Breaking Down Organisational Digital Marketing & Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Silos in 2024

Damon Rutherford | | Updated: 9 April 2024

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In today’s digital age, the integration of various departments within an organisation is pivotal for sustaining a robust online reputation and executing effective search marketing strategies.

Organisational silos, characterised by departments functioning independently, hinder this integration, impacting the organisation’s overall online success.

I want to talk about why dismantling these silos to bolster online reputation and digital marketing efforts should be top of your list of tasks to optimise your online presence.

What is an organisational silo?

Organisational silos arise when departments or groups within an organisation operate in isolation from one another. This lack of communication and collaboration can lead to inefficiencies, a disjointed company culture, and missed opportunities in the digital landscape.

Search engines have got more complex, and more and more platforms outside of our control have a significant say on how your brand is seen online, and many of these are outside the traditional remit of your existing departments.  

Why is this important?

When teams get tunnel vision and don’t work together, things tend to slip between the cracks. In the case of digital marketing, non-digital teams tend to think that anything online is the responsibility of the digital team, and the digital team thinks that anything that they don’t directly contol (the website, Google Ads, their social media profiles) is outside of their remit.

This leaves a super important online elements such as online relvews and ratings unmonitored and unoptimised. Even the Google Business Profiles which power Google Maps and should be owned by the brand are highly likey to be given a low level of lip service, especially compareed to their potential influence over customer decision making. 

Which teams are we talking about?

When developing a holistic search marketing & optimisation strategy, involving the following teams is important:

  • Website
  • Digital Marketing
  • Content
  • Brand
  • Public Relations (PR)
  • Human Resources (HR)
  • Retail Marketing

    Which areas of search optimisation are we talking about?

    What activities does digital marketing include (and how does siloisation effect performance)?

    • Search engine optimisation (SEO): writing and optimising website pages that rank highly for specific keywords in the organic results of search engines like Google.
    • Paid search advertising (PPC): running paid search advertising campaigns that target specific keywords in the search engines such as Google.
    • Local search engine optimisation: increasing the visibility of physical locations in both Google Maps and the local results in standard search engine results.
    • Online reputation: monitoring and managing websites that have a high visibility in search results and are likely to influence confidence in your brand.

      How do organisational silos effect online performance?

      The following examples illustrate some of the unintended consequences of silo based working, including duplication of work, or worse still, the work not being done at all:

      • SEO, PPC & Content: Keyword research is key to developing effective campaigns in all three of these areas, however in most organisations these areas are at best duplicating efforts, at worst not working together at all.
        Look at a search engine result page – from the searchers perspective organic and paid search results show as one and should be working together.
      • Paid search advertising: Another perspective is that where a brand doesn’t rank highly organically, it becomes more important for a brand to advertise to ensure they have visibility for the keyword
      • Local search and maps: For an organisation with retail outlets, local search can be more important than organic search results. Unfortunately for many organisations, local search falls through the cracks and no-one ends up managing it:
        • It doesn’t belong to the digital or website teams because it’s not the website
        • It doesn’t belong to the retail marketing team because it’s in the search engine results
      • Online reputation: One that once again falls between the cracks, every organisations online reputation should be super important, but as with local search and maps, no-one owns it as it’s in no-mans land.
        • It doesn’t belong to the digital or website teams because it’s not the website
        • It doesn’t belong to brand team because it’s in the search engine results
        • It doesn’t belong to corporate reputation team because it’s in the search engine results


      The first step in this process is understanding what are the main elements of your online performance. What topics are you visible for online, which topics you want to be visible for,  and who is talking about you online.

      Which topics you want to be visible for is pretty straightforward – most organisations will have this under control, even if the organic and paid search terms are operating seperately (hint: they shouldn’t).

      The big opportunity here is to get the organic and paid search teams working together, even if it is just sharing their keyword research and goals. And ensuring that there work lines up from the wider organisational perspective.

      When it come to who is talking about you online though, this is a whole different kettle of fish.

      Reputation for instance – who looks after this? And are they really looking after it or are they just paying lip service? Here’s some examples of types of reputation online, and who we think should be looking after them:

      • Glassdoor and Indeed: the HR department
      • TrustPilot, Feefo and Reevoo: the Brand and PR teams
      • Reviews: the Brand and PR teams

      And how about Google Business Profiles for your various locations? Who looks after those? And are they really looking after them? After all, for many retail organisations how you show up in Google Maps is now more important than your website presence.

      Your retail marketing team should be looking after this, but chances are they probably aren’t, because that’s online, and that’s the responsibility of the digital team.

      If you would like to talk through your this topic in more detail we’d be happy to chat.


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      If you're looking for some advice (or even a new digital marketing partner), get in touch with us for a no-obligation consultation on how we can help you achieve your online goals in 2024.


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