Your marketing manager is correct to a certain degree in that SEO will not have instant results, i.e. if we start a campaign tomorrow your inbox will not be flooded with new leads. SEO is a medium term strategy to make you an on-line leader in certain areas. Generally we at JBi say we can make a difference within 3-6 months.
If you do need instant results then we would suggest mixing an SEO campaign with a pay per click campaign (PPC). This will help you get the benefits in both the short and medium term.
However we believe that internet marketing needs to be looked at in conjunction with other aspects of your business such as your offline marketing in order to maximise the potential of any campaign.
a) Establish a brand – what does your business really offer? By this we don’t mean fancy design and new logos etc, Is there an area you specialise in within your field and want to tell the World (on-line and off-line). Once this is established then there is a message to spread (online and offline)
b) Once you have established the brand and the message we suggest you look at all your marketing to see if this reflects your message. If you have a current website its vital you look at the design and structure to see if it’s in line with your brand and message. When people hear about your business they often go on-line to see who they will be visiting (even if referred). Does your website convey the message that your marketing (again both on-line and off-line) is saying. Otherwise you will not be maximising the potential of your spend.
c) I would then look at how people will get to hear about your business e.g. How many people will search on-line to find your business or how many people will use the yellow pages etc. If you feel that most of your business comes from referrals then that’s where you should now spend your money. If you think there is a strong percentage that search for your business on-line, i.e. Google, yahoo, Yell etc then this is the market that SEO can capture.
JBi believe that online advertising should be done in conjunction with offline and not separately. Both need to have the same message as they complement each other.