The Law Of Diminishing Returns

90% Is Good Enough

I discussed this with a variety of SEO Liverpool clients, and in the past I’ve devoted entire talks on this topic. The focus is usually in relation to link-building vs. on-page SEO, but the message is the same.

What we’re discussing in this post is the need to get everything absolutely perfect and concentrating your efforts on a tactic that just isn’t worth the fuss of hitting 100%.  People naturally get comfortable with one aspect of the search marketing mix (link-building, on-page, social, etc.) and then want to ‘perfect’ it, but at best they hit diminishing returns fast.

Why focus your resources on attaining the last 10%, when you’ll get a much higher return by concentrating those efforts on other tactics that will provide much more SEO benefit.

I’ve seen sites with spotless on-page SEO that have been stuck for months suddenly leap through the rankings because they’ve acquired a few good links. On the flip-side, I’ve seen sites that were a total mess but had solid link profiles miraculously improve when their on-page problems were fixed.

We understand the perceived value that optimising each aspect of your SEO to 100% efficient, but often, you focus a vast proportion of your time on just one aspect. If the focus was to shift to another related to the central pillars of SEO, the rewards would be much greater.

Be Tough and Patient

Our SEO Agency Liverpool can only stress patience. This could be the toughest skill any good SEO eventually has to learn. There are times when you’ll need to react quickly to a problem, especially a technical problem (like a bad redirect or site outage). There’s a fine line between reacting and over-reacting, though.

The common technical SEO mistake we see is when organisations and SEO’s make a change, if it doesn’t immediately improve their rankings 24 hours later, and so they revert it or make another change on top of it. Even if it doesn’t make the problem worse (and it usually does), you’ll never be able to measure which change worked. Make sure your changes went live, that Google has acknowledged them (i.e. crawled and cached), and that you can measure the impact or lack of impact. Don’t change your strategy overnight based on bad information (or no information).

 

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Getting SEO Support In House Part 3

The final part of our SEO Liverpool post on In House SEO.

This approach won’t work in every instance, so what do you do to keep everyone honest and enforce the need for your suggestions to be followed?

Use some of that influence you have at the executive level. This one goes way back to your days in the sandbox. Not Google’s, but that of your childhood school yard. The threat of “telling the teacher” was pretty powerful back then. These days, it’s not really cool to tattle, but creating metrics that show a company’s level of compliance to SEO rules across its products has value. The executive can clearly see how the various areas of the company/website are doing with regards to the investment in the area of SEO, and let’s face it, no product manager wants their product/area of responsibility shown in red on the chart.

It’s important that you use some of the influence you have with the executives who’ve gave the green light to the project. This one goes way back to your days in the school yard. The threat of highlighting to your teachers was pretty powerful back then. These days, it’s not really cool to tattle, but creating metrics that show a company’s level of compliance to SEO rules across its products has value.

This tactic can convert even the staunchest of hold-outs to rabid fans of your service. As an SEO agency Liverpool we know that even in the worst case scenario, they’ll listen to you and think about doing what you ask.

Unless you have direct control over implementing the changes that need to happen, setting up a responsibility grid might be your next best bet. You can clearly list each item that needs work, who it’s been assigned to, and when they think it’ll be done. Put those points on a PowerPoint deck destined for executive review and folks will do their best to look their best.

The final point here is that you, SEO project leader, needs to be confident enough in your direction and directives to pull the trigger on with this course of action. You won’t earn many friends in the short term, but long term, when everything is moving forward as planned, and the kudos are being handed out to those who did the work, they won’t forget that their success in reaching their goals was directly helped by your team.

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Getting SEO Support In House Part 2

Continuing our the SEO Liverpool post on In House SEO.

In reality it maybe simpler, in fact so simple you may have overlooked it.

Most of the time, employees are simply busy! This could mean a couple of things

  1. People do not take kindly to new work being added to their work flow.
  2. People may not wish to be told they’ve got to learn new things.
  3. People have their own goals which measure performance, they want to meet their own targets and goals, not yours.

So what is the simple solution? Well, it’s a combination of listening, clear thinking and detailed planning.

Listening

This relates to goals, everybody needs their own goals to meet. In your case, you rely on others to perform tasks to meet your own goals. The likelihood is you’re not the person updating code or delivering and changing content. So through the goal may be stated simply enough (increasing inbound traffic) getting to it is absolutely a team effort.

In my experience the best way is to listen to people and help them achieve their goals. Then plan a way that shows how your effort will help them reach or exceed them. e.g. How the marketing mangers support will result in them exceeding targets and tapping into more markets, or using online marketing to gather data that will prove invaluable in offline campaigns.  This type of motivational approach won’t work in every instance, so what do you do to influence the rest of the teams, and make sure your tasks are undertaken?

So, we’ve covered the listening and we’ve touched on motivating others to implement your suggestions. We’ll cover the more in Part 3

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Getting SEO Support In House Part 1

Here at SEO Liverpool, we provide SEO training to small and medium sized company’s with the resources in-house to implement a home grown SEO campaign.

If you’ve started, or considering the same…

You’ve decided, quite sensibly to start your in-house SEO programme. It was probably a very tough sell to convince the directors, line managers and other associated company directors to take on board your idea. Firstly, they probably didn’t understand the requirements first time round. You’ve been asked to provide your projected return on investment, which as every full time SEO understands, is very difficult. Factors outside of your control, such as algorithmic updates and other companies that already have a robust SEO strategy and varying budgets, dictate that you can’t stress any rewards against definitive time scales. You may have only been given a meeting or even a couple of slides to really engage the teams. Everybody was probably really shocked when you spoke in terms of years instead of months, regarding investment.

… It was a very tough sell—but you did it!

You’re project gets the green light and you’ve been busy stressing the benefits and long-term returns. It’s consumed you since you came up with your SEO plans. You’re basically a 24/7 SEO strategist, you live the successes and bang your head against the wall when you hit the barriers. But you’ve done it, it’s up and running, people in the company no longer thinks SEO is a fallacy, and things are going well.

Or are they?

In recent months you’ve been feeling that things aren’t moving. Your bosses are inevitably looking for results, even more so since the substantial investment of time and money you’ve put in. You’ve hit a serious bump in the road, but with your superiors and department heads making the right noises you convince yourself you’re past the worst.

Now you’re seeing the reality of the situation, the support is nice, but those who implement your suggestions are slow to respond. The planned work, the prioritisation based on the projected R.O.I is not making it into the work flow. You hear that everybody wants to do the work but it’s a matter of resources.

What Do You Do?

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