In this week's Whiteboard Friday, Heather Physioc shares her tried-and-true methods for building yourself a toolkit that'll help you tear through roadblocks and bureaucracy to get your work implemented. So today we're going to talk about how to build your red tape toolkit to overcome obstacles to getting your search work implemented. So if you're anything like every other SEO ever, you might be running into low knowledge and understanding of search, either on the client side or within your own agency. A lot of times it's not enough budget, not enough resources to get the work done. We start to complain that it's the client who hung up the project or if the client had only listened or it's something wrong with the client's business. A lot of times our clients aren't just dedicated to SEO. We also need to understand that every SEO project we recommend comes with a time and a cost associated with it. So we'll show them this is the kind of growth we think that you can get if you invest and you follow this plan we put together. While you've got your client working on this one big thing that you recommended, you can be building parallel paths, things that have fewer obstacles that you can own and run with. But the number one thing out of all of the responses in the survey that our colleagues recommended to you is to stay strong.
Have you ever made SEO recommendations that just don’t go anywhere? Maybe you run into a lack of budget, or you can’t get buy-in from your boss or colleagues. Maybe your work just keeps getting deprioritized in favor of other initiatives. Whatever the case, it’s important to set yourself up for success when it comes to the tangled web of red tape that’s part and parcel of most organizations.
In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, Heather Physioc shares her tried-and-true methods for building yourself a toolkit that’ll help you tear through roadblocks and bureaucracy to get your work implemented.
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What up, Moz fans? This is Heather Physioc. I’m the Director of the Discoverability Group at VML, headquartered in Kansas City. So today we’re going to talk about how to build your red tape toolkit to overcome obstacles to getting your search work implemented. So do you ever feel like your recommendations are overlooked, ignored, forgotten, deprioritized, or otherwise just not getting implemented?
Common roadblocks to implementing SEO recommendations
If so, you’re not alone. So I asked 140-plus of our industry colleagues the blockers that they run into and how they overcome them.
- Low knowledge. So if you’re anything like every other SEO ever, you might be running into low knowledge and understanding of search, either on the client side or within your own agency.
- Low buy-in. You may be running into low buy-in. People don’t care about SEO as much as you do.
- Poor prioritization. So other things frequently come to the top of the list while SEO keeps falling further behind.
- High bureaucracy. So a lot of red tape or slow approvals or no advocacy within the organization.
- Not enough budget. A lot of times it’s not enough budget, not enough resources to get the work done.
- Unclear and overcomplicated process. So people don’t know where they fit or even how to get started implementing your SEO work.
- Bottlenecks. And finally bottlenecks where you’re just hitting blockers at every step along the way.
So if you’re in-house, you probably said that not enough budget and resources was your biggest problem. But on the agency side or individual practitioners, they said low understanding or knowledge of search on the client side was their biggest blocker.
So a lot of the time when we run into these blockers and it seems like nothing is getting done, we start to play the blame game. We start to complain that it’s the client who hung up the project or if the client had only listened or it’s something wrong with the client’s business.
Build out your red tape toolkit
But I don’t buy it. So we’re going to not do that. We’re going to build out our red tape toolkit. So here are some of the suggestions that came out of that survey.
1. Assess client maturity
First is to assess your client’s maturity. This could include their knowledge and capabilities for doing SEO, but also their organizational search program, the people, process, ability to plan, knowledge, capacity.
These are the problems that tend to stand in the way of getting our best work done. So I’m not going to go in-depth here because we’ve actually put out a full-length article on the Moz blog and another Whiteboard Friday. So if you need to pause, watch that and come back, no problem.
2. Speak your client’s language
So the next thing to put in your toolkit is to speak your client’s language. I think a lot of times we’re guilty of talking to fellow SEOs instead of the CMOs and CEOs who buy into our work. So unless your client is a super technical mind or they have a strong search background, it’s in our best interests to lift up and stay at 30,000 feet. Let’s talk about things that they care about, and I promise you that is not canonicalization or SSL encryption and HTTPS.
They’re thinking about ROI and their customers and operational costs. Let’s translate and speak their language. Now this could also mean using analogies that they can relate to or visual examples and data visualizations that tell the story of search better than words ever could. Help them understand. Meet them in the middle.
3. Seek greater perspective
Now let’s seek greater perspective. So what this means is SEO does not or should not operate in a silo. We’re one small piece of your client’s much larger marketing mix. They have to think about the big picture. A lot of times our clients aren’t just dedicated to SEO. They’re not even dedicated to just digital sometimes. A lot of times they have to think…