CMO’s: It’s Time to Re-think SEO

CMO’s: It’s Time to Re-think SEO

21st March 2014

Welcome to the Friday Commentary. In this series every Friday experts will shine a light on the digital industry. Where are we heading, what is going on and how should we approach this as decision makers? This Friday we listen to Matt Roberts, Co-Founder & VP of Product of Linkdex. Matt is a thought leader in Digital with a strong SEO background and mindset.


I was doing some research for a presentation at a Linkdex Think Tank and I found a post – 21 stats show CMOs leap before they look at ROI. There are lots of great stats in there like, 63% of CMO’s say “ROI will be the standard for their performance by 2015:” yet, today, only 44% say “I can measure ROI.”

What made this interesting for me what how that applies to my specific area of interest. Organic Search. and why SEO matters more than C-Level Execs think.

So why is having senior management define the direction of the company in a way that includes organic search important?

Organic search is not just a high traffic channel it’s a high ROI channel. In fact for brands, research tells us it’s often the highest ROI channel.

[Tweet “Organic search is not just a high traffic channel it’s a high ROI channel.”]

If 63% of CMO’s are really saying “ROI will be the standard for their performance by 2015:” then putting more effort into Organic Search makes sense. And the break down in strategic logic doesn’t stop there.

Overall, the highest Customer Lifetime Value (the future profits a company expects to earn from a customer thought their relationship with a business) is 54% higher with Organic Search than any other channel.

[Tweet “The highest Customer Lifetime Value is 54% higher with Organic Search than any other channel.”]

Research conducted by Edelman, the world’s largest independent PR agency tells us that the organic search channel is trusted by consumers in the same way traditional media is trusted.

According to Google and their research, 50% of purchases involve search being used at the Zero Moment of Truth.

McKinsey’s research about Consumer Decision Journeys’ tells a similar story. During the Initial Consideration, Active Evaluation and Closer phases of the purchase cycle, online research plays a critical role.

None of which is surprising if we examine our own behaviors.

What it does mean is that gaining attention, being present and persuasive and the Zero and First Moment of Truth and leaving consumers with a positive experience of your brands products, services and people is critical to managing the search ecosystem.

How many companies are optimising the management of search engine optimisation?

Linkdex sells Enterprise SEO Software to agencies and brands, which means I’m lucky enough to get to talk to the world’s best SEO agencies and in-house marketers. The story from both sides is consistent. Although there are examples of some CMO’s doing a great job at optimizing the management of SEO, there are too many where the light bulb has not gone on yet.

[Tweet “Some CMOs do a great job at SEO management, too many have not seen the light bulb gone on yet”]

CMO’s let’s be clear. All the way through the purchase funnel your customers are using search in order to decide what to buy. The chances are your brand doesn’t have a voice when it needs to. What’s more, your customer really trust what find when searching, and for those that become customers through this channel, the chances are they will become loyal, high lifetime value customers.

The question for your SEO team today is: “If you had support from me, the right budget, people, influence and technology, how much more could we be doing for our brand, our customers and ROI.”

Go on. Ask them.


Written By
Matt Roberts is the Co-Founder & VP of Product, Linkdex. Matt began his marketing career 20 years ago in direct marketing agencies, before progressing into digital marketing. Even when the dot com bubble burst, he continued to immerse himself in all things SEO.
CMO’s: It’s Time to Re-think SEO
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21st March 2014
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