Internal SEO measures almost always involve other departments. Whether it’s mobile-friendly image sizes, creating content with added value, loading times, or restructuring navigation: SEOs may have a compass and a full instrument case with them, but they need support. There is no other way to implement their strategies or achieve their goals.
In my blog post, I will show you how you, as an internal SEO, can get other company departments to support your SEO goals. Unlike in agencies, it is often challenging for in-house SEOs to convince colleagues from different departments of your SEO measures and targets. It is not always easy to win over colleagues as competitors. To make this work, I have summarized a few tips for you here.
Important: Whether you ask the management for a budget, ask the content manager for a new topic, or the media designer would like to have an infographic. Always put yourself in the place of your conversation partner and prepare the conversation.
You wonder how? Orientate yourself by the following steps:
- Not only prepare your arguments but also prepare yourself for possible objections.
- Consider the goals of your dialogue partner.
- Make it clear to what extent your measures are also beneficial for his area of work.
- Find compromises.
- Keep your goal in mind.
To convince your colleagues, you must, of course, know what their goals and objectives are. Accordingly, it would help if you prepared yourself with compelling and meaningful arguments.
How to win over the management or department management for yourself – Internal SEO
The backing of the management or departmental leadership is significant for SEOs. Because it is not only crucial for budget issues but also when the interests of different areas are weighed up.
The company or departmental management usually has a lot on its plate. Therefore you have to explain briefly and concisely what you want and what it brings to the company. It is best to make a fixed appointment for this: That way, and you can not only prepare yourself properly, you also make sure that the topic is not discussed in the middle of the meeting.
Measure 1: Let numbers and graphics speak.
Numbers and graphics are ideal for a quick transfer of knowledge. Here you can focus on current developments (for example using Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Semrush) or on forecasts. Present convincing examples, whose statement is immediately clear.
Example: Establish internal SEO as a framework condition.
You want to check planned changes in advance for their internal SEO effects, but are currently not involved in the respective processes? To get more input, show how relevant the technical site basics are for SEO.
Example: Trend & forecast – development of the search volume
Invest the budget so that the company’s profit will continue to grow in the future – this should help you get the management on your side quickly. Predicting the future is, of course, impossible. But as an SEO, you know trend topics from Google searches, with which the company will probably gain customers not only today but also in the future.
Trend data helps to identify sustainable topics – and also to identify when a trend is already over. Attention: The values are relative. According to Google Trends, smoothies, for example, have probably had their best days. If a company wants to focus on theme specials for individual foods, avocados are more interesting, as interest has been growing for years.
Google Ads also provides you with search volumes.
Action 2: Document your requirements with references to the competition.
To get a budget for internal SEO-related infographics, videos, texts, and co., you can refer to the competition when arguing. Because being able to stand up to them is decisive for the company’s success in the long run.
Tip: Show what content and formats make your competitors successful in Google SERPs. Your argumentation: You need such exciting content and forms as the SERP competitors to convince the users and get on page 1 at Google.
Measure 3: Concretise your idea with a timetable.
Finally, you use a timeline to show that your idea is well thought out. You also reveal which people are involved. This is especially helpful for departmental management, for example, because they can use it as a basis for planning the capacities of their employees.
Now you know the right strategies for the management to support your ideas. To achieve your internal SEO goals, it is equally important that other departments are involved in it. It is often especially important to convince web developers and the content team.
How to convince web developers and programmers
Web developers use their technical knowledge to construct the website framework, adjust features, and fix bugs. They have the insight behind the scenes of CMS and HTML and, therefore, a significant influence.
Programmers are problem solvers – they scour forums and find solutions for the most demanding requirements. When it comes to SEO, however, these solutions are not always optimal. Since SEO requirements can upset the usual web development process, it is not self-evident that programmers pull together with SEOs.
Moreover, measures that are very important to SEOs can be very sophisticated from a programmer’s point of view, which is why a well-thought-out argumentation is essential.
How to convince web developers of a requirement
Formulate requirements with other departments: Convince the product managers concerned of a measure first – this illustrates the urgency of the issue and saves subsequent corrections.
Formulate precisely: Describe bugs and feature requests without embellishment. If it lends itself, you can also convince with screenshots. But it is always essential that you explain technical terms, for example: “All images below the Above-The-Fold area should be reloaded via Lazy Load. The above-the-fold area is the page area, which is immediately visible to the user in the desktop and mobile view without having to scroll (see example screenshot above-fold-mobile.png)”.
