We live a world that loves specialization. Henry Ford became a captain of industry by turning the craft of auto-making into an assembly line of distinct duties. And though specialization has its advantages in certain industries, in the field of online marketing and other digital services, a vertical structure may actually do more harm than good.
When it comes to search engine marketing and search engine optimization, a highly-skilled but generalist approach may be far better. As the foundation of so much of our digital efforts, search is an indispensible tool and a discipline that should infuse a multitude of efforts. Here are just three reasons why aligning your SEO/SEM efforts with your other marketing services makes good business sense:
Simplicity. Let’s face it: running a successful business has never been more complex. Managers and administrators need to understand and anticipate the competition, coordinate online and offline efforts, integrate a wide range of services, monitor results and constantly refine tactics — all while never losing site of their core business.
In a landscape of complex moving parts, it’s nice to simplify where possible and have a fewer number of more powerful partners. Companies that offer multiple services under a single roof can apply an understanding of their clients’ opportunities, leverage a collaborative history, and identify potential conflicts or challenges early in the game. In an age of tight schedules and an economy of razor thin margins, that kind of advantage can make a real difference.
Strategy and synergy. As the digital world evolves, a singularity is developing. Services that were once siloed by separate “this-is-what-we-do-and-this-is-all-we-do” companies are fusing. Likewise, even separate departments within more progressive companies are working closely together because changes in the industry reward synergy.
Consider the benefits, for example, to a university that has a single agency managing its content and search services. Though typically viewed as distinct disciplines, refinements in search have made SEO/SEM and content two sides of the same coin. Teams that are aligned and working closely together can merge the creative aspects of good content with the more analytical demands of an effective SEO/SEM strategy and program. Content developers can stay current on what keywords and keyword terms are most relevant to users; search teams can work with authors to optimize content planning and creation. The result is a better product that generates stronger traffic for the client.
It should come as no surprise that an organization of talented professionals applying their specific skills collectively is likely to produce higher grade services in less time. Whether combining search with content marketing, campaign management with direct marketing IT with program design, or marketing with recruitment and retention — or any combination of the above — cooperation and smart collaboration win.
Better ROI. Of course, what all of this alignment aims produce is better ROI. SEO is one of the best channels to understand demand — a demand that should inform and motivate everything an organization does to promote itself. A solid search program can empower investments that have already been made in website content, marketing campaigns, recruitment initiatives, social media, and other areas. For those organizations focused on the bottom line and relentless in their pursuit of efficiencies, it may be time to take a serious look at what’s missing from their relationships with single-service, highly specialized and vertically-organized partners.
If you agree that the web is the common landscape on which we’re all charting our individual courses and competing for success, then search is the compass. We use it see where the people are, meet them where they live, and help them find us. Search is no longer (was it ever?) just a stand-alone service that organizations fund as yet another cog of the marketing wheel. Instead, it’s the platform on which so much of a business’ marketing knowledge and efforts are built. Integrated with the right team of professionals, SEO/SEM services power the rest of your marketing dollars.
Enrollment Builders offers a broad range of marketing and consulting services — including SEO and SEM — which are designed to help schools reach and retain students, build better programs, and graduate better prepared professionals. If you’d like to learn more about what we do, contact us at 513-518-7824 or request information here.