In recent years so much emphasis has been placed on improving a site’s search engine visibility but sometimes at the detriment of the brand.
Just why is SEO ruining brands?
Over the past few years SEO has been plunged into the driver’s seat, whilst aspects like user experience have been compromised. Website copy has been the sacrificial lamb for SEOs in their pursuit of rankings. Whilst title tags and meta descriptions have been stuffed more than a Xmas Turkey. And lets not forget the impact of a site usability as users are directed to the additional SEO page’s which has been added to the site and provide users with no real value to the users thirst for information.
Why is SEO resulting in compromising other site objectives?
1. Lack of control internally; In some organisations the job of SEO sits with the IT department. Whilst SEO is somewhat technical, it is difficult to ensure your brand’s key messages are effectively communicated when it is left to those who code rather than manage a brand.
2. Lack of knowledge;
Many marketers still leave the specifics of their SEO strategy to their agency without knowledge of what they are doing. If you cannot answer the basic questions such as those below then alarm bells should be ringing;
– Which keywords are you targeting
– Where are your site links placed
– How are my title tags written
Marketers would never let their agency release an advert they hadn’t seen, or distribute a Press Release without their approval, so why do they let the SEO agency do what they want?
3. Lack of accountability; Unfortunately SEO agencies have been too focused on delivering rankings and not focussed enough on driving conversion. The SEO discipline is too far removed from the other areas of marketing and SEOs themselves are too 1 dimensional. It’s time for SEOs to understand the bigger picture and how their SEO efforts fit into the larger strategy.
So how can you ensure it’s not happening to your brand?
1. Ask for transparency; No marketer should stand for an SEO agency who will not reveal the secrets which get a site to rank. It’s your site and your brand and no external party should be entrusted with that much responsibility.
2. Be educated; Marketers must increase their knowledge of SEO, not to become experts but to have enough knowledge to ask their agency the right questions.
3. Take back the power; The IT department is there to support the organisations infrastructure not to implement SEO. It is important that the marketing department plays an active role in the creation and execution of such a strategy.