SEO and SEO professionals are still waiting for a permanent seat at the marketing department’s cafeteria table. While many companies acknowledge the importance of SEO as a significant component of their overall marketing plan, many still do not have in-house SEO employees. This means that they rely on an outside firm to work as their SEO partner. While there is nothing wrong with outsourcing your SEO to a credible, white hat SEO consultant or firm, good SEO has to be integrated with the rest of your marketing efforts. Treating your SEO provider like an outside vendor and not as a partner leaves a lot of room for miscommunication and error.
Businesses have to keep their SEO provider in the loop, just like they would any other employee. In order to do their job effectively, your SEO partner has to fully understand your company, brand, voice and offline and online marketing goals. SEO is meant to support those elements, not run counter to it. If your SEO partner is operating under one plan, but you’ve decided to change things up without telling them, you’re company will be sending out mixed messaging online.
Say you bring in a new VP of Marketing and their goal is to do a complete re-branding campaign of your company. They want to change everything- the messaging, the strategy, even the logo. Basically they are going to overhaul your current marketing platform. While your marketing department is reorganizing itself, have you given a thought to your SEO partner? If they haven’t been kept up to speed on the changes taking place, they are still following through with the old marketing plan.
One of the biggest dangers of not keeping your SEO partner informed is that you could unintentionally void all the work they have done. Let’s say you decide to launch a new website with a new URL. If you don’t inform your SEO partner at the beginning of the process, you’ll lose the links that they’ve accrued for the old URL. There is a way to carry links over to the new site, but it has to be done sooner rather than later. If you’re incorporating new content, deleting olds pages and restructuring the format of your website, you completely negate any on-site optimization your SEO partner did. Basically you force your SEO back to square one. This could mean thousands of links, hours of keyword research and hard-earned search engine ranking positions go up in smoke.
SEO is not a “set it and forget it” practice. Even if you have delegated the day-to-day actions to a third party, you have to treat that company/consultant like a partner. Communication with your SEO partner is essential. They are an extension of your marketing department and need to be enveloped into your corporate culture as such. This doesn’t mean you have to invite them to your office Christmas party, but they at least need to be CCed on important marketing related e-mails.