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SEW Weekly: Successful In-House SEO Strategy & Google Paid Search Updates

out-house-vs-in-houseLast Thursday, produced the first of what will be a weekly series of podcasts from the newsroom. SEW Weekly kicked off with analysis of the week’s search and social news, followed by special guests sharing in-house SEO strategy.

SEW Weekly hosts Thom Craver and Miranda Miller were joined by AOL’s Director of SEO Simon Heseltine, as well as Senior SEO Strategist Dave Rohrer from Covario. Heseltine and Rohrer will speak on the Successful In-House SEO panel on Thursday November 15th at SES Chicago; SEW Weekly listeners had a sneak preview into their experience and advice for more effective in-house SEO.

Each guest had a number of years experience in-house as well as agency-side and were able to identify some of the key differences/challenges in developing and executing search marketing strategy for a single company. In Heseltine’s case, there are numerous web properties across the AOL portfolio, including TechCrunch, Huffington Post and Engadget. Rohrer worked in smaller companies in the auto and SaaS industries for nine years. Together, their broad experience lent to an insightful show replete with personal anecdotes and real-life experience.

Networking, Self-Guided Learning Help In-House SEOs Stay Current

When asked how in-house SEOs stay current when they may be exposed to a lesser variety of scenarios than an agency SEO, Heseltine pointed to the benefit of working with a larger organization.

“In my case, I’m working with a variety of sites, across different locations, that have a variety of architectures… they have different challenges, different CMSs, and lots of different people that I’m working with,” he said. “I get a lot of exposure to a lot of different environments within the one company.”

What about the SEO working in a smaller company? Rohrer points to networking, participation in events and personal experimentation as key to building out his experience.

“We had one site, maybe a microsite or two. I would look at some of my industry colleagues, people I met at conferences – which is why networking at an SES event is always a good thing to do,” he explained. “I also built my own sites in completely different verticals; we weren’t working with WordPress, so I just built a WordPress site to learn it. I would take on small, family clients and look for people with problems. I looked for things I didn’t get to do in my day job and continued to learn at night and on the weekends.”

Winning Over Department Heads for Bigger SEO Budget and Better Tools

Getting buy-in from superiors can be challenging for in-house SEOs. Heseltine advised it’s all about being able to show the value of SEO to employers when requesting new tools, additional budget, or time to execute the SEO strategy.

In one company, he learned a hard lesson about “non-believers” in the form of a development leader who simply didn’t understand (or want to learn anything about) SEO and therefore thought it worthless. To combat this, he said, identify low-hanging fruit and create a case study around a success. Forecast the positive effect for the company with the additional resources required to prove value to employers.

Heseltine and Rohrer went on to share their greatest tips for in-house SEOs and will dive deeper into their case studies in their upcoming Successful In-House SEO session at SES Chicago.

SEW Weekly News Wrap-Up

In the news segment of the show, Craver and Miller discussed Facebook’s recent site scraping issue. Over 1.1 million user IDs and email were sold and Facebook claims it was a public-side scraping, despite evidence the information came from the API side. Also in the social arena, Twitter are testing new “Like” and “Star” buttons in place of “Favorite” on tweets, which points to a potential expansion of their ad program.

How Google makes $100 million a day in paid search was discussed, as well as their falling CPCs and other paid search trends based on recent reports. Craver and Miller shared Google’s new AdWords policies and what they mean for marketers using DKI and the word “Buy” in ads.

This Week on SEW Weekly: How Geo-Rankings Affect SEO

This Thursday, Linkdex VP of Product Matt Roberts and SEO-PR President/Co-Founder Greg Jarboe appear on SEW Weekly to discuss how geo-rankings affect SEO, particularly when organic rankings are a key performance indicator for marketers.

Download the SEW Weekly podcast from and visit the Search Engine Watch Facebook Page to comment or submit questions or topic suggestions for an upcoming show. Bookmark the SEW Weekly page for new episodes as they are published.

Tune in Thursday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) on!

SES Chicago

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