Nov 62009

Small Shops vs Big Shops – Latest at SEL

My monthly article at SearchEngineLand was published this week: Small & Nimble Trumps Big & Slow in SEO. Basic premise: small SEO shops are able to be more nimble and flexible than large, slow-moving agencies. That translates to a greater ROI in free search marketing campaigns. (I'm definining 'large' as over 150 people on staff.)

Would love to hear your thoughts.


8 Responses to "Small Shops vs Big Shops – Latest at SEL"
Adam, How would describe it at Zappos being relatively nimble for a large company but now saddled with Amazon marketing coming in perhaps "gumming up the works"? See you again in Vegas at PubCon! PS - Did you end up getting the Droid? ,Michael Martin
Adam Audette says:
@Michael - Amazon's SEO team so far has been great and we're already learning from each other, collaborating, etc. Definitely no gumming happening and don't think it will, but you're correct that since Amazon is a much larger player (19bil in sales vs Zappos 1bil) you'd expect much more formal processes. We're definitely seeing that, and so far it's a good thing (next article at SEL: why big companies beat small ones in SEO! j/k).
Adam says:
With consumer spending trending towards less brand loyalty and more price shopping, how has this effected how you market the bigger companies (Zappos/Amazon) versus the smaller ones? I also had to look up Bend,OR. It looks like an amazing place to go hiking or camping (I'm sorry this had nothing to with your post) Thanks, Adam Hallas
Adam Audette says:
In the Zappos/Amazon case you mention, it really comes down to market positioning. Zappos is all about superior customer service. Amazon is more about competitive pricing. I would disagree though that consumer spending is trending away from brand loyalty. In the case of Zappos, brand loyalty is just what has made the company a success. Word of mouth and great customer service that makes customers want to shop again... and again... and again. While price sensitivity will always be important, it's only one part of the equation. Yep, Bend is awesome. You can ride nice dry powder at Mt. Bachelor in the morning, then mountain bike or kayak or play golf or rock climb or lay in the sun all afternoon. It's an outdoor paradise. It's also a hotbed of SEO: 8 of the 25 SEOs featured on this site are from Bend: It's the motherland!
Adam says:
A) I respectfully agree/disagree. I think it would be a good beer drinking topic. Though Zappos is a big retailer they did a great job of sticking to their mission of great customer service = customer retention. But with consumers becoming more aware of tools to help stretch their dollar if Zappos/Amazon offered shoe A for $40.00 with $5 shipping and then Mom/Pop offered the same shoes at the same price for free shipping, which one do you think they will go for? Eh..potato..patato. B) Yeah, read the article which lead to the discovery of Bend. I have been in the SEO world for about 3 years dedicated and 6 years total semi. And it is now on my top place to go visit in 2010.
Adam, Isn't there going to be another WebCam Conference in Bend Oregon this year? See you in Santa Clara next month for SMX West. ,Michael Martin
Adam Audette says:
@Michael - yes I believe so. Haven't heard any details yet, though. Yep, see ya next month!
CharlieM says:
you would think that the larger companies would be able to undercut the mom and pop operations. I guess not in today's economy.

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