“Why do you need SEO?” Ah, the dreaded question. Aligning your internal teams behind SEO isn’t easy. But to achieve true B2B success, SEO needs to be an integral part of your organization. Too often, in the process of getting all of the moving parts in an org in sync, SEO can become an afterthought.
For example, say your company is redesigning its website. It starts out as a simple reskin. Sounds pretty easy right? Until, of course, it’s also about improving content. And then a new taxonomy. And URL changes. And hey, we should probably consolidate some other domains while we’re at it. None of which can happen without input from multiple stakeholders from wildly different departments across the organization. And then comes the dreaded question:
“This won’t affect SEO, right?”
Matt Crowley, Director of Optimized Services at MoreVisibility, knows this story all too well — and odds are, so do most B2B SEOs.
At the enterprise level, with so many factors to consider, SEO can fall by the wayside. Other factors take priority, like design, IT, QA, and so on. The result is major transformation without SEO buy-in, which can mean major hits to traffic and revenue.
And it’s not just redesigns — unless SEO is integrated into every step of the process, every campaign is at risk. So how can SEOs get stakeholders across their organization to buy into the value of what they do? The answer is simple: flip the script.
According to Matt, the question is not what your business can do for SEO. It’s what SEO can do for your business.
Forget bringing donuts to meetings; the real way to encourage buy-in is to show up to the table with concrete SEO answers to the questions of risk mitigation, value creation, and business growth. Which might sound daunting, but you can pull it off in five steps:
1. Education: Why SEO Matters
- Make sure team members across the organization know what they gain when SEO goes right — and what they lose when it goes wrong.
- Get stakeholders to buy into SEO results before you weigh them down with tactics.
- Make sure the marketing team approaches their job with a user-centric mentality.
- Then you need tools like Conductor Searchlight and SEMRush to present data that shows the link between SEO and revenue.
2. Alignment: Why SEO Means Business
- Make sure your SEO goals line up with the objectives of the organization at large.
- Outline resource requirements and constraints ahead of time, so everyone knows the roadmap.
- Meet regularly with business units to ensure you’re all on the same page.
- Present SEO findings in terms of concrete risk mitigation and growth opportunities.
3. Issues-Based Marketing: Why Your Customer Matters
- Cut the jargon out of your content in favor of the language your customer uses.
- Demonstrate how content can be segmented out to follow the customer journey.
- Give your teams relevant data on what terms are actually being searched for so they can align their language with the customer’s.
- Pay constant attention to the words your customers use.
4. Training: Equip Your Team With the Right Skills
- Present customized plans for pursuing specific action items to different business units.
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- Don’t forget to re-train down the line to ensure the skills stay fresh.
- Offer custom webinars for different teams within your organization.
- Arm the content team with “writing for the web best practices.”
5. Communication: Meetings, Meetings, Meetings
- Don’t miss a chance to make sure SEO is front-of-mind during regular strategic conversations.
- Make sure the SEO team is keyed into major business goals.
- Communicate SEO needs and strategies in terms of the requirements of the business at large.
With this checklist, you’re primed and ready to make it clear how SEO is a core part of the business — and encourage buy-in across the organization. When the value of SEO is clearly communicated, that next site redesign might go a little more smoothly.