What would an Alien MBA think of your Online Marketing Plan?

In a recent article over at Adotas, they take a hard look at how changes in algorithms at Google can have a painful impact on sites that depend on the giant search engine for organic search results.

And if you think this applies just to small companies, consider this passage from the Adotas article:

“Now that Google has changed its algorithm, many sites are seeing a backlash that cannot be ignored. Answers.com has reported traffic to have gone down about 28% and ascribes this to the changed Algorithm of the search giant. Having an average of 3 million visitors in June, the loss has been significant.”

We have seen a number of algorithm changes at Google over the last few years, and each time thousands of businesses online feel the pain.

A sudden loss in ranking can be particularly frustrating for companies which invest significantly in professional SEO help, only to find that investment flushed away by the next tweak over at Google.

The problem can be compounded for those companies which depend not only on Google for organic search listings, but also use AdWords to drive additional traffic.

As we have noticed through our own research, promoting a site through AdWords can also be vulnerable to changes in competition and gradual increases in cost per click.

An alien MBA might reasonable ask, “Are you nuts? Why put your business success in the hands of one or two channels over which you have no control?”

Good question. And there is no doubt that any company which depends too much on traffic through Google is putting itself in a very vulnerable position.

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The rational answer always has to be that one should develop additional marketing channels and promotional strategies. You have to expand your sources of traffic and reduce your risks.

In a sense, the lure of “free” organic traffic through Google has made too many companies lazy.

It’s also likely that some online businesses have succeeded to date without any real marketing strategy as all. Some will have either lucked out or worked hard to get a substantial and regular flow of traffic through Google, and have simply never bothered to explore other channels.

These companies are the most vulnerable and, if they crash and burn, they will really have nobody to blame but themselves.

But for every company, large and small, it makes sense to do a traffic audit and determine whether or not their revenues are too dependent on Google, or on any other single channel.

If the answer is yes, then it’s time to think like an alien MBA and put things back into balance.

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