The Straight Scoop on SEO, Part 2
In part 1 of The Straight Scoop on SEO, which ran in the July 22 edition of eM+C Weekly, I discussed two of four fundamental ideas you need to know about search engine optimization (SEO) for your programs to be successful. In the second and final part of this series, I provide two more SEO fundamentals.
3. Like marketing and public relations, SEO never ends. The biggest mistake organizations make is employing SEO halfheartedly or as a one-time project. Successful search engine marketing requires a commitment throughout the organization like no other marketing medium. It requires not only commitment, but also an understanding that SEO is now a part of the way you do business. It's a business function like marketing, public relations, IT and accounting. While it can be campaign focused, SEO campaigns are ongoing and never end.
4. SEO must be baked into the development life cycle. Because SEO can’t be siloed into any single department, special expertise is necessary to establish processes within organizations that ensure it's executed right the first time as various website-related tasks flow in and out of meetings, systems, processes, deliverables and releases. The key to achieving positive return on investment is implementing SEO recommendations properly. To do that, you need SEO fully integrated into existing business processes and systems.
This places a lot of work on the shoulders of your in-house SEO team to start. They'll be in meetings and reviewing documentation, among other tasks. Some SEO teams feel this shouldn't be their responsibility, that these tasks should fall to other departments. Maybe they're right. But if managers take that approach from day one, it won’t work. You’ll be met with disappointment and requests for rework, combined with frustration from both your SEO team and IT department.
A better approach is to involve your SEO team heavily up front and focus on training and knowledge transfer over time. Like a programmer fresh out of college, you aren’t going to let them code an entire release that makes or breaks a significant portion of your revenue for many years. There will always be oversight needed by an SEO team.
Related story: The Straight Scoop on SEO, Part 1