John Shehata Occupation: Executive Director of Search for ABC News, ABC.com, ABC Family and Oscars. John Shehata leads the search engine optimization and social media online strategies for ABC News and TV shows. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of his SEO social media teams, he is responsible for developing and implementing...
I am super excited to speak this year at conductor C3 conference 2013 along great presenters like Bill Hunt, Rand Fishkin, Wil Reynolds, Seth Besmertnik, John Loken and many other smart presenters.
The session is designed to meet the specific challenges of large-enterprise organizations. Topics for discussion will include SEO tactics specific to large site, the challenges of educating key stakeholders, including c-level executives; and implementation hurdles common to large organizations, such as CMS issues and IT team challenges. This session will also include proven tactics to optimize the product/project management process for more efficient in-house SEO.
— Conductor (@Conductor) September 16, 2013
Last week CanadaOne caught up with John Shehata, the executive director of search and social media for ABC News, ABC Family and ABC.com to gain insights into how businesses can effectively use Facebook to grow their companies.
In our second last edition of our ten-part interview series we spoke with John Shehata. John is an expert on the field of SEO for news websites and newspapers. In the course of his career he has worked for several pages of this type. At the moment he is the Executive Director of Search & Social Media for ABC News, ABC.com, ABC Family and the website of the Oscars. Next to these obligations, he holds presentations and has trained many writers, bloggers, journalists, and editors on SEO and how to write news while keeping SEO top of mind.
If you think Google+ is a social network that doesn’t matter to your small business, think again. In this exclusive CanadaOne interview John Shehata, executive director of search and social media for ABC News explains why Google Plus is the social platform your company can’t afford to ignore.
I enjoyed my latest interview with Eric Enge. We discussed how to optimize mega sites and the challenges that SEOs face working at large organizations.
Eric Enge: Can you provide a brief outline of your responsibilities at ABC News?
John Shehata: I’m the Executive Director of Search for ABC News, and recently heading SEO for media properties like ABC Family, ABC.com, and Oscars. Everything SEO goes through our department.
Eric Enge: How many people are in the department?
Looking for ways to optimize large sites? Million of pages, where to start. This presentation is designed to meet the specific challenges of large-enterprise organizations including SEO tactics specific to large sites (sites with thousands, if not millions, of pages); the challenges of educating key stakeholders, including budgeting issues; and implementation hurdles common to large organizations, such as CMS issues and IT team challenges.
I will cover the SEO Process optimizing enterprise clients or in-house sites. I will go over some of the main tools every SEO needs and the 17 skills and tactics needed to succeed at optimizing mega million page sites.
The 6 Phase Approach to a Successful Enterprise SEO Roadmap
• – What are the main objectives of the site (sales, Pageviews, etc.)
• – Know the Team (Design, IT, Legal, Editorial, Marketing, PM, Technology, Analytics)
• – SWOT Analysis / Challenges and Opportunities
• – Extensive Site Audit (GWT, Screaming Frog, Crawl Errors, etc.)
• – Competitive Analysis (SEO, Social Media, Links, Rankings, etc.)
• – Understand The PM Process / Editorial Workflow – Understand Technology & Code
• – Build Targeted KWs lists (KW research, Analytics, etc.)
• – Build Baseline Reports (Setup – Analytics Team)
• – Define your SEO Metrics (Visits, SEO Visits, etc.)
• – Identify Conversion Points (Signups, sales, etc.)
Issues – Content Overlap – Inefficient Crawling (Millions of Pages) – Too much content to optimize – One man department – Tech/Dev/Company has other priorities – Duplicate Content On Site/Off Site – Etc..
Questions to ask (before you start): – SEO Budget – Resources – Legal – Tools – Usability – Previous SEO?
2. Inform “Develop Institutional Knowledge”
• – Training (SEO 101, Tech/Dev Training, PM/Product Training)
• – Executive Training: C-level executive buy-in is a must (It is not Voodoo Magic!)
