29/11/2010

By Rob Shaw, Managing Director, Epiphany Solutions Ltd

A number of years ago when I first started in Search Marketing one of the first major initiatives I was involved in was to create a managed PPC service that would suit the needs and budgets of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). It was a great project and as well as the technical design and build, one of the key elements was how to market the offering to small businesses.

At that time (early 2006) there was still a lot of misunderstanding around exactly what search marketing was and how the different aspects (specifically PPC & SEO) worked. To combat this I did the rounds of speaker circuits, conferences and expo’s spreading the word and educating business owners.

Skip forwards 4 years…

I was fortunate enough this month to be asked to speak at one of the events for Global Entrepreneurship week. I had a slide deck that takes a real world example of a start up retail business from an Ebay store through to on-line success with a real website and well planed on-line marketing campaign.

As I wasn’t totally sure of my audience I thought I’d better add an obligatory search results page at the beginning just to make sure we were all clear on exactly which things were PPC and which were SEO (you’ve all seen these types of slide before).

As I had a tight speaking time to stick to I planned on racing through my early slides so that I could get to the good stuff later on. However, I was amazed by the number of questioning looks in the audience when I showed the early slide with the results page showing PPC & SEO. When you spend so much time in this industry it is easy to assume that these terms and concepts are now in everyday use across all types of business from large to small, but that still isn’t the case.

Don’t get me wrong, this is in no way a reflection on the knowledge of the audience, it was a great event and they represented some very successful and rapidly growing companies, but we must not forget that the basics of search must not be forgotten and our responsibility as search marketing professionals remains to educate and demonstrate the benefits of our trade.

There is also a very heartening conclusion to draw from this. One of the themes of Global Entrepreneurship week is that the small businesses of the UK are key to the growth of our economy and our emergence from recessionary times. If these businesses are not yet fully exploiting everything on-line has to offer then there is still so much more potential and success to come!

Visit Rob Shaw's Blog: www.epiphanysolutions.co.uk/blog
Follow Rob Shaw on Twitter: www.twitter.com/epiphanysol


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