Evangelizing SEO Internally with Orit Mutznik
Play • 24 min

SilkFred is an eCommerce site that offers unique women's fashions from over 800+ brands. Orit Mutznik is the company's Head of SEO, the first person to hold the position, and someone who inherited a lot of challenges when she stepped into the role. One of those challenges was getting the rest of the company to accept SEO as a necessity at all, or to be willing to work with her on getting certain tasks done.

Thus? She's no stranger to engaging in the kinds of communications that must happen for any SEO effort to be successful. Whether you're doing your SEO in-house, like she is, or at an agency, you can be sure there's a lot of great material getting covered in today's podcast.

The highlights:

  • [1:25] Prioritizing SEO tasks.
  • [6:38] Advocating for SEO within an organization.
  • [13:10] Keeping devs from taking SEO-adverse actions.
  • [16:02] Transitioning to international SEO.
  • [19:02] Twitter accounts to follow.
  • [21:06] Orit's causes.

The insights:

Prioritizing SEO tasks

In SEO there are big projects, small projects, and projects that take six months to a year to pay off at all. There are dozens of small, technical details that must be updated. That means Orit has a lot to stay on top of and needs strategies for getting the work done.

Fortunately, she has them.

"The way I approach that is by classifying each and every project that I have, each and every test that I have, by the time and effort it would take to execute it, and the impact of it."

She says this plays a critical role in educating stakeholders and getting them on-board and excited about what you're doing as an SEO. 

"When resources are scarce, the low-effort, high-impact [items] are the ones it's easiest to pass through. You need that capability to know which tasks move the needle." 

Of course, you can't dismiss the big projects.

"But the small ones usually open a nice hatch for you to break in the door and say: Okay, see how much we managed to achieve with this small amount of effort? Can you imagine what we can do with medium and large tasks?

She says she is in constant communication with the development team as well. Her strategy? She tries to join forces with them. 

"They have personal projects. I come in and say: this is great for SEO as well. It becomes a business-level project on the roadmap of the business that we can push together. Sometimes just hearing out the devs and what they care about allows you to tap that into your SEO strategy." 

Advocating for SEO within an organization

Orit shares that advocating for SEO is one of the favorite parts of her job.

"I feel like the website's doctor, especially for a business like SilkFred that had not had an SEO previous to me. I was excited because there was so much to do."

Orit knows that it's important to tap into your own enthusiasm because that gets transmitted to other people within the organization.

"And human relationships are really, really important. I've met other SEOs who are super, super, super technical. I'm technical as well, but from a character perspective they are private people, they sit on the side, they ask for things, they don't explain why and nobody really understands them. I needed to change that perspective."

She says she really stresses simplicity. 

"SEO is really logical and straightforward. Making your website accessible to search engines. Making your website accessible to users." 

She might encounter fear or trepidation from the tech team that she'll stop or delay their projects in favor of getting some SEO issue taken care of.

"I always tell them listen; I will not delay your tasks under any circumstances. I usually just need a moment of wrapping my head around what needs to be done and telling people: yeah, just go ahead. You can do everything as long as you're doing it for the users."

Orit also ensures the dev team understands how they are contributing to SEO successes.

"They make things happen, but they don't always get shared on the results. I always make sure to share: You know that little thing with the site map we did? It really boosted organic traffic by 20%.

So even though nobody forces me to share anything with anyone, I just do, because it creates mutual trust. And then the devs ask me things about things that are completely unrelated to projects I wanted to do. It's really making SEO an inherent part of the business and of the marketing division." 

Preventing devs from unintentionally impacting SEO negatively

Of course, every now and then Orit has to be the one to break it to the dev team: they're about to try something that will have a big negative impact on the website's SEO.

How does she do it?

"I bake them cookies."

Of course, that's not all she does.

"I speak with them all the time. I think that keeping it simple really is the key like I said.

If it's going to be a disaster I'm not just going to shout and say: It's a disaster, stop everything you're doing! I'm going to try to be calm and make a lot of sense. 

I try to find and use data. I've had collisions between things that were required from the business and things that were bad for SEO. And in some extreme cases, I have had to stop it."

Implementing international SEO across the website

Right now SilkFred is busy working on an international roll-out, which has presented Orit with some new challenges.

How is she tackling them?

"Do everything possible to arrange everything ahead of time. Map every possible thing that needs to get changed and take into account all the scenarios. Have a road map. 

When you go live you'll encounter some scenarios you couldn't have anticipated. But then you go ahead and tweak." 

They also don't try to do everything at once.

"We did a pilot on a country that's not our top international country. We went with a smaller country, with a smaller area, with good potential, and we started implementing all this. 

By the end of the set-up, the roadmap and the tweaks along the way provided a nice, built-in format for international that you can then copy across different regions, with, of course, little tweaks. But then you have everything all set up, and you can go country by country." 

She says it's not just about getting the SEO right.

"It's about getting the particular elements of your website right. Of your industry. Reflecting what the business wants to reflect through SEO."

Orit’s favorite Twitter follow s

Orit is very active on Twitter and has learned a lot from several industry names. Here are a few she called out as great accounts to follow.

She named several others, so head over to Orit's Twitter account to see who else she's following!

What’s your right now cause?

Orit called out two causes: Women in Tech SEO and an organization named Samaritans in the UK.  She mentioned contributing a chapter to a book called Mastering In-House SEO, and the proceeds for that book are all going to Samaritans right now. That means you can up your in-house SEO game and support a suicide-prevention organization. Be sure to check it out! 

Connect with Orit Mutznik

Want to get in touch with Orit? Find her online here.

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