Scaling Up Your SEO Campaigns – SES San Francisco

How’s everyone holding up? Keep those eyes peeled and your concentration pumping as we move into a beefed up session with a bunch of CEOs.

Smooth operator and fellow Brit, Mike Grehan will be moderating for Covario’s Russ Mann, Conductor’s Seth Besmertnik, BrightEdge’s Jim Yu, and Searchmetrics’ Horst Joepen.

Mike says he’s a Northerner, but I don’t believe him. He’s way too posh. In Mike’s day, SEOs did voodoo in cupboards. Thankfully, things have moved on since then.

Russ is up first. He’s going to focus on how companies can scale up to handle growth and SEO globally.

Russ talks about the lone SEO in the company and often the disconnect that occurs between talking SEO technicalities and talking with executives about return. This can become an issue especially when trying to gain buy in, resources and investment from management to scale up SEO programs.

Technology and tools can help big companies achieve scale, but no one tool is a silver bullet. You need an eco-system of tools.

Russ talks about a large CPG company as an example. This company had 1,000 brands and websites, and over 200 non-technical constituents. They used Covario’s Organic Search Insight Tool as well as put together a quarterly search governance council where teams would come together and share their best practices.

It is important for companies to move their focus to strategy, structure, and systems.

– Create a sense of urgency
– Form a coalition team
– Create the vision of success
– Communicate the vision
– Delegate and empower others to act on the vision
– Plan for and create short-term wins
– Consolidate improvements and create more change
– Institutionalize new ways of doing business

Jim is up next. He’s going to look at the state of enterprise SEO.

Some Common Challenges

– Difficulties in getting internal teams to make site changes
– Coordinating multiple cross-functional teams
– Different business units in the organization competing with each other
– Someone in the company breaking the site causing SEO referrals to drop

Key Lessons

1. SEO is an enterprise-wide responsibility. Everyone who touches the website impacts SEO.

2. Define SEO standards and processes early. Training is essential, as is standardizing best practices, pro-active audits, metrics, workflow, and the use of scalable technology.

3. Plan for a wide range of SEO knowledge across all different kinds of people. People need clear goals and instructions tailored to their level of SEO knowledge.

4. Tailor performance and compliance reports at all levels (company-wide, business unit and individual). It’s important to focus these reports back to business impact and ROI. This really helps to align and drive behavior.

5. Remember to include the long-tail in your SEO planning because between 20 and 25 percent of all Google searches are unique and the tail is getting longer.

Great stuff from Jim. Up next we have Horst. He likes a good steak, so he’s going to talk about the beef in your SEO campaigns.

The SEO data universe is huge:
– >100B searches monthly
– 800M search phrases
– 1B web site visits
– 1T unique URLs

This basically means that doing SEO without good data really sucks.

Data needs depend on your business
– Consumer vs. B2B (most keyword databases are focused on B2C)
– International vs. local
– Dynamics (news vs. infrastructure)

SEO Data Problems

1. If you look at data only, you miss out on International positions. Automated monitoring of international search engines is key.

2. Choosing too small or the wrong keyword set.

3. Undefined database refresh rate. The data refresh frequency needs to happen on a regular basis.

Key Takeaways

– Most search is local
– Low quality or wrong data can mess up your efforts
– Beef up your SEO campaigns by using the best data

Here comes Seth. He’s focusing on the five stages of SEO maturity… and uses SEO lube.

The five stages are:
1. Try
2. Invest
3. Measure
4. Scale
5. Compete

So how do you know what stage you’re in?


– Part-time SEO resource
– Strategy: Focus on low-hanging fruit (striking distance keyword). These are keywords that are getting decent traffic on page 2 and get them up to page 1


– Full time dedicated SEO resource
– Start thinking about allocating dollars for link building, content building
– Resources to make changes on the site
– Strategy: How do you expand your keyword set (some people focus on just 25 keywords)
– Aggregate your keyword search volume and average rank
– Invest in technology to track success and ROI


– Additional SEO resources
– Strategy: Tie SEO metrics to business metrics – if you don’t measure, you will lose investment
– The goal is to get to the scale phase

– Specialized SEO resources (link builders, content writers, keyword jockeys, analysts, strategists)
– There are companies out there with 25 full-time SEOs doing amazing things
– Strategy: Organize and prioritize — make all keywords winners


– Multiple SEO teams
– Strategy: Crush the competition — predict the future using existing data
– Monitor SEO market share

This live blog post was written by guest blogger Imelda Khoo. Imelda is the E-Marketing Manager at Tektronix, responsible for global SEO, PPC and social media. Imelda blogs at SEM Booty and is also on Twitter @imeldak

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