In my SEO career, I’ve worked with various enterprise organizations, including major CDNs, encrypted email providers, American insurance companies, and commercial passenger airlines.
One underlying challenge in these enterprise organizations is stakeholder management and the wider buy-in of SEO activities.
I’ve learned and worked with organizations with unique internal culture, communication and team interaction approaches.
This ranges from monthly town halls to recording and publicly sharing client meetings on the company’s YouTube channel – a total transparency consulting approach for a community-invested organization.
Below, I’ll share my insights and methods for fostering an SEO-forward culture and mindset among non-SEO stakeholders.
Additionally, I’ll cover how to assist other non-SEO marketing teams in achieving their website goals without compromising organic KPIs.
For most organizations, organic search has the potential to be a significant driver of traffic, brand visibility and revenue.
In mid-market to enterprise-level organizations, there is typically a history of SEO efforts, whether it’s during the website’s early development in terms of architecture or through content-related processes employed by teams.
Some organizations will have SEO practices documented internally or have established checklists and processes for team members to follow.
Your initial discovery meetings with different stakeholders and teams are a great opportunity to:
At this stage, you can grasp the varying SEO expectations among different business levels and stakeholders, enabling you to communicate and engage meaningfully with them.
Often overlooked at this stage is acknowledging and rewarding existing good practices.
Simple gestures like comments on project management tools, Slack channels, and highlighting in analysis can be effective and do not require grand gestures or overzealous comments on calls.
Aligning and reporting SEO impact against business-wide metrics, such as OKRs (objectives and key results) and shareholder or investor KPIs, is crucial.
Use the 7 Cs of communication and consistent reporting and information flow to your advantage, namely:
Remember that the C-suite or VP-level stakeholders responsible for business-wide OKRs and KPIs are likely time-poor. Thus, ensuring communications achieve these seven criteria is vital in building effective relationships.
It’s vital to understand and collaborate with non-SEO stakeholders in the organization.
For instance, you may be required to work with brand and customer engagement in improving the website and conversions without impacting any SEO-associated variables.
This also flows the other way in offering insights into the organic user journey, potential pain points, and mismatches between query intent and the presented content.
SEO cannot be siloed within the marketing team for the best results. Collaboration must happen across content creators, developers, UX designers, sales (online and offline), customer success, and community managers.
When all teams recognize how their work influences SEO, they can better support each other through an integrated approach.
Effectively communicating SEO-focused recommendations involves emphasizing their business impact and prioritization beyond just ranking.
This includes their influence on wider metrics like brand visibility for non-brand terms and the impact on site user experience.
Executives and managers must understand the value of SEO and support initiatives to optimize content and technical aspects of the website.
This can be achieved through five key focus areas:
Highlighting the business impact
Proof of concept
Address concerns proactively
Strategy feedback loops
Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on.
Optimizing internal processes is key to cultivating an SEO culture within a large company.
By streamlining how information is shared and tasks are completed, SEO best practices can become second nature.
Open communication is essential for implementing any new initiative in a large organization.
Regular cadences, internal newsletters, and presentations explaining SEO objectives and strategies help ensure all teams are on the same page.
Discuss how SEO impacts each department and share recent wins and key metrics to demonstrate its value. Solicit feedback to address any concerns early on.
Documenting SEO standards, guidelines and workflows provides a reference for employees to ensure consistency.
Create handbooks, cheat sheets, and checklists covering technical SEO audits, content optimization, internal linking, and more.
Store these in a shared portal where anyone in the company can access them. Standardized documentation helps avoid duplicated efforts and speeds up training new team members.
Storage should be in a centralized, accessible location, such as Confluence or Sharepoint, and maintained proactively.
Documentation is also a useful tool for the organization should they onboard new staff members, as the documentation repository can help with onboarding and bringing them up to speed on current and past initiatives.
Designate SEO responsibilities and key performance indicators for each department and team to keep people accountable.
For example, make content writers responsible for optimizing a certain number of pages each month and web developers in charge of fixing a set amount of technical issues.
Accountability at all levels is necessary for real culture change.
This should be as transparent as possible across the organization and can easily be achieved through a RACI or RASCI chart.
Post is in a place where everyone can see their status on projects and create a self-governing culture of accountability.
One of the most effective collaboration techniques I’ve used in recent years is simply asking non-marketing teams for their perspectives.
While working with a DevOps platform, I reached out and held a call with one of their product teams.
This was not something they were used to, and it took a few minutes to get the conversation going, but asking the question:
…opened up an hour-long conversation, feedback, and perspectives that helped inform and became content and template redesign initiatives.
Educate employees about SEO best practices through online courses, webinars and internal documentation.
Focus on how SEO relates to and supports their specific roles.
Raise awareness about the value of SEO for achieving business goals.
Look for employees who are passionate about SEO and digital marketing.
They should be excellent communicators who can explain SEO concepts in a simple, engaging way.
Consider individuals in positions able to influence others, such as managers, directors and team leaders. Offer additional SEO training to ensure they have a strong grasp of best practices.
Establishing an SEO culture within an enterprise takes time and patience.
By securing executive buy-in, offering educational resources, promoting collaboration, recognizing SEO wins, and fostering an experimental mindset, you can achieve an "SEO transformation" and integrate SEO into all activities.
The post How to build an SEO-forward culture in enterprise organizations appeared first on Search Engine Land.
from Search Engine Land https://searchengineland.com/seo-forward-culture-enterprise-organization-430028
via free Seo Tools