How to run an SEO clinic

Ever considered running an internal SEO clinic for various stakeholders? While SEO is its own discipline, in almost all in-house SEO roles you’ll find yourself needing to pull of teams such as merchandise, IT, PR and many other departments. Each of these areas has the ability to support getting wider SEO buy-in and also getting SEO tactics implemented that can help you achieve your yearly strategy.

This guide should help give you tips and ideas on how to run a successful SEO Clinic (also known as an internal workshop). From helping to get buy-in around out-of-stock processes which match the desired output from merchandise teams, to aligning technical changes with the eCommerce roadmap; this guide should help give you the tools you need to get senior stakeholders bought into your SEO roadmap.

If you’re looking for further inspiration the M&S SEO team have been running SEO clinics for some time and I’d highly recommend seeing them in action.

Set Expectations

Let’s be honest. No one wants another meeting with a flaky agenda or a miss-aligned purpose. It’s key to set goals of what you are looking to achieve and with what team – for example, the merchandise team are not likely going to understand or care about digital PR in the same way the PR team might. Likewise, customer service might not care about product out-of-stock messaging and behaviour, while this is something the internal merchandise teams absolutely will care about.

Try and try a high-level plan of what the goal is you want and then set some expectations for attendees of what they can potentially learn or the problem you’re looking to solve. Don’t beat around the bush and make it clear that in some instances this might mean additional work is coming down the line. Over time, this will help massively improve processes and streamline outcomes.

Tailor Content for The Audience

We’ve touched on this above but it’s vital to make sure everything you create outside of “What is SEO” and the basic entry slides are totally tailored to the primary stakeholders, even if they have no clue about SEO.

As an example, during my time at Halfords, I identified that merchandise was KPI’d against reducing the total amount of “Dead Ends” on the site. But what is a dead end? It was soon identified that, in this scenario, dead end for merchandise actually meant 404’s and (you guessed it) were caused more often than not by-products coming in and out of stock.

My tailored approach here was showing how SEO as a business unit could help identify those issues at scale outside of the traditional PIM system. This, in turn, would reduce their internal team hours in admin per week. Even better, we could work together to create a tailored solution that means these 404’s for product pages shouldn’t need to be manually touched ever again.

Share success stories

This is an additional key step to show just how much value there is from internal education to using SEO: from keyword research to identify new product ranges or solving complex technology problems, there are lots of benefits.

Highlight the important data and make it easy for the audience to understand the benefits if they action what is being asked of them at the SEO Clinic.

Create SOP’s & Guidance Documents

The biggest part of any internal education is taking advantage of those internal stakeholders who want to continue to learn and be more involved in SEO.

An internal Wiki can be the perfect place to add internal guidance on learning more about SEO topics and using links to sites such as Google and other articles. A core recommendation here would be using the Learning SEO platform by Aleyda on

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