Chapter 8. Define Your Search Marketing Strategy
Strategy. Do you get a bit suspicious just hearing the word? "Strategy" discussions sometimes seem disconnected from realitythe kind of "where the rubber meets the sky" conversations that are funny in a Dilbert cartoon. But when you hear some consultant show a bunch of pretty charts with no semblance of understanding your business, or the risks being run, or the effort required, it's not funny anymoreit's scary.
When done properly, strategy is critically important before you undertake any task. We try to avoid the pixie dust and give you a set of practical tasks to shape your search marketing program and carry it out. The major strategic steps to develop your search marketing program are covered in this chapter, as follows:
- Choose the scope of your search marketing program. The most important part of your strategythe part you must decide firstis: How big are you going to do this? You must choose the breadth of your program across your organization. (A product line? Division? Country? The whole company?) In the preceding chapter, you chose your first search marketing campaign. Now you will decide how large your entire search marketing program will bea program consisting of many campaigns.
- Divide the work. Some duties need to be centralized in a new search team, whereas the existing Web teams should perform others. As you set the strategy for your search marketing program, it is important to understand what these duties are and who the best people are to take them on.
- Choose your approach. How are you going to execute your search marketing program? Will you use an internal team alone or will you engage an external firm to assist you? You must understand the reasons to choose one approach or the other.
- Project your costs. The final part of your strategy must total up the investment required. In Chapter 7, "Measure Your Search Marketing Success," we identified the opportunity. In this chapter, we assess the cost of reaching the opportunity. We actually total up two different costsone is the investment you need right away to run your first campaign. The other is the cost of your full search marketing program, projected over several years.
At the end of this chapter, you will know exactly what your search marketing program will set out to do, you will know how you intend to accomplish it, and you will know approximately what it will cost. (You will also calculate what your first campaign will cost.) Let's begin by deciding the breadth of the program.