21 Factors to consider for your enterprise SEO strategy

(Work in progress)

Enterprise SEO is different from typical SEO at a small company because of the number of stakeholders. The goals and work are the same, but the way the works done is completely different. From my experiences and chats with others, organizational issues are the biggest roadblock to enterprise SEO success.

SEO has three main pillars – technical, content, and authority. At a small company, it is relatively easy. For example, a marketing organization can set up a WordPress site and get to creating pages and building authority. A marketer would lead both content and authority. As long as the WordPress site is setup properly with a good template and plugins, then the technical pillar is pretty well covered. The only heavy technical work needed would be any integrations with an existing url. For example –¬†https://www.rei.com/blog. To gain maximum SEO value, the “/blog” directory needs to be added to the root of “www.rei.com”.

For a large enterprise organization, here are some things to consider:

Organizational Considerations

  1. There isn’t a clear owner of SEO
  2. Executive buy-in is required
  3. SEO is not a quick win – SEO is a long term investment. It could take 6-12 months before seeing any impact to overall traffic especially in a competitive area. This is a difficult hurdle to overcome compared to SEM where it’s easy to measure the ROI of campaign.
  4. SEO is less quantifiable – Because of the long term nature and all the interrelated pieces, it’s hard to pinpoint SEO’s impact on the organization.
  5. But you still need to create specific KPIs
    • Overall SEO traffic
    • Conversions from SEO
    • Attribution
  6. SEO Team – most large organizations have a small team support by out sourced vendors. This speaks to the capabilities of the SEO team. I’ve seen both model fail and succeed, but ultimately a strong internal team is need to maintain political and executive relationships.
    1. The SEO team is the quarterback of the SEO initiative because the heavy lifting of SEO work is done by the marketing and technical teams.
  7. SEO is an team sport – everyone needs to pitch in to SEO. If you’re not not helping, then you’re hurting. There is no, “I’m going to stay out of it”.
  8. Enterprise training – Everyone needs to be trained on SEO and it’s impact on others.
  9. Enterprise tools
    1. Deepcrawl
    2. Conductor
    3. Brightedge
    4. Moz

Technical Considerations

  1. Incorporate SEO into the digital product owner and engineer responsibilities
    1. URLs are great example. When a product owner launches a new feature, what should the URL be?
  2. XML sitemaps
    1. When there multiple tech stacks within an organization, XML sitemaps become an issue.
  3. Measure everything you can
    1. Web Analytics
    2. Google Search Console
      1. Since Search Console only keeps data for 90 days, you should download the data for longer term analysis
    3. Page Quality
    4. Inbound Links
    5. Outbound Links
  4. Integrate your tools
  5. Internationalization
    1. See the example below. This is a Google US search for “santander help”. The first result is for the UK site which will lead a sub-optimal customer experience

Marketing Considerations

  1. Content Audit
    1. Content sprawl is a real thing.
    2. Figure out what are key areas/pages
    3. What is being shown in search engines that shouldn’t?
  2. Remove or update old outdated content
    1. Compliance anyone? I’ve seen many example of expired offers and campaigns that users can still find.
  3. Build internal links between pages
    1. Spread the SEO value around the site by linking to other areas. These links are contextual links and not the same as shoving links in the navigation bar.
  4. Incorporate SEO into the content creation process
  5. Coordinate and collaborate on keywords
  6. Don’t forget Social
  7. Make SEO part KPIs
    1. a simple method is to pick a metric and measure the impact. “Share of Voice” from BrightEdge or Overall SEO Traffic or Conversions from SEO.