What did the fish say when he swam into a wall? “Dam!” If you find your­self feel­ing like this fish, then maybe you’ve expe­ri­enced some com­mon enter­prise SEO chal­lenges. Enterprise-sized orga­ni­za­tions, espe­cially where SEO is a pri­mary dri­ver of traf­fic and rev­enue, have the added chal­lenge of pre­serv­ing SEO traf­fic as much as grow­ing it.

In order to pre­serve your SEO traf­fic, you must mon­i­tor three impor­tant areas in your defense against an SEO dis­as­ter: align­ment, train­ing, and algo­rithm changes. In this arti­cle, we will take a look at how to pre­vent an SEO dis­as­ter by dis­cussing com­mon causes of traf­fic declines and defen­sive SEO strate­gies you can deploy to avert disaster.

Align­ment

Lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion between the right cross-functional teams and stake­hold­ers leads to SEO dis­as­ter. At Adobe, we encour­age stake­hold­ers to engage the SEO team “early and often.” If you are an in-house SEO, proac­tive engage­ment with the right stake­hold­ers is nec­es­sary to pre­vent traf­fic losses. An open and ongo­ing dia­log with those mak­ing changes to the web­site is impor­tant. If you are work­ing with an agency, keep­ing the dia­log open can be more chal­leng­ing, but it is just as nec­es­sary. If the com­mu­ni­ca­tion between the SEO, prod­uct, mar­ket­ing, IT, and espe­cially qual­ity assur­ance teams fails, it can be detri­men­tal to SEO success.

To pre­vent dis­as­ters from hap­pen­ing, the in-house SEO team must proac­tively build cross-functional rela­tion­ships with stake­hold­ers, align with them on mutual key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors (KPIs), and agree on engage­ment processes relat­ing to when and why they should be work­ing together. The same goes for any agen­cies involved. A shared under­stand­ing of the com­mon causes of traf­fic declines can help with the when and why sur­round­ing cross-functional team alignment.

Here are the top three com­mon causes of the most cat­a­strophic SEO traf­fic declines that can be mit­i­gated with a proac­tive approach and early engage­ment of the SEO team:

  • Mov­ing con­tent from one URL to another or, worse, from an estab­lished domain to a new domain.
  • Remov­ing con­tent, cre­at­ing dupli­cate con­tent, or even chang­ing con­tent depend­ing on the scope of the con­tent change.
  • Remov­ing links to impor­tant pages from author­i­ta­tive pages.

Changes like these can be detri­men­tal to your care­fully built SEO traf­fic unless SEO con­tent migra­tion best prac­tices are fully con­sid­ered along the way. If you’re aware of any changes like these occur­ring on your web­site, engage with your SEO team, or agency, imme­di­ately. In some cases, you may have the buy-in with cross-functional teams to engage with their SEO experts early and often. Even then, it’s still help­ful to dis­cuss clear engage­ment processes that define specif­i­cally when it is most crit­i­cal to engage the SEO team.

S-M-A-R-T SEO engage­ment means that it is impor­tant to engage the SEO team at the fol­low­ing times:

Syndi­cat­ing – When intro­duc­ing a con­tent syn­di­ca­tion strat­egy or partner.

Making – If you are mak­ing new content.

Acquir­ing – When­ever you are acquir­ing new content.

Remov­ing – If con­tent is being removed.

Trans­fer­ring – When­ever your con­tent is being trans­ferred to a new URL.

Train­ing: Cre­at­ing a Cul­ture of SEO

Cre­at­ing a cul­ture of SEO and find­ing SEO heroes through train­ing and devel­op­ment of key stake­hold­ers has really helped us at Adobe. Cre­at­ing SEO ambas­sadors out­side of the SEO team helps us keep com­mu­ni­ca­tion open and also helps us scale our efforts across a large organization.

Some prac­ti­cal tips for cre­at­ing a cul­ture of SEO include hold­ing brown bag, “lunch and learn” train­ings with cross-functional teams, tai­lor­ing train­ing to spe­cific audi­ences, and sup­port­ing the hir­ing process. We cus­tomize our train­ing for spe­cific teams so we can help pre­vent traf­fic losses and edu­cate employ­ees about areas they touch that can neg­a­tively impact SEO. By part­ner­ing with our SEO ambas­sadors and meet­ing with them reg­u­larly to dis­cuss upcom­ing changes, processes, and new SEO tech­niques, we are able to proac­tively shape the con­tent across many web­sites and imple­ment best prac­tices even within a large, matrixed enter­prise orga­ni­za­tion. Dis­cussing clear engage­ment goals and processes are crit­i­cal for build­ing an SEO cul­ture. Cre­at­ing buy-in by com­mu­ni­cat­ing that every employee plays a role in SEO and inte­grat­ing processes into the every­day work­flow helps ensure that you don’t have an SEO career-killing incident.

Algo­rithm Changes

 Algo­rithm changes are often met with fear and mis­un­der­stand­ing, but being proac­tive can help you pre­pare for future changes and poten­tial SEO dis­as­ters in this area as well. If you do not want to be caught on the wrong side of an algo­rithm change, you can pre­pare your­self by keep­ing up with cur­rent trends and align­ing with emerg­ing changes, such as the grow­ing impor­tance of social media in SEO. A few prac­ti­cal tips for stay­ing on the right side of the algo­rithms include avoid­ing black hat tac­tics, cre­at­ing con­tent pri­mar­ily for your audi­ence and not just for SEO, pay­ing atten­tion to Google patents, con­tin­u­ally net­work­ing with SEO thought lead­ers and fol­low­ing them on Twit­ter, and attend­ing search mar­ket­ing related con­fer­ences like SMX, SES, Pub­con, Moz­con, and the Adobe Sum­mit, to name a few. Let’s con­tinue the con­ver­sa­tion about SEO dis­as­ters on Twit­ter.

1 comments
seoirelandorg
seoirelandorg

Hi It might be late to comment on this post but as of search marketing expert I feels that creation of content is main important part not only for enterprise seo but also for SMEs.


in 2014 content is king and every one should focus on creating great content for better user engagement and making brand image. 


see what type of content is shared most with my post http://www.seoireland.org/type-content-get-shared-twitter/