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How to drive seo accountability across your organization

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Jessica Bowman, founder of SEOinhouse.com, is a leader within the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry and a long-time advocate of in-house SEO. She is a well-known international speaker and …

Jessica Bowman, founder of SEOinhouse.com, is a leader within the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry and a long-time advocate of in-house SEO. She is a well-known international speaker and moderator at SEO events that include: Search Engine Strategies, Search Marketing Expo and International Search Summit. She is also an industry columnist for publications such as Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Land. Audiences benefit from Jessicas knowledge of how to create a sustainable SEO strategy, how to take an SEO program to the next level and leverage existing company resources to produce the maximum return on SEO investment. For companies that are new to in-house SEO, Jessica and the team at SEOinhouse.com get SEO programs up and running quickly, systematically and profitably.

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  • Seo is not like any other discipline in the organization, it crosses over many disciplines
  • In-house seo requires the organization to be in sync, and paddle together as they execute a project --- and seo is part of every canoe team.
  • Create lines of defense, so seo is looked out for throughout the development life cycle.
  • Now that SEO is involved in th SDLC.. Now you need to get SEO really involved in the nitty gritty details.. The meetings, templates, documentation, etc.
  • SEO, Product Management, Project Management and Analysts need to be 3 peas in a bod.
  • All development projects abide by company standards and guidelines. Goal: Get SEO Best practices and standards included into these existing documents, not as a separate document that sits only in the SEO knowledge center.
  • Now that SEO is involved in th SDLC.. Now you need to get SEO really involved in the nitty gritty details.. The meetings, templates, documentation, etc.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Search Engine Optimization Accountabilities & Efficiencies
    • 2. About
      • Former in-house SEO.
      • Advocate for in-house SEO.
      • In 2008 started SEOinhouse.com.
          • The agency I wanted as an in-house SEO, but couldn’t find.
          • Someone who understood the in-house challenges and dynamics.
          • Someone who could infiltrate the rest of the organization on my behalf to get them to do SEO as part of their job.
    • 3. SEO Efficiency & Accountability
      • What will make people accountable:
      • Set up lines of defense.
      • Incorporate SEO into everyday activities.
      • Push back when SEO isn’t included in deliverables sent to you.
      • What will make you efficient:
      • Numbers 1-3 above.
      • Leverage knowledge of the In-house Life Cycle.
      • Integrate SEO into the systems development life cycle.
      • Integrate SEO into everyone’s job.
    • 4. You Need a Healthy Organization for Good SEO One that can embrace change.
    • 5. SEO Crosses Many Disciplines SEO Mktg Public Relation Legal Sales Product Mgmt Usability Programming Buyers
    • 6. A good SEO gets the perception of “sticking” their nose in everyone’s business.
    • 7. SEO needs to be part of every team.
    • 8.  
    • 9.  
    • 10. In-house SEO Life Cycle
    • 11. In-house SEO Program Life Cycle Courtship Honeymoon Reality Synergy © 2008 SEOinhouse.com All Rights Reserved. Few companies leverage these phases Most companies operate here We get you here, in the shortest amount of time
    • 12.  
    • 13.  
    • 14.  
    • 15.  
    • 16.  
    • 17.  
    • 18.  
    • 19. What the *BLEEP* Happened??!?!!?!
    • 20.  
    • 21. In-house SEO Program Life Cycle Courtship Honeymoon Reality Synergy © 2008 SEOinhouse.com All Rights Reserved. Few companies leverage these phases Most companies operate here We get you here, in the shortest amount of time
    • 22. In-house SEO Program Life Cycle Courtship Honeymoon Reality Synergy © 2008 SEOinhouse.com All Rights Reserved. Few companies leverage these phases Most companies operate here We get you here, in the shortest amount of time
    • 23. In-house SEO Program Life Cycle Courtship Honeymoon Reality Synergy © 2008 SEOinhouse.com All Rights Reserved. Few companies leverage these phases Most companies operate here We get you here, in the shortest amount of time
    • 24. In-house SEO Program Life Cycle Courtship Honeymoon Reality Synergy © 2008 SEOinhouse.com All Rights Reserved. Few companies leverage these phases Most companies operate here We get you here, in the shortest amount of time
    • 25. In-house SEO Program Life Cycle Courtship Honeymoon Reality Synergy © 2008 SEOinhouse.com All Rights Reserved. Few companies leverage these phases Most companies operate here We get you here, in the shortest amount of time
    • 26.
      • In-house SEO Life Cycle: How to Reach Synergy with the Rest of the Company Quickly Send a message to [email_address]
    • 27. SEO & The Rest of the Company How to Integrate the Two
    • 28. SEO AND IT
    • 29. SEO Project Involvement Pyramid SEO involvement is intense at the beginning and declines as the project progresses.
