The last session of day 3 was about In-house SEO, PPC and campaigns. It covered all the issues experienced by in-house search marketers, which are similar to issues faced by SEO agencies, while performing SEO and PPC campaigns.
- Melanie Mitchell
- Jessica Bowman
- Dan Berry
- Ana Schultz
- Allison Fabella
- Jill Sampey
First speaker of the session was Jessica Bowman, who talked about roadblocks to internal search marketing efforts. These blocks adds projects to man hours and are highly inconsistent with other goals, go against existing programming standards, are not so technically feasible thus adding to the project timeline and cost.
It is the fact that once you get executive buy in, you can not stop. Most of the opposition stems from lower and middle management. Thus, middle managers require upper level support.
When you plan an action, you need to consistently repeat SEM messages to all the employees. It will take time and there will be many complaints. So, prepare your executives for obstacles before they occur. For this, you need to:
- Design and plan a 24 month internal PR campaign for SEO
- Make SEO presentation that you will use internally. It should make sense and be sure that it is delivered to everyone on high priority
- Offer SEO brown bags
- Train everybody about SEO
- Organize regular SEO update meetings for all employees
- Same slides you used to get buy in should be used
- Remind everyone of timeline and progress
Allison Fabella, SEO Manager for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was the second to speak. She discussed about the four sections, which should be considered for middle management in in-house SEO.
The Product Manager
Product Manager is the first and last defence for success and longitivity in your SEO efforts as he approves each phase of the project.
He is the backbone of SEO and directly impact traffic in a positive or negative way.
He designs the entire layout and aesthetics of your web pages and thus, educate on how search engines see the web pages.
The Content Producer
Content directly affects the ranking of your website. He must be given examples of how ironic headlines improve the ranking in comparison to literal references.
There are many ways to achieve SEO harmony. Some of them include:
- Establish credibility by making quick changes that appear instantly and show results.
- Document everyone’s success by emphasizing on how SEO will benefit them, and not your.
- Locate your SEO at the intersection of all the three aspects- Development, design and content.
- Relate success with the productivity of those working in organization and helping you implement SEO in effective way
- Make sure that SEO is included in life cycle checklists
- Train everyone in the organization about SEO
SEO in middle management does not include much about content writing, coding pages and graphic designing. It is all about leadership.
Next up was Den Perry from cars.com. He recommends you to stay at 30,000 ft and speak the language of company executives in your first meeting. It is always good to show them math and demonstrating financial opportunity for SEO implementation.
Everybody should be trained about SEO. Marketing and PR are best tools by utilizing whom, you can influence the brand perception and display brand messaging. Small changes have large impact. Business development should be more realistic. Arrange training sessions to let employees know that the company puts a lot of value in SEO.
SEO must be introduced into the process of new content development and publishing. Look for the SEO superstars, which will increase the benefits of SEO for the organization. You should always be available to employees to answer to their queries about SEO.
Fourth speaker for the session was Ana Schultz Marketing Manager, at Qwest. He talked about the pros and cons of in-house and agency PPC.
In-house pros for PPC stands for their better internal communication and high product offer knowledge. Consequences of PPC include low availability of talented people and their staffing. Technology and information sharing can also become a challenge.
Always do justice with SEO budget and quantify the results for every initiative taken by you. Always ensure that all the implementation processes are clear and when too many page owners write content, it should easily get overwritten.
Last up was Jill Sampey from Blast Radius who was earlier an in-house SEO of ThomasNet.
Using an agency or not is a question that worries most of the SEOs. Therefore, you should look at specific goals at a specific time and find out how complex they are.
What is learning curve? Is it unique to the business? Bandwidth, time and talent available? What is the learning curve and is it unique to the business? Stakeholders involved in the job? Do we have the right to access the stakeholders who will evaluate the success of a program? These are some of the questions coming to our mind.
There are some advantages attached to agency as they have an expertise that will hit the ground running and require less overhead to get started. Thus, training is not an issue with the agency. Some agencies also have proprietary tools of benefits that are not present within the company. Outside party like an agency often receives more respect than someone in-house to work on a project. Agencies act as catalyst for change and provide both outside perspective as well as involvement. By working with different companies and industries, agency can also offer another set of eyes as well as a different perspective.
Issues with Hiring an Agency
Agency is an external link and is far from core business. Engagements with agency can be expensive if objectives are not clear. Thus, finding the right agency becomes a difficult task and it should be considered as per the specific demands of your business.
Instead of solely depending upon industry, you must make your own ROI goals. Always emphasize on the value and importance of analytics and be sure that you have an access to all the data and reports.