Search Engine Optimisation Lead Marketing
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has become an unstoppable force, with experts predicting that by 2010 search marketing will be a twelve billion dollar a year industry. After all, why spend all that money looking for your customers when you can simply optimise your site so they can find you?
Then why, when marketers are so clearly convinced of the importance of SEO do so many still view it in isolation from their other marketing plans? And why do so many agencies, even those who propose themselves as being ‘integrated’, rarely offer search engine optimisation services?
In the traditional marketing model, the creative agency does their thing. Maybe creating an award-winning ad or radio campaign. If you are lucky they will have included a web address somewhere on the communication (normally at the end and in small). In the meantime, your search agency is beavering away optimising your site so that it ranks as high as possible.
But never the twain shall meet.
There might be some synergy of design flooded across the site. But never a synergy of strategy.
Turning the model on its head
Now let’s imagine what would happen if you were to turn the traditional model on its head and start with a search strategy rather than ending with it. If you started by identifying the relevant terms that would achieve you greater ranking and used them as the building blocks of your marketing campaign, you would find the results quite staggering. Higher SEO Ranking, more relevancy and ultimately more sales.
So how can SEO lead the rest of your marketing?
For one you can use your marketing to actually influence the search terms people use, directing them to use less competitive terms. Currently, only 25% of companies use the same phraseology in their offline communications as they do in their online. Which can only serve to cause confusion for the consumer. If you ensure that the same terms are used across every touch point, it makes it easier for your customer to find you. And if those terms have been defined using careful research from your search agency, you also can avoid cannibalisation by your competitors.
If you describe yourself one way offline and another online, you only serve to weaken your brand. However, by ensuring that there is complete consistency of language across every media you give a unified appearance to your customer. You wouldn’t describe yourself one way on a print ad and another on your TV ad – so why do it online?
Resistance is futile
It won’t be long before SEO is fully integrated into the marketing mix. No old school marketing agency can deny the importance of SEO, no matter how frightened they are of it or how little they understand it. But until then, its up to you as the client, with our support of course, to press how important SEO is to your company and suggest that it lead your Marketing Campaign, rather than follow.