• Diane Kamer

    You have just described my life. And I am not even an SEO, just a lowly corporate e-commerce copywriter.

    But alas, I’m too old to venture out on a fresh, more creative path. At this point, I just want to retire and volunteer at the local animal shelter.

    Diane from Facebook (trying to keep a low profile)

  • http://adsense100kblueprint.com/ 100kBlueprint

    Some great insight there Ian. The biggest problem that I found when working for large corporations was that the ‘bigwigs’ making the decisions/holding up the project did not really have any knowledge of the actual tasks, pitfalls, timescales etc associated with SEO and it’s implementation. The bureaucracy was like a handbrake!

  • http://twitter.com/daniel_l_mills Daniel Mills

    Thanks for the article.

    A lot of these issues are classic symptoms of the “unagile” corporation that have barriers between departments and lack transparency up and down the foodchain.

    CMO’s however in my experience are not under funded as much as they lack the cross-over skill sets required to succeed on the dynamic web. This is a shame because the CMO role becomes more and more critical as we increasing enact our lives on the web.

  • http://twitter.com/AliciaDKing Alicia King

    Depending on where you’re in-house, there is also the risk of isolation. You’re a team of one, and have to build a group of peers to bounce ideas around with.

    As a sub-bullet of #1, you’ve also left off over-reporting. Seems like every initiative needs a report or analysis or projections in a big house.

    Luckily, my workplace is full of search and social evangelists, so sometimes our biggest challenge is reining in the enthusiasm….

  • http://twitter.com/portentint Ian Lurie

    A first world problem, definitely.

  • http://twitter.com/portentint Ian Lurie

    It almost always comes down to lack of leadership. There are plenty of skilled individuals, but they have to be pointed in the same direction, and it’s rare that I see that happen.

    CMOs can provide that leadership, IF they’re resolved to do it. And if they have the skill set.

  • http://www.dinomiteseo.com/ Dino Gomez

    Interesting article here Ian. Your arguments are a good reminder that bigger isn’t always better. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/chris2004x Chris

    “Build relationships before you need them.” <– Nice reflection! And, we all need to work on that one, in business/organizations and out.

  • http://www.rimmkaufman.com/ George Michie

    Great piece, as usual, Ian. The relationship building and education pieces are also two way streets. As much as we have to get folks working together toward a common goal, we also have to understand that SEO isn’t the only important initiative within an organization. We have to understand other priorities and resource constraints and instead of shouting (to your point), try to work with folks to get what you can.

  • smichaelgriffin

    Great advice but what vertical has an average CMO tenure of 7 months? Forbes recently estimated the average at 43 months, which (fortunately) is more than long enough for an SEO strategy to yield results. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferrooney/2012/06/14/cmo-tenure-hits-43-month-mark/

  • http://www.facebook.com/local.advertising.online Harry Fassett

    Right Corporate paralysis from analysis as usual. Hey Diane, while
    you’re at it, check out my charity FB page named
    “snackhealthyfundraisingideas” when you get a chance since you are going
    into charity work it looks like. Please donate a share! thanks. HF

  • http://twitter.com/CalumCovell Calum Covell

    Is it just me, or would anyone else like to see the board game?!

  • Yougender

    Pretty Interesting post Ian. And since I recently made the shift from an agency to an in-house company, I completely agree with the problems that exist with large organizations. Slower turnaround makes you think and plan accordingly and take care of problems one at a time.

    I am hoping planning and prioritizing items will somehow ease the entire process. Also, making connections is very important. It not only helps you identify the pain points but these connections will help you when you are stuck somewhere.

    All and all its been wonderful and exciting so far, but the idea of having a punching bag just in case makes sense. :)

    Keep up the good work. Thanks for the post.

  • http://www.cobwebseo.com/ Ajay Jhunjhunwala

    Hello, thank you. Problems are many but solutions are easy and less in number.
    Problems areas are really difficult to manage. But you solutions may turn those in to solutions.

  • http://twitter.com/StrategaSEO Stratega SEO στρατηγ

    This is so True. Seems like “a year as SEO Manager” biography. Great Post.

  • http://twitter.com/milehighseollc Kurt Henninger

    Good insight there into enterprise SEO. I would argue that an SEO job in a large organization is inherently no different than any other job at the company per se. Lack of access to resources and long lead times to implementation are par for the course when you get into larger organizations.

    I’ve been on the business side of things at a Fortune 100 company and any forward progress in an organization is excruciatingly slow to say the least.

  • http://twitter.com/IgeAlex Alex I.G.E

    Think this is frustrating? Try a start-up SEO arm of long-standing enterprise!!

    In reality, this entirely depends on the size of your team and the market culture your firm is competing in. Personally, I have had no other experience in SEO, other than large in-house enterprise. However, I have done agency PR experience,, I know which side of the fence I’d rather be.

    In my view, big enterprises failing to succeed in SEO is best served by empowering SEO/Development employees with a budget and an offsite office, reporting back in. If you can take the corporate out of the culture then the culture will take care of the corporate. #BrentWouldBeSoProud

  • treepodia

    Great article. Slightly off-topic here, but check out the ways to boost your e-commerce SEO through video here: blog.treepodia.com

  • http://twitter.com/elena_expertseo elena

    It just highlights that life of a seo professional is just not easy