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If you’ve enjoyed every SEO job you’ve had in the first 90 days, kindly remove yourself from this article for being a liar.
We good? Awesome.
Did you know that 33% of employees quit their job within the first 90 days that they’re employed.
That’s a sobering fact.
The kind that makes you want to get not-sober as you kickstart for your first 90 days as an enterprise SEO Director.
Enterprise SEO departments have a high turnover rate due to cultural challenges because other departments don’t understand SEO or how to work together.
At the risk of stating the obvious, your first 90 days as an enterprise SEO Director sets the stage for the rest of your time at the company.
Have you found yourself asking these questions before:
Over the next few articles, I’ll help you answer these (and more) questions, based on my experience as an enterprise SEO Director. Starting with
In due time, you can show up to Zoom meetings acting like “the champ is here,” but not in the first 90 days.
You’ve got massive plans afoot for an SEO makeover for your enterprise company.
It’s a lot to take in.
So I recommend starting with developing relationships. You want your enterprise SEO department to be seen as a strategic player on a bigger team.
Allow me to paint you a picture.
It’s your second week as the new SEO Director. SEO is a brand new department at the enterprise company. Everyone is excited to have you join the team.
Until you start to notice other departments are already doing SEO, but do not realize they are doing SEO.
In the second month as the new SEO Director, you present your observations of the challenges and offer new solutions to the executive team. Your presentation goes well.
Later, you find out those other departments are not happy with you presenting the challenges you see in their department.
This is not what you want to see in your first 90 days as a new enterprise SEO Director. This is a common problem SEO professionals face as SEO is still relatively new in enterprise companies.
SEO Directors need to position themselves as a strategic partner that flows and moves with other departments.
Getting SEO done on a website with millions of webpages requires other teams’ resources.
Enterprise SEO teams are never self-contained. Instead, SEO departments lean on the resources of other departments to get things done.
The hardest part of my job as an enterprise SEO Director is selling SEO to other teams. I have to persuade other teams that my goals can help impact their goals.
So how do we find common ground?
The key to finding common ground with empathy.
You need to understand what your engineering, editorial, design and other teams care about. You need to look at their goals and priorities and build your goals and priorities to align with them.
If you come to the table with audits, deliverables and recommendations, you start to lose social capital. You’re turning people off by getting too into the SEO terminology weeds.
For example, instead of saying “I need to set the SEO strategy,” say “I need to align our SEO strategy with your work so my team can make better decisions.”
Let’s say that the marketing team’s Q3 goal is to scale the international audience.
As an SEO, you might see opportunities in site architecture, page layouts and technical improvements.
Ask yourself: Are there SEO improvements we can make that support the scaling of international audiences?
You need to overlap your SEO opportunities with the marketing team’s strategy.
But your deliverable is documentation of the process into the strategy. You don’t want to skew the conversation by talking about deliverables as audits or keyword research. Your communication is the deliverable.
Your SEO deliverables don’t exist for change. Your SEO deliverables exist to create documentation and standardize the process.
This way of looking at SEO deliverables will help set the landscape to get the resources you need to execute in your first 90 days. You may need to negotiate for resources.
As the SEO lead, you want to communicate that you understand the strategic initiative and that your strategy supports it.
Priorities: Get up to speed on needs and challenges for the Content and SEO team and [Company Name] as a company. Understand the expectations [Your Boss’s Name] has for me, learn how the internal processes and procedures currently work, and start to explore some of the challenges facing [Company Name] and Content and SEO.
Priorities: Perform my role as Director of SEO at full capacity, with a decreased need for guidance. Start to explore how I can make a unique impact within the SEO channels and [Company Name].
Focus: Taking initiative
Priorities: Start assuming more autonomy and finding small ways to practice leadership skills. Start to explore SEO goals for the rest of the year.
Most enterprise companies don’t have an SEO strategy at an executive level.
During your first 90 days, you want to build a foundation for your SEO strategy that aligns with the bigger marketing and product strategy.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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