Marketing Integration: How Your SEO Should Inform Your Offline Marketing Decisions
Your SEO success gives you much more than website visitors, leads, and sales. It gives you information-information about your audience, your company, your products, your brand, and your specific trends. Part of maximizing your SEO investment is taking full advantage of this information and using it to inform and influence your offline marketing strategies and decisions. By doing this, you’ll create a more integrated and current marketing strategy and make the most of your SEO investment.
There are three main types of information unique to your SEO project and online marketing strategy that can be used to inform offline marketing: pre-project research, audience trends, and overall SEO results. All three types of information can be used effectively to tailor and adjust offline marketing to maximize the results from online marketing strategies.
. . . create a more integrated and current marketing strategy and make the most of your SEO investment.
SEO pre-project research typically consists of keyword research and an evaluation of website copy, your target audience’s search trends (as well as your industry’s search trends), and the competitive landscape. To ensure that your online and offline marketing strategies are well-informed, current, and integrated, all this information should be evaluated not just to inform SEO decisions but also to tailor and coordinate offline marketing.
For example, look at your keyword research. What terms is your target audience searching for when they look for you or your products? Are these terms ones you use in print or other offline marketing? When a searcher is trying to find you by reducing your company or product to a 1- to 4-word search string, they are making a pretty clear statement about how they define your products or services. If you want them to pay attention to you, online or off, you need to work with that simple statement and integrate it into your marketing message.
Use descriptive words your audience uses-speak their language. Also, looking at your competitive research can help you more accurately target your offline marketing. Who are your new competitors? Who’s gaining visibility online? Who are your competitors targeting? Not only will this information help you target your website copy, keywords, and other SEO strategies, it also can help you improve print, TV, and other offline marketing strategies as well. Now that you’ve identified new or growing competitors online, look at their offline marketing strategies for weaknesses, gaps, or ideas that will help you compete.
Throughout your SEO project, you will have consistent access to search trends such as which keywords and keyword strings are converting best for your website; seasonal trends for your audience; who is actually visiting your site; and what they are most interested in on your site. This information is used to help tailor website copy, develop online promotions, and further define your customers and their needs, but it has many uses in offline marketing strategies as well.
You’ve probably defined your sales “seasons” pretty well, but your SEO analytics may be able to detect even minute changes in conversions or sales. Look at your conversion metrics and see if there is anything unexpected, such as a quick spike in sales in the off-season. You may have discovered a “mini-season.” Take advantage of your mini-season with offline advertising or promotions to make the most of this seasonal sales spike. And look at which pages site visitors are spending the most time on. What information is displayed? Take note of this, as this may be the very information your consumers are looking for. Try transferring this site copy to print ads and see if you get a better response. Or create promotions around the products site visitors are searching for most often.
Your offline results can and will be influenced by what you do online, so make sure you are aware and in control of that influence.
Another major element of your SEO information is your overall SEO results. These results include information such as sales increases/decreases, conversions, changes in search result position, cost-per-lead, average sale, and a whole host of other regularly measured metrics. Evaluate these in terms of your overall integrated marketing strategy. Where are your strengths? Where are your weaknesses? What can be adjusted to take advantage of strengths and minimize the effects of weakness?
Is your cost-per-lead decreasing rapidly online while it’s growing for your print advertising? Maybe it’s time to look more closely at your print outlets to try to bring down your overall cost-per-lead in print. If your search position on a certain keyword is slipping, maybe it’s a branding issue that can be solved with offline branding efforts such as print advertising, promotions or sweepstakes, or PR efforts. Your offline results can and will be influenced by what you do online, so make sure you are aware and in control of the influence of marketing integration.
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