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The Inbound Fallacy: Why SEO Isn’t Everything

So someone has built you a fancy new WordPress website, you blog regularly, and you’re careful to use your competitive keywords 2-3 times per post.

The promise was that if you did all that, you would see your inbound traffic and your sales skyrocket.  But it hasn’t. What gives?

Sometimes a state-of-the-art website with carefully curated content and SEO optimization is not the difference-maker it’s sold to be, because there are problems that SEO doesn’t solve. Here are four:

1.    Your ranking can’t compete with the big dogs

Say you provide mortgage services in New Hampshire, let’s do some searches:

Mortgages New, Zillow, Citizens Bank, Trulia

Mortgage Rates New Hampshire:, Zillow, Citizens, Trulia

Ok, but you just wrote this great blog about getting the best mortgage rate

Getting the Best Mortgage,, Fox, Msn

See what we mean? If you are in an industry with large national or international players, these big companies are going to continually knock you off the top search results, just because they naturally get more traffic.

That’s ok though, there are likely thousands of small to midsize companies just like yours that are doing just fine, despite being relegated to the back pages of Google. If SEO truly was everything, why would any of these companies still be in business?

2.    SEO does nothing to retain customers

When it comes right down to it, SEO is a customer attraction strategy, not a sales strategy. It is one facet of the continuum of getting, keeping, and growing customers. As you likely know, it’s always cheaper to maintain customers you have than attract new customers, but a recent study shows that an existing customer could be as many as four times more profitable than a new customer when you account for price compression, necessary discounts, referrals, and the cost of attracting.

Can SEO net you new customers? Probably. Is it worth it if you’re allocating resources that would otherwise be spent on customer retention? Probably not, especially considering our next point.

3.    Sorry, but “Build it, and they will come” only happens in movies.

Even if, hypothetically, every customer that knows you, and needs your product or service can search and find you easily online. You could even sell them every time. You still miss the whole subset of potential customers that could benefit from your service but either isn’t looking for you, or gives you a passing glance in a world full of web competitors.

It’s entirely likely that your potential customers will either never run a search that would include you, simply because the thought would never occur to them, or that most of them will end up buying from a competitor (…a competitor with a sophisticated outbound marketing follow up program).

4.    Outbound is still king

Don’t get us wrong, inbound SEO can improve traffic, but outbound marketing can get you the sale. Outbound allows you to go out and ask the customer for their business.  Outbound follows up with the prospect once they have visited. Outbound continues to cultivate people all the way to final sale.

At To The Point Marketing, we believe that the best ROI comes from an active approach to both inbound AND outbound.  We balance your needs from lead generation right through to customer retention and renewal. By relying on a more active and holistic approach to inbound and outbound email marketing, marketing automation, and targeted campaigns, you will retain and grow profitable customers while approaching valuable leads in a meaningful way.

Feel free to contact us today for a free consultation.