A lot of companies, particularly mid-sized multi-location brands, can’t seem to get their acts together to do “national” SEO. They may have hired an SEO consultant, or they may have an in-house team driving SEO strategy, but they can’t seem to execute. When it takes six months to update a title tag, you know you’ve got some SEO challenges.
There are a million different reasons for an SEO program to hit a roadblock:
- SEO is a low priority. The people who ultimately decide what gets done when either don’t understand SEO enough, don’t trust it or just have more important things to focus on. Often the levers one needs to pull — updating the website, rewriting copy, marketing the business to get links and so on — are controlled by different departments that don’t share either your goals or your sense of urgency. As we like to say, “SEO is always the lowest priority… until it’s not.”
- SEO is expensive. Rewriting URLs, redesigning the site, rewriting content, marketing the site to attract links and so on — all require resources that many companies often have not budgeted for. SEO is easy when it’s “free,” but when you have to pay to do it, it suddenly seems easier to ignore.
- SEO is complicated. Most likely this is because the company’s site has been developed on a complicated platform that makes even the simplest things (like updating title tags) a nightmare. If you have to rewrite the entire system to add canonical tags, see points #1 and #2. Anyone who does SEO consulting sooner or later runs into a case where it takes double-digit meetings involving multiple teams just to get something basic implemented.
So what do you do when, either as a consultant or an in-house team member, you are the one tasked with driving SEO, but the company can’t seem to find the keys to the car?
If your company has a physical presence (aka a headquarters or sales office), then we strongly urge you to shift your focus from “national” SEO to “local” SEO, even if you don’t think you should be targeting local search queries. Here’s why: