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Need Strong ROI in 2010? Ask Santa for SEO

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in The Integrated Marketer

I do so much of my holiday shopping online that my family calls our foyer The Judy Kirkland Loading Dock.  So it’s no surprise to see packages arriving.  But among the familiar Amazon, LandsEnd and Macy’s boxes I’m puzzled to find packages from retailers I’ve never heard of.  What the heck is MooseJaw?  Craftsbury Kids? Or Ryder & Amies — from the United Kingdom no less??  What’s going on?

Keywords! This year, the “Millennial Generation” members of the household are doing their holiday shopping online, too.  But unlike me, they’re not shopping for brands; they’re searching by keywords and uncovering all kinds of discoveries, discounts and deals. And guess what: they’re not just using keywords to buy online. They’re also using them to “ROBO” — research online, buy offline — and check out prices, product information, and reputations of local businesses from nail salons to car repair shops.

Why does this astound me?  After all, for years I’ve written about how Internet users use search engines and why marketers need to pay attention. But looking at my foyer filling up with goods from “unknown” retailers it really hits me just how much any business owner – consultant, contractor, retailer, professional, manufacturer, any business owner — who isn’t an expert on search is vulnerable to any competitor who is.

Even if you wind up hiring SEO specialists, it still pays for you to have a working knowledge of online tags, page titles and descriptions … what a SERP is … how back links work... and whole lot more. Don't completely delegate something that's absolutely vital to your business. My advice?  Ask Santa for a copy of David Viney’s Get to the Top on Google.  No need to tell him where to find the best deal — he’ll just do a quick search!

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