Strategy is important but execution is everything: here’s what you missed

Strategy is deciding what to do and execution is all about making it happen. For this reason, the value of your strategy depends on whether it’s being implemented or not; it doesn’t matter how shiny your strategy is, if it doesn’t get executed, you won’t be able to drive any results from it. As an SEO, it’s part of your job to pursue your brand’s maximum performance success, and success is built through execution. It’s also in your best interest to achieve this if you really want to prove the value of your work within your company.

For all of these reasons, execution is one of the core values here at Builtvisible. We covered this topic in a webinar recently, where our 3 panellists Ailish, (Head of SEO at Lovecrafts), Luke (Senior SEO Specialist at Gousto) and Austine (SEO Consultant here at Builtvisible) go through some of the most challenging implementation barriers in-house SEOs have to face (along with solutions on how to overcome these). We’ve listed some of them below:

How can I spread awareness of SEO to senior stakeholders in my business?

One of the first steps to getting your recommendations implemented is getting the buy-in from relevant stakeholders within your company, which can be achieved through some education. Once stakeholders understand the value of SEO, then getting approval and implementing strategies become a lot easier. One way to do this is to provide them with the tools needed to go away and do their own research. Even a simple task such as keyword research can help you achieve that. For example, by having access to monthly search volumes for a specific keyword or topic, they’ll be able to understand the potential organic traffic uplift a piece of content can drive. This way, they will be more likely to approve the resources needed for its creation. Furthermore, in the long term, this will also help them gain a deeper understanding of SEO.

Another thing you should keep in mind when talking to decision makers is to provide context for your recommendations to ensure they understand the value of implementing them. For example, an update of the EAT algorithm could be the reasoning behind your request for starting link building activities. Explaining that to relevant stakeholders can help you engage them and get their buy-in for the budget required to hire a DigitalPR agency.

Finally, as an SEO, it’s also important that you are involved in important meetings, particularly around the company’s budgeting and roadmap planning. This way you’ll be able to fight for the budget and resources needed to execute your strategy. If you aren’t usually invited to these meetings, don’t be afraid to ask for an invitation. Ask other colleagues attending the meeting in advance when the next session will take place and tell them you would like to join.

Does it really take 6 months to see SEO results? What can I do if my CMO has a different time frame in mind?

There’s a theory that SEO takes about six months to show results. However, this isn’t entirely accurate, as this will vary depending on many factors, such as the activity, type of implementation, competition, etc. It’s important to understand that SEO is a long-term investment where it takes time to gain momentum but the results are long term and worthwhile. If your CMO is expecting quicker results, you’ll need to manage their expectations. Below are a few tips on how you can navigate this situation.

Show your CMO other sites, competitors and case studies to prove your point and provide a more realistic time frame. As performance can be affected by external factors outside of your control, it’s important that you give yourself a buffer time for when you expect to see results to be on the safe side. For example, you might want to say 6 to 12 months instead of just saying 6 months which will leave you a bit of wiggle room if anything unexpected arises. Furthermore, if you expect the first results to be seen after 6 months, bear in mind this is just when you will start seeing uplifts and that SEO results grow over time. Whatever results you’re getting at 6 months will be considerably less than those you’ll be getting at 12 months, so you’ll need to factor this into your forecast.

Finally, focus on concepts and metrics your business and CMO care most about, such as revenue or ROI. Forecasting and putting together compelling business cases to back up your recommendations is a great way to secure buy-in and will help you educate stakeholders on the importance of SEO. For example, if SEO can help you save PPC budget, you can put together a business case to show them this. If the PPC savings are higher than the cost of implementing your recommendations, this will help you get sign off for your budget.

Your CMO approaches you and says, “It’s been six months, SEO is not working, I want to stick with PPC.” How do you combat that?

SEO takes time to show results. It’s all about consistency, momentum and ongoing optimisations if you want to see effective results. If your CMO decides to stop investing in SEO, then the company will be at risk of falling behind. Especially when competitors continue their efforts in implementing their own organic strategies. The fact is, even in economic uncertainty people are still searching, therefore it’s important that companies continue investing in organic growth to boost brand awareness and come out of any uncertain periods stronger than competitors.

So, if it’s six months down the line and your CMO says that they want to stick with PPC, then you’re in trouble. To come back from that, you need to identify what the company cares about and bring it to the surface. 

There’s nothing that gets a CMO’s mindset activated than showing them a competitors’ performance. Showing rankings and even traffic estimates alone is a persuasive move that is likely to convince your CMO to continue investing in SEO.

What can brands do to prevent a regression in their SEO?

It’s easier to get greater investments on SEO after big releases of algorithm updates or key projects such as site migrations. However, SEO is a long-term investment and if you don’t continue working on it whilst your competitors do, you will be at risk of being left behind. This is particularly important in this constantly changing environment, where continuous investment and ongoing optimisations of your SEO strategy will be vital to ensure stability and success.

The first step to prevent a regression is to ensure SEO is an ongoing matter within your company. Having someone in charge of the organic channel should be the bare minimum. They can act as an SEO ambassador and a point of contact for people within your company to speak about SEO related matters. This person could be an inhouse SEO manager or an external SEO Consultant or agency, which would then be responsible for planning, implementing and managing the overall SEO strategy as well as monitoring your brand’s organic performance to avoid (and act upon) potential sudden traffic losses.

Another thing you can do to get positive results quicker and ensure momentum, is checking with your development team to establish what resources may or may not be available and review with them prior audits and checklists to identify outstanding tasks that could be completed within the next couple of months. The impact of technical changes is not always immediately reflected within rankings, so the sooner these are completed, the better.


SEO is a long-term investment and if you don’t continue working on it whilst your competitors do, you will be at risk of being left behind. There’s enough evidence out there to prove the value of SEO and continued implementation will only ensure that your company is in good shape, especially during periods of economic uncertainty, where continuous investment and ongoing optimisations of your SEO strategy will be vital to ensure stability and success.

Educating stakeholders within your company will be key if you want to secure an ongoing budget and prioritised resource. Hopefully we’ve provided you with a few tips on how to accomplish that.

If you need help with your SEO strategy or you simply want to find out more information on the SEO services we provide at Builtvisible, please feel free to get in touch here.

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