5 tips for educating colleagues about the importance of SEO

Posted by Sean Begg Flint on 2 Dec, 2021
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Giving colleagues an understanding of SEO and why it matters gives your strategies a greater chance of success.


SEO is a vital part of any good marketing strategy. Dating back to the 90s, when search engines were still in their infancy, the practice aims to significantly increase web traffic by optimising content to appeal to search engines.

No business on Earth would say no to an uptick in web traffic, particularly once the effect on revenue can be seen. And that’s why SEOs are now widely understood to be key in helping companies to reach their potential.

SEOs boost exposure in a sustainable way that doesn’t break marketing budgets. Yet their capabilities grow further still when their work is supported by the entire organisation. So, it’s well worth educating colleagues about the importance of SEO, and getting all departments on board with best practices to explore the full potential of a tailor-made SEO strategy.

How to teach the importance of SEO

SEO may be second nature to those who have spent years working in this field, but for many professionals, it’s still something of a mystery. Before you dive into the importance of SEO, take it back to basics by explaining what SEO is - and why your organisation needs it. Then you’ll be ready to get your whole organisation involved in optimising your online presence.

1. Explain how SEO boosts traffic and revenue

SEO matters because, ultimately, it drives revenue. And that’s the key message you’ll want your colleagues to understand. Start by showing your colleagues what SEO is, how it works and what the knock-on effects of a successful SEO strategy could be.

As you talk to colleagues about SEO, make sure you bring in some real-world scenarios. For instance, you could bring the message home using case studies, packed with plenty of facts and figures that demonstrate the power of SEO in the clearest way possible. Do this well and your colleagues will soon be in no doubt about the importance of SEO. And that means they’ll be all ears when it comes time to discuss what they can do to help.

2. Relate SEO goals to KPIs for each department

As you present your SEO plans to your colleagues, try to relate the key goals of your SEO strategies to quantifiable metrics that the departments in question will understand. For example, you might talk to a sales team about your SEO goals - but if you want listeners to be fully on board you’ll need them to understand what those goals mean for their department.

Explain the data behind every SEO strategy, and show teams what an increase in web traffic means in terms of enquiries, conversions and revenue. Teams may well have a passing interest in SEO, but once you start to relate SEO improvements into changes that could make a real difference to them, you’ll see that interest flourish.

3. Focus on communication across your organisation

Communication is key to any strategy that requires the involvement of a number of different departments - and SEO is no exception. By focusing on communication first and foremost, you’ll be able to educate colleagues on why SEO matters and make sure they understand how their actions could make or break the next big SEO strategy.

Our word of advice? Communicate clearly, bearing in mind that most colleagues will have little experience of SEO and how it works. SEO strategies might be second nature to you, but they could be a truly alien concept to some of your colleagues. Make time to answer questions, and be patient as you train your colleagues in this complex and ever-changing practice.

4. Involve key personnel in SEO strategy planning

While we firmly believe that all colleagues should have some understanding of SEO, it’s best to be realistic if you want your training to work.

Identify the colleagues that you think will be best placed to help in supporting SEO strategies, bearing in mind that these people will then be able to pass on words of wisdom to their fellow team members. Choose a person from each department to take on the responsibility of leading the way in SEO, ensuring that the person is ready and willing to dedicate a portion of their time to supporting the work you do.

If possible, involve key personnel in strategic planning to make sure you’ve got their buy-in. You could do so by presenting a number of different ideas, each requiring different levels of dedication from colleagues to be delivered. By offering colleagues a choice, and explaining how results will differ across the options, you’ll ensure that your chosen strategy has your colleagues’ full support - and is therefore far more likely to succeed.

5. Encourage teams by offering hands-on experience

The best training programmes are those that encourage everyone to get involved. So forget about those dry PowerPoint presentations and hours spent delivering speeches in the boardroom. Instead, educate colleagues in an interactive way where they can actually see the results of what they’re doing.

Offer colleagues the chance to explore SEO in more detail, by giving them hands-on experience in delivering some of your ongoing strategies. Start with relatively simple actions, and as colleagues start to grasp the basics, you can begin to introduce more complex ideas designed to get them thinking.

The more you let colleagues do, the greater their interest in SEO will become. And that’s always going to mean improved success rates and better results for the business overall.

SEO matters: make time to talk about it

If you want your business to succeed, SEO needs to be a top priority. So it’s important that all team members have a good understanding of SEO and how it works.

Take the time to educate your colleagues about SEO, explaining how their actions could affect the outcomes of a strategy with real potential to boost success rates across all departments.

SEO doesn’t need to be a dark art. Bring it to the attention of your colleagues by presenting it in an accessible way that all departments can understand, to make sure you get the best results from your actions.

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