Recently, we gathered around our conference table to discuss steps to improve our client’s website SEO. It was a large meeting: the Marketing Director, Marketing Manager, Web Manager, Merchandiser, Creative Director, Account Executive, Creative Writer, Social Media Writer, Senior Programmer, Project Programmer and me. I was reminded that with the right team you can make SEO beautiful. But, this takes a unique effort. I point out the size of the meeting because it’s relevant to how complex it is to execute SEO beautifully. And, that is our goal. We want to create a beautiful shopping experience. We want a beautiful “cookie trail” from the point of entering your Google search word to shopping on our site.
To all that may not be familiar with SEO or Search Engine Optimization, I suggest the link below. It has a video that is simple, easy to understand and entertaining.
With all the many disciplines and expertise that it takes to make your site beautiful and SEO friendly, it is helpful to look at your site differently. One way is to look at your website as if it was your own television broadcast STATION. Congratulations, you are now the owner of the (fill in the blank) STATION.
Now, you can break your STATION into four divisions:
STRUCTURE, SHOWS, AUDIENCE, ADVERTISING
STRUCTURE: This is back-end programming. It’s about making the boxes, images, and words work seamlessly on the web. This is your most important division. When it works correctly, it guarantees your investment in your shows by correctly delivering them to your audience. This division is about viewing speed, crash-protection, and safety from hackers. It’s about the ability to easily upload content and associate relevant features. It’s about flexibility as your station grows. Usually, engineer programmers (left-brainers) run this division. It takes a special team to make their work look beautiful. More about that later…
SHOWS: For this division, you are going to need very creative people. These guys would not be caught dead working for the Structure division. They love the product and want to tell stories about how amazing it is. How it solves all of your problems. You are going to need a show schedule, and you will need to hire some talent to star in the episodes. Wait… I may be taking this too far, but hopefully, you see where I’m going. This division is about creating content that connects your viewer with the advertiser. They care about how beautiful your show is to the viewer. They are creative directors, writers, and drama queens.
AUDIENCE: Research and analytics, audience profiles and personas. And, don’t forget Style Influencers. When any division wants to know anything about your target audience this is the division they run to for answers. What are their buying habits? How old are they? What kind of car do they drive? etc.
ADVERTISING: This is the division that keeps the money coming in by connecting the audience with the station. They are the ones that thoroughly understand Search Engine Optimization. You could say they are the center of the universe for your station. They have special power$. They suggest changes to the structure for better SEO results. That often includes proofing copy and making suggestions to be more relevant to Google users. And, when needed, they can suggest outside paid media to boost traffic.
As I sat through the meeting, everyone played their part. Creatives had to give up some control to appease the Google gods. Programmers had to understand creatives needs. They were glassy-eyed when the creative director spoke about the regret of losing embedded text in photos but they nodded with empathy politely. My job in the meeting was to make sure we have passionate people running each of the four divisions, and to ensure they have the support they need to move the goals forward. While each division may see the world differently, these four cornerstones need to each be as strong as possible to form your digital foundation.
And as Cronkite used to say… and that’s the way it is…