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A Collection of Tactics Do Not a Strategy Make

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve walked into a senior executive’s office and heard a version of this: “We really need to improve our SEO.”

Nothing wrong with improving your online search engine results. But like any tactic, it needs to fit into a broader strategic approach.

The focus on tactics is understandable. People understand and relate to tactics. They can grasp them — send emails to prospects; add a product page to the website; host a webinar — are bite-size concepts.

But ask people how those tactics fit into their broader strategic approach, and you may get a blank stare.

Strategy is the overall direction you want to go. Tactics are the step by step directions that will get you there. Focusing on tactics alone is like taking turns without having a destination in mind. You’ll get somewhere, but not necessarily where you want to go.

In this case, while we can work to improve the search engine results, the strategic approach will also look at whether other elements are in place to support a robust SEO.

For example, if your entire customer experience is online only, your SEO approach will be different than if you also have an active sales team and customer service representatives answering phones, In the latter situation, your staff and your SEO terminology needs to be in sync on how your staff describe your products and services.

Similarly, many companies use auto generated emails for lead generation. But if you are referencing staff in those emails — that is, they are supposedly coming from people within the company, those people need to be aware when the message went out and what it said.

The email is one touchpoint — if that generates a look at your website for a specific product or service, you’ve got a second touchpoint: Someone is interested enough to follow up. A comprehensive strategy will take multiple touchpoints into account and have additional follow up tactics already in place to identify and reach out to high value prospects.


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