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5 Critical SEO Mistakes Marketers Must Avoid

1. SEO Is Free

This couldn’t be father from the truth. Unfortunately, many corporate leaders view SEO services as a cost versus an investment. A long-term investment at that, one that usually pays off in a big way year over year.

When a CFO or anyone that is reviewing expenses sees a line item that says SEO services followed by a five or six digit figure, the most common reaction is “what is this, and why do we need it?” That is often followed by a strike through action in regards to next years budget planning.

When planning your SEO services, whether you are hiring a consultant or doing it with your in-house marketing team, it’s important that you are constantly on top of re-evaluating the budget for SEO. It’s also equally important that you continually document success for reporting purposes. When you see a spike in traffic, higher conversions or whatever your metric may be, document it using the Google Analytics annotation feature. That way, if you are ever called to defend your budgets, you have ongoing proof of the success of your marketing efforts

2. SEO is independent of all other marketing channels

Management typically falls short in understanding how to present SEO as a united front, not just a one-off marketing channel performed only by an SEO expert. It’s crucial to any overall marketing program that it be setup as an integrated multi-channel sales and marketing funnel where results are measured by achieved goals. There is an imperative interdependency between SEO, public relations, social media and all of your other content marketing efforts where SEO acts as a spoke in the wheel and not the hub itself.

Being an SEO expert is much more than understanding the magic in the black box that we all know to be Google Search results.  It consists of being a hybrid of a data analyst, a goal oriented business strategist, as well as a marketer.  

3.  A bleak understanding of business goals and organizational structure

Scalability is crucial in any business model or organizational structure, especially when dealing with how to grow your SEO efforts. Large, old and/or traditional corporations where continual convincing the C-Suite of SEO benefits can dampen these efforts dramatically and ultimately can have a negative impact on overall profits. If more and more of your time is chewed up by “why we should be doing this” versus actually performing the work, there may exist an underlying communication issue between yourself and management. One that may be getting in the way more than you think.

4. A previous SEO expert that is now your CMO

While having a CMO that is well versed in online marketing and what it takes to get things done, on occasion this can lead into a serious case of micro management.  We all tend to have our areas of expertise as we ascend through the management ranks, eventually into upper management.  We have been groomed in a certain digital area and while we have direct experience in one element of online marketing, we also tend to have exposure to other areas, making us well rounded and good candidates for today’s more technical CMO. However, at this point, the technical CMO typically doesn’t have time to keep up with the daily updates made by Google and the impactful changes to the search algorithm.  Management should be competent in understanding how all of these areas perform in sync.  Micro managing and getting involved into many of the day-to-day items and specific details has the potential of negatively affecting revenue.

5. Believing SEO is a science or an algorithm that never changes

SEO is quickly evolving into much more than a simple onsite tweak of your meta data or modifying title headers to prove content relevancy to Google. It’s important to keep abreast of the bigger picture in terms of how SEO is changing.  Remaining rooted to what used to work in the past will be of no use in the future of SEO.  If you decide to invest in similar strategies as years past, it’s almost guaranteed that you will be missing the true business advantages claimed effective through SEO. Make sure you invest in good analytics and consistently monitor them for sudden trend changes in your traffic or user behavior.  Also, make sure you don’t spend money on something that can’t be tracked.  Establishing proper goals other than high rankings will help focus your efforts on the key performance indicators that support your goals.

This article and much more can be found by downloading the ASPE-ROI Newsletters

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