When executed well, a holistic SEO strategy pays off exponentially. Nothing else can drive traffic and online visibility as cost-effectively as search engine optimization (SEO). But the key to SEO success is collaboration, which can be particularly challenging in large, siloed organizations.
SEO impacts multiple aspects of a business. That’s why a well-rounded SEO strategy requires cross-functional collaboration across teams, including digital, marketing, PR, IT, and customer service.
Read on to learn more about how you can optimize SEO collaboration within your enterprise.
Organizational Silos Diminish SEO Results
SEO is a complex, multifaceted subject, which can be challenging to integrate if you’re working in a more traditional organizational structure split into functional divisions. Typical business silos often divide down the lines of marketing, sales, customer service, and IT—all teams that should collaborate with SEO. These silos can hinder your SEO success in several ways:
- Inconsistent Priorities: According to Search Engine Journal, the main problem SEO teams face is implementing technical changes. Often a business will undertake an expensive SEO audit, only for the recommendations to languish at the bottom of an IT queue, never to be implemented, because SEO is not a shared priority.
- Lack of communication: Silos discourage open communication between teams, which can result in duplicated efforts, contradictory strategies, keyword cannibalization, and a generally fragmented approach to SEO strategy. For example, if a product team launches new web pages without informing the SEO team, it may result in conflicting keyword targeting or missed opportunities for on-page SEO optimization.
- Inefficient workflows: When teams operate independently without a holistic understanding of the entire SEO process, it can cause inefficiency, delays, and missed optimization opportunities. If web content is developed without first consulting the SEO team for keyword insights, for instance, then it may need to be re-optimized after it is created, diminishing effectiveness and creating additional work. With ever more frequent Google algorithm updates, SEO teams need to be agile and reactionary. There’s no time to waste!
Improve SEO Collaboration in 6 Steps
Two of the biggest roadblocks to scaling a successful SEO strategy are people operations and alignment. Follow these six tips to help you overcome the challenges posed by silos and make your business a SEO success story.
- Foster a culture of collaboration: Encourage open communication, knowledge sharing, and cooperation between your SEO specialists and other departments. Establish regular meetings or workshops between broader SEO stakeholders such as PR, IT, UX, and marketing to align goals, share insights, and foster a sense of teamwork.
- Build bridges: Encourage interdepartmental rotations or project-based assignments to enhance understanding and build relationships between teams. This sharing of skills and perspectives can lead to innovative solutions. For example, include an SEO team member as a stakeholder in key PR planning sessions.
- Establish shared goals and metrics: Define objectives that align teams to work toward common SEO goals. This encourages collaboration and ensures everyone works toward the same outcomes. Technical SEO KPIs like Core Web Vitals are a great example: Making these shared goals helps ensure they are appropriately prioritized in the dev queue.
- Invest in cross-training: Provide training and development opportunities to equip team members with a broader SEO understanding and skill set. Upskilling content writers with SEO training, for example, can help make content more effective and save time re-working content after it’s written.
- Leverage data, technology, and tools: Implement collaborative project management tools, communication platforms, and data sharing systems to streamline workflows and facilitate information exchange. SEO teams have a wealth of data at their fingertips, so why not share it? For example, share high-volume question keywords with customer service teams to create comprehensive FAQs or help guides.
- Structure your team: Determine the optimal place in the org chart to establish (or move) your SEO team so they are set up for success. Consider what team structure will boost collaboration and strengthen SEO results.
The complexity and evolving nature of SEO, especially in large enterprise organizations, necessitates cross-functional teamwork. Fostering a collaborative environment by implementing these strategies to align teams toward common SEO goals will help you fuel more effective and impactful SEO results.
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