Monthly Archives

January 2018

Enterprise SEO – How to Get Organizational Buy-In

By | Chris | No Comments

One of the biggest challenges in Enterprise SEO is getting organizational buy in. Without organizational buy-in, even the best SEO strategy can fail.

What is organizational buy-in?

Organizational buy in for enterprise SEO is getting the access, approval, resources, and prioritization to implement SEO changes in a timely manner.

Why does organizational buy in matter?

Without organizational buy in, SEO tasks will not be completed in a timely manner. Since SEO typically takes 3-12 months to start working, a lack of buy-in can push this timeline beyond 12 months.

For both consultants and an in-house SEOs, a 12 month timeline is usually not acceptable for most organiztions. Very few companies are willing to dedicate in-house resources and spend on SEO for 12 months before seeing results.

Without sufficient buy-in, the campaign will likely lack progress and result in the termination of the campaign.

Where to establish Organizational Buy-In

Organizational buy-in must be established from the C-Suite all the way through Engineering, Design, and Product.

Buy in starts with the C-Suite approving your SEO program, budget, and ability to exist in the organization. Afterwards buy-in must be established across all departments or individuals that are involved in the process of implementing SEO changes.

In some cases this can also include:

  • Communications Manager
  • Legal
  • Project Manager
  • Webmaster
  • Content Manager
  • Translation/Localization Manager

Each company operates differently so buy-in will be different in each scenario.

Buy-In can Sometimes Require Several People from the Same Team

In addition to needing buy-in across the main departments that are involved in website changes, you may also need to get buy in from multiple team members from the same department.

For example, the head of IT might approve SEO changes before you start, the engineering manager might assign the task to a junior developer, the engineering QA team approves the changes on staging, then another developer pushes the changes live. So in this case you need buy-in from 4 people from the IT instead of 1, and 5 people from IT are involved.

Imagine you need to get your SEO changes approved by product team, design, content, and engineering. Then you need several people to approve the work from each department. In this situation an SEO task that might take 2-5 days at a startup can take weeks to months in a large company.

This is why organizational buy-in is needed to be successful in Enterprise SEO. In enterprise SEO more time is usually spent on project management than on actual SEO tasks.

How to Establish Organizational Buy-In

A) Start from the C-Suite and Measure the SEO Opportunity

The best place to start is at the top of the chain of command. The best way to get strong buy-in for SEO is to make projections on revenue, traffic, or conversion from SEO. The bigger the SEO opportunity is for the company the easier it will be to get buy-in. It’s important to make accurate projections. If these projections are inflated, it may help to get buy-in but this will backfire when the results fall short of projections.

B) Identify all departments involved with implementing SEO changes

The second step in establishing buy-in is to identify all the departments and individuals you will need to work with in order to get SEO changes implemented.In most cases the fewer the better.

While sometimes it may seem like best practice to coordinate with social media, email marketing, and other personnel, the reality is that depending on more people will almost always result in a longer turnaround time for SEO changes and a delay in campaign performance.

C) Bring all key personnel together to coordinate the process for SEO changes

Once all required personell have been identified, round everyone up for a meeting and go over the top SEO tasks that need to be done. Then develop the mot efficient process to get the changes implemented.

It’s best to come to the meeting prepared with a rough draft of what you beleive the process will look like.

In the meeting, be clear about what needs to be done, and get firm time-frames for each step of the process. If you can estimate the number of days it will take at each step of the process then you’ll have a clear timeline for the entire task.

D) [EXPERT TIP] Suggest adjustments to process and personnel

There will always be organizational inefficiencies that hinder delivery times for SEO changes. Sometimes there are too many people involved or too many changes of hands. Sometimes you may be working with remote employees, or a junior team member instead of senior or mid level team member.

Measure the Process, then aim to reduce it’s basic components

Some methods to measure the efficiency of a process include the following:

  • Turnaround time (in working days)
  • Number of total steps
  • Number of changing of hands
  • Total number of people involved

Measuring these four metrics for each tasks will give you a baseline to measure efficiency. Then optimize the process for each tasks by reducing these metrics.

Do you have questions, comments, or tips on organizational buy-in? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

What Does an SEO do on a Day to Day Basis?

By | Blog | No Comments

If you’re hiring an SEO either as a consultant or in-house, you might be wondering what an SEO does on a day to day basis.

This is a very important topic because as you’ve probably heard, SEO can take a while to start seeing results (Google says 6-12 months in this video). So knowing what the typical tasks that an SEO should be doing while waiting for those results is a fair point.

The answer to this question, like many SEO questions, is that it depends! But don’t worry, I’m going to breakdown some of the most common tasks that SEOs typically should be working on to get you results.

What Tasks Does an SEO Do on a Day to Day Basis?

In general, the main tasks that an SEO will work on include:

1.     content creation

2.     website optimization

3.     analytics reports

4.     link building.

I’ll dive a bit more into each of these.

Common SEO Task #1 – Content Creation

Content creation is a key part of SEO. If you’re SEO doesn’t have access to your website, or is not making any changes to the content on your website, that’s a big red flag.

In order to put your website in the best position to get organic traffic an SEO will either create new content or optimize existing content.

Some of the day to day tasks you might see him or her doing include:

  • Publishing content on the website
  • Developing content with your writers or freelancers
  • Preparing content outlines
  • Sending you content outlines, drafts, or final copy for review

Your SEO might publish content off-site as well. This is typically known as a “guest post”.

Common SEO Task #2 – Website Optimizations

Another day to day SEO tasks that an SEO will work on is website optimizations. This involves making changes to things like Page titles, header tags, and meta descriptions.

It can also include making changes to internal linking, navigation, and other SEO items like redirects, canonical tags, and robots directives.

Technical SEO something that falls under website optimizations as well. This involves working on things like schema markup, AMP, and sitemaps.

Essentially any change to the website that is not content can be considered a website optimization.

Common SEO Task #3 – Analytics Reports

Analytics reports is probably the most common SEO task of all. Analytics reports involve checking website and search engine statistics to measure campaign performance.

SEOs check on how many visits and conversions your website is getting to understand how the campaign is going. They also check for keyword rankings for the keywords your business is targeting.

Unless your SEO exports and sends you the analytics reports however, you won’t know that they are working on this. Many SEOs check on traffic and rankings briefly to get review top level KPIs. Then if there are significant improvements or a decline in performance they will dive deeper to understand what’s happening and determine the best corrective action.

So analytics reports can be as quick as 2 minutes or as long as 30 minutes depending on what they find.

Common SEO Task #4 – Link Building

While link building isn’t involved in every single SEO campaign, it’s included in most and therefore it’s something that most SEOs will invest time into on a daily basis.

  1. Link building involves three main components:
  2. Building linkable assets (content/tools/resources) on your website
  3. Communicating with other website owners to earn links
  4. Reviewing link data such as outreach statistics and competitor backlink profiles

Typically the creation of linkable assets is done in the beginning of the campaign.

Then the SEO will spend lots of time finding and reaching out to other websites to request a link. This involves lots of emailing back and forth. This is where the SEO will spend most of their time when it comes to link building.

Reviewing link data is something is done continuously to measure campaign performance and find opportunities based on your competitors backlinks. This can take anywhere from a few hours per week to about 5 hours per week depending on the scale of your link building effots.

Conclusion

I hope this guide was helpful. Keep in mind that every SEO campaign is unique and that the day to day tasks of your SEO will vary. This guide includes the most common tasks that SEOs work on.

If you want to get a better picture of what your existing SEO is up to you should coordinate with them to get details.

If you want to know what your potential SEO candidate should be working on you should ask them while interviewing.