The term search engine optimization means different things to different people. To the chief marketing Officer (CMO) without any formal SEO training, it is just something that the IT team does on the periphery to make the organization's website look good. To the digital marketer though, search engine optimization is the holy grail of marketing in the digital age.
The incredible importance of SEO in the modern era doesn't allow a CMO the luxury of passing off SEO to the company digital marketing manager and then forgetting about it. The CMO has to be just as involved in digital marketing as he or she is in every other area.
Getting a CMO interested in SEO when he or she otherwise is not can be a daunting task. Nonetheless, there are some things every CMO should know about SEO if their organizations are to excel in the digital arena.
1. The CMO's Role
There is a temptation among CMOs to push SEO to the periphery because they are not directly involved in the day-to-day details of digital marketing. This is as unwise as it is dangerous. It may not be the CMO's responsibility to see to every marketing detail, but it still is his or her job to steer the ship.
WebTek Interactive, an SEO provider with offices in Salt Lake City and Austin, says that CMOs need to pay close attention to their organizations' digital marketing. They need to coordinate SEO with all the other marketing strategies being employing. If the CMO doesn't coordinate and steer, the marketing ship will run aground.
2. The Potential of SEO
Every CMO needs to come to grips with the potential of SEO for driving an organization forward. SEO is by no means something minor. It is not a digital hobby of sorts that IT professionals practice simply because it gives them something to do with the organization's website.
SEO has the potential for literally making or breaking a brand. A well-executed SEO strategy consisting of all the latest and greatest white hat practices will drive a company's reputation forward with positive results. An ineffective or nonexistent strategy will do just the opposite.
3. The Impact of SEO on All of Marketing
This next point is one that a lot of older CMOs have trouble coming to grips with. But here it is: well-executed SEO impacts the rest of the marketing strategies an organization employs. This must be clearly understood. In the digital age, what happens online is more important than what a company does in any other area of marketing. So if an organization does SEO correctly, the rest of its marketing efforts will pay off.
4. All Metrics Are Not Equal
CMOs exists in the world of key performance indicators (KPIs) that are understood through the use of certain metrics. But CMOs need to know and understand that not all metrics are equal when it comes to online performance. For example, it is not necessarily true that high traffic volumes equal higher sales.
Metrics have to be chosen in accordance with an organization's online goals. Digital marketers then use those metrics to determine how things are going. If the wrong metrics are used, an organization's digital marketers will be led in the wrong direction.
It's easy for CMOs to dismiss digital marketing and SEO as being only minor contributors to an organization's overall success. But that is a mistake. As time marches on, SEO is taking an ever more critical role in determining winners and losers. CMOs need to understand that. They need to embrace SEO with as much enthusiasm and passion as anything else in marketing.