Shari Thurow had a great article today on realistic expectations for a search engine optimization campaign.
The article communicated this topic via frustrated comments by SEO practitioners about attitudes of clients and IT departments. While I felt that the comments sounded a bit like a complaint session, there were definitely several points that all companies who want to grow their site's organic search traffic should consider:
- There is no quick, simple way to boost search results. Almost all websites have their own, unique architecture, and aspects of that structure can help or hinder search crawlers. If you wish to conduct search engine optimization on your site, understand that it will involve more than some simple content edits. Often, site structure must be altered significantly to give you content a chance.
- Get your IT department, web firm, and any other relevant contractors on board. Shari mentioned difficulties in Marketing/IT department relationships, but I'd like to take this idea a little further. Often SEO involves a company's marketing department and several contractors in addition to the SEO firm. You the client need to make sure everyone is on board with the SEO project. Contractors look to you for direction, so there is no way the SEO firm is going to be able to convince other, doubtful contractors of SEO's importance. And often there is no way that the SEO firm can successfully implement an SEO program without the cooperation of the other contractors. Your leadership is vital.
- Get educated. You definitely don't need all skills necessary to design and implement a website - that is why you are hiring professionals. But the chance of success of your SEO project will increase exponentially if you have some basic understanding of HTML and how websites are structured. Subscribing to a weekly newsletter or two about web design or search engine marketing will provide you with more perspective on your project. Your SEO firm (and your web firm) will love you for it!
There are so may aspects of any project that dictate success or failure, but these three in my experience can go a long way for a positive outcome for Search Engine Optimization.