• – Best Practices Guides (BPG) / One Sheet Checklist
• – SEO/SMO Blog/Wiki
• – Search Monthly Newsletter
• – Answering emails
• – SEO Compliance Test
• – Customize your training material
Project Management Process Integration is a must
– SEO is not an afterthought (It starts before development)
– Understand The Process
– Kick Offs / Traffic Sources Expectations
– Requirement gathering
– IT / Development
– Design Comps
– Content / Internal Links
– Do your own QA
– Check Changes to the site [changedetection.com]
3. Quick Wins “Low Hanging Fruit: Low Effort, Big Wins”
• – Site Level Optimization
• – Page Level Optimization
• – Duplicate Content
• – Money Terms
• – 302/301 Redirects
• – Top 10 Paid Keywords – PPC
• – Robots.txt fixes
• – Top Keywords
• – Canonical Tags
• – 2nd Page Rankings
• – Crawl Errors, Error Pages
• – Top Exit Pages (Bounce rate)
• – Link Building (partners, affiliates, widgets, etc.)
• – Template Level Optimization
• – On Page Optimization (layout, Heading Tags, etc.)
• – Page Titles, Meta Description, SEO Tags
• – Inline Linking / Deep Linking – Pagination
4. Big Wins “Big Projects”
• – Rich Media Optimization: Videos, Photo Galleries, Etc.
• – Mobile SEO
• – Content Verticals Optimization (entertainment, tech, etc.)
• – Universal SERP Optimization (News, Videos, Shopping, Local, Google+, etc.)
• – Rich Snippets
• – Link Building Campaigns
• – Crawl Efficiency / Duplicate Content / URL Architecture
• – Syndication
• – Social Media
• – Support ongoing and new projects
• – SEO Recos to seasonal content
• – Provide SEO Recos to Breaking/Trending News
• – SEO Recos to all new design and tech projects
6. Reports & Analysis “Tell A Story”
• – Executive Summary is a Must
• – Daily/Monthly Reports
• – Author/Content/Product/Vertical Reports
• – Social Media Reports
• – Project Reports
• – Promote your work
• – Track traffic changes for all work done
Tools & Resources
• Excel• SEOmoz• SEObook• Screaming Frog• Google/Bing Webmaster Tools• Advanced Web Rankings• Google Analytics / Omniture• Raven Tools
17 Tactics that help you succeed at Enterprise SEO
1. Develop Technical & Excel Skills
2. SELL Your Projects. Align your Goals with the Company’s Goals i.e. Align your Projects with the Company’s Projects. Find a project sponsor
3. Show Value
4. Big Projects – Small Projects Justifies Big Projects – Divide Big Projects into smaller tasks – Find projects that can include these tasks – Focus on quick wins
5. Your Platform is not just desktop! – Mobile is a must – App/Tablet Optimization – YouTube
6. Tech/Dev Teams• Great ally or the worst hurdle• Push Back when appropriate• Your strategy is Dead-On-Arrival without technical resources.
7. Build Relationships: Communicate in Person, Emails are not enough
8. Stop Long Emails: Tell A Story / Promote your success / Use Numbers
9. Task, Reports, Meetings, etc. Stop whatever doesn’t provide VALUE
10. Choose your Battles Wisely Prioritize / Ask your manager to prioritize your work
11. Find Hidden resources – Sister companies – Cross promotions, – links – Talents in other departments
12. Center of Excellence [COE] – SEO Ambassadors (across sites, global, editorial, IT, etc.) – Highlight the Champ – Badges / Compliance Certificate – Train the trainer
13. We are consultants; we provide recommendations to other teams to implement!!
14. Develop A Content Marketing Strategy – Editorial calendar – Evergreen content – Product Reviews – Best/Worst Lists – Trending topics – National vs. Local Content
15. Working with others• Make others great! Focus on making the other people successful, and you’ll earn their trust.• Make your emphasis how SEO will make them successful.• Make a big deal of giving public acknowledgement of their vital contribution.• Respect the hard work these folks have to do that has nothing to do with your SEO needs
16. Less Is More SEO• Focused recommendations• Focused emails• Focused reports• etc.
17. Be a Good Person – Approachable – Available – Share Knowledge – Train and Train Again – Invest in People, Develop Skills – Optimize for Users not SE SEO
I am not sure if it is a newsroom work-flow issue or just a glitch on Google News but recently I started noticing more stories from Huffington Post with bad headlines like “Submit This Story” in Google News. Currently there is 331 stories with this headline in Google News in the last 30 days …
While huffPost is doing a great job optimizing their stories and headlines for Social Media and SEO, some SEOs have used A/B testing to optimize their headlines for better click throughs.