The art of strategic SEO

Aligment of business and SEO

Michael Van Den Reym
4 min readApr 4, 2024

Every SEO expert should know common SEO tactics and tools. Your key to stand out? The strategic application of SEO. Unlike traditional SEO tactics that often operate in isolation, strategic SEO demands a deeper integration with your business goals, ensuring every click and keyword not only enhances visibility but drives meaningful business outcomes. Stakeholder management is a key for strategic SEO.

But why this fusion? Because the world wide web is saturated with already optimized content vying for attention. The difference between being seen and being invisible often comes down to strategy. It’s about engaging with your audience, understanding their needs, and delivering value that resonates on a personal level. This is where strategic SEO shines, bridging the gap between mere application of SEO techniques and impactful digital leadership.

The Running Shoes Webshop: A Case Study

Let’s dive into a practical example — an online running shoes webshop. The challenge? Standing out in a fiercely competitive market. The solution? A strategy-driven SEO approach. According to Rumelt, in his book “Good strategy, bad strategy” a strategy is based on 3 elements: a diagnosis, a guiding policy and coherent actions.

Diagnosis: The webshop faced stiff competition and struggles to get rankings. General keywords like running shoes are too competitive.

Guiding Policy: Focus on niche marketing, specifically catering to the trail running community with content that speaks directly to their needs and interests.

Coherent Actions: Optimize for high-intent, trail-running-specific keywords, create content around trail running tips, create video reviews of trail running shoes that will boost conversion and SEO at the same time.

By aligning SEO efforts with the unique aspects of their business, the webshop can transform from just another online running shoes retailer into an authorative go-to resource for trail runners that is also findable within Google, thereby proving the power of strategic SEO. Just utilizing more tactical optimizations won’t get you that far.

Beyond Tactics: Strategic Frameworks in Action

Understanding and incorporating frameworks like SWOT analysis into your SEO strategy can further refine and align your efforts with broader business objectives. For example leveraging strengths detected in a SWOT analysis (e.g. an in-house video team or niche market knowledge) can give you a unique advantage in SEO. By utilizing the resources where you have a natural advantage, you will also have the advantage online. This showcases how strategy transcends mere tactics.

The Role of Stakeholder Engagement

A strategic SEO approach necessitates collaboration across various departments. From marketing managers aligning SEO with broader marketing goals to web developers ensuring the site’s technical optimization, every stakeholder plays a pivotal role. Effective communication and shared objectives are the linchpins of successful strategic SEO, transforming individual efforts into a cohesive, goal-driven force.

For managing these stakeholders within an SEO project, you can address each stakeholder in a targeted way.

  • Marketing Manager: Regular strategy meetings to ensure SEO objectives are aligned with overall marketing goals, using shared dashboards for real-time updates.
  • Content Creators: Conduct SEO training sessions to integrate keyword research into content creation processes, encouraging feedback on content performance. Create an SEO content dashboard tailored for copywriters so they can follow up the results of their content.
  • Web Developers: For each technical issue, explain the reasoning behind it so the developer can understand the context. Also clearly explain the importance the prioritization. Provide clear examples of any issues that need to be resolved.
  • UX/UI Designers: Jointly review user session recordings to identify areas for improvement, blending SEO insights with design enhancements. Create strategic workshops on how to improve UX for people coming from organic sources.
  • Senior Management: create nice looking and short SEO performance presentations, highlighting key achievements and impact on business objectives, to secure ongoing support and resources.

Join the Path to Strategic SEO Mastery

The journey to becoming a strategic SEO professional is both exciting and demanding. It requires a shift from seeing SEO as a series of technical checklists to viewing it as a strategic tool that is aligned with your business, delivers real business outcomes and engages stakeholders.