If you haven’t jumped on the SEO bandwagon just yet, you’re forgiven. You may not forgive yourself so easily when getting ranked via Search Engine Optimization has gotten completely away from you, but SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing—often a discussion about marketing via Google AdWords—are surrounded by enough misunderstanding that holding off on this business change might seem prudent.

It’s not, and if you’re ready to mount an SEO campaign (or learn about your options), you should contact us, but in the meantime, a story:

Yesterday, a story ran in the New York Times, all about the Internet Marketing efforts of a furniture maker in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania. The story is noteworthy for its candor, noteworthy for how real it makes SEO and SEM, and noteworthy for what it says about the expense of Internet Marketing. Paul Downs Custom Conference Tables is spending $500 PER DAY on Google AdWords. Mr. Downs makes beautiful tables, at a high price, running a not-so-small manufacturing operation, but I think it would still be fair to call Paul Downs Custom Conference Tables “a small business”.

$500 per day buying clicks from Google. At a small business. No kidding. Do I have to say again just how important Internet Marketing (Search Engine Optimization and SEM) have become?

Paul Downs has infiltrated The New York Times, contributing thirty articles to The Old Grey Lady just since the beginning of this year. And in this week’s piece he tells us about how he STOPPED doing SEM for a week to see whether his phone rang less. And it did. a LOT less.

Mr. Downs concluded from his very short experiment in not doing Internet Marketing that he’d better get the SEM machine for Paul Downs Custom Conference Tables chugging again. Many of the comments he received called him to task for being so unscientific, by I see it differently.

Forget the scientific validity of your questions about Internet Marketing/SEO/SEM, because the real question is: does it work?

Paul Downs says it does. So do his results pursuing SEO and SEM for his Conference Table company.

SEO and SEM go hand-in-hand. From where we sit, your Search Engine Marketing won’t work consistently over time without good Search Engine Optimization, and frankly we believe that you should get your on-page SEO elements in order before you try to so SEM. Happy to discuss that in detail either here or privately.

It works both ways, by the way. SEM is made better by good SEO, and well-executed SEM will make your SEO work better. I wrote a white paper on this phenomenon, by the way.

Paul Downs Custom Conference Tables’ experiment, short-termed and mostly anecdotal as it was, was still BASICALLY valid. But SEM isn’t a replacement for SEO; you need to do both, or at least find someone to explain and help you execute the relationship between them.

Now, wouldn’t you love to know how Paul Downs got this gig at The New York Times?

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