Today I was approached by a fourth pay-per-introduction service. After evaluating the pros and cons of these services I conclude great SEO has a better return on investment than pay-per-transaction services.
A pay-per-introduction service provider builds a website where individuals or businesses in search of a product or service enter a request. The service seeker pays nothing, but the vendor buys tokens or credits which must be spent each time it wants to contact one of these leads. The service seeker completes some basic information about the project such as timeline and budget. The payor-potential vendor will not see a thorough scope of work, the size of the business either revenue, customer, or employee count, and often no color on the vertical. And none have offered a guarantee on investment. Let’s distil this down.
The service seeker has zero risk. The vendor makes an investment and from the above description it is fair to say she shoots into the dark. Additionally, the pay-per-introduction service provider requires the vendor to respond through by placing information into the little boxes foreclosing a sophisticated business development department to diversify how the lead is approached: essentially, vendor gets to enter an elevator pitch one-time and is going to pay to get into that elevator while seekers ride for free all day long. This is a bad system with low return on investment. If I have to pay to play, am I better off going to the casino and placing a $10.00 token on number 16? Well, there is another way.
The pay-per-introduction service provider encourages service seekers to utilize the service because this is easier than going through search engines modifying search phrases until they find what they need. Instead, utilize this zero outlay no risk service to have the vendor you need contact you. Obviously, the pay-per-transaction service provider is not aware of search engine optimization.
SEO is short for search engine optimization. I think it should be called Sales Engineering Opportunity. SEO is a methodology of utilizing tactics, strategies, search terms, and other meaningful elements to optimize whether your website will be found in a search and what priority it is given in a list of search results. A high-quality SEO program will not only provide great SEO but will also provide development services for your website. If web development is not a function of an SEO vendor, any credible one will at least be able to recognize the benefits of some development work and surely recommend giving the website a nice dusting.
Return on investment is always important and drives or heavily influences most business decisions. Pay-per-introduction providers, at least that I have seen, offer no guarantee. You must develop a budget, buy some tokens, and throw the dice. Vendors are not even provided analytics like open rates or provided any information about why they were not contacted. Alternatively, SEO firms can provide information about the progress of the SEO, changes in recognition of searches, and analytics about site visits. This can often be provided at an defined recurring cost.
Being found early in search results is paramount to getting service-seekers to open your door. I am doubtful many service-seekers think first to place their need onto a pay-per-transaction site. Most likely spend at least 10 minutes searching for a vendor. Why not get found in this search? Most of us have heard that many people do not scroll past the first page of search results. In my B2B sales, I mean business development experience, I have found more and more business owners who have even said they refuse to click on anyone with a paid ad. Organic SEO with a great website is the answer.
So, if your business is looking for revenue generation be wary of pay-per-click. Instead, think about how well your Sales Engineering Opportunity (SEO powered website) is doing. Does your current vendor really know SEO? Search for your business yourself, but make sure you are thinking like a potential customer who does not know. What would she type into her favorite search engine? I would be happy to speak with you about this greater depth. My name is Charles: (219) 309-6098.
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