Can Search Engine Optimization (SEO) replace all other Advertising?

I was watching the TV program “Shark Tank” on ABC the other night.  On this program, people with new businesses or new business ideas, make a pitch to five or six really rich people in an effort to get them to invest.  That’s all interesting, but has nothing to do with this post.  What interested me was a comment made by one of the business owners while he was making his pitch.  He was giving the Sharks his sales figures, which were fairly impressive.  Then he told them that he made all of his sales on line without any paid advertising at all.  Turns out he is an expert at Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and instead of spending money on ads, spends his time keeping his website on top of the search engine results.

So, it got me thinking.  I already believe the Search Engine Optimization should be considered a form of advertising, along with newspaper, radio, TV and outdoor.  It might even be the best of all forms of advertising, except word of mouth, which is what social media is all about.

 

But could you actually replace all other advertising and only rely on Search Engine Optimization?

Think about this.  When you run a print or broadcast ad to a mass market, the vast majority of those who see/hear your ad, don’t need or want to your product right now.  For example, let’s say you have an auto repair shop.  You run an ad on the radio during the morning when people are driving to work.  If their car is running fine, they aren’t interested in your services.  If their car is making some kind of funny noise, then they will give your ad rapt attention.

On the other hand, I believe that almost everyone who searches “Auto Repair-Their Town” on Google is in need of auto repair.  Why would anyone search for auto repair unless they needed it?  LOLCat sites are funny, but auto repair sites simply aren’t very entertaining, so why search for one unless you really need it.

So, while traditional mass media such as radio and TV rely on reaching huge numbers of people with the belief that some small percentage will need your product or service, On the other hand, almost 100% of search engine users want or need the product they are searching for right now.

Which group of people do you want to reach?  The large mass of people with a low percentage of potential buyers? Or the search engine users who are 100% potential customers?

You have a website (everybody does,) and you do show up in search engines (almost every, but not all websites do, eventually.)   But here is the important fact:  The vast majority of searchers only click on the first, second or third site they see.  Therefore, when a person with a broken auto searches for “Auto Repair-Their Town,” and your auto repair website is not listed in the top three results, chance are real good they won’t ever give you a chance.  On the other hand, the top three listed sites have a very good chance of wrapping up almost all of the web search generated business.

So, it really is possible to advertise using only Search Engine Optimization, and generate a great deal of business as a result.

Are there great reasons to still advertise on radio, TV, and/or print media?  Yes, but given the affordability of Search Engine Optimization by Internet Marketing firms like ours, (King Marketing, Inc.,) why would you not want to make sure before anything else, that your website will be easily found and clicked on by web searchers, people who really want or need your products or services right now.

By the way, the term “Auto Repair” is search over two million times every month in the United States alone. The term “Auto Repair Fort Wayne” is searched about 1,000 times per month.  To see which three auto repair sites show up on top of a Google search for “Auto Repair Fort Wayne,” click here.  To watch our video about Search Engine Optimization, click here.  To spend the next ten minutes wasting your time, click here.

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