the SEO effort generating phone calls?
- Is the SEO effort delivering a solid ROI?
When you invest in a SEO campaign it is tempting to attribute new leads, phone calls and sales to the SEO effort and the tendency is stronger as you invest more.
To avoid this tendency we suggest that companies view SEO as a part of an integrated marketing effort and measure it accordingly. Start small and see if any time or money should be devoted to SEO. There are very many SEO success stories where monthly expenditures are less than $1,000 for large corporations and less that $100 for mid-size or small companies.
Two SEO Options
Marketers have two SEO options; they can pay consultants or pay search engines.
You will find millions of words to justify the differences and nuances of value between the two but it would be much faster to call Yahoo, BING or Google directly and then call the ‘organic’ SEO vendors.
Marketing ROI and SEO Reports
The size of the SEO reports you receive may vary according to the amount of money you spend. That is not to say that your SEO vendor shouldn’t be delivering reports, but the question is whether they justify the work delivered or whether their focus is on the objective of the marketing campaign. Since outside vendors are often excluded from the larger marketing tactical and strategic picture the reports should be very thin and the real assessment should be made with internal reports that blend measurable results with on-going marketing efforts.
SEO, Sales and ROI
By its nature SEO can only focus on keywords and we must assume that you have placed a considerable amount of trust that your ability to influence the keywords that are returned in a search engine results page or SERP are directly correlated to more traffic for your internet sites and then highly correlated to incremental sales for your brands or products.
SEO vendors often avoid hard questions about the correlation of SEO to sales because it is hard to prove in the past or guarantee in the future. Marketers have the same problem with their investments and this ambiguity and risk is normal in business, stressful as it may be. However, the focus of most SEO efforts must be understood if they are to be assessed for ROI returns correctly and improved over time. SEO vendors focus on competitors and keywords.
Competitors and Keywords
SEO vendors look to competitors’ products and web sites to determine if any of their keywords are important to you. If they are they immediately focus on tactics to ‘dominate’ the keyword, which means that after a ‘successful’ SEO program when any searcher enters that keyword combination into a search engine your brands of products will show up higher than your competitors. End of story. The rest is up to the searcher and luck.
Of course there are millions of words that are on the internet as to how difficult this is to accomplish, assuming that this result will help you, and the different ways to ‘dominate’ keywords to your benefit.
There are many reasons to avoid this type of reasoning and ways to save considerable time and money while still benefiting from some SEO expenditures.
SEO is a Bad Investment
Since late 2008 most internet searches or rather the place where people have started their search for information or a product or service is a Social Media software platform–Twitter, LinkedIN, YouTube, Facebook and seemingly millions of Word Press blogs. SEO is focused on search and search engine results pages and is much less effective in the Social Media islands.
The people with advanced SEO skills stand between you and the search engines and the product manufacturers that they serve, they are not who talk to you about SEO programs and to see who they are enter “cordless drill” into the search engine of your choice and open up the first 10 links. The probability is that Amazon and Wikipedia will be in the top 10 and the rest will be SEO crews who step in between the product manufacturers and you.
If large multi-billion dollar corporations can’t do better than this, how can you?
This is the first of a two part look at Twitter and the future of internet marketing tools. Twitter has recently announced its Resonance advertising model and taking it to market initially in the form of promoted Tweets. In part two we will look at the opportunities Resonance present internet marketing professionals as some practical tools and tips to get the resonance you need.
Nick Trendov is the Producer of SpeedSynch internet marketing software.
SpeedSynch software employs Semantic meaning to map content relationships internally and externally from a corporate perspective and in mid-September will host five corporations in a working group to evaluate Resonance based customer profiles.
Twitter has stepped up to introduce Resonance as the driver of its advertising model and the an alternative to the eroding value of SEO and PP or pay per click advertising.