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BrightonSEO 2021 - Stakeholder Salad: Communication Skills For SEOs - Talk Your Way Into Getting Shit Done

Communication is at the heart of great SEO. Whether it's getting that pitch over the line, on-going client communication, winning over writers, getting to know the PR team, or convincing developers that your requests are important, SEOs can feel like we're constantly trying to get people to listen. Here are some useful communication approaches and techniques to help you get SEO stuff done and smooth your path. The talk covers common scenarios & gives you ideas on how to respond to and build bridges with key stakeholders.

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BrightonSEO 2021 - Stakeholder Salad: Communication Skills For SEOs - Talk Your Way Into Getting Shit Done

  1. 1. Stakeholder Salad: Communication Skills For SEOs – Talk Your Way Into Getting Shit Done Kayleigh Töyrä Timehouse Oy
  2. 2. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra What, like it's hard? _blonde_rex_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqDg7yincUoRGZjT6F6XLJ6KER3tNgp1 euNhkV4xo4Y1w.jpg
  3. 3. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Do you feel like 50% of the time your work is just trying to get things done? You’re not alone!
  4. 4. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra META WORK ISTHE WORK
  5. 5. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Main communication blockers LOW VALUE UNCLEAR BRIEF CONFLICT OF INTEREST LANGUAGE STYLE SILOS
  7. 7. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Top 3 SEO comms skills Relationship-building & ‘branding’ Ability to adapt language & reflect context Learning how to communicate value
  8. 8. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra AVOID Audience mismatch Leaning on stereotypes Tunnel vision Overcomplicating Oversimplifying Frustration
  9. 9. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Comms styles
  10. 10. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Stakeholders •Developers & tech team •Marketing managers/brand •Creatives, copywriters •C-suite & owners •PR teams •Internal team
  11. 11. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Focused Direct Actionable Backed up with data & resources Tangible ROI-driven Interdisciplinary Role-oriented Focused Collaborative Networked Value-driven Interdisciplinary Curiosity-drive n Developers Marketing managers Creatives, copywriters PR teams C-suite Internal teams Practical Knowledge-sharing Top-line Creative Data
  12. 12. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra You’re actually doing SEO in a specific technical and organisational context
  13. 13. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Caveats
  14. 14. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra •This can be only be achieved if we do X and X by X. Otherwise, we risk losing momentum (timeline) •Within this timeframe, only X will be feasible •We don’t have resources for scenario A right now, but I actually think we can go with B and build on that
  15. 15. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra •We can shoot for X, but it’s likely that X and X will impact our ability see results from X •I need the X team to confirm that X will be implemented by X before I can commit to any performance estimates
  16. 16. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra •The SEO work will only be effective if we also combine it with X •We’re likely to see a X% drop in performance if we go ahead with/without X
  17. 17. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Always offer alternatives Communication hack Communication hack
  18. 18. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra “It’s already got SEO” “SEOs just go on about headings and fixing small details”
  19. 19. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Content Speed Accessibility UX
  20. 20. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra User advocacy
  21. 21. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Scoping is caring
  22. 22. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra But not specifying whether it’s a mansion, garage, or dog kennel. Ordering a house…
  23. 23. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra EXPLAIN the PURPOSE of what you’re ordering.
  24. 24. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra •Get to know development lifecycles •Respect the process •Share knowledge •Speak their language •Know the blind spots •Listen, don’t assume •Have tangible examples Developer communication
  25. 25. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Bring developers in earlier than you think they are needed… Especially true for seniors and architects Than they think they are needed…
  26. 26. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra A good tech spec will save you pain.
  27. 27. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra •Often go wrong •SEOs get called in too late •Retrospective fixes MIGRATIONS a communication case study
  28. 28. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra MIGRATIONS a communication case study •Developer/SEO collaboration from day one •Shared knowledge base •Joint success
  29. 29. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Getting SEO buy-in Workshops & training Sharing best practice & successes Clear guidelines Resource management & SEO advocates
  30. 30. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Structured data Content hierarchy Navigation & pagination Structure & architecture Links & canonicals Speed Tracking & analytics JavaScript/CMS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  31. 31. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra The automation conundrum
  32. 32. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Outcomes Concrete examples Purpose Audience How to offer (the right kind of) SEO training
  33. 33. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Sync up with the rest of the technical roadmap (don’t become an island)
  34. 34. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra •Will come up during the product lifecycle •Saves headaches later •Leaner, faster, better apps and tech environments Why SEO is better ”baked-in”
  35. 35. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra •Manage expectations •Sync up with their teams •Be active •Understand their org •Get background data •Provide value Client communication
  36. 36. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Preemptive comms
  37. 37. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Reframing We have to push back the launch by 2 months = If we launch now, we are risking a 60% downturn in traffic
  38. 38. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Reframing Multiple subdomains are bad for SEO = We should try to maximise our subdomains and clarify where they fit in the user journey
  39. 39. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Reframing This product page is thin on content = I have some ideas on how we can increase traffic and conversions on this page, want to see?
  40. 40. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Reframing This is something that you don’t currently do with your content = I would love to contribute to a documented content strategy, I have some useful seasonal keyword research
  41. 41. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Reframing We are targeting the wrong sort of keyword vocabulary and getting the wrong sort of traffic = I spotted a few new keyword opportunities, I think we should try to go after X and X
  42. 42. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Lots of small things make up a SEO strategy
  43. 43. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra
  44. 44. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra You don’t just do SEO once
  45. 45. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Continuous development
  46. 46. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra No two SEOs are the same….
  47. 47. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra A word on language •Analogy & metaphor = cool •No need to be obscure •Develop your own frameworks •Find your own style
  48. 48. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra New ways of saying the same things? Audit Analysis Benchmark Strategy Reporting
  49. 49. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Become the resource Communication hack
  50. 50. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Huge appetite for SEO data.... Shame nobody knows what any of it means
  51. 51. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Getting out of the reporting rabbit hole •Set the KPIs yourself •Don’t become data blind •Data storytelling •What's beyond the report?
  52. 52. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra •Performance metrics & growth •Sharing a narrative & interpretation of data •Digital asset management VALUE •User advocacy •Proactive comms •Knowledge sharing •Getting things done
  53. 53. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Don’t limit what SEO is Internal comms Employee advocacy Funding
  54. 54. #BrightonSEO @KayleighToyra Thank you! • •