This episode of the #Authority HoA was originally streamed live on August 19th with featured guests Carolyn Shelby, Director of SEO at Tribune Publishing, & Scott Polk,CEO and Founder of Marketing Nomads, and hosted by Melissa Fach, produced by Michelle Stinson Ross, and color commentary from AuthorityLabs CEO, Chase Granberry. Below we a have a quick written recap, the video and a podcast from the hangout.
Melissa Fach: What is the biggest hurdle to getting things done in the Enterprise from an in-house perspective vs. consultant? How is that different? What are the pro’s and con’s of those different perspectives?
For Carolyn, the biggest challenge is getting the necessary buy-in from key players. Getting SEO built into an enterprise site requires working with the developers on a level that SMBs don’t require. But getting the buy-in from the people that do the work is a huge hurtle both in-house and as a consultant. Scott agrees that dealing with the departmentalization of enterprise businesses is the biggest challenge. There are internal company politics that go along with getting the necessary resources and budget for an SEO project. There are so many stakeholders involved that the most important skills an SEO has are negotiation and relational skills needed to navigate the politics.
Scott goes on to say that the ideal for dealing with enterprise SEO is a mix of both in-house SEO assets and outside consultants. The consultant is able to help fill in gaps and sometimes be the expert to get projects pushed through with management.
MF: For a company that values and understands the importance of SEO, how is an enterprise SEO team typically structured? Who is responsible for what? How many team members?
Carolyn says that there is no one ideal way to structure an SEO team. Even though size of companies may be comparable, the way they do business varies so widely that team structure must vary just as widely to accommodate need. She says that it comes down to having the people to do all of the work. That may be 2 people, that may be 10 people, that may be 100 people spread across several specializations. The roles that need to be covered include analysts, content writers, technical SEOs, developers, and trainers that can help specialists understand the bigger picture.
Scott has built in-house teams of analysts, content writers, outreach specialists that all tie directly to the SEO efforts. Beyond that, it’s important to identify the champions for your SEO cause in other departments that you have to tap into.
MF: For big sites in big organizations… what are the metrics? What do you need to look at every day to make sure nobody broke anything important SEO wise?
Scott keeps an eye on the search console of Google Webmaster Tools on a daily basis. He also tracks search ranking data over time to spot detrimental fluctuations. Carolyn says that with the ever-changing nature of their content, search rankings aren’t the best metric for them. The most useful thing she can do is track referral traffic. Watching for unusual dips in traffic is the best way to find and quickly isolate problems. For their publishing business, a drop in traffic is usually the first sign that there are technical SEO and coding issues.
MF: What kinds of software do you use to help make your jobs easier / more productive?
Scott’s Top Tools:
- Deep Crawl
- Search Metrics
- Link Research Tools
He says he’s a firm believer in automation, but there’s no automated tool that can beat putting hands on certain situations and looking at it for yourself.
- Screaming Frog
Carolyn and Scott both had a great deal of very technical SEO information to share through the course of viewer questions. Be sure and check out the entire video or listen to the podcast and tell us your thoughts in the comments.
Carolyn Shelby and Scott Polk will both be speaking at Pubcon this fall. They are teaming up with Michael Gray to offer a Pubcon Masters Group SEO Fundamentals Workshop. Carolyn is presenting as part of a panel on SEO and Content Marketing Relationships. Scott will also be on a panel on How to Recover from the Penalty Box.
Video and Podcast
Our Next Hangout, September 2nd, 2 PM EST
Be sure to mark your calendars now and join us for the next #AuthorityHoA to discuss Retargeting for SEO & Social with Sean Dolan and Rachel Malone-Olson.