There’s usually hesitancy when you start something new. After all, change is hard.

This could be learning a new skill, starting a new job, or in this case, learning a new SEO platform.

Even if you’re an experienced SEO, there is always so much to learn in the new software: from capabilities, to processes, to standardized workflows. The transition can be even more rigorous when you’ve been working with many disparate tools, and potentially across global teams.

To build structure around your SEO program and set guidelines for internal teams, seoClarity’s Client Success team adopted the governance model —  a way to establish rules and expectations for how a new resource will be utilized in the day-to-day activities of the team.

Governance is about operationalizing your SEO program. You’re able to create accountability and ensure that your technology partner (that’s us!) and internal teams have a clear understanding of why the technology was brought into the organization and the expected impact on the results it was meant to support.

Operationalizing Your SEO

Organic search is one of the most complex marketing channels for any organization.

It’s absolutely the greatest growth channel for any website, but it requires skilled analysis and a tremendous amount of execution at scale to not only achieve more traffic, but to maintain it.

In today’s very nuanced landscape of search experience optimization, the fastest route to success requires a plan — and ultimately a Center of Excellence. That is, an establishment of processes and workflows that allow you to rethink your SEO program to focus on the end user experience while getting other departments to do the same.  

This process sets the foundation for achievement and resilience for your team.

In our experience, companies that have strong operational leadership have the greatest level of sustained success of achievement in their respective area of business. These leaders design and implement the structure necessary to foster adoption for any tools their employees are provided.

Building out your SEO team? I recommend: All-Star Cast of SEOs: Building a Winning In-House SEO Team.

The Need for the Governance Model

The governance model allows your SEO team to align the technology with your needs and form accountability. You have access to this incredible platform, so use it to the fullest!

When you structure your own team, you’ll form internal processes that make it easy to know who is in charge of what aspect of the platform, and who to go to for questions or assistance.

A few individuals on your team take charge of the onboarding and become the go-to person of contact for the rest of your team.  

This establishment of accountability and leadership allows your team to further advance your approach to SEO.

“What is SEO?” becomes “SEO is a good marketing channel!” until you really capture the opportunity of organic search. Then, this process continues until your company at large sees SEO as a driver of user experience that affects every department. But it all starts with aligning your SEO team. 

As your SEO program continues to evolve and mature, you’ll have more and more stakeholders interested in the channel. The governance model lets you navigate this ever-changing environment. You need a constitution to succeed. Be a governing body!

So many enterprise SEOs struggle with proving the value of SEO company-wide. Your ability to evangelize SEO rests on your ability to structure the SEO team itself.

Implementing the Governance Model

Whether you’re new to SEO or a veteran, there will be a learning curve involved with picking up a new solution. We are here to provide support and training unlike anyone else in the marketplace.

A company partners with seoClarity because they want to be better at execution and scale. ”

The governance model begins with forming a core team that takes on duties and responsibilities related to bringing on a new solution. And yes, an election is held.

The Roles

The governance model is broken down into two main roles: the Governor, and the Sheriff.

Stick with me here.

The simplification of the process makes the overall approach easier to learn and adopt.

The Governor

The Governor acts as the primary stakeholder in the SEO program. They’re responsible for the adoption of seoClarity into the organization, current SEO investments, and strategy.

  • User Adoption: Buy-in from all levels, role assignments, usage goals and expectations, big picture
  • Investments: Keyword and URL allocation, billing inquiries, purchasing (more keywords, custom reports), renewals
  • Strategy: SEO goals and roadmap, reporting and segmentation, internal SEO evangelism, process development: workflows and playbooks

The Sheriff

The Sheriff acts as the super-admin of the SEO program. They’re responsible for policy implementation and decision making. They also uphold your SOPs and workflows, and are the primary contact for the rest of the team.

  • Account configuration: complete ACES documentation, integrations, keyword and URL selection, critical account settings (e.g. web rank versus true rank), tags and types
  • Access permissions: initial users, permission management, usage monitoring, creation benchmarks and set reports and tags
  • Process implementations: technology expectations enforcer, workflow implementation, automated alerts and monitoring, actionable insights
  • security protocols: implement company security guidelines, primary security point person (i.e. user access, data extracts, etc.), agency and/or partner monitor

This process helps determine how seoClarity will solve problems, scale efforts, improve efficiency, and improve performance.

The roles also let us know who to talk to in your organization if any issues arise.

What’s the Outcome of Governance?

The governance model lets you streamline your own internal processes by having designated leadership for specific roles (and we at seoClarity have someone to go to if needed).

Once governance is implemented, your teams will know who to contact to get answers to their questions. And questions will arise.

Your team will likely ask:

  • Can I create my own keyword tags?
  • Is it okay to add all my GSC keywords into seoClarity?
  • Can I export all the keyword rankings?

If governance is in place, these questions will be answered properly, since someone internally at the company will be in charge — you’ll tell them how to use seoClarity the right way.

seoClarity is a powerful platform with various features, but you reap the full benefits when you pull everything together and have established models.

Then, after you’ve structured the SEO program within your own team, you’ll be able to branch out and get other teams on board with organic search.

You know that SEO brings value to every department within the organization, but those other departments struggle to understand this. One thing is for sure: Your company won’t get behind SEO if the SEO team itself isn’t structured. Hello, governance.

Next Steps: Spreading SEO Company-Wide  

Structuring the SEO team opens the door to spreading SEO throughout the entire company, but what’s the best way to do that?

Changing the way you to talk about SEO matters. Instead of talking at your colleagues about this incredible thing known as organic search data, educate them on how it can bolster their work.

Recommended Reading: SEO Platform for Digital Teams

We at seoClarity have a proven framework of how to do this successfully. It involves three core elements: structure, simplify, and scale. This methodology allows you to achieve repeatable results in organic search. As touched upon earlier, we call it the Center of Excellence.  

Meanwhile, our recommended URA approach to SEO (usability, relevance, authority) puts the priority on the search experience in every aspect of your organic search program. 

It can’t be said enough: You can’t expect your company to get behind SEO if your own SEO team can’t get behind it and get organized! 


I get it — the process of bringing on a new SEO technology is overwhelming. But your commitment to success from the beginning is the catalyst for company-wide change when it comes to SEO.

It’s a simple fact that those with great project management are going to be the best at SEO. There is a lot happening, but you need to establish accountability and distill all of this down into actionable things. And then, you open the door to success.

So, who’s your Governor and Sheriff going to be?