In House Out House SEOLast night I attended a gathering of mostly in-house SEOs in San Francisco, many from brands we all know. One of the goals of the event was to provide an open forum to share some of our current SEO challenges to get feedback from each other. It was amazing, or perhaps not, how remarkably consistent the sentiment was in almost every conversation I had:

  • “The C-suite doesn’t (want to) understand SEO”
  • “Design doesn’t want to accommodate SEO” (AKA “Steve Jobs would never do THAT!”)
  • “No one wants to rebuild our platform to make it more SEO-capable”
  • “The only thing they’ll fund is blog posts”
  • “The paid search guys can easily track their performance by keyword. We can’t so they get all the $”
  • “How do I educate the organization about the benefits of investing in SEO?”

To be clear it wasn’t all bitching and moaning. There were a number of solutions proffered to several of these issues. And some of these sites were so dominant in their categories that their biggest issue was what they should do now that they rank well for all of their target keywords (how often do you hear that one?). But my main takeaway from the discussion was that SEO strategy and tactics, in general, were not key issues for in-house SEOs.

Constantly having to make the case in organizations where SEO is not part of the culture is THE issue.

When I think about it, this is often the case with clients who hire us. We can put together great site audits, great plans to grow SEO, great tests to dip their toes in the water, great examples of historical ROI, etc. but often what clients really need is a change in their culture that makes SEO a priority.

As I am fond of saying…

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