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Search engine marketers tend to work in isolation. The SEO and PPC function sits in various departments depending on the company. Sometimes it's marketing, sometimes IT and other times web design or maybe e-commerce.

Most of the time though, integration with other business functions is minimal and work goes on without consideration for other business activities.

But search engine marketing should be something which is at the heart of a businesses operating online. Every part of your business should be aware of your search engine marketing strategy and how what they do, influences it.

An effective search engine marketing programme involves most areas of your business; here are seven business functions which should be involved in your search marketing.

Public Relations

The benefits of press release distribution for link building purposes are well documented. Distribute well formatted releases with links included which are picked up by news sources bringing links and traffic.

But do you PR team really see the benefit? And does every release get optimised? In most cases the SEO team get a fraction of the benefit they could if they were to engage fully with the PR team to build an approach which is beneficial to both.

And what about making sure your PPC team are aware of any breaking news stories that may be on the horizon? These can cause peaks in traffic (mostly non qualified) but also opportunities for additional keywords to add into an account.


The challenges of affiliate marketing and your own PPC campaign have been hotly debated. Do you allow brand bidding or not? Ban PPC affiliates or use them to maximise exposure? Whichever way you go you need to build an approach to affiliate marketing into your search strategy.

Also consider how affiliates affect your SEO and you presence in the search engines. Many content based affiliates rely on the search engines to drive traffic to their sites so consider how this may affect your own approach.

It may be you want to focus your own SEO efforts on areas not covered by affiliates to maximise you available resource. You can also use your affiliate programme as a link building tool if you are clever with how you format URLs, this post will tell you more.

Human Resources

Very rarely utilised for SEO but, in some cases, the HR department are one of the most regular publishers of information online about your business. Large companies post numerous job descriptions/adverts on multiple sites each week. What if each of these were optimised from an SEO perspective and (where possible) contained links?


Not usually the first point of call for interdepartmental collaboration but in some industries legalities and regulation are one of the most hotly debated topics. If you can add an SEO twist to legal commentary and online debate around regulations then you will find links and traffic as a result.

Commentary and insight can also be used as link bait on corporate blogs positioning your company as a thought leader in the process.

Display Advertising

Your display advertising team or agency spend their days sourcing websites targeting demographics or themes which fit your audience in order to purchase advertising.

The majority of these websites would make ideal target for your link building programme but it is unlikely you have used their media plans as part of your link building programme. Due to the fact they will already have the contact details of the site owners this could be an easy way to acquire a few, highly targeted, on topic links.


There are two main ways in which I think you should be integrating any TV advertising you undertake as part of your SEO strategy. Firstly there are spikes in awareness and search volume for your brand around bursts of TV advertising. Aligning your PPC day parting and bid strategy with you TV schedule will enable you to maximise your paid search performance as well as your TV exposure.

Secondly is the integration of any slogans you use in your TV advertising into your SEM strategy. People can quickly forget the brand that was promoted in a particular ad, but if it had a catchy tune or slogan, they rarely forget, and often use these slogans as search terms to find the product they are looking for.

The famous Coca-Cola Christmas slogan “holidays are coming” receives over 5000 monthly search (mostly at Christmas of course). 

holidays are coming small

McDonalds', “Im loving it” generates over 20,000 monthly searches through a combination of keywords.

im loving it

You probably don’t have the budgets of somebody like Coca-Cola of McDonalds but still, having website content around your advertising slogans, or a tactical PPC campaign can ensure that when people search for it, they find your website.


It is likely you have some kind of interaction with your IT team to assist in your search marketing work, but it is unlikely you maximise this resource. Your IT department is the absolute best resource for finding solutions to your technical issues around domains and content.

But simply telling them what you want them to do in a dictatorial manner is not the best way to maximise this resource. Involving your IT team in your goal development and strategy building will limit the potential technical hurdles you face along the way and chances are, they have more ideas about how to implement your proposed solutions than you can come up with.

Also, if you engage your IT team in a way which involves them in your SEO programme, and makes search engine success something which rewards you both, as well as maybe teaching them something along the way, you are far more likely to get their help.

Search engine marketing is not something which should be done in isolation. It is a key part of the marketing mix, but works best when integrated with your other marketing and business activities.

Make it a consideration for all departments or agencies working to achieve your business goals and you will get far more from both SEO and PPC. 

Rob Weatherhead

Published 5 January, 2011 by Rob Weatherhead

Rob Weatherhead is Head of Digital Operations at MediaCom and a contributor to Econsultancy. He can also be found on at www.robweatherhead.co.uk and on LinkedIn and Twitter.  

3 more posts from this author

Comments (8)

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Jason Bourne

So basically, everyone shoudl be involved, because SEO is the cornerstone of all business across the world. Hmm... written by an SEO consultant mayhaps?

almost 6 years ago

Manfredi Sassoli de Bianchi

Manfredi Sassoli de Bianchi, VP Marketing at jobinasecond

Great article!

I absolutely agree on the fact that Search can be an integral part of many companies: after all it is in many cases the biggest point of contact a company has with its customers.

I would also suggest collaboration with the following departments:

1. Pricing - as it may impact conversion rate (and copy)

2. Inventory management - key to know what products to promote (and which not to)

3. Product development - to inform them on what customers are searching for

4. Finance - to help them make informed decisions on investments in this area

5. Retail - to coordinate sales efforts

Unlike other disciplines, Search Marketing can be treated as a business functions rather than a marketing one.

almost 6 years ago

Rob Weatherhead

Rob Weatherhead, Head of Digital Operations at MediaCom

@Jason Bourne - not an SEO consultant but certainly a search marketer so maybe a bias from my perspective.  That said I stand by my points and this article is written based on experience of search operating in a silo which limits its performance.

almost 6 years ago



Great article, definitely agree with Manfredi re finance - having some understanding from finance helps  a lot when pushing for extra budget.  Also agree that it is something that can take value from everyone in a business.

almost 6 years ago


Leon Black

I find it quite scary that you have left off the most important department - content production, wherever it may sit within a company's structure. The only causal ranking factor with longevity is good content - everything else will come and go... but if your content is sh*t, then you will never rank very well!

almost 6 years ago

Rob Weatherhead

Rob Weatherhead, Head of Digital Operations at MediaCom

@Leon Hi Leon.  I had been thinking along the lines of departments that usually arent part of an SEO strategy on the assumption that content producers (as you point out) should ALWAYS be aware of SEO strategies.  This list was meant as a "who you havent thought to speak to" on top of the usual suspects rather than a comprehensive list of all areas.  

Thanks for the comment.

almost 6 years ago


Ice Cooler

I regards to press releases, one way of optimizing them is to put your keyword in the title and sprinkle it throughout the body of the text. Also, bookmark it. A lot of times press releases end up ranking extremely well. I've seen people using PR's a lot to make sales pages too, not necessarily for real press releases.

almost 6 years ago


benny ninan

The only causal ranking factor with longevity is good content - everything else will come and go... but if your content is sh*t, then you will never rank very well!

almost 6 years ago

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