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Securing Investment In Content And SEO In 2015: 3 Keys To Unlocking Success
Need to make the case for allocating budget towards SEO in 2015? Columnist Jim Yu of BrightEdge has some tips.
So, you want some of those business dollars filtered into content and SEO in 2015? If so, defining these three key areas will help you put together a budget that looks at internal operations, the major issues hindering the website, and tracking results to keep those dollars filtering in.
1. Identify The Problems
One of the best ways to show that dollars are needed to keep your business competitive in the organic channel is to take stock of the existing problems on the site, then show how these are impacting its ability to win against the competition.
- Perform an audit of the website and your online visibility. Have a look at all the areas of the site that can be improved, from the technical back end to the content and beyond to social media and local listings, if necessary.
- Prioritize your recommendations starting with the biggest wins; that could mean focusing on the pages that are driving the most value first, or remedies that take the least amount of effort to make the biggest strides in improvement.
- Show examples of the major Google algorithms that can negatively or positively impact a site. Companies and practitioners are always sharing their latest findings on Google Panda and Google Penguin across the Web. Even though Google’s algorithm is complex and comprised of countless signals, Google does a good job of making things clear when they are important for webmasters to know. Explore the Google Webmaster Tools Help center and Google’s official blog for more info on best practices and algorithmic signals to watch for.
2. Show Who Should Own It
Getting budget for SEO in 2015 will require you look internally to take stock of your resources, skill sets, strengths, weaknesses and business goals. Use the following questions to get started in your research:
- Where might you need resources? Start by looking at the functions of a well-oiled SEO operation to start: quality content, technical SEO, marketing strategy, social media and even public relations.
- Where can your existing team excel? What resources and skill sets already exist?
- Will your resources come in the form of internal staff or third-party vendors? Does a hybrid model exist to get you where you want to go? What’s more cost-effective? What will produce the best short- and long-term outcomes?
- Will you train key employees from within on the skill sets needed, or will you hire new staff from the outside? What sort of salaries are required? What about training budgets?
- How will this team exist within your corporation? What alliances will need to be built to start demonstrating organic SEO results with key stakeholders?
- What processes will need to be put in place so the various roles within the SEO team work well together, as well as the SEO team as a whole acting as an extension of a larger team like digital marketing, and the C-suite?
- Where can you streamline processes as they stand today to make them more efficient, so you can save budget in some areas and allocate more towards other functions of SEO?
Something to note here that often comes up is the marriage of traditional marketing with digital marketing and SEO. Because the creative and the technical are now more closely aligned than ever, brands are findings ways to make things like technical SEO and content coexist so that both shine.
3. Implementation And Measurement
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised at how many companies are not measuring their efforts (or are doing so ineffectively). The C-suite is going to want to see how these efforts will translate into value, and that comes from setting key performance indicators.
- Be clear on how SEO will support your business objectives. Spell out all the ways in which it can do so.
- From those goals, create metrics — what are the things that are going to show you’re reaching your goals?
- Get proper marketing analytics in place, and be sure you’re using a platform that can help turn “big data” into actionable insights. Instead of stitching a bunch of random tools together, find an analytics platform that can integrate multiple data points for you.
Garnering and retaining budget for SEO requires continuously proving its worth. If there’s ever any doubt about SEO and the organic channel as a driver of traffic and revenue for a website and business, challenge your company to stop investing in it for a period of time, and watch the results wane.
Remember, search is a zero sum game — so if you’re out in 2015, your competition is in.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.