In this episode of Here’s Why, Mark & Eric tackle the biggest obstacles of successfully implementing a sound SEO plan for your company’s overall marketing strategy. Your CTO will probably have different goals from your CFO, while you and your CMO might have different opinions on the best way to move forward. Knowing how to address all of the varying concerns from the C-Level is what we’re here to help you with.
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Eric: Hey Mark, I’ve been doing SEO since 2002 and it’s still hard.
Mark: You know Eric, today in this episode of Here’s Why with Mark and Eric, I’m going to ask you to share with our audience some of the hardest parts of doing SEO.
Mark: Okay Eric, what’s one thing that you would mention as something that is really challenging to people trying to do SEO, but something that most people wouldn’t think as being so challenging.
Eric: Well there are some things that are obvious to those of us who are in the business, but if you’re not, finding the right sources of information is really hard. I like to start people with some of the more obvious things to get them going.
Such as Google Webmaster’s Tool, The Moz Blog, Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Friday is awesome, Search Engine Land, Bill Slawski’s SEO by the Sea, The Digital Marketing Excellence Blog that you and I both do is a good source of information.
Of course after a while you’re going to want to expand beyond that. When you’re ready to do that then you need to ask people you really trust for what other sources of information you can look at.
Mark: Great. So just learn a few skills and then you’re good to go?
Eric: I wish it was that simple. Unfortunately, it really isn’t. In fact, it’s actually quite easy to learn individual pieces and facts of SEO, the problem is there are 100s or 1000s of things you need to learn to have a comprehensive SEO background. And each individual piece is pretty easy, but learning how to integrate that into a bigger, broader SEO plan is a big deal.
So, not only do you have to learn all this information, then you have to review someone’s website and decide how to prioritize what needs to happen first, what will have the biggest impact, what’s worth doing because some things won’t be worth doing. Then when you’re done with all of that, over time the landscape keeps changing so you have to keep learning new things and integrating that into your overall knowledge base. So, the big deal here is learning how to integrate it all.
Mark: Okay, we’ve got the information, we’ve integrated it. Now what?
Eric: Unfortunately, there’s a long way to go from that point. You run into my 3 favorite corporate things: Resistance, Politics, and Ignorance. Okay, those aren’t really my 3 favorite things. But, unfortunately when you’re trying to get organizations to move forward with an SEO program, that happens. It happens in different ways, for different people, in different departments.
For example, your chief marketing officer will get stuck on a different point than you CTO and your CEO might have another issue and your VP of Marketing might be stuck on something else. The big thing you have to learn to do here is figure out where they’re stuck and in their language understand how to address their concerns. So the CFO is going to be concerned about financial issues or something like that.
I think the most important thing is to reduce it to 5 slides in 5 minutes, as I like to say. I’m being fairly arbitrary because that’s an article I wrote for Search Engine Watch a while back, but it’s a good concept. If it takes you longer than 5 minutes to explain to someone why your SEO project is important, you’ll end up failing. That’s the big thing, learn how to get it in their lingo and learn how to explain it fast.
Mark: Check out Eric’s article in the links below to find out more about that. Can’t I just copy what I see is working for others, like my competitors?
Eric: I wish you could. Unfortunately, you can’t assume that what works for others will work for you. You could literally copy someone else’s campaign and for reasons that are hard to understand, Google will still not like it.
I’m not talking about duplicating the content, just copying the structural SEO concepts, still might not work for you. The Google algorithm is so complex, there are layers of things that you don’t understand that are going on that caused that other person to rank. It may be because they did it first and then you copy the same concept and it doesn’t work for you.
You have to go beyond that and focus on SEO best practices. If you just copy someone else’s strategy, not only could it not work for you, but it could actually get you in trouble with Google’s algorithm.
Mark:: Google might catch up with you or catch up with them first, but you don’t want to take that chance.
Eric: Not a bet you want to make.
Mark: You’ve given us a lot to think about today Eric. The resources that we’ve mentioned, blog posts and other things, are in the description below so make sure to check those out. And join us next time for another episode of Here’s Why with Mark and Eric.