Search engine marketing is still incredibly relevant. If youve ever tried to learn something using a long-tailed search and ended up on an empty blog post riddled with links, a clear marketing ploy by a subpar search engine marketing firm, and if youve seen data on how much information and product reference people get from Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, and now Google+, you might understand why some people dont think SEM is worth much investment anymore. But the reality is that most literate internet users employ multiple online resources when they are looking for a specific product or service, and search engines remain one of the main tools that the use.
It is important for companies considering hiring a search engine marketing firm to be aware of the general shortcomings of SEO promotion as well as potential pitfalls to the marketing strategy if inefficiently executed. Because of the saturation of the web with SEO content, search engine marketing can only be effective if it is handled by industry and SEO experts who know how to avoid these pitfalls and shortcomings. First, SEO is by definition a medium- to long-term marketing strategy, as it takes several weeks for search engines web crawlers to incorporate the changes into its meta-data and for other parts of the SEO to filter through into tangible and measurable effects. This isnt so much a shortcoming as an essential factor that must be understood by both the client and the SEM firm and explicitly integrated into the online marketing strategy. If a company needs a quick increase traffic, SEO is not the best strategy by itself.
Second, if a keyword phrase is saturated and there is a lot of competition for search ranking for that phrase, investments into optimizing a site for that keyword phrase and on a PPC campaign for the phrase tend to have a very low return. The more niche the phrase targeting, the more efficient it tends to be when done correctly. Not only will competition for that search space be less effective, but also niche keyword targeting should attract specifically interested web-searchers, and these people have a higher conversion rate. A parallel weakness is that no matter how niche a keyword phrase is at the start of a campaign, competitors may quickly discover the same unsaturated market for a phrase, so constant monitoring of performance and use of other strategies to best leverage the initial SEM investment are necessary to keep the initially-optimized website optimized.
The intense competition between companies and expert search engine marketing firms is a clear sign that there is still money to be made from investing in SEO. But the industry itself has matured a great deal as the way digital information is shared has changed through networking sites, so effective SEM often requires an expert understanding of the nuances of contemporary SEO.