In a recent meeting, a potential marketing client asked me which is more important: a good website, or a strong presence on search engines. A very fair question, but it’s a bit of a trick. Being that this gentleman was an avid fisherman, I thought I’d draw a comparison relevant to catching fish. When you paddle out to the middle of a lake, what’s more important: the hook, or the bait?
A case could be made for the importance of either, but in the end, you won’t catch many fish if you only have one without the other. Similar parallels can be drawn when comparing the relationship between a website and search engine marketing. They both have specific functions: search engine marketing is designed to drive qualified traffic to your website. From there on out, it is your website’s duty to convert those users into customers. The overall effectiveness of your internet marketing depends on the successful execution of both functions. So what happens when a piece of the puzzle is missing?
To put it bluntly, not being active on search engines means you’re ignoring one of the most effective means of driving qualified traffic to your website. That’s a bad thing. Your website –no matter how shiny and new– cannot hope to make an impact by merely existing on the internet. Why? It should come as a surprise to no one that the internet is inconceivably vast. It is growing and expanding like its own universe. In fact, there are over 650 million (and counting) websites on the internet today. Your target market isn’t going to stumble upon your website, and a fish isn’t going to stumble upon your bare hook in the middle of the ocean. Remember, it’s your website’s job to convert traffic into customers, but it won’t have that opportunity if users aren’t visiting the website in the first place. While search engine marketing isn’t the only way to attract potential customers to your website, it’s probably the best. SEO is regarded as one of the most important long term investments you can make in your company’s success on the internet, and Pay Per Click advertising is one of the quickest routes to increased web traffic.
Scenario 2: Good SEM, Bad Website
(Bait With No Hook)
Let’s flip the script. How will it play out if your website is the cog that’s lacking? Hint: not good. Wholesome search engine marketing can funnel mass amounts of qualified traffic to the website, but that won’t translate into paying customers if your website can’t hold up its end of the bargain. It’s your website’s responsibility to be an effective salesmen for your products, services, and brand. Your search engine marketing campaign can only bait users; it is up to your website to hook them, and convert them into dinner, I mean, customers. From design to functionality, there are a lot of components that a modern website is expected to have in order to be successful online. Check out our list of 11 Must-Haves so you can be confident that your website is making the most out of incoming traffic.
So which is more important, the quality of the website or the search engine marketing? If you want to be productive online, then the answer is both. Is there a part of your web presence that is lacking? Schedule a free consultation with us and we’ll help you complete the puzzle.
Written By: Tony Sansone, Internet Marketing Associate