Another thanks to Mark Isherwood for submitting his Top 3 Online Marketing Questions.
His first two questions were:
Do Traffic Exchanges Really Work? and Can You Really Expect Good Marketing Results from Twitter?
Today’s question is:
Is Google Adwords still the top marketing tool? What else brings good results (besides SEO)?
First off, I’m going to make a couple of assumptions about the question. 1. It seems to me that you are referring to online marketing tools, and 2) that you want quick results (don’t we all!).
I’m sure that we could assemble 100 people in a room and we would have about 100 different answers to what the top marketing tool might be.
Adwords is Google’s version of pay-per-click advertising, also referred to as paid placement. The other major search engines, Yahoo and Bing, also offer paid placement, so I’ll lump them all together to answer this question.
Pay-per-click definitely has a place in your marketing toolbox, but in my opinion, it’s not the top tool. From where I stand (and I’m a bit biased), Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is one of the best ways to attract qualified visitors to your site, for the money.
In a recent article, Is Pay-Per-Click Losing It’s Charm?, I mention the fact that the percentage of clicks in the paid placement area of the search engine results page (SERP) has dropped dramatically over the last few years.
I believe this is because more and more people realize that they are ads and therefore prefer to click on the natural results that the search engines believe are relevant, not just the advertisers.
My approach to online marketing is a more holistic one, that includes small business websites and blogs, article marketing, link building and directory listings, email marketing, social networking, social bookmarking and local business profiles.
I believe if you focus your energy on providing good content that your target market can benefit from and you spend a little time each and every day in all of the areas mentioned above, over time, you will build a strong following and loyal customers.
My approach may not bring a million visitors to your site tomorrow, but it will certainly build a strong foundation so you can attract a million visitors down the road.
If anyone else has thoughts to add, please leave them in the comments below.
To your success!