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Internal SEO Communications: A 3 Step Plan
Are you struggling to communicate your program’s successes and plans across your organization? Do you have a hard time getting people to pay attention to SEO in your company?
Let’s take a look at a three step plan to improve your internal SEO communications.
I’m sure everyone has thought of this approach by now. Not hard to see why either. A dedicated internal SEO newsletter is an obvious way to spread any news on the topic. The challenge is to get people to read the thing, though.
Your best approach is to apply the best practices for email marketing and apply them to your own newsletter. Make sure you are bringing relevant information that readers want. To this end, including graphs tracking the KPIs your readers watch is an excellent way to grab their eyeballs. If they track “visits”, you show “search visits” in a dedicated graph.
Don’t be afraid to include data targeting select groups, products or subdomains within your ecosystem, either. While no one likes to be called out in a negative way, it’s a powerful motivator when employed thoughtfully. Now you’re probably wondering how you “thoughtfully throw someone under the bus”, right? The answer is…with their permission.
I never publish negative numbers in a newsletter that haven’t already been talked about face-to-face with the group the data refers to. The object is to get work done, and showing everyone what not getting work done looks like means you can motivate the many at the expense of the few.
By meeting prior to dropping the newsletter, you can point out the problem and gain consensus on how to fix the issues. This allows the person in charge to have answers ready for the uncomfortable questions sure to follow. By not being afraid to showcase the negative you emphasize the non-partisan nature of your newsletter. People like this approach and respond by reading the newsletter more frequently.
Another winner is to include short-form “seo tips” articles. Easy to consume, and maybe a paragraph in length, such articles allow folks to assimilate information quickly, which not only gets the right message out to readers, but also ensures they view the newsletter as useful and easy to consume.
Someone is always watching the numbers, somewhere. Better to get in front of tings early and be seen as the go-to person for data around your internal SEO program. By setting up dedicated face-time with executives within your company, you can clearly articulate the wins, blockers and opportunity areas that need focus. This will help them consume data in a fashion they are comfortable with, and ensures your SEO program remains top of mind.
Never fear getting time in front of your executives to discuss all aspects of your program. Much better the details come direct from you than as sound bites from others in the company. Only your know how to state your message the best way. Since your executive set the tone for all work to be accomplished by setting the company’s direction and goals, it’s critical they not only understand how your work fits into the bigger picture, but that it is on track and will drive the planned results to support other plans.
A lot of SEOs spend entire weeks of time building reports and sending them to people for execution. The best way to encourage those people to take the action you want is to go meet them face to face. This is truly the only way you will know if they actually understand what to do. Too many times I’m told “I understand completely” when I present work items to co-workers. This often translates to “I don’t understand, but want to appear smart, so I’ll claim I understand and figure it out later”.
This is a dangerous situation as it often leads to work being accomplished in the wrong way, as interpretations can vary widely between people when reading the same information. Take the time to make people feel comfortable in asking you questions about what you are asking them to do.
This type of meeting can be as simple as meeting in the hallway or as formal as a planned session with set agenda. Work with your co-workers to understand which approach fits their styles and be flexible yourself. This is relationship building at it’s finest, and it will pay dividends when you need critical work items completed.
This face-to-face approach will also support your efforts with the executive, and drive readership to your newsletter. Just be certain to always bring value.
If you’re already doing these three things, you’re in great shape. If you are not, then get started today. Jot down topics for a newsletter, try to publish it once a month and create a balance of reporting on success and reality. Talk with your up level report (your boss) and find out if it makes sense in your case to present to the executive once a month. most importantly, get out of your trench and into the trenches of fellow coworkers. It’s a proven tactic to get things you want done, accomplished.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.