Taking SEO to the C-Level
Online retailers must elevate search engine optimization to a strategic level if they're to meet the needs of their business, web users and, by proxy, Google. SEO is essential for generating online sales, yet there remains a lack of understanding amongst senior executives as to how SEO works, what can be achieved and why it's important.
Too often C-level execs are seeking justification for why they should be investing in what they perceive as some kind of "black magic." This disconnect is exacerbated by the fact that SEO, unlike paid search models such as pay per click, doesn't fit easily with traditional corporate procurement. Although in theory it's possible to charge for time spent on SEO projects, the process isn't as predictable as it is with PPC, where "deliverables" and spend can be broken down relatively easily.
However, with natural search, retailers can't simply "buy their share of voice," as there can only be one or two brands at the top of the search engine results pages taking the lion's share of traffic. Conversely, retailers are able to buy as much "voice" as they can afford with PPC or any other kind of mainstream marketing. Moreover, SEO is a process that takes years rather than months.
Back to Basics
SEO ideally starts with the technical aspects of a company's website, such as initial design and build, and the technology behind the site. It also encompasses the website's structure to deliver the most important information to users in a simple and effective way, but also such that search engines can identify information they believe is important for users. These factors are classed as "on page" activities.