Remember what it took for a site to rank highly in the SERPs a few years back? It needed to be well structured and ‘clean’ from the perspective of the search engine spiders, with proper html tags and good internal linking. It needed to correctly identify the keywords it wanted to target and then employ them properly, both on-page and in the URLs. It needed to put links out there, on optimized anchors, in order to build a sound back link profile. Now, it’s not to say that these factors no longer hold, by and large, but in order to achieve and maintain a high SERP ranking these days, you need to take the integrated marketing approach. You need to know a bit about UI/UX, something about social media, then there’s PR, design, branding, authorship… and the list could go on and on. There’s no way in which one SEO expert could claim to be good at all these things. However, there are several reasons your brand might want to reevaluate its marketing strategy and opt for integration.
- Integrated digital marketing makes for coherent campaigns
With anything from responsive design to implementation to client acquisition and retention at play in a digital marketing strategy these days, a well-developed strategy needs to include all these and more. It needs to be unified, solid, and coherent, as well as play off all the different ingredients it entails. Each strain of digital marketing can bring in a serious advantage for brands that are foresighted enough to take the integrated approach. Such strategies stand to increase the impact of their individual components, which are not ‘tossed in’ to counter one another, but to complete one another toward one and the same end-goal. Consistency is also important, as is efficiency across several media at the same time.
- Digital marketing is costly; make it efficient
A poll for the year 2012 indicated that companies spend 2.5 per cent of their total revenue on digital marketing, as well as 25 per cent of their entire marketing budget. They are allotting funds for content creation, digital advertising, and, of course, search marketing. Search marketing actually costs brands 10.7 per cent of their total digital marketing budget, yet only 8 to 9 per cent of companies believe their search marketing efforts are truly relevant for their market success. How so? Perhaps because, instead of opting for an integrated view on digital marketing. With such a massive chunk of the digital marketing budget going toward SEO, it is imperative that search marketers be genuinely integrated within the company’s overarching marketing strategizing activities.
- SEOs need to immerse themselves into marketing as a whole
Don’t take this to meant that SEOs ought to become specialists in design, PR, or whatever other strand of integrated marketing overnight. They actually don’t need to do this at all. What they do need to start doing, on the other hand, is making their presence felt in the discussions about marketing that go on at company level. By positioning themselves outside a system that clearly takes a lot of money to keep up, they are effectively acting as in-house, project-based consultants. They are effectively minimizing their own impact in the success and/or profitability of the company’s marketing campaigns. SEOs can clearly contribute their share of vision, strategy, and implementation to the integrated marketing vision advocated by the marketing team. But before they are able to do this, they (as well as anybody else involved in marketing), needs to understand that marketing should be a cohesive, coordinated effort, instead of a bunch of discrete channels, tools, and media, which all happen to be used by one and the same brand.