I understand the advice to diversify marketing - old, new, in between and so forth. It goes without saying that diversifcation in marketing strategies is a good idea. Having said that, though, I believe Google placement is the most important marketing strategy I can exceute. I would like to get past the reasons why Google is not the end all and be all and just address it for what it is -- a powerful lead generator that turns into transactions.
The idea that Google leads are somehow inferior to other sources of leads is not true in my business. The leads I get from Google search are the best leads I get -- in other words, I have had more transactions from Google leads the last two years than any other form of lead geneneration.
Even if I am forced to pay for the leads through a third party source, I will do that until the strategy proves to no longer work. I have put a lot of effort into Google search going from PPC to getting natural results. The conversion rate is getting better each year, starting about 5 years ago now. I will take leads from any source that works -- that is the overall plan -- but a specific plan is to put as much effort into Google placement as I possibly can - period.
I should just be quiet and hope that everyone sees Google as inefficient, out-of-date, over-the-hill, etc., but I'm transparent, so what the hell, I'll share my thoughts freely. To my mind, even with all the potential problems and competition Google will face in the coming years, Google is still the MacDaddy of the internet and search will be around and important past my retirement date. I have a feeling for the next five years it will be vital to a business like mine -- a small business that can leverage search to create leads and business for a boutique service.
Perhaps the larger franchise companies can look at Google search with apathy because they have large referral networks, national branding and local advertising dollars, but for my business Google is King. I pray that all local agents don't see the value in Google leads and never develop a system to capture and manage the leads -- that's good for me, but it doesn't alter the fact that search is a powerful source of business.
I can see where a small town agent might not get the punch others do from Google search, and Savannah IS a small town compared to large urban areas around the country, but even in Savannah for my business it has worked slendidly when you consider the size of my operation (practically a one man operation), so taking that and applying it to an agent's business as a contract employee, just about any agent in a decent size town can benefit from Google search -- not only benefit, but find it the major source of leads and conversion.
So, it surprises me to hear all the talk about Google search being over-sold -- I'd say it's under-sold -- but, like I said, that's good for me.