Why are corporates so crap at SEO

I’m looking at the BMW website and I cannot believe it. They don’t seem to know to have unique and descriptive title tags for each page. Who is doing BMW SEO? I have no idea whether it’s in house or out house, but for a few quid I could advise them a little better.

They don’t even rank for “bmw z4 roadster”. Now before you yell foul. Cool your boots man. I’m looking at the UK BMW page, using the UK version of Google whilst sitting on a 19th Century wooden chair in Cornwall. So when I type in “bmw z4 roadster” I expect the UK website to come up, not the US version. Which might I add uses titles tags, and also uses search engine friendly URLs

So what’s going on here, why doesthe UK arm of BMW thinks it doesn’t need title tags, and not a H1 tag in site. Is the binge drinking culture of the UK seeping into the BMW web development arm and they are down the Dog and Duck rather than reading SEObook.com

Lets compare url length.

US

http://www.bmwusa.com/vehicles/Z4

UK

http://www.bmw.co.uk/bmwuk/modelselector/0,,1156___sit-bmwuk,00.html

The US version is perfect, the UK version needs more than a little work.

The search for bmw z4 roadster canada brings up Ebay in the first place. Yeah, that’s where I want to buy my Beemer from, Ebay.

Actually whilst we talk BMW lets not forget this doozy BMW given Google ‘death penalty’

Yes I know that corporates are slow, but it doesn’t seem to be effecting the US BMW site. Who does the seo for UK BMW, anyone know. Perhaps they would like to explain what the problem is?

Come on guys, don’t let the side down.

Comments

  1. says

    Geigo’s META description screams “we don’t have an inhouse SEO with a clue.”

    BMW pulls what, 240K hits a day? Gotta remember though these guys aren’t desperate for SEO. All they need to do is mention bmw.com in their TV ads. Even with no marketing people will find bmw.com.

  2. Lyndoman says

    Halfdeck, your right, they are in a different zone to most of us. My point is why does the UK website have naff SEO and the US as cool SEO. As a Brit, it annoys me.

  3. says

    I bet one of these three:

    1. Someone from the paid search team
    2. In-house developer who reads a few SEO articles when time permits
    3. No one

  4. says

    Hehe Lyndon! As someone above the fold for “bmw 3 series review” and most other common models on Google, I’m more than happy that they can’t get it together. But in their defence – and the defence of Corporates in general, the larger a site (and brand) the harder it becomes for them to change architecture mid stream. Sure, you and I can just say “mod rewrite” and expect them to get it – but life is generally not so simple. As organisations get larger, there is a tendency for this to be nobody’s responsibility apart from the SEO company – and the SEO company can’t directly change code on a site built on a load balanced, highly unfamiliar server and site architecture.

    At the same time, as brand gets bigger, the long tail gets a little less relevent. Would Tesco REALLY want to come to the top of the engines for “wholemeal bread”? Not necessarily. The brand manager might take the view that they don’t sell “bread”. They sell “an easier complete shopping service” or some other mumbo jumbo brand speak. (Although I accept that BMW should at least aspire to rank for ?bmw z4 roadster?!)

    The point is that with smaller corporates, the MD (or other board level champion) either gets search and takes responsibility for it themsleves, or they never bother with SEO. Either way is better than half heartedness. But at the huge corporate level, nobody is given the role of SEO champion. Where they outsource, they SEO company is generally prevented from being allowed to engage with departments throughout the Corporation – something vital for the success of SEO at a big Corporate level.

    You use the word “linkbait” as do most SEOs. A corporate cannot be seen to be involved in “linkbaiting”. Yet Link “incentives” is probably the ONLY thing that their Public Relations Agency is measured on (although “link” is now much more than a hyperlink).

    At what point does BMW give the SEO consultant/agency/inhouseguy the authority to shout directly at the PR Agency or the development agency? Based on BMW’s previous luck with SEO, I would say “not soon”. I know which agency got them banned that time and I BET BMW gave the agency a set of impossible criteria… No access and payment by results. It takes a brave consultancy to turn away BMW – but bad business is bad business!

    BMWusa.com is owned by a different company to BMW.co.uk. The latter being owned by the German parent. Therein lies the challenge!

    Dixon.

  5. Lyndoman says

    Here speaks a man who knows his stuff. Well made point Dixon.

    I for one have never had the dubious pleasure of dealing with a company like BMW, and to be honest I hope I never have to. I am sure the money is nice, but that’s a large monkey to have on your back.

    Being on the other sides of the track so to speak I find it fascinating to hear about corporate SEO. It needs a completely different mindset.

    Most of my SEO chums are solo or at the most collaborate and outsource, I think the idea of having to deal with corporate in house politics would drive them to the cheapest cider on the shelf of the local off license.

    Ahhhh Linkbait. I knowingly misuse the term linkbait deliberately, as it’s the buzzword of the moment and I want to rank for it. What I really mean is viral marketing.

    Linkbait should really live within the bowels of an advertising agency, feeding off copywriting and PR skills. I think most people make the mistake of thinking it’s a new thing and just for SEO’s.

    BMW have had a lot of success with their Mini campaigns, which are very edgy and use a lot of guerilla marketing tactics. Linkbait should be in the tool box of any guerilla marketer.

    The technique is developing with the new social sites that are hot topic and we have not yet seen a long term codification of reuseable techniques. The rules have to change quickly and regularly with the changes in the way the social sites operate.

    It must be hard dealing with a client that is a akin to a multi-headed Hydra. Which head to chop off first is the question.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment Dixon.

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