Valentine’s Day is once again here so make sure to get in your last minute orders for the usual assortment of chocolates, roses, stuffed animals & expensive dinners. In the rush of Valentine’s Day, you may find yourself flustered about getting the perfect gift or finding time to make sure that “special someone” gets the attention they deserve. The hardest part is finding something unique that demonstrates your knowledge of your significant other & falls within the budget you set aside. This criterion sounds a lot like the one I use when laying out a search engine marketing plan. Let’s explore the parallels between the two.

Something Unique…

Every day, television ads will tell me that I need to buy chocolates, diamonds, chocolate diamonds and the like in order to impress my valentine. Purveyors of these goods have invested heavily in order to convince me that this is the best way to make an impression. 

Likewise, agencies across the country employ call centers to inform business owners that their once-in-a-lifetime offer of link building, SEO, and pixie dust is the winning combination needed to get to the top. Unfortunately, the package they want to sell you on is the same package they tout in each sales call. What I have and will continue to preach, is that your marketing plan must be unique to you. Your product/service, audience, sales cycle, retention rate, profit margins, etc. are uniquely tied to you and the “one-size-fits-all” approach won’t work. 

Demonstrate your Knowledge.

If I were buying a gift to give to myself, it may include some tasty beer, an MLB Network Pass, and a new TV to match; probably not the greatest gifts for my valentine. Likewise, you didn’t create a business website to make yourself feel good, you built it to promote your brand and showcase your goods/services. Many websites I review are heavy on features like flash, music players, and scrolling banners. While these add-ons may seem cool to you and your 12 year old kid, savvy Internet users will balk at most of the features. Instead, take into consideration what interests those you seek to please. If you are a home remodeler, using Lightbox is a great tool to feature your “Before & After” galleries. Not only will the interface be easy to install, but your visitors will have a simplified viewing experience.

Stay within your Budget!

A new Range Rover!? A brand new set of Taylor Mades!? AND front-row tickets to VAN HALEN!!!!??? Don’t get me wrong, that would be the gift my dreams are made of but I don’t expect my valentine to break the bank on this misunderstood holiday. Just as it is reasonable to set a budget on gifts, you most certainly need a budget in mind for your site. If your SEM has planned out a year to focus on conversion, set aside a budget dedicated to a website development team. Rankings looking a little soft? Make sure you plan with your team on how much you will need to dedicate each month to ensure long-term success.

Taking the time to plan before your spend will ultimately lead to greater rewards. Wishing you the best in both pursuits this Valentine’s Day; good luck! 


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