One of the most common objections that we hear from our clients initially is that they need to talk to their IT department or their Web guy before they make the decision to go ahead with marketing their website. Unless your head of IT also happens to be your head of marketing, this is a big mistake.

Search Engine Marketing is Advertising

Many of you business owners have purchased advertising. Quite often small businesses advertise in newspapers and magazines, or on billboards. The decision to purchase this advertising goes through you, the business owner, and perhaps the head of marketing. These older, “tried and true” methods of advertising are familiar to you and you feel comfortable working with them.

Put you in front of a computer and tell you to advertise on the Internet, however, and you may freeze up. It isn’t that the Internet is new – you’ve been using email for years and you get your news online. However, Internet advertising is a new thing. You aren’t purchasing space in a physical product like a paper or magazine, so how do you know if it’s a good idea or not?

Search Engine Marketing is Permission Marketing

Seth Godin pioneered the use of a term called Permission Marketing. The basic premise of Permission Marketing is that if we target clients who are asking about a specific product, that is a more efficient and effective marketing campaign. With search engines like Google and Yahoo, people are looking for specific products or services, and if you advertise using the search engines, your products will be displayed when people are looking for them.

Think about it. When was the last time you used Google? Probably today. How many times have you used Google in the last week? According to ComScore there were 22 billion search queries in April 2009 – you need to be in front of the people that are doing those searches!

Search engine marketing involves figuring out what you sell, what your potential customers are looking for, and how they search for that on the Internet. Search marketing also involves writing interesting advertising text to get your customer’s attention. In addition, an effective search marketing campaign requires tracking the results of your advertising, making necessary changes according to best business practices, and calculating how much return you are getting for your investment.

Search Engine Marketing is Not IT’s Job

Typically, your Web guy’s job involves building your website, making sure it doesn’t break, fixing it when it does, making sure your email works, and making changes to the existing site when you add products or make changes to the business. Marketing is generally not his job.

You might have the rare person on hand who has both an IT background as well as a marketing background. If so, hold on to that person and you’ll be in good shape. Otherwise, when you get an opportunity to make a decision on purchasing online advertising on the search engines, you need to buckle down, put your business owner hat on, and make some marketing decisions. Then tell your Web guy to make sure your website is up-to-date so you can benefit from your marketing decisions.

Do you have questions?

It’s easy for me to sit here and say that Internet marketing is not an IT decision, but I want to hear your thoughts. Why do you involve IT in these decisions? What does your Web guy contribute to your business in addition to your website and tech support? Let us know in the comments below.

Nik Dahlberg

Dedicated Father, enthusiastic marketer. Let's connect.

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