wheel - 6:59 pm on Jul 5, 2011 (gmt 0)
Seo is still far and away the easiest and cheapest route for me to build a business.
Through the years I've found two sites where the advertising costs pays a direct benefit in terms of sales. Two. None of the other sites (and I know pretty much all of them) have ever driven a single sale that I'm aware of.
Direct mail, maybe someday but not interested right now. Too steep of a learning curve.
Telemarketing, I just don't like.
Traditional advertising is a failure in my niche.
Plus I sell nationally. Traditionally in my industry salespeople only sold within a very limited geographic area. I don't even compete with anyone locally, I've got like 2 clients locally, I do absolutely no advertising or business development around here. Whoops, sorry, I've got three clients locally - the last one actually found me on Google.
My existing clients eventually buy again, but the buying cycle is like decades.
So for now and the forseeable future, it's Google or wherever the traffic is online. And given the alternatives, I don't really see a need to change that approach.
It's not like back in the 70's when everyone in my industry used telemarketing and direct mail the mantra was 'you better not depend on direct mail, you should also do telemarketing'. If I've got a successful direct mail business, then I've got a succesful direct mail business, end of story.
The reason you need to fear Google is if you're rankings aren't built to last. THis is a risk that CAN be mitigated, though not easily with most of the SEO advice that gets thrown around out there.
Anyone think that wikipedia is leaving the serps anytime soon? If they can maintain a stable presence, so can others.
And if you get hammered in the serps, there's always PPC as a fallback. And in addition, Bing can still drive some amount of traffic. In my niche I could probably run a small, thin business off of bing alone if I focused exclusively on it.
SEO's not dead in my books, not by a longshot.