Recently a question on the Linkedin group “Search Engine Land” sparked a discussion about the meaning and value of online marketing for “ordinary” business owner and the expectations that go with it. Ahmed Ahmed from Tomorrow People wanted to know: “What’s the silliest thing people say to you about digital marketing?” Admittedly, reading the answers were a lot of fun, but it also revealed quite a high level of ignorance that still exists. Here are four myths I gleaned from the discussion about digital marketing (in this case SEO). Gareth Goddard has turned the best “arguments” into an infographic.
1. It comes built-in
Many business owners believe a website design has SEO thrown in and is included in the price. Like getting a free toaster when you buy a washing machine. “I have a website so I don’t need to do SEO or SMM” or “my web designer took care of all of the SEO stuff when they built my website” quotes Beth Browning from her clients.
For Esther Willinger this package-deal mentality is nothing new: “One price fits all” seems to be the credo of many clients. Scott Harvey goes one step further: “I’d never PAY to get people to my website” he heard people say. Quite an affront! It seems almost demeaning or insulting to pay for it as if it were …ehm…another kind of service.
2. Google’s on the line
Or was it Mark Zuckerberg? There is a new scam in town. A company that vaguely insinuates that they are Google phones you up and offers their marketing services. Rob Scutti quotes a client: “Google called me last week and we’re all set now. We accepted their offer and we will be on the first page of Google. – We don’t need any other SEO”. How convenient. But also a bit desperate on Google’s side, don’t you think? Well, that’s why we won’t pay top dollars.
3. It’s a nice-to-have
“I can’t afford more marketing in this economy” Melody McKinnon heard a customer say. That has never made business sense, digital or analogue. Never mind.
For some it can be done on the cheap: “We have an internet marketer who is one of the best in the industry *that does it all* for $15/hour” quotes Jerry Nordstrom. Really? The world would be a better place if you could find an industry guru that charges us $15 an hour.
4. Gimme more
Word is out that keyword stuffing does not work. Why should it be any different for link stuffing? But strangely enough this is often seen as the quickest route to the (Google) top. Greedy clients want value for money, that means more PR5 (or above) links for their bucks say Rafid Nassir and Gareth Goddard. It’s a long way explaining that more does not necessarily mean more.
The question resulting from the question is: Why is there so little awareness of the importance of digital marketing in general and SEO in particular? I guess that “SEO” is perceived as just another acronym or marketing “fad”. After all, the internet is free, why pay for it, right? Do you think that the perception of digital marketing is changing? Let’s hear what your experience is.