SEO/SEM produces unbelievable results in increasing website traffic. To be successful, SEO has to be included in the marketing plan, and here’s how to do it.
This article is one in a series of articles exploring the importance and the use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Earlier articles looked at what SEO/SEM is, how it is used, the history and the successes, and the dos and don’ts of employing SEO/SEM strategies.
In this submission, building SEO/SEM techniques into the marketing plan are detailed. SEO is a vital and powerful tool used to drive traffic to websites in efforts to build an effective (resulting in sales) web presence. A detailed and written marketing plan is key to any marketing department and including SEO/SEM in that marketing plan helps ensure greater success in SEO implementation and for marketing activities overall.
Making SEO Part of Marketing Plan
Aaron Geh, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of The Karcher Group, a full-service web design company in North Canton, Ohio that develops, markets, and hosts web sites and has worked with SEO since 2000, says, “There is a shift in marketing dollars being spent for online marketing and away from traditional marketing. Companies are more conscious of what they are doing online and it is getting more competitive. Companies are aware of the fact they need to show up at the top of the searches. SEO strategies will always be part of the marketing initiative.”
Using the Internet to market is a marketing tool and should never be thought of as a replacement for traditional marketing strategies. Identifying competition, analyzing the market, determining a target market, completing a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats), tailoring the plan to capture the targeted market, scheduling events and milestones on a timeline, developing talking points, mission statements, vision statements are vital components of a marketing plan. SEO/SEM strategies can be written into several of those components.
Where Does SEO/SEM Belong in the Marketing Plan?
According to the Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization by Jon Rognerud (Entrepreneur Press, 2008, Madison, Wisconsin), “SEO is only as good as the plan that drives it!”
A few reasons why marketing plans are so helpful is that they help a company determine who they should target and why and how to reach those persons. Marketing messages and efforts need to be developed so that a target audience will notice and respond. As research is uncovered in the marketing plan development stage – the who, what, why, where, and how – SEO/SEM strategies can be included in all stages and phases of marketing and can be written into all parts of the marketing plan.
SEO Marketing Examples Please
Take for example – when writing the market size section, include a paragraph on how SEO/SEM strategies can help expand the market size by becoming more accessible over the Internet.
Or, when detailing distribution channels, market trends, demographics or profitability, detail how SEO/SEM strategies can help reach out and make the most of the opportunities established in the SWOT analysis.
Marketing Plan Helps with Keyword Research
Not only does SEO help build a stronger marketing plan, but the marketing plan can also help build stronger SEO keyword research. Keywords or key phrases are key components to SEO success. Learning as much as possible about the target market is one of the results of developing and writing a marketing plan. As the target audience evolves in the marketing plan, finding keywords or search words to use in SEO strategies will emerge.