Whether you are working in-house or within an agency environment, you have probably had difficulties getting others to support your ideas and help to see them through. For an SEO, though, cross-functional collaboration is critical.
Here are some effective ways that I have learned throughout the years to help win others over and help you to see your project through:
Establish Vision & Strategies for Success
Motivating others to support your efforts is much easier when they can visualize how they play a role, how they can benefit – and why you should work together. This is a great method for turning key decision makers and executives into advocates for your cause.
Show your lead developers how their sites will run more efficiently. Show your designers how their user interface design solves for Google’s new mobile algorithm updates. Show business leaders how a more comprehensive SERP will generate more sales and leads… But always remember to show them examples. Visualization is a powerful tool.
Benchmark Your Beginnings
The moment you get started, you need to record where you are in terms of key analytics and project KPIs. From traffic sources and levels to site efficiency and conversation rates – record as much as you can. A Stellar SEO initiative will deliver results across the board – and showing these gains over time to different teams who may become involved in your project can be a great way to acquire more support and momentum down the line. It also helps you to up sell yourself after the fact and earn more freedom to launch new projects when you have a solid track record.
Be Aware of the SEO lifecycle
When you (or your ideas) are new, there’s a lot of excitement and support. As the honeymoon period fades though, others will become jaded and turn their attention to other (seemingly) more pressing matters.
Keep your collaborators actively engaged with the project by maintaining a plan, sharing insights with them – and keeping their interests in mind. Great SEO takes time to mature, so be sure to stockpile and share the incremental gains along the way if you expect to have a steady supply of resources available.
Empower & Educate Others
It is rare that an SEO project can be completed by SEOs in a vacuum. If you need to rely on the support of others from a creative, technical or development background – be very clear about the rewards they can expect. Will they be learning new skills? Acquire a deeper understanding for search or facets of online marketing and management software application?
Marketability in today’s economy is a powerful chip to bring to the table – and your colleagues will latch on to opportunities if you can show them solid gains.
Practice Your Pitch
Realize that you’re selling search. You need to own your ideas, present them well and make sure your audience of colleagues have a clear understanding of why they need to support you.
One of the easiest ways to derail a project is to talk over the heads of critical stakeholders or fail to present your ideas and objectives in a meaningful way. You cannot have the same conversation with your executive team as you can a PHP developer, so be very aware of your audience at all times.
Plan for Growing Pains
Assuming you are working towards a significant project resulting in long term change – be ready. Growing pains can and will happen often. To help move you from a one hit wonder to a headline act, you will need to help your organization scale for success. This means that you will need to have practice guides, case studies and guidelines available for your organization to learn and live from. To accomplish this, be sure to establish an accessible reference center, add to it often – and eliminate your own distractions. It’s tough to get things done when you’re spending a majority of your time keeping everyone on-board.
One successful project can alter an entire organization. From improved bottom lines to more efficient workflows – ending a project confidently is key to setting yourself up for the next project. Once you have seen your first project through to completion, show others how your project can be directly tied to organizational success. By keeping your completed projects top of mind, company leaders will be more ready to support your next internal project pitch.