What If You’re at the Bottom of the Pecking Order?
If you’re on the bottom of the food chain in your organization, you may be either ignored or micro-
managed by the people you answer to. Here are some tips that might work for you no matter what
department you’re dealing with:
Create monthly reports, even if nobody’s looking at them. As consultants,we have often asked
ourselves,“What’s the point of documenting everything if nobody reads our reports?”But it
always comes down to this:we need them for our own reference. After a couple of months,
search engine results begin to blur together—don’t expect to keep this stuff in your head.
Keep your reporting to a monthly schedule, even if you are asked for more frequent data.
There are rare exceptions to this rule, such as extremely short-lived promotions or unusually
volatile PPC campaigns. But for almost everything else, it really is helpful to set expectations
that SEO is about long-term trends,not daily numbers.
Deliver meaningful information.When you e-mail your boss a spreadsheet detailing your ranks
for the last six months, you’re delivering necessary information. But you can turn that into
information when you summarize it in your e-mail:“Dear Boss, This month, three
of our top-priority keywords made an entry into the top 30 in Google. Five of our keywords
improved in rank,but our ranks for the term ‘industrial strength pencils’continued to slide.”
Likewise, if you have to deliver bad news, always deliver a plan of action for addressing it.
You’re the in-house SEO expert, like it or not, and your boss is looking to you for guidance. The
boss doesn’t want to hear,“Holy moly! Google dropped all our pages!”The boss
hear,“It looks like our pages have been dropped from Google.This is probably a temporary
problem, caused by Googlebot trying to crawl our site during our server outage last week. I’ll
resubmit the pages using Google’s free submittal form and keep a close eye on the situation.”
Don’t take all the credit for your success. This is not just to be humble, it’s also because you
responsible for every SEO success. Even if you do everything right, you can’t
control what your competitors are doing or the nature of the next big search engine algo-
rithm change. If you set your boss’s expectations along these lines, you won’t be blamed for
every little failure, either.
Selling SEO to Sales
In Chapter 1, you gave a lot of thought to the fundamental goals of your business.
Your sales department will be happy to hear that your SEO campaign will be bringing
in not just traffic, but targeted traffic that leads directly to sales. You will be looking
for their help in the following areas of SEO: keyword brainstorming, assistance with
conversion tracking, competitive analysis, and insight into the customers’ Web habits.
c05. 8:04 84