Explain the goal and purpose: With all your measures, ideally, the web developers should immediately understand why they are essential. This works something like this: “All old URLs should be redirected with 301 redirects to the corresponding new URLs. The advantage is that the page power and the ranking built up in search engines like Google are transferred to the new pages, and we don’t risk any ranking losses. Otherwise, it will be lost.”
Accept advice: Programmers are THE experts for code, server configurations, the back end – ask them for their opinions and ask for an assessment. This way, they can also point out obstacles in your projects.
Provide evidence: Research practical examples, best practices, and references, such as an SEO book and Internet sources. You can even get them from Google itself: developers.google.com and from webmaster-en.googleblog.com. So you can easily prove why a specific feature is necessary for internal SEO, and you already have an idea of what is possible.
Basic tips for the cooperation between SEO and web development
- Formulate an essential catalog of SEO criteria: That way, you avoid constant rework and bugs. I agree that this catalog must be followed for all new features, updates, and changes—for example: “Canonicals. There is a Canonical tag in the head section of every URL. For each URL, you can manually override the default setting. A canonical URL is never set to noindex.”
- 2. Consider workflow and schedule: Template, programming sprints, project management, and ticketing systems: Stick to it to avoid unnecessary effort!
- 3. Prioritize sensibly: Not all SEO wishes have the highest priority. After all, other company departments also formulate requirements. You have to be comfortable with this in terms of willingness to compromise.
- 4. Inquire and keep at it: Set Reminder and ask where your request is if there is still missing information and when and how to proceed.
Tip: User stories with acceptance criteria are beneficial for the development of features and the posting of bugs. Because they provide a definite form for this, content is always: Your wish, goal, and target state.
It works something like this: “As an SEO manager, I want pages to be linked together via hreflang, which are available in several languages or for several countries. Because only then can search engines deliver the correct languages and locations.” Then you collect all the acceptance criteria with concrete examples.
If you convince programmers of SEO, you have created a significant technical basis for SEO performance. But there are also links to SEO in terms of content, especially with the creative content area, graphics, or PR.
How to win the support of the content team
The colleagues from the text, graphics, and video departments not only produce all page content but also put it in the right light. In doing so, the colleagues from the content team weigh up very carefully how they can reach target groups and achieve high quality with limited budgets.
Editors and graphic designers have journalistic and creative demands – SEO methods such as keyword research are often perceived as limiting.
At the same time, content colleagues also want their new texts to inspire readers, their meaningful infographics to reach out to a broader audience and their convincing videos to find their way to the right users!
Measure 1: Create understanding through good argumentation.
In the beginning, you should sketch the initial situation of the website. Sometimes it is not clear to everyone involved which content works well and which channels are used to bring users to the site (you can check this best with the Google Search Console or Google Analytics).
Then show the SEO relevance by showing how many page visitors come via SEO (use the data from Google Analytics).
Depending on what your argumentation aims at, you can use further graphics. Would you like to encourage you to optimize texts and images more for mobile? Then give an overview of how strongly mobile devices are represented among your users.
Measure 2: Visualize potential
Based on this, you should make it clear how much potential there is still to be gained for your content colleagues through SEO. The best way to demonstrate how your optimizations have already had a positive effect on the reach is to use the Google Search Console.
Measure 3: Show how internal SEO facilitates creative work.
SEO can’t just be “put on the back burner.” Instead, internal SEO goals should be considered from the beginning. This is not that difficult, because SEO methods simplify research work and create space for the creative implementation process. Introduce your preferred SEO tools and hold internal workshops, for example, for quick keyword research.
All the better if your colleagues already know the tools: Show them how you use them for SEO! This creates understanding for your work and reduces fear of contact.
Action 4: Create a common workflow.
That’s how you do it:
Regular tuning: Show SEO potential of topics in the editorial plan, such as new keywords and for SEO critical focal points.
Create SEO briefings: Here are some suggestions for the content of SEO briefings:
Relevant keywords on the topic
Helpful elements and formats for SEO performance (derived from the competitive analysis)
Proposal for the content structure (e.g., headings)
Questions and user wishes that the content must answer from an SEO point of view
Monitoring: Provide a regular overview of how SEO-optimized content is developing, for example, using the Google Search Console.
Together to the goal!
Now you know different approaches to convince managers, programmers, and editors as in-house SEO of your measures. What are your experiences and tips – how do you find allies for your SEO goals? Write it down in the comments below, I am already inquisitive!
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