- Stop competing against yourself: Divisions within large companies can end up getting into bidding wars with each other for keywords that are attractive to multiple divisions. For example, “linux” was being bid on by many different departments within IBM, since the term is relevant to software, networking, etc. By centralizing the management of paid search, IBM was able to minimize the intramural competition and reduce cost.
- Automated SEO has benefits: One of the highest impact things you can do is to optimize your dynamic website templates. By changing a few things within the template, you can affect a huge number of pages and make them more palatable to search engines. Those few changes cause a ripple effect that can dramatically improve your rankings and organic search traffic.
- Test your search marketing: Search marketers should use the immediacy of feedback to their advantage, and study how people and search engines respond to changes in the content. Make iterative improvements to your paid search campaigns and your SEO based on actual statistics, not just a gut feel.
Ever wonder how easy it is to implement SEO in a giant company like IBM? Mike Moran was kind enough to sit down with me for an interview, to talk about the positive SEO changes he implemented at IBM, how to allocate costs to guarantee a better ROI, and where the future of search marketing is headed. Prior to Mike implementing his strategies and SEO changes, organic search accounted for less than 1% of overall traffic to IBM.com. Just a few years after Mike was able to work his magic, IBM’s organic search traffic grew to over 25% of total traffic. In order to fully appreciate what an impressive feat this was, first consider what a behemoth IBM is. The corporation spans over 90 countries and 30 languages, according to Mike. So not only did he have to try to implement a strategy that would affect every division and business unit, he needed to distill it down for the executives, and provide actionable items that were easy-to-understand across different roles and professional positions. At a big corporation, SEO is as much about political maneuvers and getting “buy in” as the technical implementation. Here are some of the key concepts from the interview:
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