In the context of SEO, the terms strategy and tactics are often used interchangeably under the assumption that they both mean the same thing. The truth is they do refer to two different aspects of an SEO mission. While the term strategy refers to ‘WHY’ we do a certain task connected to SEO, tactics refers to ‘HOW’ it is done. Any tactics or methodology must stem from a solid strategy or planning. Only when the tactics are born of thoughtful strategies, they can give us the desired results. In this article, we try to understand these two terms clearly in the context of SEO.
How is strategy related to tactics?
Strategy refers to the planning that happens while giving shape to an SEO mission. Tactics are the set of actionable items that form part of a strategy. To elaborate on this, we can say strategy is made of multiple tactics. Strategy is the plan and tactics is the action that follows from the plan. In a successful SEO mission, both strategies and tactics are very important. While tactics not born out of strategies will fail to give us the results, mere strategies without tactics will take us nowhere forward. No tactics are possible without a strategy.
We can say digital marketing is just one strategy forming part of a larger business growth strategy. Within the purview of tactics, there are several options to pick from. Strategies best explain what tactics will suit the objectives of our mission. SEO needs an exclusive strategy to give the expected results. If SEO is implemented without any framework or strategy, you are never going to find the results.
For instance, tasks like optimizing the title tags and navigation and implementing schema are some popular SEO tactics. Nevertheless, they can fail to give the expected results if they are not supported by a solid strategy that explains why these methodologies are used.
Let us correlate this point to SEO once again. If you go by the goal of increasing the sales by 20% over the next year, you must first develop a strategy to achieve this goal that might organic optimization, optimizing the user experience, paid advertising, and social media marketing.
The four tasks given above will not mean we are talking of the complete strategy. Every tactic must be looked at individually and must be elaborated on to make them more actionable and effective. Let us say this for example. While Organic Optimization refers to a particular tactic, it will have to include a set of tasks directed towards this goal like improving the site architecture, link building, local optimization and on-page optimization.
Aligning tactics with strategies
From this point forward, we need to develop the strategy for each of these tactics and check if any more strategies are required. For instance, take the case of on-page optimization. This task will require to optimize the titles, descriptions, URLs, content, and breadcrumbs. Some of these tactics might also require additional strategies of their own. To elaborate on this, we can say “what is the right format for your descriptions and titles?’, “will we have a pre-conceived structure for the breadcrumbs and URLs?”, “How will we integrate calls and actions?”, and “which is the best voice to write the content in?”. If independent strategies are not developed for every tactic, your optimization efforts will lack any kind of uniformity and coherence.
While tactics without strategy might be able to win a battle, it can never be helpful in winning the war. The underline here is this. While tactics not based on a solid strategy can work the results for a single page, it will never be useful to achieve the wider goal.
While anyone can possibly implement SEO tactics, tactics not based on strategies will mean that they never aim anything out of their mission. Though you can bag a few successes here and there, your mission is not good enough to guide you towards the greatest success that is possible. Therefore, start ever tactic in alignment with the strategies you develop. A methodical SEO mission can give you the expected results and to this end, you must ensure that all your tactics are perfectly aligned with the strategies you develop.