One is the loneliest number

Friday, January 22, 2010
NSahlool
SEM

Smart marketers know not to put all their eggs in one basket, so they make sure that all their hopes are not pinned on a single media channel. As buyers, we are influenced by a variety of media sources that help raise product awareness, motivate us to buy and nurture us through our decision making process. In the same way, search behavior is influenced by traditional media sources and emerging social media platforms. Yet for some reason, when it comes to the search engines, this multi-channel approach is too often forgotten.

Many regard their choice as either SEM (paid search) or SEO. Even once a tactic like SEO is identified as the way forward, the emphasis is placed on the optimization of a handful of keywords. Marketers are rightly proud of their ability to rank for a few highly trafficked, highly relevant keywords, but even with this tight keyword focus, there is opportunity. After all, there are ten organic listings on a Google Search Engine Results Page for any given keyword search, making it by nature a multi-channel property.

If a keyword has been identified as valuable in that it delivers a very high yield, why not own the first page of Google by controlling all the listings for that keyword? Even at a level as granular as an individual keyword search on a single search engine, it is possible to take a multi-channel approach. After all, either you compete with yourself for the audience or you leave the opportunity to your competitors.

A digital strategy that embraces every step in the buying cycle from early stage awareness through an acquisition strategy that includes both SEM and SEO, all the way to an eNurturing program that includes social media and display retargeting, all driven by Key Performance Indicators, coupled with a multi-channel approach that targets high yield keywords, provides the opportunity for category ownership and exponentially higher returns on investment.