By Andrew Dennis
20 Nov 2014

Why Digital Marketers Need to Work Together – An SEO's Perspective

Basic SEO     SEO Strategy

Successful online marketing is holistic and multifarious, and experts from each discipline must contribute to a comprehensive digital strategy.

Complementary marketing involves multiple facets of your overall marketing strategy working together to deliver the best possible results. Nearly every marketing technique can be made stronger and more effective, when implemented in conjunction with another tactic.

Particularly, SEO can truly thrive when coupled with other marketing practices. SEO isn’t meant to be done in a vacuum, and there are a number of different marketing techniques that amplify SEO success. Marketing tactics that partner effectively with SEO include:

  • Content Marketing
  • Public Relations (PR)
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)

In an ideal situation, each department will collaborate efficiently and work to produce complementary marketing that plays off one another’s strengths. However, we don’t always operate within ideal situations and it seems that far too often each marketing discipline is trying to assume more responsibility and cannibalize the others.

Why Digital Marketers Need to Work Together


Why Digital Marketers Cannibalize Each Others' Jobs?

As mentioned above, complementary marketing works best when each individual department can work together easily and amenably. But it seems that frequently this is not the case, and marketers try to overstep their bounds and cannibalize other disciplines. Why is this?

The main reason for attempts at cannibalization is that typically the marketing work is segmented into various agencies. For example, one agency does SEO and another does content marketing. Due to the fact that these agencies are sometimes battling for the same budget the situation doesn’t always lend itself to open collaboration, and in fact may be the cause for cannibalization.

However, for the purpose of this article we will discuss scenarios where complementary marketing is possible. For instance, if all the marketing work is done in-house, or if there is a marketing coordinator overseeing the various strategies being implemented and encouraging each individual agency to work together and collaborate.

While it may not always be feasible to have multiple departments or agencies collaborate with one another, it’s still a good idea to consider the principles behind complementary marketing when making strategic decisions in your SEO campaign.

SEO & Content Marketing

Let’s start with SEO and content marketing as these two are closely tied to one another.

Specifically, link building and content marketing are closely related – a smart man once said they are “two different peas in a pod”.

It’s possible to build links without content, but content marketing can absolutely supercharge link building. Investing in content creation makes building links much easier, because you can create something people actually want to link to – a linkable asset.

Your SEO and content teams should work together very closely. SEOs can provide unique perspective and insight into the SEO performance of past content. This will help guide content creation during the ideation phase. Also, once the content is produced SEOs are well-suited to promote said content and increase its visibility, both in the short and long term.

SEO & Public Relations (PR)

PR is another marketing strategy that effectively complements SEO.

SEO and PR complement each other in a similar way to SEO and content marketing – through link building. In fact, PR likely belongs in the aforementioned pea pod.

However, the relationship between PR and SEO is slightly different. Rather than focusing on building links with content, PR can help link building in terms of brand exposure and awareness. While brand exposure in itself is hugely beneficial and links may come organically, it’s still absolutely necessary to manually leverage that exposure for links. Otherwise, you’re leaving link equity on the table.

SEO & Email Marketing

SEO and email marketing also complement one another in a variety of ways.

A key aspect of email marketing is list building and getting people to sign up for your newsletter/mailing list. SEO can help you build your email list by increasing the visibility of your site within search and thusly driving more traffic to your site. Increased traffic typically leads to more email signups and conversions.

Conversely, email marketing can aid your SEO efforts by driving referral traffic back to your site, and the relationships you build through email can often lead to viable link opportunities. Email marketing can also come in handy during the promotion process of a linkable asset by providing an additional channel and extending the asset’s reach.

SEO & Social Media Marketing (SMM)

SEO and SMM also go great together as part of a holistic digital marketing campaign.

The primary intersections of SEO and SMM involve promotion. One of the many tasks of an SEO is to promote content assets in order to build worthwhile links and increase the visibility of that asset, and SMM can help tremendously in that regard.

Social media is crucial to promotion as it offers a targeted and personalized promotional channel. Also, social can be used to find industry influencers that might be interested in sharing your content. Through these niche authorities you can tap into new audiences for increased reach and brand exposure.

Also, social media is very conducive to relationship building, and relationships are integral to link building. The meaningful connections you make on social commonly lead to more link opportunities or even links themselves.


Effective digital marketing requires harmonization between a diverse set of complementary marketing tactics. In order to be effective in online marketing a holistic approach is needed, and no single technique should be viewed as a silver bullet.

Truthfully, collaboration between multiple disciplines may not always be easily achievable. However, it is certainly worth striving for as your marketing will benefit from increased coordination.

SEO in particular is a digital strategy that partners well with many other marketing practices. These complementary tactics include:

  • Content Marketing
  • PR
  • Email Marketing
  • SMM
Andrew Dennis

Andrew Dennis is a Content Marketing Manager at Shopify. Andrew is an alumnus of the University of Idaho and consequently a lifelong Vandals fan. You can connect with Andrew on Twitter or LinkedIn.