Where does SEO fit into omnichannel marketing?


by Matt Cardoni

October 4, 2017

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As a seasoned SEO professional with an interest in digital marketing, the most compelling component of omnichannel marketing automation is total channel integration, an ideal state that makes the much sought after seamless user journey possible. The ability to automatically target a customer at any point in their journey to conversion with an optimized and relevant message in real time is powerful and efficient — being able to implement this level of sophisticated marketing with an integrated approach across channels — including SEO — is the holy grail of marketing.

A recent survey by Forrester Consulting found that over 90 percent of customers report they use search at every stage of their customer lifecycle. This number is significant and confirms the need to be present in organic and paid search to fully optimize the omnichannel experience.

For a digital marketer, this underscores the importance of optimizing SEO in concert with the other digital channels like social media, voice assistance, email marketing, and SMS marketing.
Imagine a typical marketing campaign that begins with a paid media ad and leads to a landing page with an offer – the journey managed through an omnichannel marketing automation platform that straddles the worlds of paid and owned media. The optimal omnichannel experience would land the user on a landing page with a compelling offer, and the user would continue the journey as an ‘identified’ prospect with relevant content presented to them – at the very least.

What happens next in the consumer journey depends on how well the omnichannel marketing system is integrated. If SEO is done well — and in concert with the other digital channels — the next search the consumer makes will lead them back to the marketer’s site by appearing at the top of results for the same keywords that brought them to the website by the paid ad in the first exposure.

The industry trend towards omnichannel marketing automation has a tendency to omit SEO from consideration because it is managed in such a technically different way — with different team members, strategies, skill sets, budget, and tools.

With search happening on every channel and media, a marketing automation solution needs to be versatile in handling customer channel transitions and provide seamless landing page experiences that can be defined or imported based on rules outside the standard SEO framework, but also integrated into the full customer journey.

The current siloed approach to SEO plagues omnichannel marketing automation platforms across the industry. For a truly integrated approach to marketing that makes the seamless customer experience possible, SEO is a key ingredient.