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SES San Francisco 2010: Scaling Up Your SEO Campaigns

19 August 2010 BY

Here we are – back after the lunch break (ok yeah, I admit, lazy me skipped one session) with another session at SES San Francisco 2010. Now we’re moving over to some enterprise stuff titled “Scaling Up Your SEO Campaigns”. Taken from the official teaser: “In this session the panel discusses the need for enterprise wide planning, implementation and control of SEO campaigns for improved ROI.” We have actually four speakers up there: Russ Mann, Seth Besmertnik, Jim Yu and also Horst Joepen (yeah, Germany it is) – moderation by Mike Grehan.

Russ Mann is first-up, unfortunately there no real take-aways. The only one I got out of his presentation is that business results are key: It’s not about presenting link growth or rankings to C-level, it’s about visualizing the real business value and answering “what do we earn through SEO”?

75% is communicating and evangelizing, 25% is doing the real SEO work (on-page, link building, etc.)

Ah wow, just wanted to start over but we finally got something to look at – the recommendations of Russ are:

  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Form a coalition team
  • Create the vision success
  • Communicate the vision
  • Delegate and empower others
  • Plan for and create short term wins
  • Consolidate improvements and create more change
  • Bring in new ways of doing

Next one up is Jim – according to him, these are the most common problem in enterprise SEO:

  • Sometimes it’s easier to get external back-links vs. getting things done internally
  • How do you really coordinate across dozens of different functional teams like IT, PR, etc.?
  • Cannibalization between different teams eg. within business units.
  • Someone breaks the site and the SEO team gets yelled because the SEO revenue drops

The biggest problem according to Jim is, that everyone who touches the sites impacts SEO – but the SEO manager is responsible. Even though it wasn’t his team who broke it, etc. So generally speaking it’s NOT only the SEO managers responsibility, it’s really everyone who has to care!

So this is what Jim suggests to do:

  • Trainings
  • Standardize SEO best practices
  • Audit and compile audits based on results
  • Metrics
  • Workflow
  • Technology

Jim recommends defining these standards and processes the earliest possible! Also make sure that you plan for a wide range of different SEO knowledge and ensure to tailor performance reports and compliance reports to and for all different kind of recipients. And last but not least: Even though you’ll have some really important short-head keys, include long tail in your planning the earliest possible.

And next one up is Horst of Searchmetrics, talking about data in SEO. According to him, you need to control “a little bit” of data:

  • On page-seo, errors, rankings, back-links
  • Multiply this by the number of domains
  • Keyword positions
  • Multiply by keywords
  • Multiply by historic data points
  • Multiply by country

Whew… that’s some data to track. Bad thing is – especially for Google – you need to monitor not just google.com but ALL localized Google version, otherwise you’ll get wrong data points – so you really need to care about the quality of data you get!

And last but not least we have Seth up talking about his five-phase plan:

Try phase: Find striking distance keywords (like those starting out beg. of page 2) and use some simple metrics like rankings and start over.

Invest phase: Figure out a budget and a decent amount of resources to ensure changes on the website. Start over or hire someone to build first links. Also expand the keyword set and include the keyword search volumes to figure out which keys are more important over others.

Measure phase: Tie SEO metrics to your business metrics. Rankings are just milestones, you seriously need to drive traffic and deliver ROI.

Scale phase: Organize and prioritize – you have to think about internal resources. You really need to build a good internal team to tackle the huge amount of data.

Compete phase: You move forward with multiple teams, for example split up on the high-level taxonomies. So you are really going after crushing the competition.

Nice stuff – started out slowly but… great turned around in this session. Good stuff!

AUTHORED BY:
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Bastian Grimm is founder and CEO of Grimm Digital. He mainly works as online marketing consultant with a strong focus on organic search engine optimization (SEO). Grimm specializes in SEO strategy consulting, website assessments as well as large scale link building campaigns.
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