Search Engines are becoming smarter. Google, for instance, has recently shifted their model from connecting users to high-quality results, to also becoming a knowledge base in and of itself. The emergence of big data, predictive analytics, answer boxes, and knowledge graphs into Google Search has resulted in customizable results that aim to be more relevant to each user. While these improvements create significant value for the user, they represent a significant threat to companies and advertisers seeking to rank in Google results or advertise through AdWords. Corporations and advertisers have no choice but to adapt to these changes, to strengthen and continuously improve their digital assets to preserve their relevancy in the search and pay-per-click space.
Most parties looking to rank in or to conquer the SEO space aim to “beat the system” by – in other words, by increasing their monetary efforts to send out a message with the hopes that it is either relevant to an audience, or to Google. While that may be a fair strategy for some players, the key to success in this space does not originate solely from outreach, but rather from the alignment of your organization’s marketing and technical teams and the maximization of existing digital assets.
For instance, one of the main problems in the SEO space is digital dilution, which occurs when a site releases a high volume of uncategorized, unrelated or non-compliant content. This content can actually impact your organization’s website negatively, especially when the underlying code for the content is non-compliant with current content best practices or trends.
If releasing content keeps your company’s site relevant, how can new content actually hurt it? Well, this is not always the case, but the problem for most parties is that they consider their technical and marketing teams completely separate entities. Thus, the goals for each are independent and sometimes conflicting. For instance, let’s say that your organization is planning to launch a new website, so the organization gathers the marketing and development team. Since the goal is to create a new, high-impact website, do you think that their priorities will be the same?
Typically, the answer is no. Even as a developer and a search engine marketer myself, I often struggle to align my technical and marketing priorities in a scenario like this. The problem relies on proper communication and joint goals. However, the lack of communication does not fall on either team’s plate, but rather, a much broader underlying management practice towards IT workers that should not be surprising – some managers simply do not know how to manage a technical team. In late 2015 TinyPulse, an employment engagement platform published surprising results. Only 19% of all technical workers in the United States are satisfied with their jobs (versus a 22% national average).
The surveyor concluded that amongst the top reasons for their dissatisfaction, the one that stood out most is the lack of alignment within the company – meaning that these folks are unable to find where their roles fit in with the organization’s values, goals, etc. The second most common reason is a poor connection with their teammates – about 47% of surveyed IT employees claimed to have strong relationships with their coworkers, but in other industries, this number jumped to 56%. Thus, your organization may comprise of a very talented technical team of both marketers and technical employees who are not reaching their full potential because of a lack of inclusion, aligned goals, and stronger bonds. It is up to your organization to build the bridges for mutual collaboration, because without it, each team will continue to work under their silo rather than a mutually defined goal.
Without alignment and inclusion, your organization will not be able to attain “win – win” outcomes that benefit not only the collaboration of these teams, but of the entire organization. An effective digital marketing campaign is relying equally on the messaging and on how the message is served, and the results are measured in increased leads and sales. It is just that simple. In the Search Engine Marketing space it is not your strategies that will not allow you to conquer this space, but rather the prevalence of communication and collaboration between your teams.
I am a huge believer in professional ambidexterity. Every opportunity that I have had to expand my technical or my marketing knowledge has only made me a better professional and equips me with better contributions and insights for our clients. At Synapse SEM, we practice the same philosophy as a key component of our culture, and we continue to be successful where others fail because we understand the technical and marketing needs of the industry. As Google continues to update its ranking metrics, can assure you that by building a united digital marketing front, your organization will be able to succeed no matter how complicated or competitive the space becomes.