The definition of technology is:
the practical application of science to commerce or industry
A while ago, I asked, “If your IT department was killing innovation“. It was a question that solicited quite a response! Many IT departments do have the ability to stifle or enable innovation… can IT departments even stifle or enable productivity and sales?
Today, I had the pleasure of meeting with Chris from Compendium. It was a spirited conversation and we wound up going about 45 minutes past where we wanted to.
One of the interesting pieces of the conversation was discussing who owned the decision to purchase a platform or SEO services. We both sighed when that decision fell into the hands of an IT representative. I'm in no way trying to disparage IT professionals – I rely on their expertise on a daily basis. Blogging for SEO is a strategy for acquiring leads… a marketing responsibility.
However, it's intriguing that an IT department is often put in charge of a platform or process that determines business results. Too many times, I see business results (innovation, return on investment, ease of use, etc.) taking a backseat in the purchasing decision.
In selecting us as their corporate blogging platform, it's often the IT department that believes that they can implement a free solution for blogging. A blog is a blog, right?
- Nevermind that the content isn't optimized
- Nevermind that the platform isn't secure, stable, maintenance-free, redundant, etc.
- Nevermind that the platform isn't scalable to millions of pageviews and tens of thousands of users.
- Nevermind that the company who built it spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in research and development to ensure best practices and search engine compliance was incorporated.
- Nevermind that the user interface is simple for anyone to use, without any need for intensive training.
- Nevermind that the system is automated so no knowledge of tagging and categorization is needed.
- Nevermind that our staff monitors our clients' progress to ensure their success.
- Nevermind that the platform comes with ongoing coaching to help the bloggers develop their skillsets and increase their return on investment over time.
With SEO, it's often the same argument. I've even been on the opposite side of the SEO argument, telling you that you don't need an SEO expert. Jeremy reminded me of this post… doh!
My point was that too many companies have NO search engine optimization and are missing out on a lot of relevant traffic. If they just did the minimum, they could at least put that beautiful site they spent $10k on in front of a few visitors. This post was written for the large majority of companies who have no competition and no optimization… it was a plea to at least do the minimum.
For companies in competitive industries, though, 80% optimized isn't even close. 90% isn't enough. To get a #1 ranking on a highly competitive term requires the expertise of one of a handful of companies in the world. If you're in an even moderately competitive search engine results page, your IT department isn't going to get you to #1. You'll be lucky if they even get you on the first page of results.
You wouldn't put your IT department in charge of your sales team, yet you'll put them in charge of a technology that could prevent your company from getting sales. If you're going to apply technology practically… make sure you fully investigate the opportunities and advantages before you think you can do it alone!