This is second in a two-part series on Keys to Success for In-House SEO by Ambar Shrivastava (Part 1).
Align with Business Goals to Get Projects Prioritized
Project prioritization is one of the biggest challenges facing any SEO team. Design and development resources are always limited, and everyone has their own goals to hit. Think outside the box. Don’t always pitch your projects as “SEO.” There’s a good chance that the new content you want to create on the site aligns with the needs of your customers but has a side benefit of generating qualified search traffic. Position it that way, and other groups that might push back on a pure SEO project may well help you drive your project forward.
What about smaller SEO maintenance projects? Try to ensure each release includes a fixed allocation for small maintenance tasks. Many development teams set aside some time each release for technical debt. Talk to your development managers to see if any of the SEO maintenance projects can be included as part of a tech-debt project.
Know your target audience for SEO reports. Don’t bother sending your CEO a report on backlinks that go to your competitors, but not to your site. Executive teams don’t have time to read through reports that contain operational metrics that are only actionable for the SEO team. So what if you moved up 12 positions on keyword X? How does that matter to the business? Be sure to answer those questions before sending out a report to a senior team.
Use enterprise tools to help you look at the right data. There are plenty of SEO analytics tools out there for the small and large enterprises. Choose the tools that give you actionable information for your SEO team, and show executives how SEO initiatives contributed to the bottom line.
A simple pat on the back can go a long way in building a positive relationship between the SEO team and other key contributors to SEO success. Don’t just ask your developers to update Title tags on the site. Show them the traffic improvement each small task generates, and give them credit when it’s appropriate. If you can directly attribute an improvement in SEO performance from a particular tech project, then why not follow up and give them credit publicly?
Stay Informed About Industry Changes
If someone outside the SEO team is the first to communicate a major change in an algorithm or a new ranking signal, that’s a sign your team needs to step up its homework. Make sure you’re reading the right blogs, feeds and following the right Twitter accounts. Considering the constant state of change in the SEO world, you can’t afford to fall behind your competitors when it comes to industry knowledge.
If you run an in-house enterprise SEO team, I’d love to get your comments on how your team found success. Please join the conversation below!