Millions of people make new year’s resolutions every year, and most fail within the first month. This is not unlike the SEO work we hoped to do last year, but didn’t get done.
Well-meaning businesses often find that there is more work than they expected when they set out on their SEO journey. So they fail for various reasons – lack of buy-in, effort, and so on.
In 2023, resolve to get SEO implemented so that you actually have a chance to compete in the search results. Here are five resolutions to overcome common obstacles to SEO success.
SEO resolution 1: Have a vision you can share
Pointing to an SEO audit and saying, “we have to do this,” is not a strategy. You need to be able to discuss the high-level vision for your SEO program.
This may include things like:
Why you want to make SEO a key initiative
What trends are happening that show SEO as a key marketing activity today? Maybe the fact that there are 5.9 million searches on Google every minute?
The bottom line: It’s not really a question of if you should be on a platform used by almost the entire U.S. population, but do you want to beat the competitors and gain your fair share of organic search revenue?
What goals and KPIs you will set
Show that you’ve thought about the goals you intend to reach and the KPIs you will measure along the way.
How you will you get there
Exactly what are the steps needed to get the program up and running? And whom will you need support from?
SEO resolution 2: Get real buy-in
Do you really have buy-in for SEO? Like the type of buy-in where the CEO would say it’s a key initiative? Without this type of “all-in” attitude, it can be hard to move the needle past your department.
I remember some years ago when my company delivered more than 100 pages of an SEO audit to one of the largest research and review sites in the auto sector.
We proposed radical changes and told them that if they implemented every one of them, they’d see a massive influx of traffic.
It was a big risk for the client. They knew they’d need everyone on board to make it happen, from marketing to IT. So the chairman of the board called a company meeting and said SEO would be a key strategic initiative from that point on.
And guess what? They worked together to implement every recommendation and saw a 900% increase in traffic within the first week after launch. They remain competitive to this day.
Getting this type of buy-in takes preparation. If you want to champion SEO at your place of business, there’s a bit of work to do.
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SEO resolution 3: Build relationships
At the end of the day, a company is not made up of departments or roles, it’s made up of people. Strong relationships can go a long way in business and getting things done.
Once you have identified the critical folks needed to get SEO done, you can start by meeting with them one-on-one or in teams to:
- Show them how SEO can align with their goals: There is rarely a business goal that cannot be met with SEO in some way. Do a needs assessment of their goals and see how SEO can support them.
- Show them they are a critical part of the process in making it work: Most people will not initially know how their day-to-day work can impact SEO or vice versa. How can they be a part of SEO’s success?
SEO resolution 4: Educate about SEO
When you are trying to get everyone on board with SEO, you must remember that most people will have a limited view of what SEO is (outside of your immediate team). Keep it simple.
Wherever possible, you want to validate your SEO advice with Google’s recommendations (see help files from Google Search Central, Google Search Central videos, etc.).
This helps make the connection that SEO is a partnership with Google – not something you do to game the system.
And SEO training can be key. Back when I started my agency, I quickly realized that the best way to get clients to implement SEO was to train them on SEO. That was a big catalyst for launching our SEO training course in 1999.
Since then, we put all of our clients into our SEO training so that we can have intelligent conversations that help move the needle.
Consider SEO training for all the people who will need to be involved (I’m talking about your web developers and IT folks, too). I find that when companies open up SEO training across teams, it creates a shared understanding and motivates people to get things done.
SEO resolution 5: Make the effort
Not everyone will see a 900% increase in traffic the first week, like the company I told you about earlier. In fact, it can take up to six months to start to see big results, depending on factors like the website’s health, the competitive landscape and more.
Some companies may give up when they don’t see the results right away that they expected. This is obviously a mistake – and a result of not understanding how SEO works (see educate section above).
Companies must invest in SEO for the entire lifecycle of their site to stay competitive. Remember, though, once you invest in it, it’s yours (unlike PPC, where if you turn it off, you disappear from the search results – no offense to PPC, you need both!).
That said, there are ways to get quick wins and see results to get people excited about SEO. For example, consider a pilot project which might look like:
- A plan to prioritize the most impactful SEO tasks first and then track and share your results.
- A small SEO initiative with a key team within the company.
With some smaller wins under your belt, you may be able to build momentum. Do remember, though, that sometimes a website’s biggest SEO issues are technical in nature. And resolving those can take some serious effort.
At the very least, you need IT folks, website developers – whoever is in charge of making changes to the website – on your side.
One piece of advice here: You can always submit technical changes to the site as a “bug fix.” Developers and IT professionals care about fixing bugs and want to stay on top.
Make 2023 count
It’s not always easy to get an SEO program off the ground.
If it’s a challenge for you, start small, make the most impactful moves first and celebrate every win. You will see how these steps can build momentum over time.