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SEO Tactics vs SEO Strategies: The Difference Is Huge!

It’s important to know the difference when it comes to SEO tactics vs SEO strategies and even more so to use the terminology the same and right way.

Many people use the word ‘strategy’ differently than others and if you were to think about the way we use terminology and whether or not the SEO community is using it correctly. 

If it were up to us, to sum up, the definition of both, we’d say:

  • The strategy part is focusing on ‘why’, while meanwhile
  • Tactics focus on ‘how’

While asking this question to some other experts some of their answers were pretty good and we came to the conclusion that:

  • The strategy is the planning, whereas the tactic is the actions to carry it out.
  • One strategy is made up of many tactics.
  • A strategy without tactics might be the slowest route to your victory.

For a moment think about the strategy as traffic going towards your website/page. Then think about the tactic as traffic that is targeted going to your website/page. Can you see the difference?

One tactic can bring traffic to your website, but a tactic behind a strategy can bring target traffic towards your website.

You can have tactics without a strategy, but these tactics are grown scientifically in a lab without direction or guidance. In science, because something can be done, it doesn’t always mean that it should be done. The same goes for this topic.

Using a tactic without a strategy might not have the desired effect you’re hoping for and can turn out to backfire instead of having desired digital performance.

Strategy Is Important Before And After Tactics

Realizing that tactics require strategies of their own, things can get a little complicated, however, if you go deeper into the idea you’ll come to the conclusion that there’s not always a specific distinction between strategies and tactics.

There are two different ways of explaining things when it comes to strategies and tactics.

Option 1:

You can consider SEO, PPC, Social Media as digital marketing tactics that support the strategy or 

Option 2:

Each of those tactics is an individual strategy to flesh out, something we do with a purpose and not just because it has to be done.

Each of those tactics is an individual strategy to flesh out, something we do with a purpose and not just because it has to be done.

Both options are completely right, it’s just a matter of perspective. Digital marketing is a strategy that’s a part of your business growth strategy, like a piece of the bigger picture.

There are a lot of options within that one tactic, however, in order to determine which strategy is best suited for the goal growth you have in mind for your business, you’ll need to work on a new strategy.

That strategy could be a whole new tactic of SEO, which required a strategy of its own. You can’t implement SEO without the proper framework or it will not have the results you’re hoping for. 

All solid SEO tactics like optimizing your title tags, navigation optimization can also be failed tactics if there’s no strategy that they support. A strategy that lays out and explains why those tactics are being used.

Strategy Promote Tactics Promote Strategy

The explanation for this is long but simple, goals promote strategy, which promotes tactics, which promotes more strategy, which promotes more tactics, which promotes so on, and so forth. 

If your website has a goal to increase its sales by 10% over the next year (12 months) may include the following tactics to develop the strategy to reach that goal.

  • Paid advertising
  • UX optimization for your site
  • Organic optimization
  • Social media marketing

This is not the complete strategy though, you’ll have to ask yourself how will you use each of these tactics in order to reach your goal. 

The tactic of organically optimizing your website already requires its own strategy which might include:

  • Local optimization
  • Site improvements
  • On-page optimization

You’ll then need to look at the strategy again to see if any of these mentioned tactics need their own strategy. After that strategy, the process repeats again as each one requires a different strategy of its own.

You might find yourself optimizing without uniformity if you don’t build a strategy for each of your tactics, and it might work for one page, but most likely fail in achieving the goal that’s set. In the end, your actions may be the same, but the outcome will be completely different.

Anyone is able to implement an SEO tactic, but a tactic without a strategy is like a blank. Always remember that the strategy comes first.