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Why SEO is the responsibility of the CEO

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SEO was something that you could happily leave to your IT or e-commerce department and, with a few technical tweaks and some strategically placed meta tags, you could find yourself dining at Google’s …

SEO was something that you could happily leave to your IT or e-commerce department and, with a few technical tweaks and some strategically placed meta tags, you could find yourself dining at Google’s top table. But Google is changing – and you have to change with it. This document will tell you why you need to fundamentally change your marketing approach – before it’s too late. Find out more at http://www.stickyeyes.com/

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  • 1. SEO IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CEO This article is like no other that you will find here at iStrategy. This article isn’t here to tell you how great we are, brag about our client list or show-off our various awards. Instead, this article will tell you why you need to fundamentally change your marketing approach – before it’s too late.
  • 2. SEO USED TO BE MUCH SIMPLER SEO was something that you could happily leave to your IT or e-commerce department and, with a few technical tweaks and some strategically placed meta tags, you could find yourself dining at Google’s top table. But Google is changing – and you have to change with it. Digital success now depends on three core The fundamental principle of Google pillars; technical, content and authority is relevancy. It wants to deliver the most enhancement. These three distinct relevant results to its users; first time, every elements each have their own individual time. If you’re irrelevant, Google will give skillsets and personalities. The challenge you the ranking that you deserve. If you for you is to get them working together can make your brand the last word on your in complete harmony. chosen niche; the brand that people want Why has Google done this? It wants you to be like them. to talk about, you’ll reap the rewards. It’s easier said than done.
  • 3. 3 core pillars to digital success: + Technical Ensuring that your site is firing on all cylinders. No digital strategy can succeed if it is being carried by something with severe technical flaws. + Content Content provides your customers with a reason to visit, a reason to interact and a reason to buy. Offer your customers something unique, something relevant and something valuable. + Authority Enhancement The web is littered with companies that are doing exactly what you do. Establish yourself as the last word in your sector and become the first place that your customers call.
  • 4. BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS The social department may have an amazing campaign in the pipeline, but the PR department is concerned that the message “isn’t quite on brand” and the IT team is worried about the security implications of adding social media widgets to your archaic CMS. Then your SEO agency throws in its two cents and the compliance department raises more questions than answers. The net result? Nothing gets done. Vested interests get in the way and various stakeholders spend valuable time coming up with reasons why things can’t happen, rather than finding solutions for why they can. Of course, it is right that the IT department are concerned about site security and you would expect the PR department to be concerned about the integrity of the brand, but these very expectations are creating a wall of organisational barriers to your businesses online success. As digital continues to evolve, SEO will inevitably touch upon more and more departments, which all need to have a clear direction and a consensus on what the business is trying to achieve. That has to come from the top.
  • 5. LET DIGITAL CREATIVE THRIVE Digital marketing works when there is a clear vision and ambition for the business. Every single stakeholder, including your agency, needs to know exactly what “success” looks like and be invested into that vision. That direction can only come from the CEO. Digital marketing cannot continue to exist in its own bubble or silo, separate from the other functions of the business. If you’re reading this as someone who doesn’t quite “get” digital, you need to start getting it – and quickly. The success of your online operations demands unequivocal buy-in in the boardroom. When the board is invested in the success of its digital marketing, the key stakeholders have that vision. That vision allows teams to break organisational barriers, put aside their individual interests and embrace change for the better. Without it, Google will leave you behind.
  • 6. OUR TOP FIVE KEY ACTIONS 1. Stop calling it ‘SEO’ Stop calling it “SEO”. Stop calling it “digital marketing”. Start calling it “marketing”. It might only sound like a semantic change, but this will be a seismic shift in the culture and attitude towards your online activity. Stop treating SEO as something that lives in a separate silo and instead, make it a central component of your marketing. 2. Make it the CEO’s job Success stems from the vision set from the very top. Ensuring that every employee and stakeholder, from the boardroom to the shop floor, is bought into the goals and ambitions of the business. 3. Remove the organisational barriers Ensuring your individual departments are working to a common goal is vital. Make it clear what “success” looks like and keep them on track. Turn your departments from a team of ‘can’t dos’ into a team of ‘can dos’. 4. Put your audience first If audiences are going to talk about you, you have to do something that they care about. Know who your audience are, know what they like, and give it to them. Whether they want to be entertained, informed, shocked or amazed, create something that will get them talking, clicking sharing and tweeting. 5. Eliminate the fear of change Change is controversial. Trying to change how things are done is perhaps the single biggest cause of friction within large organisations. However, in an age where Google makes around 500 algorithm changes per year, a fear of change can be crippling.
  • 7. West One, Wellington Street, Leeds, United Kingdom LS1 1BA T +44 (0)113 391 2929 F +44 (0)113 391 2939 33 Glasshouse Street, London, United Kingdom W1B 5DG T. +44 (0)20 300 86501 E. hello@stickyeyes.com W. www.stickyeyes.com @Stickyeyes linkedin.com/company/stickyeyes WANT TO LEARN MORE? Come and visit us at stand 17 and make sure that you catch Heather Healy’s invaluable guide to social media crisis management between 12 – 12:40pm on Monday 30 September 2013.