The fundamental elements of SEO are the same for business startups as they are for large scale corporations, but the way those tactics are implemented for enterprises has to change for the sake of scalability.
Enterprise SEO Advantages
Here’s the deal. As an enterprise company, you already have some things working in your favor in regards to SEO.
For starters, your name recognition helps with your ranking authority. More people know about you so they’re more likely to click on pages that bear your name. Those clicks tell Google you know what you’re talking about, thereby assuming you’re an authority on the matter. As you’ll see later in this post, website authority is one of Google’s ranking factors. You didn’t have to do anything (other than grow a successful company) to master this aspect of SEO. You can’t sit back on your haunches and rely on your name to do all the heavy lifting, though, especially when there are some hungry and SEO savvy small business owners out there coming for your page ranks.
In addition to name recognition, as a large enterprise, you probably have more high-quality content on your site than the average company. This could be because you’ve worked hard over the years to create unique content, and it could be because you have a large number of products in your inventory that mandate the existence of multiple pages of content. In this type of situation, even if only a handful of the pages on your site rank, you’ll still see lots of organic traffic as a result of those pages and your name recognition.
11 challenges of SEO for Enterprise Companies
On the flip side, as an enterprise, you face a unique set of challenges when it comes to optimizing your site for search. The size of the company works in your favor in some regards and works against you in others, if the website is not properly managed. Below is a list of some of the SEO challenges enterprises face:
- The sheer number of pages on your website that need to be optimized
- Managing inbound and outbound links
- The scalability of adding, optimizing, and indexing new content
- Getting the entire website indexed
- Amount of content your organization needs to create/optimize
- The propensity for duplicate content issues
- Staying up to date on current trends in SEO like influencer marketing, featured snippets, and geo-targeting
- Managing the size of your site while still ensuring the customer journey makes sense and is easy to navigate
- Making sure marketing is cohesive across the enterprise and the various marketing platforms you use
- Managing your company’s online reputation
- Understanding the nuances (and importance) of local search
At the enterprise level, these tasks are normally delegated to multiple individuals in multiple departments who are also responsible for a variety of other tasks. This methodology increases the likelihood of communication problems, red tape roadblocks, inefficiency, and a less-than-optimized site.
So what’s an enterprise to do?
Even those companies that choose to hire a full time SEO employee soon realize that it’s too much for one person to handle.
What an SEO Services Agency Offers Enterprises
At some point you may need to consider outsourcing SEO. It’s a more efficient, more consistent, and more cost-effective solution for many enterprises.
The Cost Efficiency of Enterprise SEO Services
For the same cost of hiring one full-time, qualified SEO employee, enterprises could hire an agency to manage their SEO. The agency becomes a centralized department that’s responsible for SEO instead of there being multiple players across multiple layers of an organization. This centralization also ensures a unified strategy for SEO.
With an agency, there is not just one person, but a team of people working to optimize for search engines:
- Content creators
- Creatives (graphic designers, photographers, videographers, etc.)
- Web developers
- Search traffic analysts
- Account managers
Because an agency lives and breathes SEO, these players work together as a team to provide the best services possible for enterprises. At least that’s the idea.
The Big Picture Perspective of an SEO Agency
A quality SEO agency will be more than technically competent; they should have an extensive understanding of how SEO practices fit into a digital marketing strategy and how digital marketing fits within an overall marketing plan. This kind of big picture perspective values the customer journey: site visitors’ natural tendencies and where they might need guidance along the way.
As your company continues to grow, the need for additional content and, therefore, additional SEO grows along with it. An agency allows for easier scalability. Even if you have templates for each additional webpage that include meta descriptions, alt tags, Google tag manager, and proper URL structure, somebody still needs to ensure the data is entered correctly.
What about when you add new products to your inventory?
If you use the product descriptions the manufacturer provides, you may think you’re saving time and energy. However, if every other supplier does the same thing, you find yourself with a duplicate content situation Google frowns upon. Who will provide unique product descriptions and fresh content for your site regularly as you grow?
Those are the kinds of scalability questions enterprises have to find solutions for. An agency can help.
Then there is the labyrinth known as Google…
Google Ranking Factors
Every once in a while, Google gives outsiders a sneak peak into the thought processes that go into their search algorithm updates. Those tidbits, in addition to research done by SEO industry experts, reveal some of the factors that go into how Google ranks pages in search. The following are just a handful of more than 200 ranking factors some have tallied.
- The keyword being in the website domain
- Keyword in title, title tag, meta description, H1 tag, content
- Latent semantic indexing
- Freshness of content
- Page load time
- On-page optimization
- Website structure
Do you and your employees have time to stay current with the latest Google algorithm changes, or is it time to consider outsourcing this particular business process?
SEO Tasks for Enterprise Websites
While you wait for the decision-making process regarding hiring an SEO agency to run its course (insert rant about the red tape of corporate enterprises here), here is a checklist for your website to help you ensure it’s properly optimized for search.
On-page optimization (for each individual web page)
- Title tag
- Meta description
- Internal linking
- Alt tags
- Text to code ratio
- No pop-ups
- Anchor text
Site optimization (for the entire website)
- Domain name
- Load speed
- Ease of navigation
- Indexed with the search engines
- Mobile friendly
Content (includes product descriptions, white papers, blog posts, site content, etc.)
- Lives up to the title so visitors get what they expect
- Proper spelling and grammar
- Original (avoid duplicate content)
- Scannable (distinct subheadings)
- Easy to read
- Long form
- Latent semantic indexing
- Includes keywords
- Title and headline tags
- Long tail
- Properly placed within categories and subcategories on the website
- Merits high-authority backlinks
- Bounce rate
- Length of time on site (duration)
- Traffic sources (referrals)
- Pages viewed per session
- Customer journey flow
- Where the traffic originated (attribution)
- What data to measure
- Conversions (clicks, email addresses captured, sales)
- Traffic paths
- Heat maps
Monitor/manage links (internal) and backlinks (from referring domains)
Social media accounts (draw traffic which improves SEO)
- Properly linked to the website (business accounts available on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram)
- Regularly updated
- Points followers to the primary website
- Shares/promotes new site content
Evaluate and tweak (What’s working, and what’s not?)
The basic principles of SEO remain constant regardless of the size of the business, but enterprise companies with significantly more pages on their websites require more time and energy to maximize the digital marketing effects of those principles.
What adjustments do you need to make to your enterprise SEO? Maybe you need to centralize SEO responsibilities in one department. Maybe you need to outsource SEO services to an agency. If that’s the case, give us a call.