It would be great if there were some kind of playbook that marketers could refer to that laid out for them the order in which they should tackle their initiatives. For example, what's a better use of resources (time / money)… reworking a site to make it more search engine friendly (SEO), establishing a presence through paid search (SEM) or becoming active in social media? The answer is that there is no definitive answer, as there are a host of extenuating circumstances that will ultimately impact the most intelligent utilization and prioritization of resources for any organization.
Here are some factors to consider:
- Urgency to drive traffic.
- If it is late Summer / early Fall and your business relies on holiday revenue, then it's too late to tackle SEO if you aren't also engaged with SEM. Focus on Paid Search to increase traffic for the short term.
- Is it worth it to invest in SEO if I am also thinking about a redesign?
- By the time most companies embark on a redesign, their sites are stale and outdated. The question to ponder is whether a redesign is going to be an aggressively pursued initiative or will it drag on for many months (or years). If the answer is the latter, then SEO can still be viable, but if a new site is expected to go live within six months or so, then it's a better idea to spend the extra money on the new site to ensure it's being built from the ground up with the functionality that's required and in an SEO Best Practices manner. Use the time in the interim to begin creating optimized content, which is a key pillar of SEO, so that you have fresh, relevant and keyword targeted copy to load into the new site once it's built out. Creating copy is often a bottleneck with the launch of a new site.
- Which Social channels are most valuable to participate in?
- Once again, there isn't a one size fits all answer. A few high level thoughts come to mind. Facebook for B-C and LinkedIn for B-B. Depending on your audience, Twitter can be applicable to both. Investigate where your most impressive competitors are focusing and start there. Don't limit yourself to following the pack though. There's a good shot your competitors are not as active in Google+ as they are elsewhere. I believe that Google+ will continue to grow in popularity (and thereby importance), not to mention the potential SEO benefits (within Google).
Internet Marketing can be very daunting. Don't let it be. Objectively assess your company's timing, challenges and objectives and pick an initial direction to pursue. Hopefully, it will be the right next step, but regardless, if executed properly it should move the needle forward.