Search engine marketing plan

An effective search engine marketing plan is essential for companies that want to grow online and be more accessible to their target group. In an online marketing plan, you describe very precisely which goals you want to achieve and how you are going to get started. Only when this is clear, do you know how you can tackle this and who you can hire for this. Because of the increasing importance of online marketing, setting up a search engine marketing plan is almost indispensable. The success of your business depends on the success of your marketing strategy. 

Before you start drawing up a search engine marketing plan, it is first important to determine how important online findability is for your company. Except for a few cases, this can pay off for every company. Thanks to the digital world, it has become increasingly important to be visible online. Not only more and more companies are online, but also consumers are online more and more. To reach these people, you will have to improve your online visibility. You do this by improving your online marketing strategy. It all starts with setting up a successful search engine marketing plan. How to do this, you can read in this article. We have listed 8 simple steps that can help you do this.

Think about who your target group is 

Before you get started, it is important to find out exactly what your target group looks like. Who is your target group? What are their interests? What is their age? What channels do they typically use to search for products and services? What keywords are relevant to this target group? Based on this information, you lay the foundation for a successful search engine marketing plan. 

When drawing up a marketing plan, you are mainly concerned with the strategic side. Based on a few questions, you determine exactly how you will approach your marketing plan. This way, you know exactly how to approach it and what the most successful strategy is. 

After answering 8 simple questions, you will be able to continue to grow online thanks to outsourcing search engine marketing or doing it yourself. 

Map the identity of your company

Every company has a completely different identity. A bakery will have a completely different way of working and customer base than a webshop for children's clothes. That's why you always start a marketing plan by mapping out your company's identity. Decide well in advance what your company looks like and what identity you want to put forward.

How do you want your target group to see the company? For example, do you think it's important that young people see you as a hip company? Then it is good to adjust the content on the website to this and to be visible on other channels than you would for example as a company that focuses on seniors. 

For example, a company that specialises in young people should be more visible on social media. Almost 90 percent of young people are on one or more social media channels. Social media marketing can therefore play an important role in achieving your goal. Make sure you are visible to your target group and enter into a dialogue with the consumer. This way, you make sure that your company is able to get online leads more easily. 

Measure the current marketing results 

Before actually working on a new plan, it is important to look at the current marketing results. Which activities have you already tried? Were they successful? What do the visitor numbers on your website look like at the moment? What actions does this lead to? What would you like to see improved? How will you go about this? 

Be aware that there are many different ways to put your company on the digital map. There is not just one method to end up higher in the search engines. One method will work better for one company than another. That is why it is often a matter of trying it out and making adjustments where necessary. That is also the greatest strength of search engine marketing. You are very flexible in making changes. In addition, the results are measurable, so that you quickly discover which activities were successful and which were not. So you can easily adjust again. 

In order to know which marketing activities can be successful, you must of course be aware of the various possibilities. First of all, make a distinction between paid and unpaid forms of marketing. 

Paid marketing activities include search engine advertising. Also called SEA. You can make use of Google Ads for this. By placing online advertisements on the basis of keywords, you can immediately end up high in Google. That offers a lot of results in the short term. 

However, if you also want to be visible (and remain visible) in the long term, it is best to end up higher in organic traffic as well. Search engine optimisation is essentially about improving the website so that the user experience is better and so that you can easily generate more leads. In other words, you deserve your higher position. This can be done by using different marketing strategies. Think for example of content optimisation, but also of improving a natural link profile and tackling the technical SEO of your website. 

Not sure which strategies will be best for you? Then talk to a search engine marketing agency. Based on your current marketing results and your short and long term goals, they can work with you to determine how to proceed. 

Do a keyword analysis 

As soon as you know what your target group looks like and where they are exactly, it is also time to carry out a keyword analysis. After all, keywords are the key to content marketing. Which, in turn, is extremely important for your total search engine marketing. A keyword analysis can nowadays be carried out very easily thanks to some handy online tools. These allow you to research the keywords that are relevant to your business on search volume. This way, you know exactly which keywords are important to use in your content. 

Please note that content marketing is not directly about using as many keywords as possible. That used to be the case. When it was not yet so easy for Google to scan texts. Nowadays, Google 'reads' texts the same way humans do. That's why it's important to publish a logical structure and good content. This is the only way to captivate the reader. In the end, it's not about what Google thinks of your website, but whether you manage to captivate the reader. These are ultimately the people you need to persuade to choose your company. By writing quality content based on a few keywords, you ensure that your texts are found more easily and at the same time the reader experience remains optimal. A copywriter can help with this. 

Also look at the competition 

Of course, it is still one thing to pay attention to the competition. It's better to put them out of your mind completely and focus on your own business. However, when it comes to drawing up a marketing plan, it is important to take an 'example' from your main competitors. Be aware of what the consumer sees when they try to make a choice between you and the competition. When some competitors are visible higher in the search results, you should be aware of this and discover why. 

Therefore, start by performing some searches on which you would also like to score. Which competitors are high up in the search results? Use your objective view when looking at these competitors. What do you notice about the site? Are there things you are 'jealous' of? Things that you might be able to incorporate into your own site? 

By taking an example from the competition, you not only know where you can still improve, but also where they have dropped a few stitches. This way, you are able to optimise your own marketing plan and stay one step ahead of the competition every time. 

Setting up an online marketing funnel 

Did you know that it takes quite a long time before people finally take action? Studies show that it takes an average of 5 to 8 contact moments with a company before people actually take action. It is important that your company's communication is excellent during these contact moments. By optimising your communication, you help customers make a choice and attract more people. This ultimately leads to more leads. The process until the consumer takes action is also called the marketing funnel. 

It is important to include the online marketing funnel in your marketing plan. How do you set it up exactly? What do you have to think about? How are you going to ensure with your current marketing plan that these contact moments will be successful? 

When setting up the online marketing funnel, do keep in mind that there is a difference between the marketing funnel and the sales funnel. The marketing funnel will play the biggest role in your marketing plan. This is the way in which you attract and reach new customers. Thanks to good communication, you attract new people and convince the customer to make the best choice. If the marketing funnel is approached in the right way, it eventually turns into the sales funnel. At that moment the customer is aware of your company and is seriously considering the various possibilities of using a product or service. The contact moment is already there, now you just have to convince them! 

Formulating objectives 

Now that you have all of the above in a row, it is time to formulate the objectives. What exactly do you want to achieve in the coming period? How are you going to do this?

For example, do you want to be more in touch with consumers and highlight the personal side of your business in order to increase your customer base? Then the use of influencers and social media marketing can play an important role. This will allow you to engage with consumers and show them what your business means to you and that you are happy to go the extra mile to meet their needs. 

Have you made a list of the marketing activities you want to use? Then also link these to the objectives you want to achieve with them. In this way, you have clearly listed the methods you use and the objectives you want to achieve with them. 

Measure the results 

Once you have a clear plan, it is also time to evaluate things further. A plan is useless if you do not know what it has achieved. Therefore, you should not only list the activities, but also measure the results. That way, you will know for sure whether you have gone in the right direction and what this means for your business. 

Are you struggling to draw up an effective online marketing plan? Or are you not getting the right results? Despite all the extra work? Then choose to outsource part of these plans to a search engine marketer. This way, you are not only sure that it is being done in the right way, but you also save a lot of extra time. 

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