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5 Ways Brands Can Build An Enterprise SEO Culture

5 Ways Brands Can Build An Enterprise SEO Culture

Across all industries, verticals and product / service categories, search and SEO culture have proven to be the beating heart of a successful business marketing operation.

SEO insights provide business information not only for marketing but also for operations, product development and customer service.

Business search enables brands not only to respond, but actually get ahead of consumer demand in position and be equipped to take advantage of trends when they arise.

In this increasingly digital world, where inbound marketing provides rich, meets customer interactions and relationships, success in business SEO is success in business. This is no exaggeration.

And it all has to do with your ability to build and nurture your company’s SEO culture.

What does a successful Enterprise SEO culture look like?

You would be forgiven for thinking culture is a bit of a buzzword – but it’s much more than that.

At the company level, SEO culture is:

The way your SEO team interacts and collaborates internally and across the organization. How SEO is prioritized by management and how the budget is distributed as a result. A mix of people, process and platforms that drive marketing performance. A shared mindset and commitment to better service and scaling of the company. Knowledge, beliefs, habits and best practices that support SEO and how the company benefits from SEO.


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Building an SEO culture is a challenge, but the benefits are worth it.

In SEO organizations with a positive culture, search is recognized as an integral part of the business and fought across business units.

Let’s look at five specific ways you can build and protect this culture in your own organization.

Five Ways to Build an Enterprise SEO Culture

Start with a common goal and common goal. Build trust and rapport within SEO and across the brand.

Start with a common goal and objectives

What is your SEO vision and mission? How does it align with your company’s broader business goals and objectives, and what key results will move them forward?

Developing a solid understanding of the landscape in which you build this culture is crucial to its success.

This is where a modified SWOT analysis can help. Take stock of your strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities from both an SEO and an organizational perspective.


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SEO is not an island. You do not want your team operating in a silo disconnected from the organization as a whole. Identify internal barriers to a results-oriented SEO culture across the organization, and begin to articulate the ways you want to overcome them.

Get help and support from interdisciplinary executives and any C-suite stakeholders to develop your SEO vision.

Do not create it alone and try to sell it to them after that fact. Help them develop their own understanding of what SEO brings to the table from day one.

2. Build trust and report inside SEO and across the brand

Creating a culture of trust is not a small feat – it is an ongoing process that takes an unwavering commitment to everyday life. Trust can take years to build, and just moments to break.

In corporate SEO, you may also be dealing with trying to build and nurture trust across time zones and cultural boundaries; with both internal teams and third-party contractors.

Again, this is where getting stakeholders involved early on in meaningful ways can pay off big dividends later.

HBR author Amy Jen Su, author of “The Leader You Want to Be: Five Important Principles for Bringing Out Your Best Self – Every Day”, advises that there are a number of concrete steps you can take to build trust within your team.

Keep these in mind as you gain new team members and scale your SEO operation:

Hold regular one-on-one meetings. Be fair when giving feedback to team members and interdisciplinary colleagues. Do not wait for people to raise issues with you – contact those who may be struggling silently. Awareness that failure will happen and be okay with it when it does. be clear on who acts as the point person for important contacts across the brand. set ground rules and communicate them clearly. be available to team members and interdisciplinary partners. implement a zero-tolerance policy for bullying and model healthy conflict for team members instead.

Su also recommends that leaders provide coaching and mentoring opportunities to those interested or those who show potential.

This brings us to your next stage of cultural building.

Develop and invest in your people

How will you keep your SEO team members engaged and feel fulfilled?

Despite their incredible responsibilities and the size of the website or network of sites they manage, SEO organizations in the company tend to be small and dense.


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In fact, the typical in-house SEO team has 2-5 members, whether the company has fewer than 100 employees or more than 1,000.

The skills required for these SEO positions are both broad and highly specialized and span both the technical and the creative.

In addition, success within a business organization requires a completely different set of skills – business acumen, reporting skills, extraordinary communication skills and political awareness among them.

It is important that you do not burn these “unicorn” employees out and knock them through. There is a shortage of them and when your organization becomes known as a toxic place to work, you will struggle at all to find qualified applicants.

Develop best practices for hiring and boarding that allow you to find the best fit not only for the skill gap you need to fill, but also for the culture you are trying to create.

Ask yourself:

Do our HR policies and strategies support SEO team members and make them feel secure? Do we address diversity, justice and integration in genuine, meaningful and measurable ways? Do SEO team members have access to training, certifications and other training opportunities to keep them engaged and at the top of their game? Are we proactive in providing professional development and mentorship or relying on team members for self-identification with their needs? Do we create a culture where open communication and collaboration are rewarded?


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Run up operations with empowering processes and technology

Documenting standard operating procedures and deepening reporting processes can make your eyes glaze over – and those of your team members as well.

Make sure you use technology to intelligently automate as much of the redundant, cluttered work of enterprise SEO as possible.

Free team members for more influential activities such as interpreting outputs from these tools and evangelizing SEO successes with interdisciplinary teams.

SEO has the capacity to provide invaluable business information. Make sure your business team is equipped with the technology and processes to:

Understand and enable real-time options retrieved from consumer search data. Create real-time content and offer optimizations that better live up to customer expectations. Dynamically adapt to real-world events in your vertical and potentially disruptive political, social, economic and technological events. Have both a high level, bird’s eye view of SEO performance and the ability to dig in and be granulated. Combine search data and other business information to take advantage of new opportunities and new trends.

You can read more about how search and business intelligence work together to support your company’s goals here.

5. Establish a center of excellence to replicate successes and support organizational maturity

Finally, all of these processes and best practices you have developed need to be made replicable and scalable. The best way to achieve this is through the development of your company’s SEO Center of Excellence.


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This is where the mindset, skills, and toolkits that drive unique SEO performance come together in a vibrant, breathtaking archive that keeps you updated as your operation evolves.

Your center of excellence will guide boarding, training, professional development, compliance with internal practices and industry best practices, performance frameworks and more.

As you grow your team and your company’s SEO strategy evolves, the center will serve as a single source of truth for your team.


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This is where you share experiences, celebrate successes, strategize, evangelize and mature as an organization.

I share more about sharing SEO insights and inspiring inter-organizational action here.

Main takeaways

Building a healthy, sustainable SEO culture takes time and an unwavering commitment from leadership. So-called soft skills – communication, collaboration and curiosity among them – are integrated into a positive culture. SEO culture is not exclusive to the SEO team. Early and ongoing support from C-suite and other decision makers in the department is important. Investing in time and budget must take into account the SEO organization’s employees, processes and technology to produce the balanced approach required for long-term success. best practices and knowledge are made scalable and replicable through an established Center of Excellence.

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