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Why doesn’t the “S” in SEO stand for “strategy?”

I’ve been musing lately that maybe it should.

That’s because I often see businesses separating SEO from the rest of their marketing planning and implementation processes.

But one without the other will impede your efforts to attract new business.

I suppose this is the natural result of SEO experts not being trained as marketers and vise versa. But the reality is that search engine optimization is marketing – and if you do it properly, the results will rival or exceed any other marketing channel.

SEO is Strategic Marketing

If marketing doesn’t go hand-in-hand with your push to improve SEO rankings, it’s like a bicycle with only one pedal. You won’t go nearly as far or as fast without the entire set of tools under your feet.

Too often I think we operate our marketing efforts in silos, and I’m not just talking about the Grand Canyon-sized gap between SEO and marketing. It happens when large enterprise organizations fail to connect user engagement across all marketing channels.

My point is the best and most effecting marketing brings together all of these pieces into one integrated, streamlined, and intelligent strategic plan.

Marketing 101 – with SEO

MindTools reminds us that marketing puts the right product in the right place for the right price and at the right time. Classic marketing 101, right? But how does SEO incorporate into this theory?

  • Product
    SEO ensures that your product (or service) will stay in the forefront of the client’s mind when they’re ready to buy. Knowing your customer means knowing how your product fulfills a fundamental need that they have. Attracting customers by using SEO means picking out the right keywords to promote these fundamental needs.
  • Place
    In marketing, optimizing advertising dollars means spending in the right channels. That’s why SEO is so important. If your business comes up first in a search, two things are true:
    The time is right — the user is considering a purchase.
    2. You are in the right place at the right time.
    We already know that people do online research before they buy. That’s what makes SEO an important first link in the marketing chain.
  • Price
    Price ties into value, which ties into understanding what your customers are willing to pay. SEO marketing strategy should include discussion of what keywords or meta descriptions will show value in a search, and how those phrases could be repeated throughout your promotional efforts across all marketing channels.
  • Promotion
    Promotion is all about carving out a market niche by describing product elements that your customers value. This is exactly what the SEO process entails; you determine what keywords will resonate with your potential customers and then use them to improve rankings.

So, remember; the “S” in SEO does not stand for “silo.” No marketing technique should stand-alone. Incorporating SEO into your overall marketing strategy will give you much greater bang for your buck.

If you’d like to find out more about the ties between traditional marketing and SEO, check out The Little Book on Digital Marketing v1 and v2.