Did you know SEO is one of the biggest contributors to traffic and pageviews for your website? But usually, it is the most underinvested marketing channel compared to paid campaigns. A major reason why marketers and business owners underinvest in SEO is that they can’t predict outcomes or make a business case to get the buy-in from the leadership. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.

In this post, we’ll discuss the key SEO challenges that marketers face and what it takes to overcome those challenges to achieve consistent organic growth.

Why do SEO programs underachieve their objectives?

SEO as a marketing channel is usually under-invested compared to paid search because of two distinct challenges. They are:

Organizational Challenges

  • Less confidence in the SEO programs driving business results
  • Challenges aligning and getting different teams to drive SEO initiatives

Executional Challenges

  • Not knowing Where to start, what to do, and unable to prioritize SEO activities
  • Challenges executing tasks and tactics

What are the organizational challenges with SEO?

Large enterprises face multiple internal challenges at an organizational level that often discourage stakeholders from investing in the SEO channel. The types of organizational challenges that large enterprises face with SEO are:

SEO program is underinvested. Making a business case is difficult

Any management will think twice before investing millions in SEO because the results are unpredictable. For example: in paid campaigns, management have an idea that if they pay “X” amount, they will get “Y” in return. But with SEO, it is difficult to estimate the returns and in turn making the business case difficult to judge.

SEO spans across different teams, which all need to be aligned

To run a successful SEO program, brand teams, product teams, and Line of Businesses (LoBs) within the organization need to come together and work toward a common goal. However, in reality, it isn’t easy to achieve this as the priority of SEO tasks is different for different teams and making everyone work towards the same objective requires a lot of alignment and stakeholder management.

Driving change is difficult and expensive today for enterprises

For small businesses updating their website is easy. But for large enterprises, there are sprint cycles, Quality Assurance, and multiple other elements to take care of before making any website updates, which is very difficult. Therefore, the number of opportunities lost due to the delays can be huge.

SEO outcomes vary and are not predictable

With SEO, we don’t know what we will get out of the SEO program. For example, we don’t know if we put in $1; we don’t know how much we will get in return.

What are the executional challenges with SEO?

Beyond the above-mentioned organizational challenges, there are often executional challenges that teams need to overcome. The types of executional challenges that enterprises face with SEO are:

What should I prioritize and how do I know what works 

In most cases, enterprises and business owners are confused about which SEO efforts they should prioritize their focus on, whether content, authority, or the technical side of SEO. Also, there is a constant doubt whether the efforts will yield the expected results.

Knowing the exact reason why the competition is ahead

The answer to this question is highly complex. It usually takes a lot of analysis to understand the authority gaps, how much relevancy is coming in, what is the topical authority, etc. Enterprises must analyze multiple parameters to find logical answers to the question.

What should I write? How often do I write?

This is about content. We have heard for years that “Content is King.” But it doesn’t mean you can write any content. So, understanding what you should write, how often to write it, and the pivotal points within the content, all these elements become critical for your content strategy.

Staying up to date on Google updates

Google makes multiple changes to its algorithms constantly. Their core updates are frequent and can cause overnight change in your website’s ranking. There are a lot of fluctuations all over the updates. Therefore, it is essential to stay up to date with the latest Google updates all the time.

How do you overcome key organizational and executional challenges with SEO

To solve these challenges, you must spend time identifying what challenges you are facing and how you can combat them. Here are a few recommendations that will work best in any circumstances.

Overcoming Organizational Challenges

·       Build business case & planning for the channel

Get an understanding of what it takes for the channel to act as a performance channel. Make sure the attributions are in place, ensure proper reporting, and know your expectations for down-funnel content vs. mid-funnel content vs. upper-funnel content.

·       Educate and train internal teams on the right way to approach SEO

Make sure you insert the SEO culture in your organization. SEO is not an overlay; it is a part of the site experience and needs to be adopted that way.

·       Find senior stakeholders to sponsor and support

Find a senior stakeholders within your organization who can support you with the SEO decision making and approach. SEO is very strategic, and with proper planning, you can yield maximum results out of it.

Overcoming Executional Challenges

·       Define & understand market landscape and how much of that is relevant to you

We have forever known about the keywords, ranks, etc. But you need to know about the market landscape you and your organization are in. When you define the market landscape, you need to understand the customer journey from the down funnel to the upper funnel. That is your north star; everything will come back to that. Everything you are going to do from the share of voice, market, content strategy, and authority plans will eventually return to that.

·       Use a tool that points out the SEO gaps and how to close them

There are a lot of tools out there. But choose a tool that gives you the power of predictability and some insights other than just reporting. The next generation tools use AI to benchmark, compare, and provide recommendations to beat your competition.

·       Ensure your decisions are backed by data

Remove emotion and circle all your decisions based on data science. Let data science assist your expertise to make even better decisions. Always remember that analytics is highly critical to your decision-making process.

Final Thoughts

Running a successful SEO program requires a lot of hard work and strategic planning. Organic marketing, or SEO, is the backbone of gaining leads through marketing channels. However, the complex nature of its algorithms and strategies, combined with the lack of technical knowledge, makes it tricky and prone to sub-optimal outcomes. Understanding the critical organizational and executional challenges enterprises face with SEO, and the ways to overcome them will push you in the right direction. If you want to learn more about the next generation SEO platform that helps you navigate organizational and executional challenge, sign up for our free Demo here!