Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SEO- ensure consistency in marketing message

In a recent article titled "Cheap SEO tricks and how to use them", writer Tom Crandall comments on how search engine marketers are consciously using the word "cheap" as part of their SEO strategy to attract traffic during these economically tough times. His point is that companies were previously reluctant to associate the word 'cheap' with their brand, but seem to be more pragmatic now considering the huge demand for products/services that best describe themselves as 'cheap'.

Personally, I think the question that search engine marketers need to be asking themselves is not whether the use of the cheap adjective will cheapen the brand, but whether the use of that term will accurately reflect the company's positioning of their product/ service. If the answer to the latter is "No", then there is not much point in attracting traffic using the 'cheap' tactic.

For example, does the company really believe that its products are cheap? Even though cheap and expensive are very relative, how does the product/service really compare against others in the market place? Luring visitors to the website with the promise of being cheap is one thing, but what is the cost of not delivering on that promise? Afterall, the objective of SEO is/ should not be limited to traffic acquisition, but conversion as well.

Regarding the cheapening of the brand with the use of the word "cheap", I think marketers will continue to be extremely cautious when they use it. I don't expect to see a search engine optimization specialist for Rolex trying to optimize for the keyword "cheap watches" [though I don't entirely rule out the possibility of the same guy trying to optimize for "cheap Rolex watch"]. Premium pricing is a key attribute of products/ services targeted at the 'premium'audience and I doubt if marketers dealing with those will ever embrace the word 'cheap', no matter what.

Afterall, it ultimately boils down to really knowing and understanding your target audience.

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