According to research from Borrell associates, SEO spending is forecast to reach $79.27 billion by 2020. However, the problem that many marketers face is actually elevating the importance of SEO within their organizations.
In 2017 it is essential that SEO professionals secure the buy-in they need from their business leaders so they can accomplish their professional goals.
Understanding how to do this will not only help the brand succeed, but it will also build your reputation as a marketer, paving the way for a successful future within the industry.
Understanding this potential and the direction of the industry can help you establish yourself and your business within this changing field, laying a firm foundation for a strong brand moving forward. Here are seven ways you can elevate your SEO performance on both a personal and professional level.
Seven ways to elevate SEO performance
1) Communicate the importance of SEO within your organization
To elevate your personal and professional SEO performance, you must begin by establishing the importance of optimization to others in your organization.
My company, BrightEdge, regularly monitors the impact of organic search on website success and has found that 51%  of traffic to your page originates with organic. Additionally, 83 percent of the traffic from search engines is from organic instead of paid.
Brands that want to drive performance need to focus resources and budget on SEO, and as a marketer, you need to promote this channel.
Invest your time and resources in improving performance in this segment so that you can begin to demonstrate both your own competence and the importance of digital marketing to your brand as a whole.
2) Optimize your human capital
The marketing world continues to mature and professionals need to be prepared to evolve alongside it. Within digital marketing, we continue to see a convergence  of different marketing disciplines as the former silos begin to come down.
For example, content writers work more closely with SEOs and paid search and organic teams better understand the value that the other has to offer.
You want to maximize your human capital to take advantage of these trends. Look for new hires that have multiple skill sets and understand a few different marketing disciplines.
Similarly, find ways to train your existing team members on other marketing strategies, such as in-house training sessions. The better the team can function as a whole and create unified campaigns, the greater the success will be, which will help boost your value and reputation.
3) Nurture your own skills
Given the speed with which marketing continues to change, marketers must also be attentive to their individual skills. For you to advance professionally, you will need to navigate the hybrid atmosphere of modern digital marketing.
This means taking advantage of the variety of online resources available to help you learn about different aspects of marketing, such as analytics, SEO, writing, or social media. Attend a few webinars, follow key blogs, or even take classes to improve your credentials.
Taking the time to prepare yourself for modern marketing will help you stand out within your company, improve the success of campaigns, and position you for an even brighter future.
4) Find ways to break down internal silos
Breaking down the silos that hinder your organization’s performance requires not only hiring people with cross-specialty skills and expanding your own abilities, but also actively working to break down barriers between groups at your organization.
Do not be afraid to lead the initiative to start working with people from other teams. Get to know those who work in other departments through lunches or regular meetings, work on coordinated projects together, and develop integrated campaigns.
This cooperative effort will allow your organization to create more advanced campaigns and thus strengthen the brand’s efforts.
5) Invest the time, resources, and energy in analytics to gain a full view of your work
To effectively market to your prospects, you need to have a clear view of your performance and progress at every stage. You want to have a complete view of your metrics, understanding how your content and campaigns perform at every level, from keyword ranking to the impact on revenue and share of voice.
Look at how different aspects of your campaigns perform, such as paid search, organic and SEO, and social media efforts. The more complete your understanding of the marketing landscape, the clearer the picture will become of how you should move forward.
6) Use data to build a strategy centered around the customer’s needs
In the modern marketing world, we need to focus on the importance of the customer-centric approach and the growing roles that machine learning and automation  are likely to play as the digital industry continues to mature. As a marketer, you need to produce strategies and campaigns that understand the unique needs and interests of your target consumers so that you can then produce the material needed to engage prospects.
The emerging technologies will play a large role in helping you better understand the search landscape so that you can more effectively reach them through your campaigns.
As you bring in the data from your analytics monitoring, use it to start creating a customer-first strategy. Watch the types of devices that people use when accessing your content, how that impacts their behavior, the paths they take to reach the conversion stage, and how various marketing efforts impact outcomes.
This will help you be more effective and create and optimize content  that people actually want to read and is set for success, instead of just content that you want to produce. This will make your efforts more effective, providing lift to the organization and elevating the importance of SEO.
7) Understand how to speak to the C-Suite
For you to elevate SEO importance and performance on a personal and professional level, it is vitally important to know how to speak to the C-Suite and other leaders at your organization. They prioritize the specific metrics that will clearly indicate the impact of your marketing efforts on the organization as a whole.
They are less interested in seeing keyword rankings as they are in seeing share of voice, revenue from organic campaigns, and your success within the competitive landscape. Use reports and visuals that easily and clearly communicate your progress and the direct benefit to the company.
On a personal level, work on cultivating valuable meeting room traits, including confident speaking skills and effective storytelling abilities.
This will allow you to engage with the leaders of your organization and help them understand the value of what you have to offer.
The marketing industry continues to mature as consumers, marketers, and the technology involved become more sophisticated. From a personal and professional level, this offers you the chance to elevate SEO and the importance of your own role.
As we venture into 2017, now is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the ideas above to set yourself and your organization up for a great year.
Dating back to Ancient Greece and Egypt, monumental structures have relied on the strength of stone pillars, working together to support an immense amount of weight and pressure.
This past November Google announced that it was starting to test indexing their mobile index as the primary index above desktop.
It’s the right time of the year to evaluate your SEO strategy and examine the best ways to improve it during 2017. This doesn’t have to be a complicated process, though.