“Our SEO program would be so much more successful if only our CIO understood…”
As the executive responsible for managing, implementing, and monitoring information and technology in your organization, the CIO is a critical SEO ally.
Having the support and understanding of the CIO throughout the decision-making and prioritization processes can be extremely helpful for the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer).
Indeed, this is not a relationship you want to be adversarial. On the contrary, it must be symbiotic.
Fostering a strong relationship between marketing and technology at the executive level is essential to creating the rich, personalized experiences that today’s hyperconnected consumers expect.
According to analyst data, more than 20% of the marketing budget is spent on technology, and a third of marketing organizations already have a dedicated technology team.
How can you make your CIO more aware of the value of SEO and cultivate proximity in this essential interdepartmental relationship?
Here are some research concepts you’ll want your CIO to know about.
1. The impacts of page speed and user experience on SEO
Core Web Vitals and the broader Page Experience update highlighted the importance of a fast and seamless browsing experience for web users.
Google uses CWV metrics – Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift – to better understand users’ experience on your page.
If you meet the minimum thresholds for CWVs, you meet Google’s page speed requirements.
Your pages will not be penalized for not excelling in the Core Web Vitals metrics.
On the contrary, you may be missing out on valuable opportunities to get that extra boost that could help you outperform your competition in search.
Make sure your CIO has access to this Advanced Technical SEO Core Web Vitals guide so they can appreciate how those requests on your support tickets directly translate to increased site visibility and traffic.
Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can also help you achieve your SEO page speed goals by delivering content from geographically distributed servers closer to the searcher.
These servers cache your page content so it can be served faster and easier when needed, reducing page latency and load time.
When CIOs collaborate with SEO and content marketers, the business impacts can be clearly seen.
This is especially true with Core Web Vitals, as research (disclosure by my company BrightEdge) recently showed that this collaboration can lead to up to 58% performance improvements.
2. Site and CMS technical errors can be critical
Technical errors in your code and CMS (content management system) can cause all sorts of problems, from hampering crawling and preventing indexing to security issues, orphaned pages and duplicate content.
This can help your CIO and their development team provide a method for prioritizing your SEO-related technical requests.
Is this error preventing users from accessing the site or causing a vulnerability?
Don’t let this get buried in redirect requests.
Helping your CIO uncover the most common types of technical errors that can impact rankings allows them to spot potential issues that arise in requests from other departments.
Another critical area where CIO and SEO come together is the use and implementation of AI (artificial intelligence).
This is where many CMS fail.
AI can be leveraged to improve site and customer experiences through intelligent content recommendations, SEO-optimized results, and automated rapid fixes of critical errors.
3. Data and SEO Security Implications
The CIO is well aware of security and compliance issues – you don’t need to train them here.
What can help is to show your CIO that you are also aware of the security risks and take care to assess those risks before making demands of their team.
The worst scenario is an anti-SEO CIO who becomes anti-SEO following a flaw or other major problem that he attributes to an optimization requested by SEO or marketing.
Show your CIO that you are familiar with SEO spamming tactics hackers use to inject code, implement harmful redirects, and otherwise manipulate your site.
As we are in the midst of an explosive data growth and Web 3.0 revolution, data compliance and user privacy are becoming important for the SEO, data scientist and CIO.
Share your risk assessment when making a request that might raise eyebrows on the development team.
Be proactive and get ahead of these arguments against optimization by showing the CIO that you care about security as much as they do.
4. How the scheme works
Structured data markup is not a ranking factor, but helps search engines better understand your page content.
From there, it can help trigger valuable featured snippets that give your brand extra real estate and extra features in the SERPs (search engine results page).
Schema is the type of markup that search engines, including Google, Bing, and Yandex, prefer.
Adding schema to your pages helps provide the context that allows Google to match your page to a relevant query, making it an essential part of your SEO strategy.
Adding and testing a schema correctly becomes more difficult the larger the site, making understanding your CIO essential at an enterprise level.
It’s worth sharing the details of schema.org and pages like this where Google dives deep into structure data.
You can automate the scheme with the right technology.
However, manual checks and balances should always be in place to ensure it actually does the job.
This only works if the meaning and context that your markup conveys to the search engine is accurate.
You can invite your CIO to sit around the table to figure out what markup to automate and what is best to code by hand, so they understand what is being marked up and why.
5. SEO CRM Support
Customers should be the priority of any CIO and any type of SEO platform.
As SEO becomes a boardroom agenda item, make sure your CRM system helps manage your leads and customer data is a must.
SEO professionals use CRM to turn leads into sales and also improve their performance within an organization.
Although different CRM systems have other purposes, it is essential for the CIO to help choose the one that achieves the goals of the SEO and content teams.
With the rise of CDPs (customer data platforms), DAMs (Digital Asset Management) and DMPs (digital management platforms), the role of the CIO is essential in:
- Choosing the right system and ecosystem partners for SEO technology and marketing.
- Integrate technologies that better serve the customer and user experience.
As the relationship between CMOs and CIOs aligns, so does the relationship with SEO. A successful customer experience on the web requires speed and responsiveness.
The seismic shift – and interest in technical SEO – as the most profitable and sustainable marketing channel means the CIO has become a central part of the SEO revenue equation.
Feature image: Vladimir Panchenko/Shutterstock