Matt Bailey from SiteLogic has compared the process of making sales to SEO in a post entitled "10 Ways That SEO (Website Marketing) is Like Sales." He explains that his sales experience has shaped his philosophy of SEO and website marketing. It is definitely worth a read. A few excerpts below.

Know your audience - Knowing your audience involves knowing what they need, the terms that they use and how they shop for your product. There are many companies that have not taken the first steps to researching keywords and phrases that their customers use to find products in their market. Knowing who your customer is and how they shop for services is key to understanding they decision making process.

Ask for the sale - Too many times, many sales people put all of their information out to a searcher or a buyer, and leave it there. If you don’t ask for the sale, you won’t get it. I equate this with the lack of “next step” actions. Whether it is a link to a contact form, adding a product to a shopping cart, or simply leading to a phone number, if those elements are not immediately visible to a searcher, they will not be used.

Shut Up and Listen - This is critical. Have you ever had a salesman that just didn’t know when to shut up? Allow the searcher to do the talking, allow then to find their way. Allow usability testing and analytics to tell the story.

In conclusion, Matt asks us, "Are you selling your sites? Does your SEO reflect the attitudes and mindset of your customers? In what other ways is SEO like the sales process?" Good stuff to think about.

January 4, 2007

David Wallace is CEO and founder of SearchRank, an original search engine optimization and marketing firm based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is experienced in search engine optimization and marketing, pay per click and pay for inclusion management, directory submissions and web site design usability. David is a frequent contributor to various search engine related forums, an active editor of popular directories such as, Joe Ant and Zeal and has had several articles published on industry related sites. Since 1997, David along with his company have helped hundreds of businesses both large and small increase their search engine visibility and customer acquisitions.

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