    • 30. How to Incorporate SEO into the Development Life Cycle Typical Development Life Cycle w/SEO Extremely Expensive Opportunity Costs & Rework Inexpensive SEO requirements met within scope & budget When SEO is 1 st brought into projects: or or Where SEO needs to be incorporated into the Development Life Cycle
    • 31. The SEO Life Cycle
    • 32. How to Incorporate SEO into the Development Life Cycle Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 6 Step 6
    • 33.
      • SEO success is not the result of one person’s work.
      • SEO needs to be part of every Job and Job Description .
    • 34. Define Lines of Defense
    • 35. Typical Development Life Cycle Contains: Phase Roles Involved Common Deliverables Inception (idea created) Upper Management Business Sponsor Scope Document Project Charter PRD (product release document) Requirements Gathering Business Sponsor Product Manager Project Manager User Experience Designers Sr. Programmers Requirements documents PRD (product release document) Wireframes may get started Design Business Sponsor (review/approve only) Product Manager User Experience Designers Project Managers Sr. Programmers Finalized Wireframes Finalized Visual Designs Page Specifications Finalized Use Cases Development Product Managers (minimal) Project managers All Programmers QA Test Scripts Logged Bugs/Defects Launch Development Team QA Team System Administrators Changes Live Thumbs up – Everything is Good Logged Bugs/Defects SEO SEO
    • 36. Before a deliverable is accepted, verify it contains SEO requirements and SEO has seen it.
    • 37. Everyone Needs to Make SEO a Success Role Responsibility Execs Ultimately responsible if projects have SEO Failures Hold people accountable for working with SEO properly Don’t approve things if SEO wasn’t involved (ask SEO to find out) Product Manager Involve SEO in prioritization decisions Involve SEO in SEO requirements for every change Ensure SEO is involved in all projects Ensure SEO requirements are in documentation Get SEO input BEFORE things go to the business Project Manager Get SEO input in the project plan tasks Involve SEO in the right places of the project Ensure SEO is involved in all projects Usability Create search engine friendly user experiences Create information architecture optimal for SEO Programmers Create search engine friendly technologies Speak up when it appears SEO hasn’t been involved QA Testers Test every release for SEO best practices Ensure SEO QAs each release
    • 38.
      • Create SEO Champions / Ambassadors throughout the entire organization.
      • Nurture these relationships.
      • Make it an official role.
      • Make it a coveted role with visibility and fun.
      Distribute SEO Duties and Create Accountability
    • 39.
      • IT’s usually best when seo is hip-to-hip with the product manager and product manager of the website.
      User Exp. SEO Product Mgmt Project Mgmt
    • 40. They SAY it’s informal.
      • There are some formalities, figure out what they are doing.
        • Change management system/log
        • Requirements log
        • Wireframes/page designs
      • They do have strategic and prioritization discussions.
      • Put on your detective hat and find it.
      Small Biz Specifics
    • 41. COPYWRITERS
    • 42. Anyone Who Influences Copy
      • Management needs to support, encourage and enforce the change in writing standards.
      • Be prepared with data – search volume data.
      • People need trained, repeatedly.
        • Copywriters
        • Brand managers
        • Anyone who influences copy
      • Training isn’t always “training”, mentoring is needed most.
    • 43. Training Mentoring
    • 44. Before content is accepted, verify it is optimized and SEO has seen it.
    • 45. LINK BUILDERS (PEOPLE WHO CAN GET LINKS)
    • 46. Anyone with the Opportunity to Get Links
      • Who should think about link building:
        • Sales
        • Contract signers
        • Buyers
        • Public relations
        • Social media
        • Link builders (if you have them)
      • How do you hold people accountable?
        • Regular audits for missed opportunities/lessons learned.
        • Constantly ask if there are link opportunities with every business relationship.
        • Management needs to hold people accountable for repeatedly missed opportunities.
      • When opportunities are missed, people need to know and learn from the opportunity loss. Few companies do this.
    • 47. Link Building is Tough
      • One of the most difficult tactics to pull off.
        • Time consuming.
        • Least favorite activity.
        • Lowest conversion rate.
        • Usually falls on the back burner.
      • It is 50%+ of what will make you rank.
        • This means: if you don’t do it, don’t complain about your rankings.
      • Makes sense for most companies to outsource, even when you are doing SEO in-house.
    • 48. Who is accountable for what?
    • 49. EVERYONE
      • needs to be accountable for specific SEO tasks.
    • 50.
      • No single team or person will make SEO a success.
      • It takes everyone working together .
