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So what exactly do corporate SEO companies do?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by mollah, May 5, 2009.

  1. mollah

    mollah Power Member

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    I'm sure when a Fortune 500 company needs SEO, the company to which they outsource doesn't just build a bunch of mininets and post articles on web 2.0 sites with links back to the company's URL.









    Or do they? :confused:
     
  2. laserblast

    laserblast Registered Member

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    The probably provide a lot of consultation about what could be done to improve the SEO of their site. Like the need for better titles, relevant content, meta tag optimization, etc. And some companies still don't have Web 2.0 presence or are under utilizing Web 2.0, these SEO consultant companies would show them what they needed to do.

    I wouldn't be surprised if there are some black hat techniques being deployed behind the scenes. We all know about how companies have been caught giving their products positive reviews on Amazon and whatnot. It would be foolish to think it stopped there.
     
  3. davioli

    davioli Regular Member

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    These companies usually have access to large portfolios of websites from which they "sell" links to the fortune 500 company.
    They also purchase links from other blog networks, hence they charge high amounts. The fact remains though, that these links do work and do help improve search engine ranking.

    They can charge high amounts to the client as they work alot to make everything look professional. I was just going through a keyword research report by one company and it amazed me how attention to detail it was.. They had produced a beautiful report with the clients logo on it as well.
     
  4. kalatopi

    kalatopi Newbie

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    I know a corporate SEO at a large company where other parts of the company hire top SEO companies to help them. Those sites have tens of millions of visits each month and there are complex bureaucratic processes to slow down SEO and many people to convince. The SEO's work is often limited to making small changes, e.g. templates, that can give large paybacks. Large companies have less need for links, because they get quality ones from Wall Street, Nasdaq, etc.
     
  5. Canuck

    Canuck Junior Member

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    I'm definitely not a corporate SEO, but I'm an in-house SEO at a private college.

    Basically the site has been up for 10 yrs and has thousands of high quality backlinks, so there's not much to do on that front. But it's a lot about optimization. For example I'm working with the developers to do a huge new push that will re-structure the entire site and renames a lot of the files (with hundreds and hundreds of redirects).

    That's only a small part of what I do, but I also manage their web advertising campaigns and do a lot of optimization. So getting their quality score a lot higher as well as collecting leads and raising conversions. I made some changes to their landing pages for Adwords campaigns and brought up the conversion rate 2% - which is huge. A couple hundred more people are requesting info than before and those people convert well to actual students, etc.
     
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  6. SEO20

    SEO20 Elite Member

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    99% of the corporate SEO "experts" don't know half of the tips and tricks to be found on this forum. And trust me I know.
     
  7. Canuck

    Canuck Junior Member

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    Agreed. After a few days on BHW, most people could do my job. The difference between a pro and an amateur is their mindset (are they unsure of themselves? or do they take control and tell people they're a pro) and their ability to brainstorm. There's so much more to SEO when you get a job as a corporate SEO.

    For example I proposed the idea of using a simple opt-in list to collect leads on their adwords landing pages. Groundbreaking right?
     
  8. gbmack

    gbmack Power Member

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    Yeah don't buy them.
     
  9. Grandslam

    Grandslam Senior Member

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    Can you give some examples of those "tips and tricks" just to refresh my memory? I take in so much info on bhw everyday that i forget how what I'm learning can even be used effectively for seo... sorry for the ridiculous post but I'm actually being quite serious right now I'm in information overload at the moment..
     
  10. dfman

    dfman Newbie

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    I work for a very large media company and have been purchasing services from a couple of "corporate SEO companies". I have done a couple of RFP rounds with them when we started building SEO as part of our strategy. All their offers contained the following components:

    - Site structure analysis
    - Keyword analysis
    - Competitor analysis
    - Link building strategy

    At the end of the day, the service most of them provide is quite basic and their rates are not cheap. In this case the rate was 1200 USD/day.

    We ended up dropping the link building strategy out of the project and focused on on-page factors and keyword analysis. One of their key success factors was their ability to educate management about SEO as well as our operational team. They also managed to convince our techies that SEO is not spamming which had been a bottleneck for me when pushing SEO as part of our strategic agenda.

    It seems a big part of their business is to upsell you to their campaign management services after they do the SEO. So basically, first sell SEO then they offer to run your SEM campaigns as organic traffic is only one part of your overall search engine strategy. For SEM they write the adcopy and optimize the campaign, taking 15% of your media budget plus a set up fee. We used their SEM service, as it drastically dropped our cost per visitor without hurting conversion. That was 2 years ago, now we still outsource SEM but with a different model and are thinking of in sourcing it.

