Planning For SEO Success In 2016
What strategies are you employing to help guide your digital marketing efforts? Columnist Marcus Miller shares some of his favorite methodologies for strategic planning.
A 2015 study by Smart Insights showed that 50 percent of businesses doing digital marketing had no form of digital marketing plan or strategy. They were doing digital marketing, yet there were no clearly defined objectives or goals. Does this seem a little crazy to you?
In our experience helping businesses large and small, we’ve also found that most businesses don’t have a digital marketing plan (or a marketing plan of any kind, in many cases). Unfortunately, smaller local businesses are often the worst offenders here. Micro budgets require a solid ROI, but cutting corners leads to weak results in search marketing.
Failing To Plan Is Planning To Fail
Certainly, the digital landscape is changing at a rate of knots. The digital channels and marketing opportunities are changing so fast that most businesses simply have not responded. Those that have attempted to keep up have an ad hoc approach and simply dive in at a tactical level and throw money at SEO, PPC, display, social and even content marketing.
For many, this scattergun approach fails — and digital itself is questioned as a marketing strategy. This leads to businesses becoming more out of touch and stuck in the sinking ship of yesterday’s marketing methods.
All Of This Has Happened Before, And All Of It Will Happen Again
A few months back, I took a look at the famous military strategy book, “The Art of War,” by Sun Tzu, and discussed what lessons are contained within it for marketers. There are many great takeaways from the book, but one quote really sums up the importance of strategy for me:
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
If we break this down, we are basically saying that a strategy is of no benefit to us if we don’t have a detailed plan or tools to implement that strategy. Equally, if we are applying marketing tactics such as SEO and PPC without an overarching strategy, then we are likely seeing poor results and excessive costs.