CMO vs SEO: How To Balance SEO And B2B Marketing Goals

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In spite of the advantages of aligning strategies, marketing and SEO managers do not always have the exact same objectives when it comes to promoting content, from what I have actually observed with customers and partners.

Typically, SEO experts are striving to satisfy their essential performance signs (KPIs) on time, yet depend on the output of the marketing group for success.

Meanwhile, the marketing department makes every effort to provide a long-lasting content strategy assisted by the broader objectives of the CEO and subsequent top priorities of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to advance brand name awareness and demand generation strategies, to name however a few.

It is typically the macro view of these objectives which can result in SEO not being leveraged to its full potential due to the time taken to yield outcomes or attribute worth.

While SEO strategies are frequently long-term, they are essential to maximizing the capacity of content marketing and providing the need efficiency to increase exponential growth.

In this short article, I present a four-step method to align both teams and ensure their objectives are satisfied, in addition to four finest practices to establish consistency between your SEO and marketing efforts.

4-Step Method To Balance SEO And B2B Marketing Goals

Prevent obscurity and develop clear procedures for your creatives to make sure both marketing and SEO objectives are satisfied.

1. Produce A Brand Name And Design Guide With SEO In Mind

To ensure SEO and marketing techniques are entirely lined up, it is essential for brand and style guides to consider SEO.

To put it simply, instead of SEO being an afterthought, it should be an essential part of the marketing procedure– especially for content marketing.

Dedicating a chapter to SEO in the brand and content design guides will strengthen this relationship and set tasks for SEO pros to advance brand awareness.

This shifts the common “change material to rank for SEO” mindset toward the more efficient “enhance SEO for marketing” method, which is particularly important for businesses that depend on authors and freelancers to be in charge of their own SEO efforts.

To preserve an amicable tug-of-war between CMO and SEO goals, it is likewise essential for the marketing method to allow keywords that rank well however may bend grammatical guidelines (or not use the C-Suite’s favored language).

An example is “leading of funnel” as an adjective, which ranks better for SEO than the grammatically right “top-of-funnel.”

Extra suggestions on what to include in the brand and style guides:

  • Recommended and forbidden SEO keyword lists, so managers, brand-new hires, and freelancers can speak with the guides quickly to prevent ranking for keywords deemed irrelevant.
  • List of top quality terms that can’t be adjusted for SEO, so the CMO and the marketing group don’t see their technique affected by keywords and branded terms that have been “tweaked” to rank much better for SEO.
  • Key content topics: Define key topics in the guide to advance brand name awareness and rank for SEO. Executing this in the guides (rather than only in a material calendar) makes the material method conclusive and offers expectations for SEO supervisors to prepare their long-lasting method.

2. Optimize Each Material Asset For SEO And Marketing Goals

Preferably, all material must rank for SEO.

However, the objective of each content piece will likely vary based on the subject covered, its search intent, along with its role in brand name awareness and forming audience opinion.

Thought leadership, for example, may present a difficulty for implementing SEO, especially if the author is pitching an innovative, original idea for their audience that has no search intent yet.

In this case, it is much better to prioritize “marketing goals” and enhance to enhance ranking where possible instead of guide content production with SEO. This ensures content meets its purpose.

Consider amplifying reach through content syndication and paid media to improve the impact of this material.

On the other hand, material that is extremely affected by search intent, such as Frequently asked questions or guides, should concentrate on SEO first and foremost to inform content development and rank better for highly-searched questions.

While branding may take a rear seat here, it is very important that this content remains aligned.

Therefore, to fulfill both results, preparing each piece of content ahead of time with a marketing or SEO focus assists to determine KPIs for each property– as well as guide the production and promo of content to satisfy these goals effectively.

However, it is necessary to strive for consistency between CMO and SEO objectives by developing shared KPIs whenever possible and producing content that advances brand name awareness while also ranking for popular questions.

3. Survey Your Audience To Measure The Effect Of SEO On Marketing

Survey your audience to examine if marketing objectives are being consulted with content, as well as the effect of SEO on marketing strategies.

By asking questions about the values your audience associates with your brand name along with the leading keywords that enter your mind (to evaluate SEO priorities), you can assess if the total impression your audience currently forms of your brand is on par with the CMO and marketing team’s goals.

It is necessary to point out (particularly in this step) that SEO ought to be viewed as a promotion tool for driving brand awareness and long-lasting demand.

Therefore, if the study results point to worths or keywords that are SEO-driven, yet do not meet marketing expectations, then it is very important to adjust the SEO-focused content to provide the designated brand name messaging.

If you want to test specific assets or subjects, then A/B test a “marketing-driven” and “SEO-driven” variation to see which engages readers much better, as well as survey their brand impressions.

