As strategy director for iCrossing, Rob Garner creates search marketing strategies for clients throughout the U.S. and Europe. Robdevelops high-ranking campaigns for competitive terms, monitors trademarks and brands in organic and paid search, works withmedia teams to integrate search into media plans and provides search engine marketing and design training to clients. He has been aspeaker at many industry conferences, including ad:tech, SIS, SES, Search Engine Watch LIVE, Rackspace Customer Event and theVeriSign Executive Conference. Additionally, he writes a bimonthly column for MediaPost Publications’ Search Insider that providesinsight into search campaign management experience and best practices.
Q. What are the main concerns of companies contacting you for search engine optimization needs?
Many companies seek SEO and paid search services for direct-response-type initiatives or lead-based campaigns. Many other clientssimply want to generate qualified traffic to their sites or use search for branding. One increasing trend involves clients who use searchfor reputation management and other public-relations-related functions.
Q. What figure can a client expect as a return using SEO?
It’s not uncommon to see a minimum of 10 times return on their investment. Considering that natural search benefits typically lastmuch longer than one year, the returns go much higher. The most successful clients have also carefully determined a value on variousactions throughout their Web sites, implement regularly and track conversions to great detail.
Q. How can SEO fuel growth?
SEO can fuel growth by creating qualified visibility and brand trust in keyword spaces that might not have otherwise been found. Arecent Google study showed that companies found in paid and natural search areas had lift across multiple branding metrics, includingincreased awareness and affinity. Searchers trust their search engine brand, and the impact of being found at No. 1 for an importantkeyword in the natural search results is almost priceless in terms of building credibility. By also measuring direct response and lead-based results from SEO, it’s often easiest to make a business case for reinvesting in the channel. The benefits from a direct responseand branding level are tremendous and natural search should be at the top of all marketing priorities.