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Today’s post is a guest post from Robert Crabtree. Robert is CEO of Distributor Growth Partners, a full service marketing/design firm and print distribution company. Information about DGP can be found at

Today in the PSDA (Print Services & Distribution Association) Listserve, there were questions about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) providers, price ect… This turned into a discussion about many things, but most importantly, does it work and is it for me. Here is my take on SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing).

I’d say it does matter but it is not for everyone. It very much depends on the nature of your particular business and the level, at which you want to play. SEO and SEM is much more than just one or two initiatives….as I often say, “You Cannot Bake A Cake With One Ingredient.” Real SEO and SEM will combine multiple efforts and strategies based around a solid plan. It’s not just keywords and pagerank.

I run into competitive firms all the time, that typically don’t know alot, they just throw around a few buzzwords and that’s all. There is no silver bullet and many promise just that. They can’t guarentee anything either but they will claim pretty much anything to get your business. If anyone guarantees ranking for you, they are flat out not telling the truth.

Of course no one understand all the intricacies of the Google algorithm — maybe not even any one person at Google. But someone whose core focus is on what helps a site present a “strong signal” to Google can make a big difference. And a fresh set of eyes alone can be extremely valuable.

What a good seo will do is not talk about Search Engines and lists of keyphrases but will work at understanding your business, identifying your uniqueness, studying your target market(s), your competitors, your market position and your website to ensure that you will end up with not only high solid positioning that’s going to work for the long term – but an excellent increase in business. For this… can expect to pay a lot. But then that is not your average seo! You might try looking for a real Internet Marketing Consultant that will care about your business as much as you do.

The bottom line, SEO and SEM make the most sense for companies who have a niche product, solution, industry focus, or companies that have an ecommerce website. If you don’t fall into one of these categories, Organic SEO makes much less sense for you. Don’t try to optimize for “Business cards, full service printing, banners….yada yadda….” You’ll get run over, sped too much and not produce the almighty ROI.

You know your business, but if you do not have the marketing skills and time to get that knowledge out of your brain – then their are folks who can do that and make it all happen for you, but make sure you don’t jump into bed with the first smooth talking Keyword Guy.