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Which Is More Affordable, SEO or LBM?

LBM, or Local Business Marketing, is a concept as old as businesses themselves — it’s an umbrella term for any activity that encourages people to be aware of your business. Putting an ad up on the backstop of your local T-ball diamond, buying a radio spot on a local county channel, and paying someone to stand on the street corner and wave a sign at traffic are all classic examples of LBM.

SEO, on the other hand, is online marketing — meaning, among other things, you have to have a website. SEO doesn’t drive people directly through your door; it drives traffic to your website instead. Then your website has to either drive them through your front door or convince them to part with their money online.

So which is more affordable: SEO or LBM? It’s a difficult question to answer, because neither one is a direct correlation of dollars spent to dollars made. The very meticulous can track their daily numbers and do a day-by-day comparison of a month before they put up that ad on the backstop and a month afterward and see if business spiked on or the day after a T-ball game, but it’s not a certain thing. Neither is SEO; just because you did a hundreds hours of backlinking work doesn’t mean that the traffic increase to your page is entirely because of the money you spent on SEO.

There is one factor, however, that definitively tilts the balance in favor of SEO: rankings are persistent. If you spend a year with your ad playing three times every day on the country channel and then you stop, your net ‘residual’ benefit is zero for all reasonable purposes. If you spend a year building backlinks to your website, those backlinks (if they’re made correctly) will last essentially forever, which means your search traffic will stay high even if you stop spending money on SEO.

That’s why, as you might expect from an SEO company, we firmly believe it’s wiser to invest your advertising budget into SEO rather than LBM. The long run will thank you in the end.

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