Managing SEO in a complex business

Alina Ghost | Marketing Manager | Tesco | 10:20am – 10:35am

Alina starts off by telling us that “Good SEO is all about getting into the mind of the customer.”

The three key steps to managing SEO in big business, according to Alina, are:

  1. Categorisation
  2. Prioritisation
  3. Enablisation

Alina Ghost’s Brighton SEO slide deck:

1.) Categorisation

Categorisation in complex businesses, with 100s and 1000s of products, involves compartmentalising the product portfolio in the most logical way to support discovery.

To demonstrate her point, Alina introduces her adorable puppy Casper *cue audible cooing from audience*

Alina explains that, of all the categories on the Tesco site, ‘Pet supplies’, and more specifically, ‘Dog beds’ can be surfaced by navigating to ‘Tesco direct’, ‘Garden’ and ‘Pets & wildlife care’; demonstrating the scale of their product offering and level of categorisation. This may seem unusual to some, but in context of Tesco’s digital architecture it made the most logical sense.

Alina Ghost - Tesco - Brighton SEO talk and slides - Managing SEO in a complex business

2.) Prioritisation

According to Alina, business objectives, category objectives and the prioritisation of the two often conflict.

Businesses need to be considering their product range and availability when it comes to consolidating their online offering. There’s no point investing time and money into SEO activity if there’s no product to deliver at the end of it. Alina uses the example of the popular kids toy ‘Hatchimals’. Tesco had to make a decision on whether to stock this product as it was so popular that it simply sold out. They made a decision not to market this product online as a result.

In that vein, Alina states that non-digital departments, i.e. buying & merchandising, need to be collaborating with SEO teams to successfully coordinate multi-category business.

Focusing on the prioritisation of SEO, she shows that categorisation is about viewing content holistically – not in isolation – and suggests that big-category businesses should be prioritising doorway pages that already rank, to optimise for faster wins.

3.) Enablisation

Alina highlights the importance of supporting collaboration between SEO and multiple other teams, with relationship building activities, regular consultations and repeat training.

Tesco use Pi Datametrics to coordinate their digital strategy; it’s imperative to have reliable tools at the centre of such processes, to support communication and workflow management.

Alina Ghost - Tesco - Brighton SEO talk and slides - Managing SEO in a complex business

Alina Ghost’s Brighton SEO takeaways:

- Categorisation helps customers find product & increases rankings via internal linking
- Prioritisation means knowing what you want to achieve, seeing the big picture and making use of pages that already rank
- Enabilisation is all about working collaboratively with your teams to achieve great SEO success

Alina Ghost Digital Marketing Manager, Tesco

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