Enterprise Level SEO

March 23, 2011
By Lisa Barone in Internet Marketing Conferences

Gah! Running to sessions! And to power outlets! So much running. But we’re here now and it’s time to talk about enterprise level SEO. Speaking we have Eddie Choi, Crispin Sheridan, Avi Wilensky and Andy Milburn. I have a feeling we’re going to be hearing a lot more accents.

First up is Crispin. He smiled at me and my knees went weak. It’s that kind of a day. Luckily I was sitting down. ;)

Crispin starts off by saying that he works for SAP…which is not that button on your TV. That’s something else. Hee! He’s had to get to know that very well.

Our Enterprise Level Issues

Long sales cycle

Large site

  • Educating many stakeholders
  • Securing budgeting
  • Implementation hurdles – CMS issues, IT team challenges, Complex cross organizational teams
  • Complex competitive environment

They started with their goals and what they wanted to accomplish:

  • Branding
  • Leads
  • Sales
  • Budget Efficiency

Key justification for SEO – it’s where everyone is clicking.

Selected our enterprise SEO priorities.


  • Fix exiting
  • What’s missing
  • Keyword cluster research
  • Duplicate content
  • Localization/Translation


  • Social media/Add This
  • Local Partners

Secured Budget

  • Track your full SEO Impact – Macro/micro conversions. Value them and track. Quantify how much business value you generate
  • Project the value of new SEO driven content: When you fill content gaps you’ll drive incremental value.
  • Explain search as the harvester of traditional media

30 percent of their budget went to site wide foundations

Use the best tools available for your site and situation.

Prioritize your keywords. They use the cluster approach.

Existing Content – what do you already have? What’s going to get you the most bang for your buck?  What should it be called?

Generating new content – Makes sure you project out and make new pages live.

Link Building: Allows users to share, bookmark and link to SAP.com pages. 45,000+ inbound links so far in two years.

Universal Search: Universal Search changes the rules. Co-opt your design, social, press, PR and video teams into SEO evangelists.  Places and Maps are key.

Social Media: Making sure you get rankings and take advantage of social opportunities.  They found that social originated traffic converts to a lead 2.5x average rate.

Avoid skill atrophy – Attend SES, keep yourself fresh


  • Determine what your specific challenges are
  • Identify the greatest areas of opportunity
  • Test, measure and promote your successes

Next up is Avi.

9 Enterprise SEO Problems…and how to solve them with crowdsourcing

1. Heaps of content: Lacking meta data (alt tags, title tags, etc). They walk into a client and there are tons of assets but none have the meta data attached.  They need to get some semantic keywords in there so the search engines can understand what the content is about. They use Mechanical Turk. They feed the content into the platform. They build crowds of workers who are specialized and focused on the projects you’re going to give them. They built a crowd of Michael Jackson experts. They made them answer some multiple choice questions to pre-qualify them. Find the experts, streamline the tasks. Leverage plurality and adjudication for high quality output.

2. Duplicate Content: Often caused by globalization of sites. Humans are good at flagging duplicate content. Again, leverage plurality and adjudication.

3. Lots of User Generated Content: Requiring oversight, moderation and spam removal.   Inexpensive task, highly scalable, almost real-time.

4. Getting everyone on the same page: Designers, developments, content producers, project managers — you have to get them all on the same page.  Build your own internal Wiki and make it the official destination where everyone can contribute and access quality information.

5. Many CMS types requiring specialists: 50+ CMS’ types at one of his clients.  They all need specialists. Go on Odesk, Freelancer.com, Elance.

6. Scalable Sources of Linkbait: There are lots of different crowdsourced platforms. The biggest one is Mechanical Turk.

7. Global & Translation: Most of the Web is not made up of English speakers. Translation and crowdsourcing is a match made in heaven. Mechanical Turk has workers in 190 countries. Prequalify workers for knowledge of both languages. Prebuilt/prequalified translation crowds.  Castingwords.com will do it for .75 to 2 dollars a word.

8. Large-scale keyword research: Humans are great keyword research tools!  Tap into the wisdom of crowds. What keywords do my competitors have on their sites? Find the names of all reverse osmosis machines, models, SKUs,etc. Segmentation and categorization – filter for ambiguity. Video/audio translation services – speakertext = $2 per minute.

