Building a Culture of SEO in Enterprise Organisations

eCommerce , SEO

The covid-19 pandemic has further reinforced the importance of digital marketing to grow a successful business in the current climate.  As the CEO for B2C Furniture, I firmly believe that it is absolutely imperative that you build an SEO culture in your organization if you want to future-proof your business.

  • Ansley Clarke, B2C Furniture

The biggest challenge an experienced SEO specialist encounters when beginning to work with a large enterprise business is making sure everyone is on the same page, whether it be the content creator, business owner, the marketing manager, all the way to the CEO

Why?

SEO is one of the hardest marketing skills to master.

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/microsoft-lists-seo-as-the-most-important-hard-skill-for-marketers/346258/

Being an SEO specialist is hard enough – the skills you need to learn are:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Technical / Web Development
  • Analytics
  • Creative Problem Solving 
  • Project Management
  • Communication 
  • Spreadsheets (Lots of Spreadsheets!)

Also be adaptable, motivated and driven……and a sense of humour doesn’t hurt!

“To me, a willingness to try new things from the business makes the best campaigns” – 

Chloe Chiang (SEO Specialist)

Being a complicated marketing channel we’re often coming in after a previous agency, assisting an in-house SEO, or even at times a massive company that has never done SEO before. So in execution of these campaigns we make sure we’re building a culture of SEO within the business to develop the strongest campaign possible. We do this through education, collaboration, and building a strong relationship:

Educating Key Players on SEO 

To build a culture of SEO in your organisation you need to educate the team on the importance of SEO and best practices. You need to make sure they are willing to put in the time to learn about SEO before coming up with a plan of action, so that stakeholders are onboard from the beginning.

We start with the Fundamentals of SEO – Technical SEO, Search Intent, and Backlinks. In a broad way to all the key account touchpoints, this opens up a dialogue and gets people’s visibility up on what crosses over with SEO.

Then we start niching down into each area of the business, Technical SEO and more advanced ideas we coordinate with web developers. Content creators are run through how to do keyword research, find topics, and produce content their audience is searching for (rather than what they think their audience wants). 

Backlink outreach and authority building to marketing managers, and PR specialists is also taught to the teams.

We’re looking to get more eyeballs in the business to find where the roadblocks are or untapped areas of the business that need to be highlighted.

If you’re using super technical jargon, make sure you translate what you mean for those that have no understanding of what accumulative link growth rate, semantic indexing, sitemaps, 301s, and crawl analysis mean.

Always think, TL;DR – too long didn’t read.

Analogies can get the message across and drive through understanding effectively. If it’s an automotive company there’s a billion analogies using cars that work wonders.- get your company into the fastlane, put the pedal to the metal, are just two examples.

Share around your details, email & phone number, be open and available to anyone to reach out with their SEO query, no matter how big or small.

These education sessions can break through red tape and bureaucracy once you get one of those key players hooked into an idea. 

Once that little seed is planted, it’ll grow bigger and bigger when the results start coming in. You’ll have more advocates within the business speaking about these SEO wins, which can lead to the next big project.

Guide your client in the development of a culture of SEO and show them how it can help their marketing plans and business’ vision.

Although organic traffic may make up only a small part of a business website’s overall sales, without management and expertise behind it, you’re putting the company at risk.

Through experience in having to educate so much we created Hawk Academy, an SEO learning platform, that way we could get it into the hands of more touchpoints they could complete in their own time.

Collaboration (The IKEA Effect)

We work hard to create an environment where everyone feels like their opinion matters and that they are valued as part of the SEO campaign. That includes our team and their team.

We want people to feel empowered by knowing what SEO is and partaking in the implementation. The IKEA effect is the cognitive bias in which people place a high value on things they partially created. 

It makes sense right? Would you feel more satisfied watching someone make a table for you, or would you feel better getting stuck in yourself?

For years we’ve been all for getting our clients rolling up their sleeves when it comes to wins in SEO. 

We’re there to be a resource, grow their business, provide solutions, and save their time  – but the internal team will understand how to navigate new ideas best and streamline execution.

Collaboration is critical. Rather than assuming one way of doing things is the best – ask the people who deal with the website daily, who understand the complexity of getting through potential red tape.

This can also save a ton of time on campaigns and create a fun working environment with shared wins.

Being “Partners” not “Service Providers”

Clients don’t want to feel like they’re talking to a spreadsheet.

We’re social creatures at heart. While business is business, people want to work with people they like.

Some clients prefer a formal relationship, most however are happy to go out for a few beers or casual dinner to really get to know who they’re working with.

“What we find is that it’s always building relationships and connection with our clients first, SEO comes second” – Joshua Poole (Senior SEO Specialist)

Life isn’t purely work, people have families, interests, reasons why they love what they do. All of this plays into how you can develop more of a partnership. rather than being the people they pay invoices for to do their SEO. It also plays a role in the overall growth of the campaign as they’re people you can reach out to get help to drive more innovation through the business. 

Stronger internal relationships allow cross-collaboration and integration with other channels as well, which can increase the chance of an enterprise SEO’s success.