Saturday, July 16, 2011

Is SEO Really Necessary?

I just read a popular discussion within an executive group on LinkedIn focused on Sales and Marketing.  The entire discussion was about SEO, initiatives and strategy.  Some of the comments were quite interesting:

“I don’t believe SEO will drive 'leads and profits' for any and every industry.” 

“SEO is not for all industries

There was entire section of the discussion where folks went back and forth on the pertinence of SEO, and how certain industries just do not benefit.  The primary example was Berkshire Hathaway, who was used as an example over and over. 

My initial argument and post was below:

Obviously as sales people, we want our SEO efforts to drive leads, and ultimately revenue. But so many SEO initiatives run right out of the gate with that as the immediate goal, day one (damn sales people are impatient ;) ). I see so many companies hire “I can get you to the top in 5 days” guys we are so familiar with. SEO should be a broad reaching program based on content, that if done correctly, can help you:

1. Shape your market and industry attitudes
2. Establish your organization as a thought leader
3. Ultimately drive people to your site and produce high quality leads

It took our company quite a while to get to the top 10, but we took a slow and calculated approach designed to shape certain niches of our industry with defined and specific content for our target markets, and the results have been fantastic.

I disagree that it is not pertinent in all industries. All organizations can benefit from the above, regardless of industry.

I woke up this morning, and began to think about my post topic, and decided to rethink my post.  I started with a look at the Berkshire Hathaway site:

I started laughing…it looks like my first site I built back in the Day.  But it got me thinking.  Does a company that is a massive owner of all different types of businesses really need an SEO optimized site, or content for that matter.

So, being the informed investor I am, I logged into my ETrade account and did some research.  I found that the analyst community is just hammering the company. The company is rated at Hold, Poor, Neutral,   Negative, etc.  Could Berkshire Hathaway benefit from a massive PR overhaul, starting with their site? What would be the direction and strategy?


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