7 notes from the inhouse SEO to agency SEO’s
Search Engine Optimisation

7 notes from the inhouse SEO to agency SEO’s

17th October 2011

This is a guest post from a blogger who wishes to stay anonymous. Let’s call this blogger our own ‘Stig’ ;). The post is  a ‘letter’ from an inhouse SEO to agency SEO’s. Because after all, they need to work together, whether they like it or not.

The ‘letter’ contains 7 notes from the inhouse SEO to the agency SEO’s. We are curious about your comments!

1 We will cross paths and work together

That doesn’t mean I couldn’t hack it on my own, it just means I need more hands than there is budget available for, or that I’m preoccupied with having to troubleshoot that buggy printer on the third floor or the CEO’s hacked Facebook account since they decided to roam on an Eastern European open Wifi. A little understanding goes a long way!

2 Don’t presume the inhouse is not current on their SEO

I might not be privvy to the latest local content farm images for mobile image search ranking signals, but generally, I know my shit. It makes for awkward moments when you try to school me on any SEO 101 aspect. And frankly, it’s kind of insulting. Furthermore, you might learn: I could teach you things about my vertical you might not have thought about. Let’s grow together!

3 Don’t presume you or your coworkers are current on their SEO

I’ve seen some terrible advice documents. Like, “1998 called and wanted their SEO tips back” terrible. You have a presumed authority among people who don’t know any better: be mindful Young jedi. I’ve tried to be tactful about this one, but if you CC-ed it to several others, you’ve just bought me 45 minutes of having to downplay conflicting information with management. Vet the documents among your coworkers. Their ridicule is the lesser pain.

4 “And then you just.. ”

Let me stop you right there. In most compagnies, there is no “just” doing something. Your technical update is added to a long list of action points, Multi-disciplinary projects, assessed by management people who think “Scrum” is a Norwegian delicacy. Shit takes time. It won’t be implemented quickly, and probably not right the first time. Welcome to my world of hurt.

5 You will be leveraged

The inhouse is just another name on the payroll. You however cost hunderds if not thousands in consultancy fees. For my CEO, there is a magical correlation between how much you cost and how right you are. Guess what: I brought you in to make my point. Maneuver this tension field wisely. (The consultancy fees come out of my budget)

6 Online adoption maturity might shock you

A lot of companies don’t have dedicated internet employees. There may be a specialist floating around, but a lot of companies are struggling trying to make the mentality change towards operating systems more current than windows XP and being able to visit Social media sites without being fired on the spot. Factor this into your proposition. Which brings me to 7:

7 For the love of god, tailor your implementation changes to the organisation

My first point of business was cleaning up the terrible advice of creating pages for all types, subtypes and sub-subtypes of product that we deliver. “But what about your keywords? Don’t you love your long tail?” you might object. Well, with a growing inventory and an exponentially growing subcategory structure, we were left with such a granular distinction of pages, the product managers just filled them all with the same content.

Duplicate issues grew, visitors started to bounce from one page to the next and my content managers were drinking on the sly when faced with the daunting task of having to write unique content for 150,0000+ pages, of which 90% was so obscurely long tail it might attract 15 visitors a month at the cost of maintaining it all when products changed, and at the detriment of the 10% of pages that would bring in the juice.

Work out a cost-benefit analysis. Your advice might be SEO by the numbers, but results are made by real live people in real live situations. Factor in a little “human”: It might not be optimal SEO, but it will be optimal ROI.

In fact, I think most propositions shouldn’t be just about SEO and technicalities at all: You are (or should be) evangelising a way of marketing and business that has to be adopted in the company as a whole. Not everybody gets as exited by a perfect XML sitemap or beautiful rich snippets as us, but growing profit is a language that is universal. And who knows, I might attain the budget to hire you again.

So gather round the campfire and cuddle up, cause I still got love for you. Let’s work towards a better understanding: people working with people, getting other people to spend their money. This could be the start of something beautiful.


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