Big Sites / Big Brands

Dec 16, 2004 - 3:24 pm 0 by
Filed Under SES Chicago 2004

Martin Laetsch from Intel is in charge of all public search over at Intel. About 2 years ago he took a look at Intel's search marketing efforts and he was surprised about how distributed his SEM was. Each division was doing their own thing at a wide spread level. 19% of the keyword they were purchasing were in as many as 9 different campaigns, they were bidding against each other. This not only cost a ton of money but made for a bad user experience. It took about a year to centralize, he controls every campaign. Click through rates doubled, cost per click went down 50%, so things are going well these days.

Joe Morin works for AutoByTel had similar issues that Martin was having, in the sense of bidding on keywords and sending those keywords to the wrong landing pages. But he primarily works on SEO, and does ton of that fun mod_rewriting with his huge dynamic sites. He got 600,000 pages indexed and then when Google doubled their index, so did AutoByTel.

Marshall Simmonds from talked about's major issues in 1999. He was there to establish and SEO Strategy. They had a 573% increase in search engine referrals since 1999, with very minimal changes for low costs. SEO Strategy includes two people, his boss to manage internal search and himself to manage external search. The SEO Strategy (1) Communication (2) Design (3) Relevance (4) Visibility (5) Metrics. COMMUNICATION: Get them moving in the same direction, they had to teach the editors how to write for search engines. They repeat the message over and over again. And they continue to research and locate their new markets through log files and various keyword suggestion tools. They communicate with management with staff through; newsletters, search center, seo discussion board, dedicated email addresses, chats, frequent reports, and onsite training. DESIGN: The technical fixes. Standardize the HTML with templates; Check lists for IT people (dos and donts); Global search and replace of meta keyword tags, global search and replace on meta description, leave branding to the web site?, and TQN redirected 301 style, and then cleaned up the code with CSS, JavaScript, SSI, etc. RELEVANCE: SEO Basics. No Quick fixes with small budget; focus on essentials, turn pagerank off, rules and regulations. VISIBILITY: Knowing your engines. He showed some screen shots of layouts and design and links and abstracts. METRICS: Establish Baselines. They run web positions reports, log files, index counts, link pop reports, google alert, spiders, referrals, talk to it, and more.

Bill Hunt from IBM has 83 localized language versions representing 31 countries. Millions of pages across 100+ brand sites. Numerous SEM programs centrally managed w/ local execution. He explains big sites are slow moving, multiple content and technology owners, site changes all the time, strict and complex development cycles, cant use the latest trick to rank better. But small changes have significant impact, can leverage internal assists, link building tends to be easier and more valuable, and many other advantages. Enterprise SEO takes the bottom up approach. They first start with the infrastructure (get more pages indexed), then coding (get more pages ranked highly), and content (more clicks and higher ranking). They have a step by step process to SEO on enterprise sites. They also do SEM Training and certification; they have 21 specialized training programs. The benefits to him is that so many people now at IBM are involved in this. (1) Remove Infrastructure Problems (2) Coding and Content Infrastructure; optimized those html templates (3) Keyword & Page Optimization, they built a tool to manage which division is bidding on keywords. He has to skip over the other steps, but I covered it in my past coverage of his discussions of this model.

John Tawadros from iProspect is focusing on how you get what you need from the organization. Challenges includes; expectations, big brands think they should always be number one. Competition includes; you have traditional and online competitors, partners who are authorized to use your brand, and simply be honest. Participation; there are many stakeholders , internal politics, personalities and just other types of things to delay you. Its important you set deadlines, be creative. Regiment and Process; "that's the way we do things". Understand why that is and then be creative. There is also opportunity; capitalize on your brand. Most organization has many vendors, integration of that is an opportunity. Execution and Flexibility.

Ethan Giffin from Allegis Group only has 20,000 pages indexed, so he is the small guy. They increased their SE traffic tremendously.


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