Being an SEO can be a lonely place sometimes. Whether they are thought of as magicians of a “black art”, smug and scheming techies hiding behind a wall of computer monitors or a bunch of con artists waiting to milk you and your advertising budget dry – the negative connotations of being an SEO can make it a pretty harsh existence. Now, for those businesses and companies who truly understand the importance of SEO (through results, generally) their SEO team looks pretty different – picture Madmen style execs sitting in a glossy office, a polished, professional team. Those are the guys you want to have behind your brand, the team that gets results and a unique ROI like no other advertising channel.
So, we think you should make friends with your SEO team – and so should all the major players in your company or extended professional family. This extends right from top management and CEO’s through to your design and dev teams, and your offline PR and advertising providers. It goes without saying (but should probably be mentioned regardless) that if they don’t already, then your SEO team should absolutely be working hand-in-hand with your other online teams – that is, those people who look after your social media, online PR, content writing, and paid advertising (Google Adwords). So how can this friendly approach get results for your company?
SEO’s and Top Management
We manage SEO campaigns for companies of all shapes and sizes, and generally speaking, it is the marketing team who are the main points of contact in each business. However it is crucially important to get buy-in from top management and financial directors within each company. Ultimately, these are going to decide how effective your SEO efforts have been towards the company as a whole, and will decide if you are worth your salt. Identifying correlations between effective SEO efforts and overall, high level objectives and goals for the company are essential in ensuring that SEO is taken seriously. Any advertising efforts that are shown to make a difference to the bottom line, are going to be taken seriously – and so they should. So our advice to advertiser’s looking to make a bigger push with SEO efforts, we recommend involving top management objectives right from the beginning – and drawing a direct line between those, and how SEO can address them. A friendly relationship between your SEO and senior management is good for all concerned.
SEO’s and Marketing Managers
Even though we generally deal with the marketing team on a day-to-day basis, it is still extremely important to outline specific company goals – and not SEO goals. For example as an advertiser, getting tied up with how many new site links you are getting each month is pretty unproductive. Any half-way “decent” SEO company can get you lots of links a month – they might be pretty useless in getting you where you want to be in search rankings (but if numbers are important to you, then make them the right kind of numbers). For the same reason, when you are looking for a company to provide SEO services for you, don’t think in terms of quantity, think quality and context. A good SEO company will tailor an SEO plan to suit your company, your competition and goals – and not provide a one-size-fits-all strategy for you. What metrics actually matter to your company? Think in terms of tracking your search rankings for genuine, non-branded, relevant and most importantly, useful traffic to your site – that is traffic that gets you results, whether that’s a sale, an email signup, an enquiry, or whatever is important to your business goals. A close relationship between your marketing team and the right SEO will generally provide results that pay their way, and prove they are worth their time and efforts!
SEO’s and Designers/Developers
In terms of the nuts and bolts of putting actual SEO activities/recommendations into place, a good relationship between your website designer and developer is essential. Advertisers often make the mistake of assuming that their web designer or developer will know all about SEO – it is our experience that it is far more likely that they will not. And why should they? It is like comparing a builder and an interior designer – would you expect Bob the Builder to know anything about which curtains would set off that painted accent wall? Nah, of course not – so don’t expect your designer or developer to know SEO. Ditto for your IT guy. SEO is not an IT activity, it is predominantly a marketing activity. So, advertisers – in order to get the most out of your SEO activities, make sure your designer, developer and SEO have full access and contact to each other. It is also really important to stress the importance of executing the SEO recommendations made to the letter – the difference between a 301 redirect and a 302 redirect is massive, so make sure the SEO is not relegated to the bottom of the importance pile. This only results in diminished effectiveness of any SEO recommendations made, and a missed opportunity for some potentially great uplift in your Google rankings.
SEO’s and Other Online & Offline Marketing Teams
This tip applies to advertisers who split up their marketing efforts between an external 3rd party (like an specialist agency or consultant) and say, an in-house team of social marketers, PR’s and offline advertising managers. Full broadcast is so important in these cases – it is quite mad to expect any SEO efforts to work in isolation. SEO should work in harmony with all other advertising efforts – whether that’s a press release or white paper study made for offline distribution, being rendered for an online link-building campaign or perhaps utilising your social media accounts for greater SEO impact. SEO doesn’t work well in isolation, so a friendly flow of coordination between all marketing teams and your SEO will be hugely beneficial for everyone.
So, take a look at your digital relationships – do you think your professional family could be on better terms? If you need a hand, why not give us a shout? We can’t guarantee a Don Draper or Joan Holloway – but we can get you pretty good SEO results!