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
PubCon – Enterprise SEO 12/6/07
Enterprise SEO is meant for big sites with millions of pages. The question was “Are SEO Techniques different for enterprise SEO?” Optimizing big sites (Large scale SEO) share similarities with basic SEO but it has its own unique differences and problems.
Enterprise SEO: similarities with other sites:
- SEO basics
- Content focus
- Link popularity
Enterprise SEO: Differences
- Impact of basics
- Internal link structure