How to Align Your Entire Company with your Search Engine Marketing Strategy
Friday, September 11, 2015
You’ve put in the time researching the competition. You’ve done exhaustive keyword research. You’ve got a content calendar ready to go, and you’ve assigned responsibility for executing the campaign. How do you get the rest of the organization to buy in? SEO is a complicated mix of both art and science that can be instantly undone by any number of seemingly insignificant oversights or mistakes- and it’s your responsibility to make sure that it goes off without a hitch. You’re not alone, though- you need lots of other people working together to help. Here’s how to secure buy-in at different company levels.
The C Suite
Chances are, your C Suite gets it, or you wouldn’t be working to enact an extensive SEO strategy. However, there’s always likely to be at least one burr under your saddle, someone who isn’t convinced that SEO is worth the time, money, effort and coordination required to do it properly. In such a case, it’s always good to have a high-level overview of the definition, history and benefits of SEO that you can present as a dynamic PowerPoint or WebEx. Keep it short- the C Suite doesn’t have a lot of time to sit through a long presentation or a lot of detail. You need to be pithy and provide examples with numbers showing the benefit of an organic listing on the SERP next to a PPC ad, for example. Hard data from case studies will always be appreciated. The idea is to show that you’ve addressed the particulars so they can focus on the 40,000-foot view of how SEO fits into everything else. Remember, though you’re spending all your time on it, SEO is just a small piece of their purview.
Programmers and SEO range the gamut from best friends to worst enemies. Depending on the legacy systems in place, the limitations of the CMS or database or a whole host of other factors, it may be difficult to get every single ideal piece of the SEO puzzle into place. Be prepared to expect some resistance on some issues, and always present suggestions as “blue sky”, meaning that you always want to suggest the best possible option but in the case that it’s impossible, you need to have a ‘fallback position’ as well. Can’t get the programmers to 301 redirect a bunch of duplicate content? How about using a canonical tag instead, to reduce the number of duplicates Google has to choose from to serve the User? Be prepared to address technical/structural issues with multiple solutions.
The Marketing Team
It probably won’t be too tough of a sell for your marketing team to buy into the idea of SEO. Marketing is always concerned with the cost per acquisition/signup and the ultimate goal of SEO should be more qualified traffic. Be prepared to show the Marketing department that it’s worth their time to invest in SEO, even in conjunction with traditional marketing collateral. In fact, you can probably work to optimize a lot of existing assets and repurpose them on the website as well- the important thing here is to emphasize that organic takes time but brings more quality.
The Sales Team
The Sales team isn’t really too affected by your SEO efforts, except of course for the obvious and ultimate outcome of more quality leads. If your organization uses software like SalesForce for sales tracking and productivity, there are some interesting applications such as HubSpot and Marketo that can integrate with SalesForce and provide an amazing amount of data to your sales teams. These solutions aren’t inexpensive, nor are they uncomplicated- but they can show amazing dividends. Imagine if you’re a salesperson and you get a push notification to your phone every time a lead in the system visits the site. That’s valuable information!