There are many different avenues for marketing on the Internet but only a few that are effective. Overall, proper online marketing can be substantially more effective than most offline forms of marketing and advertising.
One of the first effective forms of online marketing was search engine optimization. Today, search engine optimization is only a subset of a complete online marketing campaign, which can include link building, sponsored ads, pay-per-call, usability, performance, conversions and more. As the web grows in sophistication, site optimization alone is no longer sufficient to ensure a successfully online marketing campaign.
While search engines drive a larger share of traffic than we would probably all want, other forms of online marketing must not be ignored. Of all forms of online marketing, search engine optimization along with usability and conversion marketing usually will provide the best ROI or return on investment, however other forms of online marketing can be effective, provided that the costs remain low and ROI is measured effectively, ensuring the absolute most value for your money.
We see many SEO-only companies that are now rounding out their services to be geared more toward the total online search engine marketing experience. Those that continue to focus exclusively on optimization (while excluding other essential marketing factors) will soon find the quality and success of their campaigns limited. I believe that only those SEO providers that provide a full compliment of online marketing services will be around by 2010. More and more, businesses are demanding much more than simply achieving top rankings. Traffic and conversions are being recognized as just as, if nor more, important as top ranking placement.