HomeMobile SEOAn website positioning technique flywheel to win management buy-in and drive outcomes

An website positioning technique flywheel to win management buy-in and drive outcomes

30-second abstract:

  • From my expertise, each website positioning has struggled to get buy-in on a suggestion sooner or later
  • An website positioning’s job has modified quite a bit in a decade. Now, prioritization is necessary for fulfillment
  • To have correct prioritization in your roadmap, you want a framework that builds in alternative evaluation, discovery, and measurement
  • It may be difficult to win-over stakeholders as a result of there may be skepticism in opposition to advertisers—and SEOs can have competing pursuits if we don’t get early buy-in and communicate by way of enterprise KPIs relatively than website positioning KPIs
  • The website positioning Technique Flywheel outlined under is your ticket to unlocking website positioning roadmaps that get applied

In right now’s website positioning trade, human challenges far exceed technical challenges. Our job as SEOs has advanced dramatically within the final 10 years. To indicate worth a decade in the past, SEOs manually audited websites and created a laundry record of website positioning motion objects to repair. Prioritization wasn’t crucial to success as a result of advertising groups had been restricted, web sites had been smaller, and website positioning didn’t have an apparent dwelling…ought to website positioning reside with improvement, content material, inventive, or advertising? As we like to say, “it relies upon.” 

Within the decade since we’ve discovered that website positioning does require significant prioritization to get buy-in from all stakeholders. Prioritization is now necessary for 2 causes:

  1. Sources are finite—as SKUs and websites develop, the website positioning assets normally don’t
  2. Instruments have changed the necessity for handbook audits however can’t exchange human experience in prioritizing in opposition to enterprise wants and goals

John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Developments Analyst at Google, even says this on Reddit:

As an website positioning, part of your function is to take all the doable optimizations and work out which of them are price spending time on. Any website positioning software will spit out 10s or 100s of “suggestions”, most of these are going to be irrelevant to your website’s visibility in search. Discovering the objects that make sense to work on takes expertise.

Nonetheless, trendy website positioning success additionally requires extra than simply glorious prioritization. We’ve agreed on a standard perception that no matter the place website positioning sits inside a corporation, it’s advertising! website positioning = advertising. And, whether or not we prefer it or not, that makes us as SEOs advertisers. SEOs = advertisers.

Sadly, I’ve unhealthy information for you: individuals despise advertisers, based on Gallup polls.

Advertisers aren't people's favorite

So this presents apparent challenges for us as we attempt to win over people like enterprise executives, builders, content material writers, and so forth., with this inherent bias in opposition to us as advertisers. 

Introducing: The website positioning technique flywheel

The website positioning technique flywheel was hard-fought by means of my private expertise. One of the best half is that this flywheel can be utilized by in-house SEOs, freelancers, and companies! 

As Myriam Jessier says to SEOs, “Coronary heart surgeons use checklists. You aren’t above them.”

To take this additional, we’re not above course of both – and in right now’s world, the method should transcend conventional website positioning experience. SEOs should use processes to beat human and technical challenges. Processes can really feel mundane, boring, and probably even robotic. Far too usually have I witnessed SEOs painfully dwelling in chaos with no outlined roadmaps, processes, or common workflow cadence. However the fact is: we’re not above course of and it doesn’t flip us into robots. 

Fairly, creating course of makes us extra human. It eliminates the necessity to concentrate on “survival” ways and reserves bandwidth to concentrate on extra impactful strategic initiatives. 

Having a workforce and varied stakeholders decide to a course of improves effectivity, permits for extra collaboration, and ensures we are able to see our suggestions applied. 

Introduction to the SEO strategy flywheel

1. Alternative evaluation – Construct assured humility into your course of

The first step is our alternative to reassess our strategic imaginative and prescient, layered in opposition to the brand new aggressive panorama from the earlier quarter. 

Too usually, we as SEOs are both too cussed in our strategic imaginative and prescient or too passive to make suggestions that could be experimental or difficult to get authorised. This results in both armchair-quarterback syndrome the place you’re blinded by hubris or imposter syndrome the place you’re too meek to make tough circumstances compelling. The goldilocks spot is what Adam Grant calls, “Assured Humility” in his e book ‘Suppose Once more’

The chance evaluation commits all groups to persistently overview website efficiency, and analyze and put together for any trade/vertical change. In brief, the chance evaluation forces assured humility. And assured humility is how we get higher—quarter after quarter. 

Most vital within the alternative evaluation is to make sure that there may be an “outdoors” perspective from one other website positioning skilled to make sure that your findings are sound. At Brainlabs, this consists of check-ins and QA with the Group Account Director and VP of website positioning. This outdoors perspective permits us to assist slender in on probably the most impactful findings for our suggestions. 


  • Doing an audit, you’ll find somebody someplace alongside the road made a mistake (for instance, unimplemented content material, wrongly applied schema, and the opposite). Be certain that to rectify this earlier than the Discovery Assembly the place you recap findings so that you don’t burn a bridge with an vital stakeholder like a developer. 
  • At all times put the chance in enterprise KPIs, not website positioning KPIs. 

