When a HigherEd CMO hears about the term search engine optimization (SEO), they more than likely cringe.

They cringe because, search engine optimization is not the most pleasant marketing tactic to strategize, plan and execute. It has never been the most glamorous marketing tactic.

It’s 2020 Are HigherEd CMOs ready?

You need to maximize your SEO efforts if you want to succeed online.

Let’s face it. If you don’t, your business will be left behind. SEO is a top priority for marketers.

Over 70% of clicks go to organic searches that rank on the first page of Google.

Ranking on the first page of Google can be the deciding factor in making your business thrive online. You probably already know that, right?

Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. Click To Tweet

It involves keyword research, building links (you know the hard stuff), blog posts, meta tags, site links, ranking factor and I could go on. There is a lot to do.

But SEO is a crucial component of the overall digital marketing strategy. It needs to be done to get the best search ranking results.

You can’t afford to hand over SEO to a digital marketer and stay relaxed. At least, you must have a solid understanding of SEO and how it works. So you can guide and manage every task.

Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times.

While most of these changes are minor, Google rolls out a “major” algorithmic update (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that affects search results in significant ways. Pay attention to your SEO reports.

You need not toil over hard things like keyword targeting, link building, and SEO content creation. But, as a CMO it is important to set the stage and provide necessary guidance to make SEO an important part of driving business results and outcomes.

Let’s see the important 7 things every CMO needs to know about SEO.

highered cmo SEO

1. SEO Is A Matter Of Long-Term Commitment And Effort

A lot of companies assume that SEO is something that can be done in a short time. Or something that is done once and you forget it.

Work on it monthly. But, it takes a lot of time. Even if you have a healthy budget allocated for organic search, it will take time to gain something.

You need to invest not only money but also time if you want to build a successful SEO effort. You never want to put all your fruits in one basket anyway.

So, the organic search should just be one of many components for your digital effort. While you are spending the time required to reap the benefits of SEO, paid strategies like Facebook ads and Google ads campaign can help you drive revenue.

Over 70% of clicks go to organic searches that rank on the first page of Google. Click To Tweet

2. Understand The Potential Of SEO To Drive Your Companies Marketing Results

denver seo agency

Many marketers will insist on having an SEO program because it’s a well-known tactic. But, it depends on your business how you can benefit from SEO?

If you want more leads and more readers of your content, than SEO is a must! No question. What HighEd website do not want more traffic and qualified students and faculty?

It can be strategic for some companies whereas for other organizations there are better uses of time. Only a CMO can weigh in on how much of your marketing budgets should be allocated to search engine optimization versus other alternatives.

You are doing SEO to attract qualified visitors or get your articles to read more for higher user engagement.

There is a lot of ways to find out the user intent of customers. Do you want to invest more of your marketing budget in SEO or ads?

What happens when you turn the ads off? No web traffic.

Thank you for that for a while. It’s a CMO level decision, and you will need to decide long before your team looks for an SEO agency.  [Learn More]

3. You Need To Build SEO Into All Digital Marketing Components

It’s important for you to think about your SEO strategy and goals when you are mapping out other online marketing plans. This will help increase your search engine optimization little extra effort.

Email marketing is one of the effective ways to get in front of your target customers. Most businesses are using this tactic to gain more customers. It is simple to include a link to a piece of valuable content on your website at the end of your message.

You can also encourage social shares, and that will help you generate social signals, and even you can earn links every time you mail.

The same logic applies to social media marketing and paid content promotion. Those brands who will figure out how to impact their SEO through all digital marketing components will end up building a much stronger foundation for the future.

Detox from social media or politics if you are addicted but never think of detoxing search engine optimization from your digital marketing strategy. It’s critical for digital marketing to succeed.

4. SEO Should Be In Your Marketing Strategy From The Beginning

cmo seo strategies

Approach your marketing strategy carefully if you decide that search engine optimization can be strategic to your business and marketing goals.

Most often, people think about search engine optimization after solidifying branding efforts, polishing marketing messaging and designing a new website. But this shouldn’t happen. They should think about doing SEO earlier.

You should build search engine optimization into everything you do. A lot of B2B researchers start their research with organic search. Organic search is at the top of most B2B brands.

If you design your website without keeping in mind the best SEO practices, then it will flounder on Google’s search engine results page.

That means, website structure, web platforms should all be orchestrated with searchability in mind.

To maximize web traffic, write clearly and research the keywords. To improve search engine optimization results create clear hierarchies and keep the coding simple.

5. Focus On The SEO Metrics That Really Matters

Brands make a big mistake by focusing on metrics that misrepresent the overall success like keyword search volume and keyword ranking.

For example, suppose a keyword has a search volume of 80,000 per month but only contributes to 50 conversions. But another keyword has a search volume of 1000 only per month but it contributes to 100 conversions.

You need to map out your digital marketing strategy so you can understand where every dollar and conversion is coming.

When you have this data, then it allows you to focus on the metrics that matter. So finding out the actual metrics is very important for search engine optimization.

6. You Should Take The SEO High Road

utah seo agency

A lot of SEO strategists use black hat methods like duplicate content, keyword stuffing, etc. But this will only lead to short term results and will damage the efforts in the long run.

You should play the game that Google and the search engine want you to play rather than try to game the system. It’s simple. If you produce good quality content that users find valuable for them, you will get the desired search traffic.

This means your website must have high quality, useful, and engaging content. When people think about something in your topic, they will come to you. If your content is informative and thorough, users will never leave your site to look for other resources.

It’s always worth investing more time in producing high-quality content that helps readers. With the promotion of your content, you can bring in users but if they don’t find useful they will leave. There are no shortcuts for search engine optimization.

7. You Should Realize That SEO Has The Potential To 15X Your Digital Marketing Results

higher education marketing

The biggest advantage of search engine optimization is, it can have a huge effect on your digital marketing results. For example, when you look at brands like Amazon, Alibaba, Walmart you will see how powerful search engine optimization can be.

When you search for any consumer product on Google Amazon, Alibaba and Walmart are more likely to come up. You can also do that on a local or niche level.

All the big companies are invested in search engine optimization. Because they understand the growth of potential organic traffic can bring.

They commit to their SEO strategy from the beginning and have revolved around long-term results and also left all other online marketing efforts behind.

Create a Proven SEO Strategy in 3-Months

Learn what is an SEO strategy? How do I create an SEO plan? And how do I implement an SEO strategy?

Wrap up on HighEd CMO’s and SEO

You must try to understand the growth potential search engine optimization can provide. Then you will spend the time to map out a well thought out strategy with long-term search and ranking results in mind.

SEO is changing constantly but these things will always remain the same. It is a fact that CMOs shouldn’t be handling every aspect of SEO. But given its importance to the marketing strategy, it can’t be ignored.

We’re listening.

Have something to say about what you think about SEO and HigherEd CMO’s? Share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Mary Walton is a professional editor, content strategist and a part of NCSM team. Apart from writing, Mary is passionate about hiking and gaming. Contact her via Facebook.

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