    We still use them for doing regular SEO, my unit gives them business of a bit over 20k USD a year, and some of our other units are currently running very large projects with them. So yes, it can be very good business. It is also something we could do ourselves, but just don't have the manpower at the moment. I guess eventually we will insource a part of the SEO, but still use consultants in some areas.

    These "experts" definetly don't know have the tricks you can learn in BHW, and I think I am much more savy than them, but in large company they do have their uses.

    Hehehe, if someone here wants to do some SEO for me I have one challenging case currently on the table at least it would be interesting to talk.
     
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    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  11. bigkhong

    bigkhong Junior Member

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    I agree. But they're willing to pay premium to build links through blog networks and the likes!!!

    And Im pretty sure their clients pay them with an arm and a leg for the SEO services
     
  12. tetten

    tetten Newbie

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    That's also because they can't afford to do anything black- (or even grey-) hat. Nobody will care if you get a small blog banned or caught in some of these activities, but these huge companies with huge websites are being carefully watched. Just look at the few fake "user" blogs that were created to get some buzz for their products (eg. AllIwantforchristmasisapsp[dot]com ). 100% whitehat tactics are very limited in number and very easy to learn (but difficult to get it perfect).
     
  13. bashnya

    bashnya Newbie

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    i guess it works both way, SEOs can perform some blackhat tricks on competition to drag them down.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  14. desirez28

    desirez28 Regular Member

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    Let's talk with me. ;)
     
  15. Albert

    Albert Regular Member

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    They are like any other person who hangs in a webmasters forum. They do simple things like blog commenting, create discussions in forums and such to build valuable backlinks to the keywords they are targeting.
     
  16. Viltedali

    Viltedali Regular Member

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    Care to give details about the different model?
     
  17. Sweetfunny

    Sweetfunny Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    That's completely the opposite to any corporate SEO i've ever done, the only real time i've done forum posting or blog commenting is possibly for Reputation Management in response to negative brand mentions.

    But the biggest thing when i do any corporate SEO is "Metrics", and yes some of it's really simple. For example i made one company an extra $10k per week with a line of HTML.

    How? I pulled up the top 10 highest exit pages and noticed page 3 of the checkout cart was the highest exit point. I pulled up that page and could immediately see the problem, i added click tracking for a day to be sure and i was right. People were accidentally clicking "Empty Cart" instead of "Process Order" because of the button arrangement and most couldn't be bothered going back through the site to add all their items again.

    I made the "Empty Cart" button smaller/duller so it didn't attract focus, and added an "Are you sure you want to empty your cart" Yes/No confirmation to it.

    Sure simple stuff, but they thought i was a genius because of the extra $40k in monthly sales it generated.

    With corporate SEO it's good to be highly skilled in marketing, design, usability, keywords, statistics and metrics right down to tech things like reducing page load times to enhance user experience.

    It's a different kettle of fish to optimizing your normal blog or site.
     
  18. navin

    navin Junior Member

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    That?s very expensive.

    The focus of ?corporate? SEO should lie mostly at conversion optimization. The design is also very important at that. It should be optimized for conversation. Each page should be its own landing page. It?s a very tough job. Apart from that you have the keyword research, site structure, search engine crawl ability, content optimization, and much more.

    To optimize a website properly, you need a lot of man hours into it. It?s actually not something you can write up front, you need to keep looking at the stats and keep tweaking the website.

    You gotta give it some love?
     
  19. dfman

    dfman Newbie

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    Sure. Basically in the original SEM model they offered it was structured so that they ran the campaigns through their own Adword accounts. Now we moved them to run the campaign from our account, and we own all the ad copy.

    We are also considering a value based model where we have a certain CPC price, and if they beat it they get half of the price difference on top of everything, but we reduce the percent they charge as a campaign management fee.
     
  20. dfman

    dfman Newbie

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    It all depends on what you doing. For any direct monetization, conversion optimization makes sense. However, we own a number of media sites where the metrics we use are not conversions in the traditional sense of the word. In one case I was involved in, we used SEO to create a large traffic asset which we now use to direct visitors to other "money" sites, but we sill make quite good advertising money as we have direct sales force. The results from SEO where good, we went from 0 to 1 million uniques/month in one of our sites in just over 40 weeks.

    1200 USD/day is expensive, and not something we will be paying in the future for SEO. Having said that we started and tried to get SEO up there in our strategic planning it was "cheap" compared to what our company was paying some basic management consultants for a bunch of power point slides.

    A big opportunity still exists for people to offer audits at a cheaper price point and actually execute the SEO recommendations, specially off page actions. All our consultants provided was an XLS with a prioritized action list.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2009