SEO And The CIO: 5 Search Concepts You Need To Know

Our SEO program would be so much more successful if only our CIO understood…

As the executive responsible for the management, implementation, and oversight of information and technologies in your organization, the Chief Information Officer is an essential ally to SEO.

Having the CIO’s support and understanding throughout the decision-making and prioritization processes can be massively helpful for the CMO (chief marketing officer).

Indeed, this is not a relationship you want to be adversarial. On the contrary, it needs to be symbiotic.

Fostering a solid relationship between marketing and technology at the executive level is essential in creating the rich, personalized experiences today’s hyperconnected consumer expects.

According to analyst data, more than 20% of the marketing budget is used for technology, and one-third of marketing organizations already have a dedicated technology team.

How can you better educate your CIO about the value of SEO and nurture closeness in this essential interdepartmental relationship?

Here are a few search concepts you’ll want your CIO to know.

1. The Impacts Of Page Speed & UX On SEO

Core Web Vitals and the broader Page Experience update emphasized the importance of a fast, seamless browsing experience for searchers.

Google uses the CWV metrics – Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift – to better understand people’s experience on your page.

If you are meeting the minimum thresholds for CWVs, you’re meeting Google’s page speed requirements.

Your pages will not be penalized for not excelling at the Core Web Vitals metrics.

Rather, you may be missing out on valuable opportunities to get an additional boost that could help you surpass your competition in search.

Ensure your CIO has access to this Advanced Technical SEO Core Web Vitals Guide so they can develop an appreciation for how these requests on your support tickets translate directly to increased visibility and site traffic.

Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can also help support your SEO page speed goals by delivering content from geographically distributed servers that are closer to the searcher.

These servers cache your page content so it can more quickly and easily be served when needed, reducing page latency and load time.

When CIOs collaborate with SEO and content marketers, the business impacts can be clearly visible.

This is especially true with Core Web Vitals, as research (disclosure from my company BrightEdge) has recently shown this collaboration can lead up to 58% improvements in performance.

Image from BrightEdge, June 2022

2. Technical Site & CMS Errors Can Be Critical

Technical errors in your code and CMS (content management system) can cause all kinds of problems, from hindering crawling and preventing indexation to security issues, orphaned pages, and duplicate content.

It can help your CIO and their development team to provide a method of prioritizing your SEO-related technical requests.

Is this error preventing users from accessing the site or causing a vulnerability?

Don’t let that get buried in redirect requests.

Helping your CIO learn about the most common types of technical errors that can impact rankings enables them to spot potential issues coming up in requests from other departments.

Another critical area where the CIO and SEO come together is the utilization and implementation of AI (artificial intelligence).

This is where many CMS come up short.

AI can be leveraged to improve site and customer experiences with intelligent content recommendations, SEO-friendly outputs, and automated quick fixes of critical errors.

3. Security Implications Of Data And SEO

The CIO is acutely aware of security and compliance issues – you don’t need to educate here.

What can help is showing your CIO that you are mindful of the security risks, as well, and taking care to assess those risks before making requests of their team.

The worst-case scenario is an anti-SEO CIO who became that way after a breach or other major issue they attribute to an optimization requested by SEO or marketing.

Show your CIO that you are well-versed in the SEO spam tactics hackers are using to inject code, implement harmful redirects, and otherwise manipulate your site.

As we are amid an explosive data growth revolution and Web 3.0, data compliance and user privacy become important for the SEO, data scientist, and the CIO.

Share your risk assessment when you make a request that could raise the dev team’s eyebrows.

Be proactive and get ahead of those arguments against the optimization by showing the CIO you care about security every bit as much as they do.

4. How Schema Works

Structured data markup is not a ranking factor but helps search engines better understand your page’s content.

From there, it can help trigger valuable Featured Snippets that give your brand additional real estate and added functionality in the SERPs (search engines results page).

Schema is the type of markup that search engines, including Google, Bing, and Yandex prefer.

Adding schema to your pages helps to provide the context that enables Google to match your page to a relevant query, making it an essential element of your SEO strategy.

Properly adding and testing schema becomes more difficult the larger the site, making your CIO’s understanding of it essential at the enterprise level.

It’s worth sharing details of and pages like this where Google takes a deep dive into structure data.

Image from Google, June 2022

You can automate schema with the right technology.

However, manual checks and balances should still be in place to ensure it’s actually doing the job.

It only works if the meaning and context your markup conveys to the search engine are accurate.

You may invite your CIO to have a seat at the table as you determine which markup to automate and what is better off hand-coded, so they understand what’s being marked up and why.

5. CRM Support Of SEO

Customers should be the priority for any CIO and every type of SEO platform.

As SEO becomes a board room agenda item ensuring your CRM system is helping manage your leads, and customer data is a must.

SEO pros use CRM to turn prospects into sales and elevate their performance across an organization also.

While different CRM systems have other purposes, it is essential that the CIO helps choose which one hits the objectives of SEO and content teams.

With the rise of CDPs (customer data platforms), DAMs (Digital Asset Management), and DMPs (digital management platforms), the role of the CIO is critical in:

  • Choosing the right system and ecosystem partners in SEO and marketing technology.
  • Integrating technologies that better serve the customer and user experience.


As the relationship between CMOs and CIOs align, so does the relationship with SEO. Successful customer experience on the web requires speed and responsiveness.

The seismic shift –  and interest in technical SEO – as the most cost-effective and durable marketing channel means that CIO has become a central part of the SEO revenue equation.

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Featured Image: Panchenko Vladimir/Shutterstock