9. Link Reclamation: Don’t lose your link juice! Let human find those 404 and the holes for you. They feed 4040s from GMT in. Output = Closest URL match to redirect it to. /tour = 4040, /events 200. Look for sources that cite without hyperlinks – build lists.

Next up is Andy Milburn.

The American Express Landscape

  • They operate in 95 countries, have 20 global offices, have 91MM card in force, ~350 domains, etc.

Why SEO is important to us – AMEX wants to be at the point of conversation. It’s about getting your voice heard. It’s not about just being found on Google or Bing, it’s about getting your voice out there.  They want to be driving the conversation when their customers are there looking to buy a credit card or when they’re looking for travel recommendations.

What are they doing to drive maturity?

Step 1: Awareness – educate and raise awareness

Step 2: Growth – demonstrate sustained success

Step 3: Maturity – drive significant improvement

Step 4: Institutionalized – align strategic and digital marketing

What is it about?

  1. Good Governance: They’ve found that SEO has dropped as an afterthought. They want to make sure SEO is being baked right into what they’re doing and that standards are in place.
  2. Robust Arbitration: Without central process around keyword arbitration, they’re only going to get themselves in a bit of a mess.  They don’t want to be bidding on terms like “credit cards”.  It’s centrally managed, with regular reviews, easily accessible, senior sponsorship and with good SEO/SEM alignment.
  3. External Insight:It’s easy for people to get bogged down in their daily business. They like to make sure people have that external insight, that they’re sharing best practices, that they’re aware of developments, etc.  The key to this is the benchmarking in the industry and making sure they’re aware of what other people are doing to see where they stack up.
  4. Engaged Partners: The challenge here is SEO has, in the past, been a bit of an afterthought. If they’re not engaging their partners right from the start, something is launched and then there’s a mad dash at the end because you forgot about SEO. He doesn’t want that to happen. They want to have technology at the table having a voice while putting together campaigns.
  5. Google analytics and reporting:  Everyone has separate goals, a different way of measuring things, etc. They make sure they have analytics at all levels of the organization. They look at KPIs that address the business unit needs, specific campaigns, etc. They want to have a single source of data for all of this.
  6. Enterprise search team: The passion people bring is what really drives the SEO from an enterprise perspective. They’re providing support, best practices, visions and they’re sharing in the arbitration process.

The lessons we learned:

  1. Fix SEO from the beginning: Harder to fix after launch.
  2. Education everyone: SEO impacted by everything
  3. Measure success: KPIs at all levels.
  4. Central governance: Track compliance to standards centrally
  5. Build a community: Passionate people make a difference
  6. It’s a journey: Make someone responsible for driving it.

Next up is Eddie Choi.

2010 China’s Top Five Internet Usage

  1. Search Engine
  2. Online Music
  3. Online News
  4. Instant Messaging
  5. Online Games

He shows a graph that’s in Chinese and tells us not to worry that we can’t read it and just to look at the growing blue line. Heh.

Challenge: Should I use Google or Baidu? That’s the number one question from clients.

Market share

  • Baidu – 75 percent
  • Google – 19.6 percent

That was last year. Baidu  is up to 85 percent now.    To do SEO for Baidu it can be good and bad at the same time. They have fantastic options for paid ads, it’s order when you’re doing it organically.

Baidu Suggests:

  • Do not use Flash or JavaScript for content
  • If you must use Flash, please also develop a non-Flash version and link it together
  • do not use AJAX for navigation
  • Do not use iframes

Baiduspider’s server is located inside China, behind the firewall.  If your Web site is hosted outside China, the speed and the content they can crawl is significantly less than Google.

Types of Searches

In China, Taobao.com is the primary shopping engine. They have 370m users and account for 80 percent of the China e-commerce Web sites.  When you are optimizing a shopping site, Taobao has better tools for you.

Information is pretty much available, but who should be responsible for doing this?

  • Keyword research (bilingual)
  • Tweak the meta information
  • input the information
  • Alter the Web design
  • Develop the links

And we are out of here. One more session to go. Stay with us.




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