Diane Kuehn, President,
Diane Kuehn founded VisionPoint Marketing after holding numerous executive sales and market-
ing positions with, among others, Cox Communications, SourceLink, High Speed Net Solutions,
and ADVO — the country’s largest direct marketing firm. Today, she’s what the company calls the
VisionPoint Marketing is a marketing solutions agency providing integrated programs — interactive
and/or traditional tactics — for mid-sized organizations in a variety of industries including higher
education, health care, biotech/life sciences, pharmaceutical, high tech, and business services.
Jerri: What’s the big deal about SEO? Why is it suddenly the “must have” strategy for web sites?
I really think this is not new. I think that it’s just a matter of people figuring out the Web.
There are a lot of organizations that are just beginning to realize there has been a paradigm shift in
the last 12–18 months.
I’m not sure the “must have” is a recent focus. I think that a lot of organizations have spent the last
five to ten years figuring out what to do with their web site first. Now, as most are considering how
the Web has changed, especially over the past few years, and they need to do a re-design, organiza-
tions realize that if they want to optimize their sites for the search engines, they need to start that
process when they are re-designing and building their site.
This is the time to start the SEO process. I think SEO hasn’t been something that they’ve focused
on in the past as much, because they haven’t focused on web-site redesign. A lot of things are hap-
pening now that are causing people to refocus at this time.
The cost of search is zero. Since search is free we are no longer basing our decisions on Yellow Pages.
And search is even faster than word of mouth. Google search result pages are better than having per-
fect retail space on Main Street or a perfect billboard, so by optimizing your web site you can really
do so much more and you can get better results and it doesn’t cost as much as it has in the past.
Before, you had to spend a lot of money on all those other marketing outlets. Now if you can be
good at organic SEO, you have a jump start on getting people to your site.
Rather than marketing — intrusive marketing — at your customer, prime customers (those who are
ready to buy and are specific to your niche), you need to make sure they find you. Using search
marketing you can meet their needs rather than hitting them with intrusive marketing. And if you
are ranking well organically, there is an assumed authority that you are a leader in a specific field.
The last research I saw is that conversion from organic click vs. paid click is three to one overpaid.
And B2B [business-to-business] clients do know the difference. They’re savvy enough in general to
know the difference.
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