Self Service, SMBs and SEO

Here are the persistent questions from institutional fund managers about the future of yellow pages:

  • Is print usage declining across markets?
  • Will Google and Yahoo win online in local?
  • Will SMBs “just do it themselves” and set up ad campaigns online?

The third point is the subject of this post.

This ClickZ article about Localeze, SEO and a small business owner is a case-in-point. The guy was doing everything himself (online) and then decided later than he needed professional help and so is using Localeze to handle his SEO.

People frequently debate the issue of whether SMBs will set up online ad campaigns themselves. The conventional wisdom is no because this is a “push” rather than a “pull” market. The focus is almost entirely on the SMB new to online marketing. But there’s another opportunity with a segment that many publishers and others perhaps count as “lost”: the SMB who has been doing self-service advertising online and is losing ground or simply tired.

That person is an overlooked prospect in many cases for YP publishers and others who can take over the SEO/SEM work on their behalf. This more sophisticated SMB is a better prospect in some ways that the uninitiated mass precisely because of the experience they’ve had in trying to “do it themselves.”

7 Responses to “Self Service, SMBs and SEO”

  1. BlackHat Planet » Blog Archive » Self Service, SMBs and SEO - internet marketing, seo, internet marketing online, seo services, internet marketing tool, dw230 seo, internet marketing strategy, company seo, internet marketing services, internet Says:

    […] Peggy Anne Salz wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThis ClickZ article about Localeze, SEO and a small business owner is a case-in-point. The guy was doing everything himself (online) and then decided later than he needed professional help and so is using Localeze to help with SEO. … […]

  2. Carey Says:

    Good post. There are 2 sides to this story. In some cases, our best SMB clients have been people who have tried it or are doing it themselves. They know how hard it is and appreciate the increased value and time savings. We also see others, however, who constantly chase the elusive Internet silver bullet and quickly jump from one idea to the next, constantly paranoid that they’re missing something or buy into the “next big thing.”

    It is interesting, too, that many DIYers are only using what is right in front of them on a search engine, and focus solely on cost of clicks, CTR and spending their budget. They don’t track any post-click activity, so don’t have any way to make informed decisions about their campaign. We see perverse decisions like “I capped all of my keyword bids at 50 cents because I wanted more clicks” or “I have to be in #1 position for this keyword”. Sometimes education can help them find more real business value, sometimes they choose to be blind to it.

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    Yes, there’s considerable “myopia” in the SEM world.

  4. Doug Says:

    I’d have to agree with Carey that a former DIYer is the perfect prospect for YP sales reps. Most of these SMBs are itching for someone else to take the reigns, it’s just a matter of who is able to “sell” them on the benefit. I also believe that most YP publishers have not taken enough initiative in hunting down these prospects.

    Google has done a great job in pulling the wool over SMBs eyes making AdWords seem easy and non-time consuming. They are still the most prominent competition YP publishers selling SEM, com across. 6 months down the road, Google is simply re-filling their “budget bucket” and the SMB thinks he’s doing quality SEM. Fish in a bucket.

  5. You don’t need a website, you need a web strategy. « Local Visibility Says:

    […] a recent post on Screenwerk it was mentioned that the DYIers ( Do it Yourself) are prime targets for SEO and SEM […]

  6. WPLuvr Says:

    DiY SEO/SEM is the way to Go for SMB’s 🙂

  7. Montreal SEO Says:

    Many people running small and medium sized businesses (SMB) are too time-constricted to learn the details of SEO. Running a company takes a lot of work and do-it-yourself (DiY) SEO is not always an option.

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