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  • Writer's pictureLaurence Knopf

Real Ecommerce SEO – Strategy, Not Just Tactics

Updated: May 11, 2020

Most companies know what SEO tactics they should be using. Many even manage to carry them out regularly, which is no mean feat when you’re running a busy company. However, there’s a big difference between implementing SEO tasks and developing a comprehensive strategy. Working on SEO on an ad hoc basis won’t generate much in the way of results. Instead, a strategic approach is needed. It delivers measurable progression, enabling your website to climb steadily in the SERPs.

Why aren’t tactics enough?

In isolation, SEO tactics only focus on the task itself. For example, this might be posting a blog to your website, or optimising some of your product pages.

While these are worthy activities, it’s a bit of a scattergun approach. You’re doing them because you know you should, but have you considered why? Even more importantly, what results do you want in three months’ time? Or a year, or five years? How are you going to measure the impact of your efforts?

SEO tactics, if they’re not backed by a solid strategy, won’t deliver results – namely because no objectives have been set.

What’s the difference?

Here’s a run-through of the key differences between SEO tactics and a strategy:

- Tactics bring traffic to your site. A strategy brings targeted traffic, with a higher conversion rate.

- Tactics focus on the present. A strategy focuses on the present and the future.

- It’s difficult to measure results from a tactics-based approach. A strategy enables the analysis of results over time.

- Tactics are important actions. However, a strategy provides the framework to make them more focused (and effective).

Types of tactic

There are numerous SEO tactics; here are just a few:

- Creating a blog post

- Adjusting aspects of the site, such as meta titles, descriptions etc.

- Technical site speed optimisation

Their potential can only be reached when they’re incorporated into an overreaching plan.

Devising a strategy

A good SEO strategy usually starts with a series of questions.

- What are your business goals?

- What does success look like to you?

- How can SEO be used to achieve these goals?

- What are your priorities?

The answers to these questions provide you with actionable goals. Some common goals include:

- Building brand awareness

- Increasing traffic to the site

- Boosting sales

- Improving marketing ROI

The next stage is to identify how you’ll achieve them.

Turning SEO tactics into part of a strategy

The following two examples illustrate how SEO actions can be incorporated into a strategy:

Example 1

- Tactic

Get backlinks for your site.

- Strategy

Avoid low-quality backlinks to begin with, and focus on gaining links from authority sites. This will provide ‘signals’ to the search engines, which will positively impact ranking on the SERPs. Good content will also need to be created, in order to encourage others to link to your site.

Example 2

- Tactic

Launch a Google AdWords campaign.

- Strategy

Research the market first, finding out what keywords people are using to find products / services like yours. Calculate costs, and work out what results you require to generate a good ROI. Identify how you’ll monitor the results, and which metrics you’re most concerned with (e.g. click-throughs or sales). Understand that Google ad campaigns can also impact organic search results over time.

Other things to keep in mind

It’s important to remember the following when developing an SEO strategy:

1) Strategy provides a starting point. However, your strategy may change over time. There will be occasions when it needs to be tweaked, or overhauled entirely.

2) It requires regular review. The only way to determine if a strategy is working is to measure results, and there are various analytical tools that can help you achieve this. Use your analysis to guide your strategy in the future.

3) SEO is in a constant state of evolution. Companies develop new ways to implement tried-and-tested tactics. Don’t be afraid to experiment – every business is different, after all.

4) Every tactic should be driven by your strategy. They shouldn’t exist in isolation.

5) Some tactics will generate more noticeable results than others. This may be subject to


6) Some tactics will produce short-term benefits. Others may only produce results over time. A good strategy will value both types.

Seeing the bigger picture

SEO shouldn’t be viewed as a ‘paint by numbers’ exercise. To create a true (marketing) masterpiece, you need to consider the bigger picture, then identify what techniques to use to achieve it.

A good SEO expert will focus on developing a long-term strategy, rather than working through a list of commonly used tactics. That, at the end of the day, is how to deliver real results.

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