Evangelizing SEO within an organization

Evangelism about SEO in an organization and spreading the word in a “grass-roots” sort of way is something that is very hard to do. I always think about it and get excited over the fact that I can make a difference and become a “thought leader” for an organization. The truth is, the evangelism of SEO within a traditional organization or small business can be painful.

I’ve been faced with this a couple times at organizations and while sometimes it is great and can lead to tremendous success, other times, it ends up just being a painful battle without any change.

So, basically I wanted to run through some of the things that I have done to try to get people excited about SEO and Search Marketing. I would call it by “Top 5 tips for SEO Evangelism,” but I don’t want to seem to cliche. (Oh darn, I already did!)

TALK TO PEOPLE! – This is by far, the most important rule that I have given myself. Get people in the know about SEO. (excuse my cliche sounding rhyme’s!…lol). Bring up topics going on in search, throw out numbers about how search is growing in popularity. SEOMoz does this well by putting quotes from well known articles on their homepage, these are things that you can total mention to people within your organization and hopefully build buzz. The main goal and hopefully you can get this going is to have people talking about SEO/SEM to each other.

Baby Steps – On the marketing and creative side we tend to see a lot of “ownership” around pages. They don’t want major changes to be made. So start with small things like meta tag, title tag and page naming changes in that could help certain keywords without changing your messaging or content.

Web Standards – Work closely with your web development teams to get better at coding. WATCH OUT THOUGH, YOU BETTER KNOW YOUR STUFF! Do not attempt to make it an attack. Evangelize it, that is what this is all about, spreading thoughts, knowledge and wisdom to other teams for the overall good (sounds like i am trying to save the world a bit??). Anyway, to get to the point, you basically want to get people thinking they should be standards compliant, ensuring the design elements are CSS based and that your HTML is read like a document. This allows for better site crawlability and your HTML will be read better by spiders.

Make Suggestions – Take a risk and go out on a limb by putting in thoughtful input whenever possible. Some things I have done with this is made statements in meetings about the amount of searches there are for a certain keyword or phrase that we could be capitalizing on.

Use Analytics to your advantage – This will help put everything together. Give you an unbelievable amount of data to take back to your colleagues and counterparts. Oh and guess what else this gives you?! We all know that the “Big Wigs” like seeing the numbers quickly and to the point, so this is a great way to evangelize your successes, no matter how BIG your “big wig” is.

Now that you have my secret and effective list of evangelism for SEO, you better put it to good use!! Spreading the word and starting a movement of sorts around will definitely help spread the word about SEO, building better sites, with a better user experience and great content.

Quick and Dirty SEO Copywriting Tips

SEO has lately been a plethora of information about Linkbait, tricking engines, social marketing and such and I wanted to post something in my mind that really takes me back to what got me into SEO, using my creative side and copywriting for the search engines. After all, I still believe content truly is king.

These may or may not impact your overall SEO performance intentionally, but it will increase conversion and possibly indirectly affect your rankings in the SERP’s. Here are a few factors that I have found to be HIGHLY important when writing good content or copy:

1. Talking to your customer: This really has the least desired significance from an SEO perspective, but is still highly critical. Your copy should really put your customer or reader in a situation where they feel like you are talking directly to them in a “1 on 1” style conversation.

2. Be Consistent: Maintaining a level of consistency with your page copy is going to lead you in the right direction. Maintain a consistent theme, ensure your crucial keywords and key phrases are being called out and stand out. You can throw a bold/italics/underline tag in there to make it stand out to the user and even the search engines.

3. Markup, Markup, Markup: As mentioned above, throw some tags in there to mix it up and have content that sticks out. Use custom CSS to create sexy header text and give the search engine’s more visibility into key phrases. Be creative in the way that you do things, but, DO NOT SPAM! If you spam, you won’t gain conversion, which goes back to being consistent and talking to your customer.

4. I said I wasn’t going to talk about links, I can’t help it!: Another way that you can be creative with your markup is not just by marking up your phrases, but also, linking to internal pages within your site. This will really give you an opportunity to really get some attention with SE’s.

5. Having a Call to Action & Being Persuasive: So, you’ve talked to your customer, you’ve maintained consistency, you’ve got the SEO stuff out of the way, now how do I sell?! Well, maintaining all of the above will get you part way there, but having a really persuasive call to action will really help you convert customers and readers. Overall, that is your main goal, conversion, so ensure that you are really taking control here and throwing all your creative juices in this basket.

Some of this must be quite obvious to the seasoned folks, and even to myself, but it is very nice sometimes to remind yourself and bring yourself back to the basics. Especially since in my mind, when it comes to good marketing at all, Content is always king.

Page 4 of 41234