Let me present a case here so that we can all present a clear case of what we believe in (Seo believers Vs Seo Non believers) :
PS - (I used it in the argument that is ensuing on SEO is bunk - if you are visiting this article first time, do glance thru this link).
Let's assume i have a restaurant that sells Sushi.
I make sure that the board bearing the sign 'AL' OK's SUSHI is correctly placed and visible for those to know WHERE TO ENTER. In my view these are seo 'meta tags' and the one time hygiene that all SEO comes with (webcrawler friendly tools etc). This is a one time effort. Maybe the board needs new design once every 2-3 years.But no need to touch that often.
Now, My PHILOSOPHY is to make the BEST SUSHI in town. This is CONTENT. As the years roll by, and I do indeed make the best content, people TALK (viral), share (license) and even rob my recipes (pirate) my food. I dont spend time trying to talk about what i dont do (read between the lines in SEO context)
IT'S THE FOOD (content) that brings people back to my restaurant all the time - NOT the number of reviews (SEO mentions) that I may bribe journos to write and make people visit me by CURIOSITY (accidental traffic). Sure the write ups will help BUT not really in the long run if I have GREAT food. With great food, people will come to me on their own. (Think of the famous restaurants in your city and how often are they promoted or even mentioned in any media that you may read).
What pisses me off is to be TOLD by SEO consultants - hey, people are searching for Paneer Tikka and Butter Chicken in your city (search results on google, etc etc), so why not mention THOSE items on your menu (you may not even make them) so that some people may VISIT you while searching for them on online media and then discovering those items on your restaurants online menu. If I do take their advise, then when these MISLED customers come to my restaurant, they will crowd out the real customers and never come back themselves.
As I flourish, it's my call to either expand into chains (take VC funding and grow) or even license my brand (McDonald's style), or just stay as is. So, growth happens as the entrepreneur wants it. PS - if I get funded first and then try and start a Sushi restaurant then all the wrong things happen!!!
So, all ye SEO consultants and Gurus- tell me what your SEO thinking is on this case?
What is SEO and where does it fit in AS AN ONGOING INVESTMENT (beyond me running my restaurant and paying regular costs of operations etc etc)???
What pisses me off is to be TOLD by SEO consultants - hey, people are searching for Paneer Tikka and Butter Chicken in your city (search results on google etc etc), so why not mention THOSE items on your menu (you may not even make them)
- Between the 10 results that Google places give (though bringing your name high on Google places is SEO too ) and the burrp and the asklaila which are default results on most google searches there is only limited space left. The cost of coming up in those 10 is so high that it makes no sense to do SEO and I am better off running google ads paying Rs 5 click.
600 MILLION PLAY ONLINE GAMES EACH DAY/MONTH ON THE WEB!!! (comScore)
Ho Alok, John,
Marketers need to take a more Holistic view in today's Digital world. It is infinitely hard to identify and attribute success to one Marketing Channel or the other. How we measure data today is fundamentally flawed Globally - in that we attribute success / ROI on a LAST VIEW / CLICK basis (based on pure ad server data).
At a very basic level, for Example, within Omniture or Web Trends you can set up a report based on Last Touch Channel or a First Touch Channel. Below is an example of how the data will show in each Instance:
Last Touch Channel - In the above example, 1.5MM searches at a CTR of 30% would be 45k Visits to Games2win. However note that this is purely based on the last touched Marketing channe - Meaning this was the last Channel a user visited before he converted, in this case SEO.
However in the same example, off the 1.5MM users, who SAW the Games2Win link on SEO, assume the remaining 70% did not click on the Search result. Instead they continued to browse and saw a Display Ad followed by a Newspaper Ad. Then they went on to their browser and typed "Games2win directly on their Address bar. Since the address bar (Site) was the last channel they visited before they converted, Omniture would attribute the visits / clicks / conversion directly to the Site (Direct to Games2Win). SEO would not get the Credit.
Now Flip the Switch and view the same data in a First Touch channel report within the same Omniture setting. Although the site was the Last channel they touched before they converted, SEO was the First channel they touched in that Conversion funnel. So SEO, 70% users in this instance, will get the credit.
This is just an example, but 30 - 70% is a huge difference and a determinable factor on how we spend our dollars to optimize media.
In other words, 1.5MM searches may have more value than we estimate it to have. There are companies these days who can due a true attribution analysis, such as Adometry that I am working with now.
Apologies for the delayed response on this topics - but my 2 cents!
The point I was making was about the relative value of focusing on SEO as a discrete practice rather than as an incidental afterthought.
Visibility of channel attribution in the conversion funnel is of course important though I suspect in g2w's case this may not be critical since the audience are in the instant gratification segment and there is no great decision/persuasion cycle that is needed to play a game. Nevertheless attribution should prove insightful especially now that the google beast is moving towards fuzzy social and co-citation signaling to establish authority and relevance.
Search is about 'have an itch, need to scratch'. g2w fits that category like a T and hence there will be a positive correlation between investing in SEO and ROI irrespective of the final channel that drives the game engagement.
Great 2 cents! :)