Search Marketing Versus Search Engine Marketing

Jan 29, 2006 • 10:02 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Search Engine & SEO Theory

I had a meeting with a non-prospect this Friday. That means, a family member asked if I meet with a friend of hers and offer advice on his Web strategy. So I did that, as a favor, but it turned out to help me better understand, what I think, is the difference between Search Marketing and Search Engine Marketing. Let me explain...

After sitting with this individual, discussing how his new, non-profit organization is looking for fund-raisers, it hit me. Before I get to that, let me guide you through some of the conversation. I go over many of the basics of SEO. I tell him he doesn't want to rank number one for the keyword term "philanthropy" or the like and I explain why. Basically, as we all know, he is looking for the donors that are sensitive to what his organization caters to. I explain that someone looking to give a sizable donation to an organization will not type into Google, "philanthropy". Instead, they may type in "support [cause] in [location]" or "supporting poverty in America" as one example. There are tons of these examples and the person I was meeting with immediately understood, which was nice. Then I go through how to optimize for those types of keywords on each page.

Finally, I explain that he won't realize top rankings in Google right away. I explain what the "sandbox" is, without using the term "sandbox" in the explanation. And trust me, he understood and excepted the reasoning for some new sites not ranking well. He understood that he is a new kid to the block and will have to earn some respect, respect from his patrons, respect from his industry, respect from the world and respect from Google. He totally got it, and I was really enjoying this meeting.

But then he hit me, he asked. "Is RustyBrick overkill for his needs?" Meaning, should he go with a low cost design shop and ensure that they comply with the basic SEO tactics and save a bundle. I said, at this point, yes. He asked me why.

The reason was "Search Marketing" versus "Search Engine Marketing". It has been what Mike Grehan has been saying in his articles, attacking the sandbox theory for what it is.

The bottom line with this individual that I was meeting with was that he did not have enough money to add a "wow factor" to his organization. I explained that we need to think up of an idea that makes you better then the rest. You need some type of marketing strategy, be it online or offline, that makes you worthy in the eyes of everyone, that your organization is simply WOW.

I explained that you can hire a room full of marketing people to sit there and think up unique ideas. It is done all the time with large companies. But if you can not afford that and most companies cannot, then you need to come up with the idea yourself. And guess what, he got it.

Marketing is discovering the Wow Factor. Search Marketing is utilizing the Wow Factor in the search world. Search Engine Marketing is implementing your SEO tactics off of that wow factor.

I told the individual, to come back to me, when he realizes his wow factor.

Sunday morning rant, hope it makes sense.

Previous story: Search Engines Find a Way to Gauge and Confirm Trust


Joe Hunkins

01/29/2006 07:27 pm

Thoughtful, but I'm increasingly skeptical that advanced marketing trumps the simple common sense factor. Art not science here. If he takes the time to implement your basic suggestions and spends a few thousand on adwords he'll likely see a HUGE return (he won't do it though, and this is ironic). Taking it to the next level? It's a crap shoot as the many online corpses littering the internet can attest.


01/29/2006 07:32 pm

Very nice Barry. This is a good summation. It's nice to meet with "non-industry" folks to step back and get ideas and insights from time to time. If we all had our druthers, we would probably only work with clients who already had the "wow factor" for viral marketing, linkbait, whatever you may call it, and take that and help them to leverage their "wow" in the SE world.

Mike Grehan

01/29/2006 10:44 pm

Barry, Since you made your post, we’ve had a little dialogue off line. I just want to add, that any other posters should remember, you’re talking about whether your knowledge of search engines can make the buzz, that your clients seemingly don’t already have. Don’t take on one which is already dead in the water. But do encourage those which do “have legs” to let you know what they think differentiates them from of sea of look-alikes. Cheers! Are you absolutely certain, beyond any degree, that your beautiful wife-to-be, really doesn’t want to run away with an old search engine guy? It’s just a thought ;-)

blog comments powered by Disqus