Checkmate: Strategic vs Tactical SEO

by Hamlet Batista | August 02, 2007 | 11 Comments

robotchess.jpgIs SEO just a game?

Consider two chess players, Mike and Tom. Mike has never been able to win against Tom. Mike knows all the rules of the game: how to move every piece, when to capture, when to castle; he even knows all the tactical ideas like forks, pins, skewers and discovered attacks.

Mike's problem is that while he knows all the rules and has read a lot of chess books, he still looks only one or two moves in advance. It is very hard to prepare a winning plan looking so short-term. Tom on the other hand thinks at least five moves ahead and moves all his pieces so that they complete his master plan. Tom anticipates all of Mike's moves and prepares for them with a strong counterattack.

The world of search engine optimization is no different than this. As SEOs we need to think ahead of our competitors and, more importantly, we need to be on top of search engine advances. The world of search is moving so fast that any slacker will be left behind, with no time or opportunity to catch up. Check and mate.

Most of the time we think tactically.

As SEOs, we think about fixing duplicate content issues, supplemental results, meta robot tags, long tail, etc. All this is necessary, but at the end of the day these are just tactics. We attack specific problems with known solutions.

As a technical guy I enjoy the intricacies of SEO a lot, especially the coding aspects, but at the end of the day what really matters is whether or not I have the ability to think strategically, to see the big picture, to think in creative ways and find that golden search opportunity. That is what can give me the edge in the rankings.

How to think strategically

How about instead of just well worn tactics, we focus more on strategies that will give us (or our clients) the edge? How about these: applying guerrilla marketing strategies to our keyword research, creating keyword lists that reflect consumers’ problems instead of our company’s solutions, or looking for links where no other SEO is looking—in product review sites, viral PDF e-books, and so on.

This is my method to think strategically and brainstorm new ideas:

  1. Fully understand the problem (and the customer if the work is for a client). This is a fundamental step. Failing to do so makes the remaining steps an exercise in futility.

  2. Understand competitors and the competitive landscape. Pay special attention to competitors’ solutions to shared problems. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of such solutions.

  3. Think long and hard about other potential solutions in comparison with those of competitors. Weigh the pros and cons of each and pick the winning ideas.

There are a lot of firms and individuals that sell SEO services, yet they command only the most basic knowledge. Learning such information is not difficult. There are plenty of books, training seminars and the good ol’ blogs that teach SEO—this relatively new one included 😉

If you are considering hiring an SEO company, ask them this fundamental question: What is your exact plan to improve my search engine referrals? If you plan to sell SEO services, ask yourself if you can answer this question before you take on a new client.

Do you think strategically or tactically?

Hamlet Batista

Chief Executive Officer

Hamlet Batista is CEO and founder of RankSense, an agile SEO platform for online retailers and manufacturers. He holds US patents on innovative SEO technologies, started doing SEO as a successful affiliate marketer back in 2002, and believes great SEO results should not take 6 months

11

REPLIES

Try our SEO automation tool for free!

RankSense automatically creates search snippets using advanced natural language generation. Get your free trial today.

OUR BLOG

Latest news and tactics

What do you do when you’re losing organic traffic and you don’t know why?

Making it easier to implement SEO changes on your website

Changes to the RankSense SEO rules interface

As we continue to improve the RankSense app for Cloudflare, we are always working to make the app more intuitive and easy to use. I'm pleased to share that we have made significant changes to our SEO rules interface in the settings tab of our app. It is now easier to publish multiple rules sheets and to see which changes have not yet been published to production.

READ POST

How to Find Content Gaps at Scale: Atrapalo vs Skyscanner

For the following Ranksense Webinar, we were joined by Antoine Eripret, who works at Liligo as an SEO lead. Liligo.com is a travel search engine which instantly searches all available flight, bus and train prices on an exhaustive number of travel sites such as online travel agencies, major and low-cost airlines and tour-operators. In this...

READ POST

How to Build a Simple HTTP Code Checker in Python with Streamlit

In this RankSense Webinar, we were joined by Charly Wargnier who is a member of the Streamlit Creators Program. Streamlit is a Python open-source library used to make data apps quickly. Charly takes us on his Python journey from starting out in digital marketing with image editing software like Photoshop all the way to working...

READ POST

Exciting News!
seoClarity acquires RankSense

X