A common challenge with business today is that few people within an organisation beyond the Digital Marketing Manager have a deep knowledge of the inner workings of Search Marketing.
However, staff in the offshore call centre all the way through to the CEO, are becoming more important in maintaining a strong brand presence at the head of Google search results.
It’s time for some internal Internet Marketing training. So, who within your organisation needs to be educated in Search Marketing and to what extent?
The PR and Marketing Team
PR and Marketing are typically responsible for production of the majority of the onsite and distributed content for any brand. With three out of four people starting their product research with an online search query, it’s critical that the content produced by the marketing team is organic search friendly.
Making content search friendly is far easier in 2012 than it was five years ago. Search engines now have solid understandings of semantics, thus keyword density and repetition is not such an issue. Content still needs to be constructed in a search friendly manner, including the target keyword near the beginning and, if possible, within the title. Larger organisations often provide on-the-job SEO training to their content teams emphasising the importance of writing for search.
The IT Department
What’s the difference between a 301 and 302 redirect? What’s the difference between relative and absolute URLs? For an SEO consultant, one could generate top three rankings and a year-end bonus, the other could land your site in the middle of the second page.
When it comes to enterprise SEO, there is fierce competition in the website development queue. Implementing search friendly recommendations can sometimes fall in a long line behind day-to-day IT issues.
IT departments are increasingly busy, however time should be invested in educating IT that Search could be critical to the company’s survival. In 2012, a one-man-band that ranks first on Google can put a company with 30 years of industry experience out of business.
IT departments typically don’t need to be involved in the day-to-day aspects of Search, but there will be occasional requests when time is of the essence. During this period the IT Department need to be thought of as a critical component of the marketing team rather than the guys at the tech support desk.
I was once told that I could keep my client’s management team happy if they see, “graphs that go up and to the right”. As penetration and consumption rates of traditional above the line media options decline, it’s the performance and demand-side media options, including Search, that are generating the impressive year-on-year growth.
The problem is that some senior managers began their careers in an era where they could, “spend a couple of million and see how it goes”. Back then, consumption of television advertising was at an all time high and branding was the order of the day. Now however, TV advertising is often fast forwarded through.
Search Marketing, on the other hand, captures audiences at the ‘moment of relevance’ – while they’re actually searching for the suite of products and services that your company offers – leading to significantly higher conversion rates, brand recognition and ultimately measureable ROI. Typically a proportion of senior management’s remuneration is based upon business performance, it should be an easy sell to invest in pre-qualified and demand side media.
The Call Centre
Knowing how people find your business has always been of critical importance. The often overlooked advantage of Search is in improving overall business efficiency. By providing clear and concise customer support information online, we can avoid a large number of inbound calls to our call centres.
Similar to the sales channel, the call centre team should attempt to solicit the search query that triggered the call. Then, working with the search and content teams, content should be generated and published to the website in a FAQ format. In future, those calls could be avoided, improving call centre efficiency and reducing the number of operators required. PayPal has successfully implemented this technique; by asking visitors a number of questions onsite before giving access to a specific phone number, they can reduce overall call volume while streamlining the user’s online experience.
The Design Department
There’s no point in having a beautiful website if no one can see it. While web designers are getting better at the basics of search friendly design occasionally they still produce elements, structures and layouts which are impossible for search engines to digest.
So there you have it – a glimpse into who in the organisation really should be educated on Search Marketing to ensure you are achieving the best results possible. Have you taken your internal teams through Search or is Search an enigma to them? The more they know, the better. Book in that Internet Marketing training session ASAP and create some internal search experts.