SEO | Marketing Mix | Marketing Strategy
One of the questions we are frequently asked is ‘Where should SEO fit within my Marketing mix’? It’s a good question as it provides half of the answer within the question as most firms we speak to simply don’t have a Marketing Mix and even fewer still any sort of Marketing Strategy.
Running a business without a Marketing Strategy is actually quite easy – lots of firms do it every day. Some of them simply throw open the doors and wait for business to come to them, as if the very act of being in business is all that is required to make money. Clearly this isn’t the case as there are so many other firms out there who are trying to get a piece of the market that you want, and many of them are building good reputations for themselves in the process.
The major disadvantage of operating without a Marketing Strategy is that you really don’t know which direction you should go in, whether you are heading in the right direction, and if you are lucky enough to be heading in the right direction, when you have arrived at your destination. It’s strange really because you wouldn’t set off on a trip from Runcorn to Warrington without having an idea of which way to go. Now on a road trip you can use maps, road signs, sat nav and of course your own experience to guide you, but if you didn’t know either town to start with how would you cope?
So the start point really must be to get a proper Marketing Strategy in place, and as part of that you will need a Search Engine Marketing plan, or SEM as it’s often referred to. This will help define how you want to approach your online marketing and the relative importance (or otherwise) you are attaching to the digital arm of your strategy. Having completed that you will find that the actual SEO work, much of which is tactical and day to day, will be a natural output of your previous work.
The beauty of approaching the problem this way is that at the end of the process you will have a single, clear, coherent plan which details what you want to achieve, how you want to achieve it and by when. And it will give you milestones and measurements along the way from which you can track your progress. Whilst SEO is still regarded as a ‘dark art’ by some if you are going to build a long term sustainable relationship between your website and the Search Engines you need to do it over time, not overnight.
So where does SEO fit within the Marketing mix? The answer seems to be right at the end so the SEO work that you do has some meaning, purpose and drives your business in the direction that you want.