Marcus Tober will be speaking on Enterprise SEO at Engage which will take place March 7–8 in Portland Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.
1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.
My name is Marcus Tober. I’ve studied Computer Science (Informatics) in Berlin, Germany before I founded Searchmetrics. My curiosity led to building tools in SEO starting 2002 and resulted in Searchmetrics in 2005. Since then my passion about data and marketing has continuously evolved. My true belief is that data is changing SEO more significantly in the next 2 years than it did in the last 20 years. That’s why, after 13 years building and running an engineering and product team of 100 people, I’m changing my role to “Chief Innovation Officer” to focus primarily on “Data Science” projects. Our product, the “Searchmetrics Suite” won dozens of prices and in the last years, I filed 10 patents.
2) What are the mandatory tools needed for an Enterprise SEO to do his / her job effectively?
The most important thing for every Enterprise SEO is the understanding of the business of “his” Enterprise. What is their vision and plan for the next year. This is more important than software or SEO knowledge. The second most important is the understanding and development of product management skills. This is the foundation to talk business to your boss and at the same time factor the SEO wisdom into user stories that the product owners or developers can handle and execute. Only with this, any SEO software makes sense.
The toolset an Enterprise SEO needs, in the end, is very much depending on the goals. Even if you have a large site, often the development is outsourced and “untouchable” by SEOs. The best website crawler that reports thousands of errors is useless then. Same with Content marketing software if you are not able to change any content at all. So, in the end, the most important tool is “communication”. And sure of course Enterprise SEO software like the Searchmetrics Suite make your life much easier when you master the foundation. ?
3) How have you seen the relationships between Enterprise SEO’s and the C-level evolve over the last 5-10 years?
Yes, I have seen an evolution from SEO 10 years ago where it was mostly used by smaller players that than outperformed many big players fairly easily and no executive in a larger company had any clue about SEO. Over a period of 4 to 8 years ago where SEO became sexy, but often got the stigma of using dirty tactics. I remember the times where SEOs and enough executives were complaining (sometimes crying) after each Panda/Penguin iteration, rather than thinking forward about the user and the content. To now, where SEO is known, but still not embraced enough by executives that want to use the website as a holistic source to generate leads/sales.
I think the typical short term thinking of executives or decision makers is going to change when the SEOs in Enterprise companies get more involved in the product strategy and speak the language of product owners rather than sending super large Excel spreadsheets with dozens of Pivot tables. This is how both sides need to make compromises. In the end, many Enterprise companies feel the pressure of their online competition and eventually, that will lead to an approximation of both. Not just the examples of “Sears” or “Blockbuster” or “Toys ‘R’Us” show enough executives that being better online is a key of every company’s health and growth path. And SEO is a very important part of it.