This will offer a lot of intel to guide future material creation for your writers.

4. Produce A Content Calendar And Hold Regular Meetings Between Marketing And SEO Managers

After assessing how your audience views your brand name, it is time to develop a content calendar to deal with possible unintentional brand associations the general public has made– all while satisfying SEO goals.

Plan your material calendar per quarter, establishing “marketing” and “SEO” objectives per topic/asset.

For SEO material, such as pure search intent content, describe the keywords in advance to avoid unintentional off-brand impressions after the content is launched.

As for the marketing material, establish goals for yielding engagement and the function of the content (to drive awareness or lead generation, for example), along with branding objectives and promo approaches– since SEO will not be the primary alternative for driving traffic.

Hold routine meetings between the marketing and SEO supervisors to talk about the metrics and impressions of the campaign as it is ongoing.

Social listening tools can assess the effect of the content and guide modifications for writers before the next assets are promoted.

By evaluating audience impressions while the project is continuous, it becomes easier to change live material on a case-by-case basis, as well as modification topics/assets to satisfy goals in the case of shared KPIs suffering.

4 Finest Practices To Preserve Commonalities In Between CMO And SEO Requirements

Employ these four finest practices to preserve harmony in between marketing and SEO:

1. Onboard Writers With Marketing And SEO Dos And Do n’ts

Onboarding writers, freelance or otherwise, is an essential job for keeping brand name voice and material objectives.

Considering that, it is also essential to create an onboarding guide for authors that covers SEO dos and do n’ts along with additional training resources.

Generally, brand-new authors will not be familiar with the minutia of your branding and style guides, so clarifying how to promote brand awareness correctly (such as boilerplate language, item descriptions, recommended adjectives, and allowed/forbidden keywords) will provide assistance for them to meet both marketing and SEO objectives.

2. Use Social Listening

As discussed previously, leveraging social listening tools can assist to define your audience’s sentiment towards your brand and evaluate the results of your total messaging.

This, combined with study feedback, will help you make vital changes.

As a result, social listening tools are maybe the most important weapon in your arsenal to balance CMO and SEO needs, so utilize them often to gather insights and guide future content production.

Another approach is to search for your brand and items on online forums and social networks channels by hand, gaining insights from the way your audience discuss your options to assess if the discourse is aligned with your intended messaging and existing SEO top priorities.

3. Establish An In-depth Content Method

To fulfill your overarching content marketing and SEO objectives, develop a method based on your material calendar to ensure that any content produced has a crucial role in driving your wanted outcomes.

This ought to include how content pieces interlink and support one another, regardless of whether they are marketing or SEO-driven.

For instance, start by defining an ingenious thought management piece and link this out to additional videos, brief article, and podcast episodes.

As you analyze the performance of this content piece, you will be able to expand the topic to match the ICP’s purchaser journey and search intent.

This could take the shape of a foundational SEO-focused piece for the topic that matches search intent and functions as a hub linking out to all the extra material that likewise ranks for keywords to drive brand traffic.

This technique, integrated with a constant publishing cadence for your editorial calendar, will guarantee that projects fulfill desired marketing and SEO outcomes.

While having material that speaks to marketing and SEO focuses independently, interlinking and directing material with a long-lasting strategy is vital.

The best-performing content pieces are those that blend both top priorities, establishing consistency in between ranking for SEO keywords and leading the way in your market with ingenious idea leadership.

If done successfully, this will build long-term need generation for your business.

4. Establish Joint Paid Media And Social Network Techniques And Goals

Bridge the space in between CMO and SEO by building upon both focuses with complimentary paid media and social media goals/strategies.

By seeing both as promo methods for marketing and SEO goals, it is possible to fine-tune when to use paid media and social networks to boost a variety of content pieces across a project that supports both SEO and marketing initiatives.

The more developed your content method and calendar, the better interlinked your material will be, facilitating your capability to craft omnichannel campaigns that provide on all KPIs.


Fulfilling the demands of both the CMO and SEO supervisor needs a mindful approach that balances ranking in search engine results pages with promoting positive brand name awareness.

This article provides finest practices and a four-step strategy to attain this balance, however, there are extra aspects that you can include into your material calendar to much better satisfy CMO and SEO objectives.

Developing a content technique for the top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) phase, where search intent is less niche, is a fine example of how to advance brand awareness while ranking for extremely searched keywords.

You can then use this foundation to incentivize the lead to go through the buyer’s journey and take in thought-provoking, innovative content optimized with more particular keywords that further your marketing efforts.

By considering material marketing and SEO as 2 sides of the same coin, you can better align content production to feed into each other, construct a total favorable brand experience for your audience, and for that reason utilize the complete potential of your marketing efforts to drive need.

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