The most successful SEO programs aren’t solely the result of a great SEO team. They happen because the entire company incorporates SEO into their portion of a given project, and everyone recognizes when it’s time to bring in the SEO to discussions.
Establishing this level of SEO buy-in throughout the organization is neither a fast nor easy task, but it’s very realistic and the ROI on this level of SEO engagement from the entire company is through the roof.
While this pro-active approach to SEO makes sense for any company, you really know it’s time to take massive action when SEO is being left out of key decisions and discussions, projects go live without any SEO input until after the launch, or SEO struggles to get changes prioritized and live on the site. When you start to face these obstacles, it’s time to start getting others to do some of the SEO work for you because you are one person trying to push the titanic in another direction – it’s just not going to happen.
Below are a few things we do with companies to identify and foster a pro-SEO culture.
- Train everyone on SEO, and how their decisions can make or break SEO. Some companies are going beyond SEO training and creating custom SEO Certification programs so that each person understands SEO for their role and knows how to address certain situations that your website faces consistently, in a search engine friendly manner.
- Take the time to learn the development life cycle in great depth to understand when requirements start/end, when documentation is created, and all of the deliverables that are passed on to the development team so that you can identify which portions of the project you need to be involved in – it’s different at every company.
- Set up lines of protection throughout the organization by creating SEO Champions within each team involved in the development life cycle. These SEO Champions are the people that represent SEO when the SEO team isn’t in the room, and act as a liaison with the SEO team.
- Create an SEO knowledge center (an Intranet website) with best practices, standards, guidelines and tutorials for quick-and-easy reference.
- Set up SEO Office Hours, where you make yourself available at the same time every day to answer any SEO questions that come up throughout the company, review wireframes, and more. The people that come again and again are likely candidates for your SEO Champions. This is most useful for larger companies with many divisions.
While there is much more that you can do to foster the pro-SEO culture at your organization, implementing these five items alone will make a huge impact on the level of SEO engagement you get from the rest of your company.
Jessica Bowman is a free agent SEO strategist available for SEO site audits, SEO training and helping in-house SEO programs become a well-oiled machine that cranks out profits. The In House column appears weekly at Search Engine Land.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.