SEO within the greater whole
Published: February 7, 2012
Author: Joe Stanton
Companies need to focus on a variety of effective ways that will drive business to their websites. Traffic is important, but targeted traffic is even more critical because it is those individuals who will stay on a website to find out what a business is really offering and make a purchase or fill out a contact form to get more information. SEO is effective because it builds a more prominent position within search engines, leading to increased traffic. Building a successful marketing initiative requires careful thought and planning – just as building a shopping center does for someone with a construction management degree – using many symbiotic materials and strategies to bring about a polished, finished product.
Many businesses spend so much time focusing on SEO and keywords that they miss the big picture. SEO is only a small part of the whole puzzle. It should be used as a launch pad towards your overall goals – which is more traffic to generate more profits. As a result, it is essential not only that SEO be used to increase ranking within the search engines, but also that other strategies be employed to achieve a holistic marketing approach.
SEO’s relationship to PPC
Effective SEO use can benefit PPC through sharing of keyword data. This is highly useful because when using PPC, you only have to pay for the results on which a user chooses to click (thereby narrowing down intent). By integrating PPC campaigns with SEO, it is possible to generate more leads that are already interested in the product or service that a business offers. For example, two of the biggest PPC markets are Google and Facebook.
As a result, it only makes sense for a business to use Facebook advertising and AdWords campaigns within an overall marketing strategy to reach a larger percentage of their target demographic. The more keyword research that is done for SEO, the more it can pay off with the PPC campaigns as well.
SEO results on the same page as paid-search ads help validate a brand, company, or product; the meta description, moreover, can provide the user lengthier insight into the query, and with less sales-y language. Paid ads, especially those at the top of the page, can augment SEO results by allowing a company to virtually monopolize the most important territory on the screen.
PPC and SEO can be augmented by email marketing, which allows businesses to engage the customers they currently have. Research has repeatedly shown that customers who feel connected to businesses they shop with are more likely to become repeat customers. By focusing on email strategies, businesses can retain the customers they have – or drive a user down the funnel. For example, a user who clicked on an ecommerce result and abandoned a shopping cart halfway through the checkout process might have registered with an email address, which can trigger an automated “abandoned-cart” email with a special offer. In this scenario, SEO drives leads, and email marketing gives a company control over which leads to pursue, and how aggressively.
In addition, when SEO, PPC, and email marketing are used properly, a business should consider how best to compete with other local businesses that may be offering similar products or services. SEO is one method; email marketing is another. But what about the people who are still apprehensive with the internet?
Direct mail is a viable marketing tool because it caters to all demographics, agnostic of internet usage, and can focus on certain areas of geography – specifically ones that a business has not been able to successfully tap into, perhaps because of an inability to fight for top keywords in the SEO rankings. Direct mail also ensures that people have a physical item connected to the company in their hands that they can pin to the refrigerator or share with friends and family.
SEO and direct mail are especially symbiotic; where paid search and email marketing reach people who already know about the company or its market (and have displayed this by, at the least, relevant search queries), direct mail reaches those who have never displayed either awareness or intent. Direct mail can get people into the funnel, and SEO can help pick up from there.
SEO is critical to driving traffic, but it needs to be used effectively with other marketing strategies. By using landing-page metrics to identify where traffic is coming from and focusing on marketing campaign management, businesses can benefit from PPC and SEO in order to drive better traffic to their website.
– Joseph Baker