Any marketing executive knows that SEO is important for both online and offline businesses. A good online presence can make the difference between an average company and a highly successful one. Therefore, chief marketing executives must allocate enough resources for SEO and assure that their website is ready to compete.
But CMOs are not micro-managers; they do not have the time to focus on specialized tasks. Instead, CMOs rely on their people, their teams, to execute and implement strategies designed to bring in results.
While most CMOs are not required to have a deep understanding of digital marketing concepts such as search engine optimization, it will serve their interests to have some knowledge about the best practices.
In this article, we’ll explore the five most important things every chief marketing executive needs to know about SEO.
1. SEO is a long-term strategy
If you are looking for a short-term solution with immediate results, SEO will not be the right strategy for your business.
The results for SEO are quantifiable but will take time to yield significant target numbers. Depending on how big the competition is and how many resources you are allocating, it can take months, or sometimes years, to see results.
Again, this is because SEO is a constantly evolving process. Keep in mind that digital technology and the Internet have transformed business into a truly global environment. Changes that occur in one region affect other regions as well. Trends, tastes, and consumer demand and behavior patterns are constantly changing and shifting.
In the first months SEO might not look like a great investment. However, once the results start to come and you get more organic traffic, your hard work and patience will pay off.
2. SEO tools are essential for keeping track of your progress
SEO is a delicate process that requires a lot of attention. As a CMO, you must always be up to date with your company’s website progress. This includes knowing when:
- Your main keywords are increasing or decreasing their position in search engines.
- Your website earns or loses backlinks. Do consider that one backlink from a reputable online publication is more valuable than one thousand links from bad sources. That’s why you need to know if any of your best backlinks are removed or broken.
- You are losing traffic because you’ve lost rankings or the demand is lower.
- Competitors are spamming your website to do negative SEO. Luckily, this is a rare scenario, but it’s worth knowing ahead of time if this happens.
- New opportunities are available. Your team members should always try new strategies and look for new keyword opportunities.
To help you keep everything under control, ask your team to use the best SEO tools available on the market. The SEO reporting can be automated with the help of these tools.
For example, you can use the Monitor Backlinks SEO tool to know when your site gets backlinks or loses backlinks. SemRush is another useful tool that can help you find new keyword opportunities and see which search phrases are bringing your competitors the most traffic.
3. SEO is constantly evolving
In the last few years, SEO has undergone an evolution. The parameters that were previously used to improve search rankings have changed to correspond with changes in digital technology and market behavior. Google and other search engines frequently update their algorithms.
For your SEO strategies to be successful, all your team members must be up to date with the best practices and algorithm changes.
Here are some of the most important changes that have taken place in the SEO industry in the last few years:
a. Mobile technology
One of the key influences of change in SEO is the exponential growth of mobile technology. In 2012, industry analysts began predicting the eventual predominance of mobile technology in the digital landscape.
In 2014, mobile technology officially surpassed the PC as the primary source of online traffic. By 2017, the number of smartphones will outnumber the entire population of the planet Earth.
Consumers’ increasing dependence on mobile technology has resulted in important changes for SEO, to cater directly to the mobile market. Some of these changes include:
- Switching to a mobile-responsive design or creating a dedicated mobile website that can be accessed by users of mobile gadgets.
- Improving the download speed of websites.
- Improving the accessibility of websites across multiple browsers.
- Frequently uploading fresh, new, and engaging content.
The aim of mobile SEO techniques is to enhance the overall user experience. Search engine giants like Google constantly use analytics to assess a website’s user experience.
One of these tools includes assessing the “bounce rate,” or the frequency in which visitors leave your web page. A high bounce rate corresponds to a lower user experience, which results in lower search rankings.
b. Digital marketing
SEO is just one strategy in a toolchest used to enhance a business’s online presence. Digital marketers no longer view SEO as a separate tool or option that can be used in a digital marketing strategy. Today, SEO has become the crux to which other online strategies are anchored.
Here are a few examples:
- Social media marketing. The proliferation of social media networks proves the influence these communities have over consumers and businesses. The use of keywords and great, well-crafted engaging content are crucial in creating inbound traffic to your website.
- Link-building. One of the most effective ways to generate inbound traffic is to improve your reputation as a credible authority. Link-building works because it associates your website with other known authorities in your industry.
- Back-links. Given Google’s decision to penalize excessive link-building in the search rankings, you must be strategic and purposeful in your choice of back-links. “Natural” is the operative word. Do not link to another website unless it is relevant and aligned with your website’s purpose.
- Long-tail keywords. With increased competition for keywords, the use of long-tail keywords has become more important in the last few years. Long-tail keywords are highly detailed keyword phrases that identify a specific search. For example, instead of “steam cleaning,” a long-tail keyword would appear as “steam cleaning machines that have greater than 60 horsepower”.
4. The cost of SEO varies
It is difficult to quantify what the cost is for an “effective” SEO campaign because there are many variables to consider.
These include the following:
- What are the short, medium, and long-term goals of your business?
- Which markets is your business targeting?
- Are you planning to introduce new products and services?
- Are you planning to expand your scope of operations and market base?
SEO does not work on a “one-size-fits-all” business model. It must be customized to meet your business goals and objectives.
There is no such thing as “proven” or “guaranteed” SEO rankings. If an SEO company guarantees that they can generate 65% increase in revenues through a “proven” SEO strategy, stay away. The only purpose for such a proposal is to practice your three-point shot into the office trash can.
5. SEO builds brands
In business, the golden unicorn is the ability to establish your brand. Brand-building isn’t just about designing great logos or inventing catchy phrases. It is about adding substance to those images. The brand represents who you are and what your business is all about.
The effectiveness of SEO lies in its ability to align all the factors and components that comprise your value chain. It presents a three-dimensional approach in building your brand:
- The technical, or the need to remain updated with the evolution of digital technology by adopting mobile responsive design.
- The fundamental, by focusing on factors that improve user experience.
- The behavioral, by constantly adapting to changing markets.
Will SEO work for your business? Yes, but just like any other strategy or endeavor, it requires periods of learning, adjustment, and most of all, patience.
Want more marketing strategies that get results? See How to Deliver a Coordinated Customer Experience across Every Channel.