How Long Do You Wait for Your Most Important SEO Changes?
Your company has a ton of initiatives that have yielded great ideas to improve your business. Fantastic! Your SEO has proposed technical ROI-proven development. Your marketing team can’t wait to launch new functionality that they expect will boost conversion. Trusted consultants have identified necessary structural changes. Sounds good except that there’s a very good chance that months will go by as you wait for SEO changes or any site changes to occur!
The wait for SEO changes is the subject of an excellent Moz blog post by Will Critchlow. The article focuses on the delay in implementing technical SEO that many SEOs encounter. However, the lengthy timeline for implementing any technical change is unfortunately not limited to SEO. Will’s survey was based on surveys from “a couple of dozen” SEOs at big companies. The chart below illustrates wait-time for the one SEO change they’re “most desperate to get implemented:”
“The average SEO at a big company has been waiting over six months for their highest priority technical change and doesn’t anticipate seeing it deployed for at least another six months? (40+% have been waiting over a year).”
Critchlow found that “challenges in this area are a growing problem for big companies (and they) risk being left behind on an aging technology stack.” A backlog in the development queue, for any innovation or fix, can stall critical improvements, regardless of their potential impact. Companies find it difficult to balance digital innovation and keep-the-lights-on technology implementation at the same time.
Three Reasons Why SEO Changes Are Delayed
The content below (between the lines) is taken directly from Will’s post:
The most common reasons given for the inability to get their top priority changes made were:
- Marketing team priorities fall behind those of other teams (53%)
- The change they want is “not possible” with current platform (37%)
- Every change has to pass through a long dev backlog (32%)
The full range of answers can be mainly bucketed into two big reasons:
- Difficulty in proving the value in advance or making the business case
- Legacy technology or outdated processes hampering progress
Is it a big deal?
While the most common response was that it was “just” a serious frustration, almost half of the people I spoke to (47%) reported that inability to make these kinds of changes is stopping their team hitting their objectives or cramping the performance of the whole company:
Given the scale of company we are talking about here, this is incredible — especially for the fifth of people who said it’s cramping the performance of the whole company. That turns it from some geek thing into a burning issue for senior leadership.
What can be done?
Delays to market for impactful changes affect more than SEO. Critchlow identifies three solutions. In brief:
- Get better at in-house communication
- Make better business cases
- Improve processes and systems over time
I’d like to add another option.
- Add a partner who can simultaneously foster digital innovation and support implementation efforts.
One of the key values of hiring AAXIS is that we act as a digital marketing agency and technology partner simultaneously. Our approach to managed e-commerce supports digital innovation and technology implementation at the same time. Being able to manage both work streams together increases the speed of iteration and innovation. We integrate our digital marketing efforts and technical site management into the dev cycle. A unified approach ensures that the site runs as expected, that critical changes do occur and that impactful outcomes are not delayed, but achieved.