If you're like most marketing executives, 2013 was a year of unprecedented change for you and your team.
And you'd be hard pressed to find an area of marketing with more ups and downs than SEO. From Penguins to Hummingbirds, 2013 proved to be a year where the rules of SEO were rewritten on a monthly basis.
Considering the unpredictability inherent in today's SEO world, what kind of actionable instructions and goals can you set for your SEO staff?
Well that's exactly what I'm going to cover in today's post.
#1 Be Less "Over There"
In the not so distant past SEOs worked in a bubble.
"Go build links and fiddle with meta tags", most marketing managers would utter to their SEO staff, "We'll be busy working on this year's Super Bowl Ad".
The goal of SEO today is to get the most search engine value out of all of the things your business already does.
For example, let's say that you're putting out a new product. Your SEOs job is to optimize landing pages for that product and leverage the new product for links (through blogger outreach, reviews etc).
She can't do that if she's locked in a room by herself.
So this year's goal should be to recognize the unique talents and insights SEOs bring to the table and leverage those as part of your overall marketing strategy.
#2 Teach Us Cool Stuff
I find that a lot of in-house SEOs -- for fear of sounding like a technical nerd -- keep their valuable SEO insights to themselves.
(This also happens quite a bit to a company's web developers)
But the more SEO information you know, the more you can help your SEO do their job.
So this is the year to encourage your SEO team to share their thoughts and feedback on your marketing plan. They may just wow you with an awesome idea for a piece of content that will get you more traffic, leads and customers from your next marketing push.
#3 Help Us With PR Campaigns
PR isn't just about the press anymore. PR is now integrated with blogger outreach, content marketing and SEO.
Take the humble press release.
Despite that the fact that press releases are potential traffic powerhouses, most of them are old-school...and published without considering SEO.
And considering how well press releases tend to perform in search (at least in the short term), it makes sense to get your SEO involved in the process.
An SEO-optimized press release will perform much better for you. And who better to involve than someone that's an expert at finding keywords that customers actually use to find your products and services?
#4 Get Us Mentions from Bloggers
I don't need to tell you that getting a mention (or even better, a recommendation) from a blogger is a traffic and sales gold mine.
However, most PR and marketing folks go about blogger outreach all wrong.
Instead of building a relationship, they send promotional press releases or hard sells.
Fortunately, you probably have someone sitting right next to you that knows how to do email outreach like a pro: your SEO. So ask them to help -- or perhaps even execute -- your next blogger outreach campaign.
#5 Give Us More Technical Suggestions
In some ways, high rankings are the by-product of awesome marketing.
But there's one exception to that: the technical side of SEO. No amount of inbound marketing will overcome technical SEO issues you have on your site.
But to get your SEO involved in technical suggestions, you have to respect what they have to say. For example, there are a hundred ways to make WordPress more SEO friendly. And that's just one CMS!
Imagine all of the opportunities you have on your entire site, from your homepage to your sitemap. And if you run an eCommerce site, technical SEO (like duplicate content and canonical URLs). can make or break your search engine visibility.
Despite this I've seen a lot a marketing executives resistant to doing something so head-slappingly-obvious, like changing their URL structures from "site.com/wa55-2.as24/t55.aspx" to "site.com/search-engine-optimization".
This should be the year that you encourage input about technical SEO from your SEO staff. You don't have to implement every suggestion, but you should at least take them into strong consideration.