Are SEOs Strategic Enough?

A common complaint from managers to SEOs is that we aren’t strategic.

The fault lies on both sides…. but mostly the SEO!

First though, keep in mind the name: Search Engine Optimization. This means best using resources to improve organic search results. This involves web assets like content, backlinks, multimedia & more.

But SEO doesn’t create these and only leverages them. Right away then, the SEO purview is found in what’s available (or they convince others to make available).

The SEO may want to build a tool associating their product with each city in the US, but this could only be carried out alongside developers!

Content & backlinks do serve as the basis for SEO. However, they often just support other digital marketing initiatives. These can be done so unpurposefully as to waste money at best and harm the business at worst.

Little tweaks add up that make a big difference. For example, breadcrumb schema used well improves CTR from the SERPs for all pages. These changes don’t play a big role in strategy but still help.

Finally, SEO is everchanging & opportunistic. In recent years for instance, targeting FAQs in search results was a great play to earn more search engine real estate… until it wasn’t starting in April 2023. Nevermind AI!

Just as importantly though, SEOs do a poor job at sharing all this knowledge, cocooning to perform some esoteric process that may not clearly generate awareness, leads & sales for their companies.

They must integrate within digital marketing teams and overcommunicate what they do in a friendly manner.

They must rely on analytics to justify change, to perhaps make the business case in terms of leads & sales for what they do.

But this is all worth it when you realize organic search is the largest digital marketing channel! (Though not right for every business.)

In short, good business sense & soft skills matter in SEO too of course, so long as everyone involved knows how SEO works (from the SEO)!

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