I’m a big fan of delegation – at least that’s what my last review decided. We are forever talking in SEO about how best to integrate SEO activity with the work of other departments, from PPC to display to social media to PR.
Everyone would love their job to be a little bit easier, especially in SEO.
If you’re an in-house e-commerce manager or SEO with little budget and time, what are the other departments you need to be best friends with in order to get them to do your job for you? Well, here is a list and the reasons why:
OK, this one is obvious and has been talked about many times, but it’s important. Your PR team can get you links from authoritative domains. If they aren’t, then they should be. Spend time educating them about why you need links and from where.
For bonus points, educate them about your keyword strategy, and see if you can influence their PR schedules to make it easier for you to get those all-important links from contextually relevant content.
These guys know a lotabout low-competition, well-converting keywords. Always build these keywords into your SEO strategy somewhere, they shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of your SEO but they can add serious value to your activities, and the PPC team will be able to help you find them.
One other area they are experts in is what kind of text ads encourage click throughs better than others. As this is a ranking factor, it’s worth getting them to help you understand what kinds of messages tend to work better so you can use them in your meta descriptions
Social Media Team
If you have one, these guys can help you identify key influencers online as link prospects. They will be able to identify important and relevant content to either talk about, link to, or develop further content from, and they can also build links in their own right. If you don’t have one, maybe your PR department is covering it?
These guys should have good contacts at important sites in your industry. Sponsorships and homepage takeovers are their area and you can use them to try and help you get good content placed onto sections of big sites.
The affiliate team may or may not want to consider it, but they will have a big list of sites that already link to you, and make a small commission on selling your products. Some of those affiliates might not refer sales on a regular basis and could therefore be approached about other marketing opportunities.
Obviously the ones that do make good affiliate commissions might not want to link to you in an SEO-friendly way as there will be no tracking on the link but your affiliate team might be able to give you a juicy list of semantically relevant sites who you could approach for links.
The dev team can be your best friends or your worst enemy, but if you can spend time with them you will get a lot out of them. You will need them to quickly implement the urgent things like 301s from old pages to new and canonical instructions, but they are also very important people to influence if you feel that UGC is needed on the site, or a restructuring of navigation is needed, or if naming conventions for meta-titles would make page creation and uploading better. In fact, the dev team is useful for lots of things, so spend time with them and talk to them about SEO whenever you get the chance.
Your creative team can be a wacky bunch full of interesting ideas. You never know when they might decide that an infographic might be an interesting thing to produce and ‘go viral’. As I say, wacky bunch – but if they were to consistently produce infographics or any other creative ideas like videos or mini-sites then you might want to know about it and use them in your link building.
Depending on what organization you work for, purchasing could be one of the most important departments, as they will know what kinds of products you need to be ranking for in the future. Getting insight from them can keep you ahead of the competition in your SEO efforts.
If you’re a savvy ecommerce director, could you avoid hiring an in-house SEO team, or avoid paying an agency by effectively managing all of these elements? Well, no. Not unless you’re going to gel all of this together and do your own link building, on-site optimization recommendations, ranking checks and competitor analysis. You will need an SEO team to pull all of this together and ensure to stay ahead of trends, as well as to actually do all of these things mentioned above (other departments have their own targets and responsibilities above SEO so much as it might make a topic for a blog post, outsourcing all of your SEO to other departments won’t actually work in practice).
What do you think? Are there any other potential SEO buddies within an organization who could help us?
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!