Imagine you’re a physician. You’re traveling home on a flight back from a week-long conference where you had to renew your certification. You met many new and old connections and came away knowing your industry is alive and well. The plane loudly hums along through the air while you review your session notes. Then you begin to hear some commotion from the other passengers a few rows behind you.
One voice. “Can we get her some water?”
Another voice. “She’s having trouble breathing…”
The flight attendant call button sounds in the cabin “ding!” You remain seated. Ears pricked up but waiting.
Your eyes are just returning to your notes when the pilot comes over the loud speaker, “Sorry for the disturbance folks. If there is a doctor on board, please make yourself known to a flight attendant.”
Out of commitment to your field, you are obligated to get involved. Out of personal passion, you have chosen this field. Either way, you are required to help and try to restore that human being back to health. And because of this, people listen to you.
I often feel like I’m a doctor making as many helpful recommendations as I can when it comes to corporate SEO initiatives. But there are so many different parties involved; it can be hard to meet everyone’s needs equally – time involved, level of effort, impact on improving organic traffic, all while staying on top of industry fluctuations. For such improvements to make an impact site-wide, it takes a village.
My parents are both in the medical field. When I was young, I was actually dissuaded from becoming a doctor. But I still have this inherent desire to help and to fix things.
When I hear digital challenges like “why did organic traffic drop on this date,” or “why are these pages not converting” I like the investigation. I thrive on it. I look at the symptoms the website or a page is exhibiting and I try to gauge that against what I know of Google’s standard for user experience and content that’s relevant to the intent behind the search query.
But I have to be careful not to go too deep down the rabbit hole on what factors might be the cause of the issue. Today, the algorithms are working in real time and we can never be fully confident in the knowledge that a single factor is the cause.
Which is why, we as SEO’s make recommendations to the best of our knowledge, we test and we watch. If the patient (website) improves, we know we addressed the right aspect of the problem. This is why SEO is a long term game. There are no shortcuts to quality. It’s an investment in the right things making sure you empower other teams to help you along the way.
“There is a new breed of SEO manager who is politically savvy and gifted at collaborating with and mobilizing non-SEO teams. If SEO-integration isn’t on your roadmap, you’d better hope it’s not on your competitors’ maps either–otherwise they’ll have gold, and you won’t.” The Executive SEO Playbook, by Jessica Bowman
Why do doctors never give up? Because they care. And it might also have something to do with taking a Hippocratic Oath 😉
How can enterprise-level SEO’s be as effective? My prescription is the following:
- Have more productive SEO-based conversations with stakeholders.
- Make SEO easy to implement and actionable for each team.
- Foster connections with other trusted, in-house SEO’s and seek their advice regularly.
- Read Jessica’s book!