3 Proven Methods You Can Use to Educate Your Company about SEO Right Now
In-House SEO Management & the daily Challenges experienced by many SEOs is an ongoing saga.
If you're reading this, you are likely an SEO and more than likely this particular post will resonate big time with you.
How many times have you left your office for the day only to wonder what more you could do to help develop an SEO mindset within your company?
One of the best ways of course is through education. Regular and ongoing education.
Way back in 2006 when I started out in a small digital agency as Associate Director of SEO, I would setup time each month during lunch. It was a "lunch and learn", meant to meet regularly with some of the junior SEOs, and the paid search team, to help them understand more about SEO and how it related to their day to day.
Whether we were working on the same client or not - they seemed to find that monthly SEO lunchtime really helpful.
A few more years later I began working in-house as SEO lead for a global organization. Now I had to figure out how to educate the entire organization - all over the world. There were natural gaps in SEO knowledge from country to country and region to region.
There were on-shore and off-shore development teams, and marketing teams who needed to learn some of what I knew and what I was optimizing for.
The most effective method were live webinars I held for our APAC, EMEA and North American teams. I recorded these and shared them through an online wiki where I developed standard operating procedures or SEO best practices.
Creating a place where those recordings and best practices could be referred to during the course of their day to day, proved to be a huge help to them and to me!
I was developing a center of excellence within the organization.
Some time after that, other sister companies within the global organization started reaching out to me to find out how they could be part of those monthly best practice webinars.
It just developed on its own organically throughout the company, business units and across various regions. This became popular because each person attending had some need to know SEO in order to perform their work.
Some of the attendees were from the editorial teams, some belonged to product marketing, and global marketing groups. Others were developers and off-shored development teams.
I continued this kind of regular education throughout my career - no matter what new employer or organization I worked with.
There is Always a Need to Educate. Educate. Educate.
Below are the 3 Proven Methods I’ve Used to Help Integrate SEO within any Organization:
Give some of these, or all a try. Do know this will take time and I’d advise you to tweak each of these up if at first you don’t succeed.
1. Monthly Knowledge Exchange Webinar
Inviting as many that are interested in joining you in on a monthly webinar. Make your life easier, and tyr to match this up with as many attendees schedules as possible. The best time for you might not be the best for those in Malaysia or London, or those who don’t arrive in the office until 10am.
Coordinate those kind of logistics first - then once that’s out of the way you can focus on the content.
Develop an agenda for your meeting (see my agenda example below).
I’ve generally held a 45 minute webinar, and using the last 15 minutes of the hour to answer questions. I would present on search related news that may have been related to the industry I worked in, especially if there was something directly impactful they needed to be aware of.
Allow anyone in the group to share a particular challenge they might be experiencing, or situation that group was going through and speak directly to that, while other teams, listen in. When you do this, you find that information may relate to another team who finds themselves in the same situation.
You can make this a entertaining as you like - it's always a good idea to bring your own fun personality into this. You might never get them as passionate about SEO as you, but can you get them pretty excited and charged up by the way you present yourself and your material.
2. Develop A Wiki or Slack Channel
Just a place, or repository to contain all the information or best practices of yours to share with editorial or development or anyone in your company, that they could refer to.
If your company uses Sharepoint, you could dedicate a folder there to that material or you could also easily use Slack to do the same. You could also use a Google Drive Folder and share.
This becomes a place to house the SEO cheat sheet for your development teams, or a place for SEO writing guidelines for editorial teams. The point here is to make it easily accessible to all those who are interested in learning and adopting SEO into their day to day.
Make sure you keep this updated and current - if you expect this to be a place your editorial or development teams will go to for the most current and up to date SEO information, make sure it doesn’t go out of date.
Of course you don’t have endless hours in a day or week to keep this thing updated - but if you carve out an hour every quarter to making sure its all current and refreshed - that should help.
If you learn of something in between - make it a point to go in there and update the information. You might also want to send out an email alerting them all to the recent change.
3. Holding In Person Workshops
One of the best ways to get them all involved.
If your business has the budget to fly you from office location to location - do this!
By far one of the best methods to help get all your developers, or content marketers all on board and engaged. The webinars do help, especially if you have a global company and you’ve go many people in all different countries.
I've held many in-person technical SEO workshops - especially dedicated just for developers. They've mentioned to me they never had an opportunity to learn anything about SEO, and that dedicated time improved their work.
What I love most about the in-person meetings is - obviously, you get to see all your co-workers in person - you get the opportunity to show up with bagels or lunch and just get them even more inspired to want to learn SEO.
I found that when I presented any of my SEO learnings in person, I’d get random others join in who weren’t on the original invite, but their teams shared around the invite and joined when they found out I was going to be at their office.
This also incites so many more impromptu questions. They felt was easier to ask when I was there in person, even more than if I were on a webinar.
Whatever works - and I would always try more than just one standard way - I used all these.
The point here is to get creative - find out what works best for your group.
Prior to getting these learning sessions setup - make sure you develop an agenda so they know what to expect when you present to them.
There’s so much variety you could include within your agenda, but if you make this a monthly thing, just try to make it a standard agenda, for example it might look like this....
9:00am - SEO Case Study
Learn the technique our UK team used to increase organic traffic and conversions by 24% last month!
9:25am - Quick SEO Learning Takeaway
Google Search related news, what's new in the world of search and how it impacts our industry
9:35 - Content Marketing Best Practices
Bonus Material for Editorial Team (Next Month: Technical SEO for the Development Teams)
9:45 -10am - Q/A Wrap up
Ask me anything or share your learnings!
This is just a sample of course, but it allows you to provide a wide range of topics you could cover that would allow your teams to find it interesting enough, without dragging on for too long on any one topic.
The goal is for you to get to know the best ways your company likes to learn. Get to know them, each of them as a team and individually. Build rapport with your teams. The more they all understand SEO and its significance, the easier implementation of your recommendations becomes.
One of the most commonly used methods other SEOs have used to get their development teams on board with SEO and implementation is to show up to your area bearing donuts and coffee - take the time to understand how you can help them - the need to reciprocate is a lot easier when this happens.
There are so many other ways you could help your organization learn about SEO - but I would encourage you to be as creative as you can with this.
Have fun - more importantly, get others to enjoy learning SEO. They will get it, and they will thank you for taking the time out in your day to help them.
Too often there are far too many SEOs who don't share anything, they hold all their SEO secrets close to the vest. Consequently, no one gets SEO or cares, and your struggle in getting anything accomplished grow even more painful over time.
Do yourself a favor - try one of these methods. If after 90 days of consistently educating doesn’t work - tell me, and I will personally hop on a call and help you out!
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