Through establishing consistent content workflow and technical best practices that could be integrated across the business, we helped Elsevier overhaul their approach to SEO. This world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services has a large portfolio of sites, and the largest collection of electronic journals available, making SEO management a significant task.


The Challenge.

We have had a long-standing recommendation with Elsevier, back to 2008. We’ve provided technical SEO and PPC support, as well as training for key digital marketing staff and ad-hoc project consultancy.

In 2015, Elsevier approached us to conduct a review of their current SEO process and implementation. As an organisation, we could see they lacked consistency in their approach to digital marketing and SEO, with a different methodology, resources and processes used across their portfolio.

This resulted in conflicting campaigns, company-wide inefficiencies, and in some cases, sites within the group working against each other. Elsevier asked us to deliver three actionable recommendations on how they move forward with SEO across the business.

Our Solution.

With staff in 23 locations across the world and famous publications such as The Lancet and Cell to care for, our recommendations had to be practical. It was clear that we’d have the most impact by helping Elsevier approach SEO as a fundamental part of their marketing, educating developers on SEO, and identifying the internal team they should build.

The project’s first priority was to identify the key stakeholders in Elsevier’s online presence. They would provide detail on the challenges and requirements needed to achieve our goals.

Once identified, we built a questionnaire to learn more about the individual, and their team. We delved into team structure, their skillset and experience, the current use of tools and what KPIs the unit was working too.

For more insight, we followed up with a day of interviews, asking more detailed questions. Each interview was individually tailored and allowed us to gather extra information and paint a full picture of the current landscape. This helped us develop recommendations that were not only suitable to Elsevier’s needs but were also practical to implement.

Whilst conducting this research, we were concurrently working on auditing nine separate websites. By running these streams together, we were able to deliver the work within the timescale needed and make recommendations based on a complete view of their situation, and potential.

The Results.

Once all of the information was gathered, we presented our recommendations to the CMO council, a select group of individuals responsible for all marketing activity.

Our recommendations have been taken on-board, and are being used to create internal process governing ways-of-working that will be rolled-out globally.

The technical SEO audits yielded a number of important improvements that could be made. We provided Elsevier’s development team with a prioritised list of fixes for review and implementation.

Finally, we provided recommendations on building a best-of-class internal digital team, allowing the company to self-manage their ever-growing portfolio of online properties.

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