SEO training: Executive & Hands On – Part 2 of 3

Continuing our series outlining the SEO services we elaborate on our ‘Executive SEO’ training.

In this training path, we want to equip executives with the relevant knowledge to use SEO in their strategic decision-making, and to evaluate SEO applications. Our aim is also to prevent executives from making some of the SEO mistakes we see all too often.

Short-sighted SEO

One of the most common mistakes companies make when it comes to SEO is only considering SEO as part of website performance.

There are a number of problems with this myopic approach.

One of the big problems is that getting to page one on Google for a keyword (or any other search engine for that matter) may feel nice, but companies should ask the question ‘So what?’. The ‘so what?’ could also take the form of the following questions:

  • How does ranking in this keyword help me sell?
  • Does our target market use this keyword when they search for our product/services?
  • Does our high ranking lead to sales? If not, why?

It is only when these questions (and many more) are answered that SEO work becomes meaningful. And by meaningful I mean ‘increases revenue/business performance”.  To make SEO really work a business needs to do something difficult – it needs to think critically. This is a key aspect of our ethos, and something that is relevant to all our services: CRM, email marketing, business analytics etc.

By answering these questions SEO becomes something that is considered as part of a company’s marketing strategy as opposed to just when thinking about the website. Remember: we work on SEO what we are really working on is your sales cycle.

Another problem is that when executives don’t understand SEO then it is unlikely that SEO will be a company-wide effort.

This often takes the form of all SEO efforts being vested in only one person – often someone in the marketing department or a SEO consultant. The problem with this approach is that often these people do not know the business intimately and therefore do not understand how the sales cycle works.

Only when executives, marketers, developers, copywriters, content creators, and salespeople are on the same page can SEO be executed in the most effective way. Having multiple people at different levels fluent with SEO you also have the ability to leverage sales even more when SEO is integrated with CRM and email marketing.

Goals of Executive SEO

By the end of the training we aim for executives to be able to:

  • Assess the performance of their website
  • Develop appropriate SEO goals and strategy
  • Make effective plans to achieve these goals
  • Develop an understanding of how SEO fits in the company’s wider sales cycle.
  • Effectively participate in keyword planning

Executive SEO –  meeting 1 of 2

As mentioned in our last post in this series,  Executive SEO training generally follows the pattern of two three-hour meetings.

The first meeting starts with an introduction to the main tools used in SEO work.

Using these SEO tools we will then peruse your business’s online presence.  In doing so we will identify strengths and weaknesses and areas where attention probably is best focused.

In this meeting, we also discuss performance measurement. As leaders of the business, it can be helpful to understand the ROI your SEO efforts have. Here we show you the range of options you have that can help you get a concrete picture of how much business your website is bringing you.

Executive SEO –  meeting 2 of 2

In the second lesson, we cover SEO goal setting,  keyword planning, and how to incorporate SEO into marketing decision-making.

At this point, we begin to discuss the fundamental question of ‘where is SEO relevant to our business? 

While it is often a fantastic area to develop, some businesses may be better suited for pay-per-click campaigns, or even more traditional marketing efforts.

One example where this may be appropriate is where the keywords that make sense for your business to target are massively competitive, with a results page dominated by large-multi national businesses.  This may mean it is an uneconomical way to find new customers (although often this can be resolved with savvy targeting of long-tail keywords).

Another case where SEO may be of moderate importance would be a business or industry that operates almost solely from reputation and word of mouth.

We also outline the work needed to execute SEO. This includes both onsite and offsite SEO. While executives do not need an intimate understanding of the development side of SEO, it is helpful that they have a basic understanding of how search engines see websites and the elements that are important in that process.

Where to from here

 After this training is complete we are also available to advise executives as new challenges or questions arise. This could be especially helpful in the keyword planning/SEO strategy phase. As mentioned in our previous post, we see it as more effective and economical for businesses to be largely independent with their SEO work, but we do understand that expert support is needed from time to time.

Our next (and final) post in this series will cover the ‘Hands-on SEO training that we provide.

If you are interested in finding out how your business can use SEO to enhance its sales cycle then contact us for a free consultation.