Enterprise SEO: An Interview With Eric Enge, Stone Temple Consulting

Continuing our series of interviews with speakers leading up to ClickZ Live New York, this Q&A by SEW’s sister publication ClickZ with Eric Enge from Stone Temple Consulting sheds some light on what undoubtedly will be a well-attended session at the event.

ClickZ (CZ): Your session at ClickZ Live in New York is on enterprise SEO. Tell us a bit about how you’re structuring the session, as you’re co-presenting with Sean Kainec from The Home Depot.

Eric Enge (EE): Our objective in this session is to help people better understand what to do when they receive high levels of resistance to making important SEO changes. After more than 12 years in the industry I’ve learned that sometimes the biggest challenge is getting buy-in. You can have the best SEO idea in the world, but if the company you are working for (or client) won’t implement it, you left with a zero result. Here are some key aspects of what we will cover:

  • Common problems encountered in selling an SEO program.
  • How to identify where a particular person is stuck. Note that there job function can provide powerful clues for that.
  • How to get them unstuck.

Sean and I will also talk through some practical examples of issues we have faced along the way, and the results we have been able to get from it.

CZ: What are the typical issues marketers encounter in any large organization when trying to implement a new SEO strategy?

There are so many different ways this happens, but here are some examples:

  1. The dev team doesn’t believe you when you tell them what needs to be done. They don’t think that SEO works that way, or they don’t think the benefit to the company will be nearly as big as you think it will.
  2. The social media team won’t share the great content that you publish. They have their own goals, and they think promoting your content will interfere with them meeting those goals.
  3. The CFO won’t agree to give any budget to SEO efforts because they believe that all SEO is spam.

These are just a few examples, but there are lots of these different scenarios, and it all relates to a lack of understanding on the other party’s part, or a lack of trust. The key to success is to address the knowledge and/or trust issues.

CZ: How have you seen successful conflict resolution achieved and what were the results?

EE: It is SO cool when you succeed in making this work. I like to think of myself as a “Change Agent.” Once you get people into motion, the results can truly be stellar. We have seen clients that were ignoring important SEO principles finally agree to make some key changes, and see killer benefits. We will cover this a bit more during the presentation in New York!

CZ: What learnings can marketers take from such an exercise and maybe use to leverage success in other parts of their business?

EE: Patience. For example, imagine you have identified an architectural problem with the site that can only be resolved after a more-than-60-day development project. If the dev team does not trust you, that’s going to be a very hard sell. You might be better off starting with a smaller project, but one that can show a tangible benefit. Maybe there is some small change that will take a day or two of work that you can take on first that will show a real benefit.

You might take on several of these, and eventually work your way up to a one-week project. The key here is to not rush things. A 60-day dev project is a big project, and people are right to be slow in agreeing to take on such a large effort. But, if you can show that you know what you are doing via variety of other smaller initiatives, the trust in what you are saying will grow.

In addition, while you are doing all these smaller projects, people will be learning about SEO along the way. This may help them get greater visibility into why that 60-day project makes sense!

CZ: How do you hope delegates will feel when they leave your session at ClickZ Live at the end of March?

EE: My goal is for them to feel energized, and like they have a clear vision on how to deal with internal organizational obstacles that have stymied them in the past. Getting past these types of obstacles is such an awesome experience, and I hope that people will be able to have that good feeling for themselves in the future.

Eric Enge will be speaking with Sean Kainec from The Home Depot in New York at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1 in a session entitled “Turning the Aircraft Carrier: Driving Change in the Large Enterprise.”

Get your ticket to ClickZ Live New York by registering here!

Image via Shutterstock.

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