    • 51.
      • Everyone needs to incorporate SEO into their everyday business activities and become a line of defense.
      When this happens, efficiencies are self-enforced.
    • 52. Create SEO Ambassadors to Help
    • 53. What Ambassadors Do
      • Learn SEO for their team/role.
      • Represent SEO and look out for SEO.
      • Make sure SEO requirements are included.
      • QA for SEO in each release.
        • In addition to SEO QA’ing.
      • Pull in the SEO team when things are complex.
      • Train others on SEO.
      • Work with their team to integrate SEO into existing processes, documentation, deliverables and workflows.
      • Check in with SEO the way a junior programmer checks in with a senior programmer.
        • SEO isn’t learned in a few months.
    • 54. How do you hold people accountable?
    • 55. Holding People Accountable
      • Push back saying, “it is a waste of time to review or analyze”.
        • A phrase everyone should use when they receive deliverables without SEO input.
      • Incorporate SEO into the organizational rules that define what is acceptable.
        • Enforces accountability as the way that you do business.
    • 56. Integrate SEO into Existing Processes
      • Project Approval Process
      • Design Process
      • Writing Process
      • Prioritization Process
      • Requirements Documentation Process
      • QA Process
      • Prioritization and release planning meetings.
      • An in-house SEO will spend 80% of their time selling and planning SEO, and only 20% doing SEO.
    • 57. Involve SEO in Project Planning
    • 58. Put SEO Guidelines/Standards into EXISTING company guidelines/standards
      • All development projects abide by company standards and guidelines.
      • Goal: Get SEO Best practices and standards included into these existing documents
      • NOTE: Many sets of standards exist within a company
    • 59. Get SEO requirements into Deliverables Do not put text in image Make h1 on homepage, no header tag on interior pages No header tag on homepage, h1 on interior ages H2 tag, include keywords always in this text No header tags No header tags For rotating banner text, use html text over the image and when user has CSS turned off, stack the images/text on top of eachother so that search engines can read it all Use <em> not CSS class name
    • 60. Write and Contribute to Documentation
    • 61. You want Ambassadors to become proficient enough to do this for you… Long-Term Plan: SEO team merely reviews and provides oversight and input on the complex issues so that SEO can focus on the big picture and not the nitty-gritty details.
    • 62. Everyone needs to hold Each Other Accountable Role Responsibility Execs Ultimately responsible if projects have SEO Failures Hold people accountable for working with SEO properly Don’t approve things if SEO wasn’t involved (ask SEO to find out) Product Manager Involve SEO in prioritization decisions Involve SEO in SEO requirements for every change Ensure SEO is involved in all projects Ensure SEO requirements are in documentation Get SEO input BEFORE things go to the business Project Manager Get SEO input in the project plan tasks Involve SEO in the right places of the project Ensure SEO is involved in all projects Usability Create search engine friendly user experiences Create information architecture optimal for SEO Programmers Create search engine friendly technologies Speak up when it appears SEO hasn’t been involved QA Testers Test every release for SEO best practices Ensure SEO QAs each release
    • 63. Incorporate SEO in Deliverables Phase Roles Involved Common Deliverables Inception (idea created) Upper Management Business Sponsor Scope Document Project Charter PRD (product release document) Requirements Gathering Business Sponsor Product Manager Project Manager User Experience Designers Sr. Programmers Requirements documents PRD (product release document) Wireframes may get started Design Business Sponsor (review/approve only) Product Manager User Experience Designers Project Managers Sr. Programmers Wireframes Visual Designs Page Specifications Use Cases Development Product Managers (minimal) Project Managers All Programmers QA Test Scripts Logged Bugs/Defects Launch Development Team QA Team System Administrators Changes Live Thumbs up – Everything is Good Logged Bugs/Defects SEO SEO
    • 64. Key Take-Aways
    • 65. Key Take-Aways
      • SEO needs to be integrated into the way that you do business.
        • Documentation
        • Meetings
        • Systems
        • Processes
        • Standards and Rules
      • Assign each role/team a line of defense for SEO to hold each other accountable.
        • SEO needs to be part of every job.
      • Create SEO Ambassadors and mentor them on SEO for their function.
        • Long-term Goal: Ambassadors will do the heavy lifting on behalf of SEO.
      • Push back when deliverables arrive without SEO requirements or input.
        • One conversation with SEO doesn’t cut it.
      • Leverage the In-house SEO Life Cycle’s “honeymoon phase” to implement these changes in the organization.
    • 66. Thank you Jessica Bowman [email_address]
      • Top Services:
      • - SEO Training
      • - SEO Audits
      • - Link Building
      • - Social Media
      • SEO Process
      • Development

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