Just read another very thought provoking Seth Godin post on assets in marketers.
For a marketer, an asset is a tool or a platform, something you can use over and over without using it up. In fact, it’s something that gets better the more you invest… Running an ad is an expense. Building a brand people trust is an asset.
This is something traditional business owners have to realise when marketing online. Its easy to discount an organic SEO campaign by comparing the immediate ROI (or even if you consider the ROI of a project lasting 6-12 months, or longer). Afterall, when you pay to blast an ad out in the regular channels, you might get a reasonable return. SEO projects might take longer to get started, depending on how well the site has been performing.
What many people fail to realise is that having a well performing website in the organic results of SERPs is an asset built for your company. Your leads don’t stop coming in when the campaign is done. In fact, a well optimized site can continue to perform well in the search listings for a long time (years!) if your competitors are not SEO fanatics, and as long as you keep up with maintenance of the site – adding content and building links occassionally.
Think about it this way. An ad campaign is like going out to the cafe to get a cup of coffee. Doing organic SEO is like investing in a good expresso machine and then making your own coffee at home. It may be a huge investment upfront, and regular maintenance costs (getting the beans, electricity, water, your own time to make the coffee), but if you love coffee, you’ll know that over time that investment will pay off, and you can continue to enjoy you daily cup however you want it, whenever you want it.