With very firm tracking numbers and plenty of supporting data, we all know that the number one place to acquire new prospects is through online search marketing. The question that always surfaces is, how should the strategy be developed? – organic, pay-per-click, paid inclusion, etc. - and what areas are most important in terms of allocation of resources.
A few weeks ago, I conducted an educational session for a group of travel and tourism marketers and, true to form, the first question was – “This is all great stuff, but where do I start?”
As always, my reply was begin with organic search, build to pay-per-click and then begin to explore some additional options like contextual advertising. I always stress that, when done well, these strategies can stand on their own in certain environments – depending on the size and scope of your travel product. But, just like all other marketing tasks, we must not forget that all of these programs are best when they are done in terms of a campaign – not in silos.
With that, it was very refreshing for me to read a posting by Rob Garner, director of strategy for the digital marketing company, iCrossing, last week. Garner stressed the core of “search engine marketing” contains the following components:
- Natural search (organic)
- Paid search
- Contextual / content targeting
- Paid inclusion
He also provided this bit of advice for marketers when developing their programs:
“Constructing a holistic search strategy requires expertise or knowledge across a variety of search channels, particularly in an enterprise situation. A holistic search approach should be a consideration for every enterprise marketer, as it is imperative to look at search-marketing strategy starting with all of its components, and to deduce the right mix to meet the objective, whether it’s paid, natural or any other combination of search elements.”
Visit this link to read Rob Garner’s post and then think about the approach to your search-marketing strategy.