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Integrated marketing isn’t really a new idea. But it is. When I say “integrated” I mean the merging of the importance of SEO and social media in online marketing.

In the beginning was basic HTML. You were pretty limited in how you could market a business online. You basically built a website and hoped people found it. Then directories made it easier for people to find your website. And search engines. But search back then was very primitive compared to what it is now.

Google changed the nature of search when it started measuring back links. Then, along came social media.

But Social Media Has Always Been With Us

In truth, some form of social media has been around as long as the web. Those old bulletin board systems, they were social. Forums? Yes, they were social media tools. But real social media didn’t really get its head into the game until hit the Web in 1997, a full year before Google arrived. Since then, SEO and social media evolved along different tracks. But in recent years their importance has merged.

Really, that merging has taken place in the last couple of years. A few developments have caused that to happen, or maybe are the evidence of it happening. Google+ is one of them. And the fact that Google now uses social signals for ranking purposes is another. But I see more of this coming, and not just from Google.

Here’s the bottom line: Online marketers can no longer just be concerned with SEO. Nor can they be too wrapped up in social media metrics. It takes an eye on both channels to succeed. That’s what I call integrated marketing.

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