When it comes to big teams (and just as frequently with one-man shows), all marketing initiatives earn the distinction of being a priority, which normally denotes something that's important enough to jump on right away. But with dozens of other projects hanging in the air, a further hierarchy is required. Individual action items (or at times, the entire list) becomes a high priority, on top of which it's more than likely that the team has three or four top priorities.
When you have a project in mind that can make a huge difference to your bottom line, like SEO or PPC, hearing that it's a top priority and then watching it languish as a line item in weekly and monthly staff meetings quickly becomes a top annoyance with a high incidence of face palming as a result.
So, how do you make search important enough to rise above organizational inertia and this priority crap? And get it underway or past common bottlenecks?
Time and money are the two points that these discussions come down to. Over the next few weeks, we'll discuss how to get the approval to start, and the push to make them happen.
The Day Ain't Gettin' any Younger
While money is usually the more compelling factor in selling a new search program or changing directions, time is always of the essence and creates a greater sense of urgency. Given how long an SEO or a PPC program can take to get started, let alone start producing at its highest levels, this message can't wait another two weeks.
SEO is about long-term growth, even though overcoming basic issues can drive some quick growth. Development alone can take months for even the simplest of changes, indexing those updates takes another few weeks, and then there's a waiting period before real growth even begins.
Think PPC is better? As easy it is to start a PPC campaign (five minutes and a credit card can have you up and running), building up a significant presence and getting maximum efficiency from it takes time.
Full campaign build-outs can take days, weeks, or even months, depending on your offerings and budget. After launch, it's another few days or even weeks to get fully onboarded by the engines, and longer before your CPCs have a chance to seriously drop from improving CTR and quality score.
Both of those scenarios assume that everything's perfect the first time around (even for the best of us, good luck with that), and without factoring in the time it takes to RFP from agencies, to hire in-house help, or to simply get the green light to move forward with current staffing before any of this can even happen.
The Future is Closer Than You Think
Time waits for no man, woman, or search campaign. If you're aiming to take advantage of Valentine's Day but haven't already started your efforts, you've got a lot of catching up to do. Even spring break and summer vacations are relatively right around the corner.
Does your business hit a peak around swim season? Guess what -- your potential customers are starting to search for your products right now.
For SEO, the urgency extends to even further-out dates: back to school isn't far in the distance if you need to post major updates by April or May to maximize your visibility in time. To really affect natural search for holiday 2010, you need to be in a position to post changes to your site not too long after that.
Are you building a new site? Without SEO guidance from the earliest stages, you could be missing new natural search opportunities in your new site and could be building in practices that will lose you every bit of search traction you have.
Make sure that you -- and the decision makers who can make the campaigns happen -- are aware of the time it will take to make the most of your opportunities this year.
It's Already Tomorrow in Australia
Like any other initiative, ultimately it boils down to having the will and the drive to stay on top of the process until those with the purse strings are sold on it, contracts are signed, and the project kicks off. Regularly making clear the potential gains in proceeding and the risks in delay will help keep everyone's eyes on what's important in the situation and make sure that it doesn't just become another priority.
Next time, we'll look at how to make the case in terms of dollars and cents.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!