Does Your Marketing Partner Understand Your Business?


Search marketing companies often brag about providing you keywords with number one rankings or bringing in more search traffic for your website..  Certainly those are important aspects of search marketing. However, if your search-marketing partner doesn’t take the time to understand your business priorities then those successes may not be worth the investment.

Let me provide an example for you. Let’s say your company is a tool manufacturer and hammers are your most important product in terms of revenue and potential market share. On the other hand, torque wrenches are the least important product that you are offering.

During your first meeting with your marketing partner, they tell you that they’ve gotten 27 new keywords to rank number one and increased your search traffic by 10%. You leave the meeting feeling very happy. However as you review the numbers again, it turns out that the increased visits are due to a rise in visits to the torque wrench page.  Additionally, the number of visits to the hammer page have dropped by 14% which ultimately defeats your original search marketing objectives.

This scenario happens frequently, and unfortunately it will likely go undetected because people won’t analyze the numbers to see how their search traffic is impacting their revenue.

Recently I took on a new client and quickly discovered that they had no keywords dedicated to the company’s top revenue drivers. In addition, the page that was most closely related to their top product line hadn’t been optimized. With a little work, we were able to find new keywords for their important product lines, optimize the relevant pages for those keywords, and in turn – brought in the right traffic.

When I take on new clients, I create a profile which makes it easy for me to access client information when I’m developing strategy for the account.  It also provides me easy access to their business priorities when questions arise about specific tactics.

While I’m not here to make the case that this is how every agency should approach search marketing, I think it’s important that your partner understands the following with regards to your business:

  • Top revenue lines – including the top 3-5 products within each of those lines
  • Products/services that have high profit margin
  • Products/services that are lower priority
  • Value added products/services (the things your company doesn’t sell as a stand-alone product; rather the important add-ons that assist you in selling your core products/services)
  • New products that will be launched
  • Top competitors

The most important takeaway is that search results don’t happen in a vacuum. It is imperative that both you and your search marketing partner understand the impact search traffic has on your business and how it affects your marketing goals.

If you have an existing relationship with a search partner, I encourage you to review your marketing goals at least once a year.  If you are looking for new search partner, I would recommend asking them how they track their client’s business objectives and, more importantly, how they use this information to influence their search strategy.

This will help ensure that when one of your keywords achieves a number one ranking, it is really in the best interest of your business.