Does digital marketing spring to mind when you hear the term search engine optimization or SEO? While it’s perfectly normal to make that association, it’s
important for you to realize that SEO is a vital channel that should be incorporated into your overall marketing plan, not just your digital marketing
When it’s well-planned and expertly executed, a comprehensive SEO strategy can launch a business to the next level of success. While that’s the case, a SEO strategy can take a considerable amount of time to produce results. Even when they’re part of a well thought out overall marketing plan, SEO and content marketing still require more ongoing planning and production than other marketing channels need.
If you think using a targeted keyword or two in your content is all that’s necessary for a SEO strategy to be successful, you’re failing to understand the power that SEO has to influence your ROI and your search engine results. It’s imperative that you recognize SEO as a cost-effective way to reach the members of your target market, drive traffic to your website, increase sales and improve where you rank in search engine results pages.
Creating a SEO Strategy to Market Your Business
As we mentioned earlier, search engine optimization isn’t limited to the realm of digital marketing. While it can certainly impact where you land in search queries, SEO can be highly effective in just about every aspect of an integrated, comprehensive marketing campaign.
Before you attempt to come up with a SEO strategy to market your business, it’s vital for you to ask and answer some tough questions about your organization. Your answers will provide the basis for the creation of your marketing strategy.
Here are some of the questions you should answer:
- What are your organization’s most important goals?
- How much content do you need and at what speed do you need it produced?
- What is your marketing budget and how will you spread your dollars across various marketing channels?
- Are you going to use a marketing team that’s in-house or are you going to outsource your marketing?
- What marketing channel do you expect to have the most significant impact on your business and target market?
- What tools will you use to measure the effectiveness of the various marketing channels you use?
Where Does SEO Fit into Your Marketing Mix?
Once you answer the questions listed above, it’s time to start working on your marketing strategy and to determine where SEO fits into the mix. To understand where SEO fits in, you should stop looking at your marketing channels as separate marketing efforts. You want your marketing to send a consistent message to your target market across all channels, after all. To do that successfully, you must look at your individual marketing channels as one complete marketing mix.
While your overall marketing plan will include separate channels, you still have to balance your marketing mix properly, which can be a challenge. If you don’t balance your marketing mix appropriately, it can lead to misguided marketing messages and money that’s poorly invested.
To see how SEO can help you create and sustain the right balance, it’s helpful to identify areas where SEO can plug holes in your marketing plan, so to speak. Is your website mobile-friendly? Is your digital content geared toward getting your site to appear in organic search results? Are online shoppers abandoning their shopping carts regularly during checkout? Do your sales peak at certain times of the year? Identifying areas where your marketing plan can be stronger will help you integrate SEO into your marketing.
SEO and PPC Campaigns
If you already have a pay per click campaign that’s ongoing, you can use it to test your SEO. PPC campaigns are a great way to tell which of your targeted keywords are returning the most value when it comes to your marketing goals. In general, it’s advisable to use the PPC ads that have the highest click through rates as a starting point for your meta titles, tags, and descriptions.
A big part of integrating SEO into your marketing plan will obviously involve your on- and offline content. Since people are necessary to create your content, it’s advisable to establish a workflow for content production. Here are the basic phases of content production:
- Identifying Demand
- Benchmarking the Competition
- Optimizing Content
- Measuring Effectiveness
Regardless of whether you have an in-house marketing team or you outsource your marketing, it’s important to stick to your workflow when it comes to creating content. Just like you should adhere to your workflow process, it’s also important for every piece of content that’s created to be in line with your SEO and marketing goals. It’s equally crucial for each piece of content to have a distinct purpose.
Whether it’s generating sales, driving traffic, building brand awareness or something else, there has to be a point to the content you create. The language you use in your content, including your targeted keywords, needs to reflect the purpose of your content.
While the workflow phases are presented in a linear manner above, the workflow process is actually cyclical because it’s ongoing. Each part of the workflow process is important and shouldn’t be overlooked, and that includes measuring the effectiveness of your marketing. If you don’t measure how your marketing channels are performing, you won’t be able to determine your ROI or identify underperforming webpages or ads.
With all of the free analytic tools available online, there is no excuse for not measuring performance. Just like SEO has changed over the years, so has the way you can track the effectiveness of your marketing so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the tracking tools that are available now.
Contact a Marketing Expert
If you’re struggling to come up with a SEO strategy or you’re wondering how to incorporate SEO into your overall marketing plan, contact the experienced team at Chicago Digital for the help you need. We encourage you to read about our search engine optimization services now. We also invite you to contact us for more information about how we can help your business today.