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SEO VS Prospecting: Pick a side!

Home > Blog > SEO VS Prospecting: Pick a side!

In the last century, companies did not have access to digital advertising levers to reach new target groups. For almost two decades, however, they have been able to benefit from innovative solutions when they want to put their offerings in the spotlight, for example, through natural referencing. What are the advantages of this last method compared to conventional prospecting ? Why are historical customer acquisition techniques increasingly outdated? In this article you will find some answers to these questions.

Prospecting method

A lever that builds a personalized relationship.

As you have already seen from our introduction, SEO and its effects are our favorites among the two levers. But we are also interested in traditional prospecting, which is still used by many companies. Think of professionals who address their target audiences at a trade show or in-store event , they undoubtedly have an easier time getting the attention of their interlocutor. This is done by the craftsman or salesman presenting their arguments verbally and offering a sample of their product. In this case, as in a telephone conversation, depending on the talent of the professional and the profile of the prospect, a one-to-one relationship can be established.

It must also be admitted that acquisition yields results relatively quickly, while referencing takes several weeks or even months.

Tougher regulations, high investment required

Consumers today have a very different attitude towards prospecting methods than they did a few years ago. Organizations like the UFC-Que Choisir have been the mouthpieces of people who were angered by companies that over-solicited customers. Their protests were not in vain as we can point in particular to the establishment of Bloctel in 2016, a list to prevent telephone canvassing.

The legislature did not leave it at that, but four years later tightened the regulations on telephone canvassing. Law No. 2020-901 of July 24, 2020, which aims to curb the practice, specifically states that prospects or customers must exercise their right to object to telephone canvassing. In addition, companies are required to comply with the days, times and frequencies during which telephone solicitation may be conducted.

Are you planning to hire a person whose core activity is prospecting? That can quickly become a financial bottleneck, if you believe recruitment firm Uptoo, which revealed in 2020 that the cost of a failed sales rep is between €150,000 and €200,000 – just that! It is undoubtedly more difficult than in the past to find competent and dedicated profiles in this field. Consultant Raphael Ducottet reported in an article on Action Co that only 1% of sales reps enjoy prospecting.

The SEO approach

The need to be accompanied by professionals

Far be it from us to glorify natural referencing beyond all measure, as it has some limitations, but these are more than offset by the benefits of this lever. The fierce competition that companies in certain sectors face is an obstacle, especially for those who do not have the means to invest large amount of money. Algorithm updates then create uncertainty for professionals, a difficulty they don’t face if they prefer sponsored link campaigns, for example. Unlike prospecting, with search engine optimization, it is crucial to seek professional help to ensure that you are found quickeron the search engines. SEO requires expertise and involves time-consuming measures.

A non-intrusive character and lasting results

According to all web marketing experts, organic referencing is still the most profitable lever on the web, that is, the lever with the lowest cost of customer acquisition.

For example, you can use your level of awareness on Google and your competitors for a certain period of time without having to do anything for it on a daily basis, which distinguishes SEO from prospecting, which requires relatively constant work.

Natural referencing has the great advantage that the results are permanent. If you follow the rules set by Google and your content appeals to your target audiences, you won’t run the risk of disappearing from the SERPs from one day to the next.

Another advantage of this lever is that you will get highly qualified traffic if the people you have entrusted your referencing to follow a coherent strategy. Just think of how many phone calls are unnecessary because you are not talking to people who are really interested in your offers….

Qualifying prospects is complemented by the non-intrusive nature of search engine optimization. Search engine users will proactively search for a product, service or information. This is in contrast to traditional acquisition, which is essentially based on a proposal rather than responding to an inquiry. And this trend is likely to continue in the future. Consumers have become familiar with search engines, they read customer reviews, they like to compare offers, sometimes for several days, before deciding and concretizing their purchase.

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