Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Search Insider: 5 Tips For Empowering Enterprise SEO

5 Tips For Empowering Enterprise SEO

LARGE-SCALE SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION PROJECTS are often perceived as the golden egg for many SEO agencies, with their big budgets and shiny, well-known brand names.   Unfortunately, search engine marketers may quickly realize that the golden egg came from a large, slow-moving tortoise.

Since many SEO agencies are accustomed to optimization projects for small and medium-sized businesses, they may not be prepared to adapt SEO processes to accommodate large, complex organizations. Successful enterprise SEO projects require a unique combination of mechanical SEO expertise, as well as large company political savvy.

Making significant progress in a reasonable amount of time is possible with the right mix of planning, communication and expertise. Once various departments or businesses are moving in the same direction and at a much faster pace, the egg-laying turtle can turn into a nimble, fast-moving hare.

The key to this transformation is to empower client-side contacts responsible for work flow, approval and implementation. To that end, here are five tips on empowering large company SEO projects:

1.    Ongoing Education - There is no substitute for an informed SEO client. It's important that key contacts understand SEO in general as well as the business benefits to both their department and the larger organization. Continuing education will help motivate those involved to execute on the program elements, account for client staff changes and changes in the industry.

2.    Energize Advocates - Client-side staff that catch on quickly and are excited about the program can be leveraged to help "sell" SEO throughout the organization.  As evangelists, client-side team members can be empowered with tools to spread the SEO message. Examples include: progress reports, multi-department SEO scorecards, presentations or  meeting participation as a resource for departments that have been slower to implement.   

3.    Market Results - No matter how good the agency/client working relationship is, there is no better motivator for continued site optimization than seeing results. Enterprise SEO can take time, so it is important to share milestone results to keep individuals engaged. Show results at multiple stages in the program to keep client-side staff and management motivated.

4.    Be Available - Be available to client contacts in various media such as IM or text messaging so when he/she needs information about SEO, you can answer questions quickly.

This not only makes your contact an internal SEO champion, but helps pass the correct content to the organization. Providing such access is also very demanding on the agency.

5.    Enterprise Communications - Be prepared to create communications specifically for the enterprise such as formal presentations, newsletters and training sessions. Do not assume the types of reporting that work for small clients will work for a Fortune 100 company.

Big company site optimization projects require an equal measure of search engine knowledge and ability to navigate complex organizations. By empowering client-side advocates with knowledge, tools and ongoing resources to promote processes and results, large SEO projects can deliver big results without being bogged down.

Lee Odden is CEO of TopRank Online Marketing.

Search Insider for Tuesday, August 12, 2008:

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