Buyer Beware – SEOs and SEO Companies Fail to Grasp Branding

Buyer Beware – SEOs and SEO Companies Fail to Grasp Branding

Times are tough. Companies are tightening their financial belts and sitting on their wallets for protection. Businesses must preserve the bottom line with responsible cost-cutting measures. As a small business owner or marketing manager for a small to midsized operation, you somehow come to your senses that while everyone is worried about the bottom line, you are concerned about the top line: growing customer base to make up the cash flow difference.

A quick scan through the marketing bag of tricks yields little to spark the kind of ingenuity required to set sales on fire. Experienced marketers understand three very important factors for today’s troubled market:

1.       Marketing in an economic downturn isn’t about ROI, it’s a battle for market share whose prize is reaped when the market bounces back

2.       In order to justify the top line expenses to the bottom line order, strict measurability is a non-negotiable

3.       Long-term goals cannot be sacrificed to the “anything that sells, goes” motto

Two of the three marketing principles exist to preserve and/or build brand equity, while the temptation is to resort to survival mode. Why care about brand essence while the business is drying up?

Fortunately following an hour and half session of foraging through search engines and forums, you might be on to something.   Search marketing could be a measurable key to success. Perhaps the company may thrive yet another day.

For whatever reason, search engine optimization, or SEO as you come to know it, is a method for garnishing free clicks. Free website traffic! Knowing nothing yourself about the topic, you find a couple of blogs from self-proclaimed gurus and conclude that while the advertising is free of charge, a professional freelancer or agency is needed to push the prospective initiative.

With a strong desire to locate a business that practices what itSommerseo preaches, you perform a search Google, Yahoo or MSN (now Bing) to find such a novelty. Taken back by the sheer volume of options and terrible white noise found in the SEO search space, it is likely that you begin clicking on the organic, or natural, listings. These are the non-sponsored listings that benefit from Google’s ranking algorithm.

After three pages or more of clicking high ranking keyword domains (ex. xSEOcompany.ca OR ySEOcompany.com) and awfully generic and meaningless company names (ex. 123 National Position), you come to a terrifying conclusion. None of these SEOs, SEO companies or SEO agencies seem to understand a lick about branding. None of them act like a brand; they act like rank-mongers who care only about a ranking position and a click.

You know that a keyword domain isn’t a brand. It isn’t unique or differentiating, nor does it promote brand recall or strik