2. Discovery assembly – Get buy-in from stakeholders early

Essentially the most collaborative a part of the method is my private favourite and probably the most influential: the invention assembly. The invention assembly is our time to construct relationships with all stakeholders—and perceive accessible assets and urge for food for change. Put merely, robots can’t construct relationships–that’s nonetheless one thing we’ve over any website positioning auditing know-how. 

Having significant inquiries to ask stakeholders is a part of the explanation why the Alternative Evaluation is step one—you don’t wish to go to this assembly empty-handed. The questions I prefer to ask could be grouped into 4 buckets: Partnership, Enterprise, Business/website positioning, and Sources. Whereas templated questions are an excellent begin, it is best to all the time tweak the inquiries to be related to the model. 

Instance questions embrace:


  • What venture has been your favourite thus far? Ought to we do extra of that?


  • Are there any adjustments in your trade or enterprise that may/will influence the web site or advertising efforts? 

website positioning:

  • Is there something within the backlog of tasks that you simply’re enthusiastic about? What can we offer to make a case for implementation?


  • With the financial uncertainty, will assets keep the identical in your facet? 


  • This assembly could be folded right into a QBR-esque assembly or, should you can swing the time, it might stand alone by itself, which is my desire. 
  • Invite stakeholders from a number of groups to get perspective (for instance, builders, execs, content material, model advertising, and different related members)
  • If time permits, have a mock name to make sure that the questions and presentation are well-crafted and the workforce is snug delivering them.

3. website positioning roadmap creation – Put rubber to the street

Most SEOs attempt to skip on to this step first. However—be warned from my expertise—it’s a expensive mistake (in each time and political capital). Starting your website positioning venture with a roadmap ends in a protracted record of unprioritized suggestions and little implementation, and the tip result’s a lack of belief and frustration with stakeholders. 

The roadmap, when preceded by correct alternative evaluation and an efficient Discovery assembly, will efficiently accomplish three issues:

  1. Lay out tasks with sufficient element for early buy-in
  2. Determine individuals for every exercise to keep away from a collective motion downside
  3. Act as an exercise log which makes measurement simpler

The sheet under is an instance of an website positioning quarterly roadmap. We outline every venture and quantify the influence on the enterprise utilizing related website positioning KPIs and enterprise phrases (outlined in pink). 

Subsequent, we embrace a RACI mannequin (outlined in blue) to outline venture individuals by who’s Accountable, Accountable, Consulted, and Knowledgeable. 

Lastly, as soon as the Roadmap is authorised we add the center Challenge Standing part (outlined in black), and observe every exercise so we are able to measure pre- and post-implementation success. 


  • Train ongoing assured humility with the roadmap and know when to pivot a venture
  • Constantly replace the roadmap and use this to information standing calls
  • Use the roadmap to outline useful resource allocation and venture administration—that’s, new tasks to be added have to be completed instead of one thing else

4. Implementation – Get sh*t completed

Whereas website implementation could fall to totally different groups, the vital half is having the ability to assess who wants approval for which implementations early on. That means, by the point every suggestion is finalized then it might instantly be prepared for implementation. 


  • Since you’ve got a roadmap with outlined timelines, get improvement tickets submitted early so the implementation workforce can put together assets for them in an upcoming dash
  • QA all implementations to make sure that the ultimate end result matches your suggestion
  • Use a website change tracker software to see when stuff will get applied

5. Measurement – Determine profitable efforts to scale

Step 5 is the place this framework turns right into a flywheel: Measurement. Having an exercise log in your roadmap means that you can simply establish pre- and post-implementation impacts. Having the ability to tie efficiency again to a selected subset of optimizations means that you can scale these efforts to yield the compounding results of website positioning. 

There’s no higher technique to win affect over a website’s improvement workforce than by following up and sharing the outcomes of their work.  Be certain that they see the post-implementation report and watch how simply website positioning tasks get added to the event roadmap in future sprints!


  • Be certain that implementation dates are correct (together with website changes)
  • Guarantee to account for seasonality in your evaluation
  • Monitor pre and post-measurement from the soonest crawl date after implementation, relatively than implementation itself as it might take upwards of three months for a web page to be recrawled
  • Use an website positioning A/B testing software for testing rating/site visitors influence—like SearchPilot for giant websites—and/or a conversion testing software like Google Optimize to check for engagement/conversion influence
  • Arrange monitoring for website positioning KPIs as early as doable to get sufficient pre-implementation knowledge

Course of = Success

The website positioning technique flywheel means that you can dedicate your website positioning workforce’s time and assets to website positioning relatively than reactively resolving prioritization conflicts. Committing to this course of builds assured humility into your work, will get stakeholder buy-in early, and simply means that you can scale profitable efforts. I encourage you to switch this course of to slot in along with your present workflows and share your modifications with others within the feedback for inspiration. 

Subsequent quarter’s planning is correct across the nook—go get it!

Travis Tallent is the VP, website positioning at Brainlabs overseeing the website positioning product to make sure account groups have the precise expertise, instruments, tech, and course of to do their jobs nicely. Travis spends time having fun with nature, taking part in saxophone in a neighborhood band, and volunteering for LGBTQ+ organizations. Comply with Travis on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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