SES Chicago 2010 - SEO and the Development Life Cycle

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SES Chicago 2010 - SEO and the Development Life Cycle

  1. 1. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 1 Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO SEO and the Development Life Cycle Jessica Bowman SEOinhouse.com
  2. 2. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 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. 3. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 3 THE PROCESS INTEGRATION
  4. 4. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 4 Project Inception Requirement Gathering Design Development QA Testing Live on Site Typical Development Life Cycle w/SEO How to Incorporate SEO into the Development Life Cycle Who knows what happens before project inception?
  5. 5. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 5 Project Inception Requirement Gathering Design Development QA Testing Live on Site Typical Development Life Cycle w/SEO How to Incorporate SEO into the Development Life Cycle Who knows what happens in detail in the design phase?
  6. 6. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 6 Project Inception Requirement Gathering Design Development QA Testing Live on Site Typical Development Life Cycle w/SEO How to Incorporate SEO into the Development Life Cycle Who knows what happens in detail in the development phase?
  7. 7. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 7 Project Inception Requirement Gathering Design Development QA Testing Live on Site Typical Development Life Cycle w/SEO How to Incorporate SEO into the Development Life Cycle Who knows what happens in detail in the design phase?
  8. 8. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 8 Project Inception Requirement Gathering Design Development QA Testing Live on Site Typical Development Life Cycle w/SEO How to Incorporate SEO into the Development Life Cycle Who knows what happens in detail in the launch phase?
  9. 9. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 9 Project Inception Requirement Gathering Design Development QA Testing Live on Site Typical Development Life Cycle w/SEO When SEO is 1st brought into projects: or or Where SEO needs to be incorporated into the Development Life Cycle Project Inception Requirement Gathering Design Development QA Testing Live on Site Extremely Expensive Opportunity Costs & Rework Inexpensive SEO requirements met within scope & budget How to Incorporate SEO into the Development Life Cycle
  10. 10. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 10 Typical Roles & 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 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
  11. 11. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 11 For each phase you should know  Deliverables  Meetings  Conversations  Collaborations  Approvals  Etc.
  12. 12. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 12 Project Inception Requirements Gathering Phase Design Phase Development Phase Final QA Testing Go Live SEO Project Involvement Pyramid Best of Class SEO Programs: Involve SEO intensely at the beginning of any release, and SEOs involvement declines as the project progresses. Project Inception Requirements Gathering Phase Design Phase Development Phase Final QA Testing Go Live
  13. 13. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 13 WHAT IT’S LIKE WITH FULL SEO INTEGRATION Example Project: We’re adding a new section to the site to meet the needs of a new niche target audience
  14. 14. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 14 Project Inception  Business sponsors talk about the idea
  15. 15. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 15 Project Inception  Business sponsors reach out to SEO to get their take on SEO opportunities
  16. 16. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 16 Project Inception  SEO Team does research for SEO requirements: – Brainstorms potential opportunities – Looks at competitor sites for their SEO Strategies – Identifies what people are typing into search engines related to this subject area – Identifying requirements to make the new section maximize opportunities
  17. 17. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 17 Scope Document  SEO contributes to the Scope document – SEO success factors to the document – Potential SEO traffic lift – Potential SEO revenue gain
  18. 18. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 18 Project Approval  Project is approved and scheduled  SEO is contributes to the project plan
  19. 19. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 19 Bang for Money is Here Requirements Gathering - Meetings  Everyone gives requirements  SEO sits as a key stakeholder in all sessions.  SEO listens for: – Content areas that can be leveraged for SEO – Functionality being requested that may not be search engine friendly  SEO Contributes: – SEO requirements – what needs to happen and not happen to make the site search engine friendly once. – How to take ideas further with SEO – Potential functionality being requested that may not be search friendly, how to make it search friendly and what to review in more detail during analysis Most Companies Live here Most SEO programs go wrong here.
  20. 20. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 20 Requirements Gathering – Project Plan  SEO and the Project Manager incorporate SEO into the project plan: – SEO action items – SEO contributions – SEO reviews of documentation
  21. 21. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 21 Integrate SEO into the Project Plan
  22. 22. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 22 Analysis & Design – Wireframes & Design Comps  User Experience and SEO meet on wireframes BEFORE they are presented to the project team  Graphic Designers and SEO meet on design mockups BEFORE they are presented to the project team  How it works: – Discussion at the beginning, review at 80% completion
  23. 23. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 23 Front-End Development  SEO QA’s HTML Code for search friendliness It’s Quick, Easy & Cheap to make search friendly html code tweaks here
  24. 24. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 24 Back-end Development  SEO is involved as needed  Development pro-actively reaches out to SEO for input and clarification
  25. 25. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 25 Quality Assurance Testing  SEO QA’s for SEO Requirements & Search Engine Friendliness  SEO enters bugs in the same system IT. Some SEO bugs need to be fixed pre- release: It can take months to a year to clean up a mess in the SERPs
  26. 26. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 26 OTHER INTEGRATIONS
  27. 27. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 27 Integrate SEO to Existing 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
  28. 28. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 28 Integrate SEO into Wireframes 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 textNo 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 each other so that search engines can read it all Use <me> not CSS class name
  29. 29. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 29 Access to Change Management Tool  SEO should have access to the SEO tool.  SEO should review every change requested and going live.  SEO should incorporate to change requests: – Initial requirements. – Notation if SEO needs final review. – Why it is an SEO issue and you are requesting specific requirements. – This is a few sentences only, not a book.  Establish a naming convention that allows you to flag things you need to know: – “Add new section to target baby market” – Should be – “Add new section to target baby market [SEO]”
  30. 30. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 30 Integrate SEO into Documentation
  31. 31. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 31 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.
  32. 32. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 32 Set up Accountabilities  Who is responsible for making sure SEO is involved?  Create SEO champions SEO Website Product Manager User Experience Design Graphical Design Programmers QA Testers Project Managers
  33. 33. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 33 Roles & Responsibilities Grid Responsibility/Task Role 1 Role 2 Role 3 Role 4
  34. 34. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 34 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
  35. 35. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 35  IT’s usually best when SEO is hip-to-hip with the product manager and product manager of the website. SEO Product Mgmt Project Mgmt User Exp. Integrate SEO with the Right Roles
  36. 36. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 36 Training Mentoring
  37. 37. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 37 Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO Lessons Learned
  38. 38. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 38 Lessons Learned  Speak like the natives - learn the IT acronyms and terminology. – PPM, CQ, PM, PRD, BD, UE, QA…  When requesting a change be ultra specific, as though you are telling a robot. – “I need a permanent, 301 redirect.”  Know every single change going live on the site. – Identify which have SEO impacts and need SEO to review the technical documentation.  Get into the release planning meetings.  Review both business requirements AND technical specifications.  Bring in help if you’re not making progress.
  39. 39. Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO © SEMinhouse.com, LLC 2010 | 39 Sustainable & Scalable In-house SEO Thank youJessica Bowman jessica@seoinhouse.com Top Services: - SEO Training - SEO Audits - Link Building - Social Media - SEO Process Development

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