Table of Contents:
- SEO – Research and a Game Plan To Start With
- In-house or Outhouse? Who Will Manage Your SEO Best?
- How To Implement SEO Into Your Marketing Plan? The Takeaway
- an online marketer or a marketing manager who faces the task of implementing SEO into an annual marketing plan,
- a coordinator, team leader, or marketing director who is fully responsible for the marketing budget,
Then, today’s entry will make it easier for you to understand the world of SEO, determine who is responsible for given tasks, what needs to be managed, what are the challenges faced by an SEO agency, and whether you should consider any outside support at all.
SEO – research and a game plan to start with
Nowadays, almost every market is highly competitive. The fight for high Google positions is the bread and butter of all marketers, not only a luxury chosen by the greatest organizations and e-commerce businesses. Regardless of what you’re selling, somebody else also offers it and they’ll do everything in their power to outdo your website in the organic search results. Maybe it won’t happen today, but it’ll definitely happen ultimately. It doesn’t really matter whether we’re talking about local SEO for your bakery chain or international SEO services for your online store that operates on few foreign markets – the struggle is real and Google algorithms are constantly modified. In a nutshell: if you’re wondering whether it’s worth dedicating some space and time for SEO in your marketing plan and budget, then the answer is yes. But what to start with?
SEO is supposed to meet specific business objectives, so…
… start from defining specific business parameters and goals you, as a company, want to achieve thanks to increased Google visibility. Have you heard about the SMART method? Make sure that these goals are specific, measurable, realistic, and achievable within a given timeframe. Let them be somehow related to your business history – it’s possible to increase sales of a given product by 200% within a year, however, it’s not very likely to happen if the parameter amounted to 20% in the past. The objectives should clearly indicate how quality SEO can affect them. So what are exemplary parameters? Below you can find some examples:
- Increased sales of a specific product or service by x% in the upcoming quarter,
- Reaching the TOP 3 Google positions for specific key phrases within two years,
- x% more impressions of the company website compared to the same time a year ago, x% more visits of potential customers from abroad, x seconds longer sessions, x% lower bounce rate,
- x contact forms filled out and sent during the year.
Before implementing an SEO strategy into your marketing plan, you need appropriate research and thorough preparation. If you haven’t done it yet, try to analyze:
- Who is your desired customer, meaning what’s your marketing and SEO user persona?
- What’s the online visibility of your market rivals? What’s the market saturation? How many people offer the same products and how competitive is the industry you operate in?
- What does your potential customer enter into Google when searching for your products? (pssst, Google Search Console, Google Analytics or AnswerThePublic.com will help you discover answers to this question).
Before making up your mind about SEO activities that should be performed in-house and that should be commissioned to external agencies, take a look at professional, free online resources discussing SEO. If you haven’t been dealing with this field so far, check out available guidelines for beginner SEO specialists to:
- realize what you can do on your own and what’s not your cup of tea,
- be able to discuss cooperation with an SEO agency more confidently and openly.
The range of SEO activities that should be included in your marketing plan for the upcoming year ought to include costs such as:
- an SEO audit (to know precisely what needs to be improved in the following months),
- company website optimization (Google algorithms are more and more efficient when it comes to analyzing websites’ mobile-friendliness and interfaces or checking if all redirects and functionalities work properly. This factor is particularly important for the rankings – the better website optimization, the better page visibility on Google),
- content creation and optimization of the existing texts to make sure that they’re SEO-friendly and indexed on Google,
- link building, meaning external linking – acquiring valuable external links from other high-quality domains that would redirect users to your website after clicking on specific keywords,
- introduction of necessary metadata, sitemap refinements, internal linking, and many more elements of internal work that has to be done on your website by SEO specialists.
In-house or outhouse? Who can manage your SEO best?
You already know how to get prepared for implementing SEO into your marketing plan, what research is needed before performing any activities, and what tasks should be taken into account when devising marketing budgets. Think about whether your resources, expertise, and time are enough to fulfill the objectives. As the captain of the ship, you now have three alternatives:
- You can hire a full-time SEO specialist to perform all of these tasks for you over the next year (in which case the entire SEO strategy of your company stays in-house and you need to develop it with your marketing team) #inhouse.
- You can outsource your SEO processes to a third-party agency that will be responsible for meeting your predetermined business goals, #outhouse.
- You can decide to share responsibilities with an SEO agency. You delegate an in-house person to coordinate the agency’s work and internal operations. With more resources available, you can even create a separate SEO department.
Tasks of an SEO agency
- SEO audit
- Analysis and selection of relevant keywords and phrases
- Website optimization (unless you have IT specialists on board – then they can deploy specific solutions proposed by the SEO agency)
- Content optimization
- Internal and external linking
- Analytics, reports, recommendations
Tasks of your marketing team
- Content marketing & copywriting (after all, your employees know your company best)
- Internet monitoring
- Website development – implementation of new tabs, landing pages, product subpages
- Development of your company’s product offer
- Synchronized PPC activities supporting SEO
In such an in-house/outhouse cooperation, internal communication within the SEO project and reliable mutual reporting of all activities is a key to success. An appropriate SEO strategy requires constant observation and analysis, therefore, regular calls and talks to share ideas and inform each other about all undertaken business initiatives (e.g. new products) is highly important.
How to implement SEO into your marketing plan? The takeaway
Thorough research, getting prepared for implementing SEO strategies, defining business objectives and tasks that need to be fulfilled by a person or company responsible for the SEO process, and deciding whether to choose in-house or outhouse cooperation models is a recipe for success. Next, you just have to consistently deploy the planned strategy and fight for top positions in the organic search results.