<< by on October 5th, 2010
Next up this afternoon is the “Industrial Strength SEO: session. Speakers included: Tony Adam, Jonathan Ashton, Topher Kohan, and Tom Petryshen. Some of the main points I took away from this topic are below.
Clients: When dealing with larger clients, make sure you know every player on the team. The CEO, the CEO’s guru pal, chief marketing officer, “the wizard of Oz,” the person that actually makes things happen, the IT group, the marginalized partner, corporate communications, the creatives, the social guy.
So how does one manage all of these relationships. How is search really being measured? Try to shift priorities from rankings to ROI, from clickthrough to conversation, and from share of search to share of wallet.
Progress is practical. Understand that you are not the only party with demands on the site managers. Prioritize against best ROI and start with some quick wins.
Understand your audiences – no one likes to feel stupid. Prepare multiple versions of presentations. Make sure the people you’re speaking to are listening to what you have to say. Find out what it is that they really care about, and speak to that.
Manage the people. They hold your budget in their hands. Make your client look smart and well prepared, this will go a long way with general relations. Understand where your piece fits in the larger puzzle, and fit perfectly.
Understand the flow of power. Create and maintain an organization chart. Make sure you’re present at key meetings. Decisions made here can make or break your account.
Knowledge is power- keep top of mind through education. Make sure you’re the first to syndicate latest trends and make yourself indispensable to their decision making process. Also, make sure to document everything. If the chips are down, you’ll need a paper trail that said you tried to make the right things happen, but it fell through in a different place.
Time spent is time paid for. Understand this when the contract is set up, and be sure to manage expectations appropriately.
Keywords, keywords, keywords. Take large numbers of KW’s and break them up into groups and sub groups like “branded” and “non-branded.”
Ranking reports still matter. Branded terms are must have’s to the executive team, so they’re must have’s to you. Find staff that get SEO, and help them be SEO evangelist. This helps people understand the terminology and the keywords that promote SEO.
Set up communications with management. Talk about the big winds, call out the SEO “staff” and keep them in the loop. You want them to understand what you’re doing and why you’re important to their daily activities. Tell them what’s next, keep them updated on new technology. If something comes out that isn’t quite accurate, you want them to have confidence if your assessment and and go to you if they need further clarification.
The web never sleeps- you’re not going to catch everything, know who to go to if a problem does come up. Quickly learn what’s important to fix immediately, and what can wait.
Pick your battles carefully. Think about how much push back you will get as a result of getting something implemented. Think about if there will be a fallout, if that fallout will be manageable, and what kind of ROI that implementation will bring.
Roadmap planning and project management
Create a roadmap and track the progress. SEO projects can look daunting. Break them down individually and address teams with tasks individually. Prioritize what is the most important fix to get accomplished, and work your way down.
Establish a structure for some resources to help you get things accomplished. If you get ignored, get SEO in the performance reviews. Take steps to make sure SEO becomes a priority for the company and the developers. Reports and SEO project status meetings with the CEO or higher-ups are great ways to help get things moving.
Technical challenges can be a constant issues. There are often times many different teams that touch a site’s code.
Be careful with meta “noindex” implementation. People can put these tags in the wrong places and end up with some very negative results.
Site speed: crawling and indexing concerns. There are some metrics showing that Google is really paying attention to page speed. Increases in page load time will lead to less pages crawled and less pages indexed on your site.
Semantic linking is a great tool. Create a data dictionary for keyword to URL mappings. Find automated ways that you can get links to internal parts of your site.
Implement canonical tags correctly or it could really cause issues.
Focus and discipline. In the big game, things don’t happen overnight. You have to stick to what you’ve said is important and maintain your endurance. You also have to want to win. You need that motivation to stay on top!
Inspire others, you need as many champions on your side as you can get. It will make things much easier when the going gets tough.
Protection is critical. You’ve spend all that time effort getting to the top, make sure you’re not about to risk it all.
Pain management strategies: 1. Train developers. Have them be a part of the team. Fact sheets/cheat sheets make a huge difference for developers, and learn how to speak their language. If they’ve got KPI’s find out about them, and why they’re important to the overall project.
2. Plan for SEO migration- many times people want to rip out the old site and plug in the new. For a site that is dependent on sales/advertising for revenue, it’s important to have a migration plan in place.
Potential plan: collect failure point data > testing phase > prelaunch sequence > launch> quick win sequence > monitor and analysis > decommission old URL’s.
Know your traffic and forecast expectations to management. It’s critical that management understands the risks of say, changing a CMS. They need to know what impacts changing the site could have to traffic and revenue.
Make it simple to find new pages. Multiple 301′s will not help your link juice or your users. Test before you go live. Make sure as much is working correctly as possible.
Have all hands on deck for launch day. You want to make sure you have your new friends on board, and you want to catch problems that may come up before the boss/management does. They need to be 100% devoted to finding issues within the first few days.
It can be helpful to submit pages to Google. Take your top 100 and submit them to help them get indexed and found.
That’s all for now, one more session to go! I’ll be in “Search, PR, and Reputation Management” a little later on.