Question for the Expert:
What kind of “extra” SEO challenges do enterprise companies face?
Answer from the Expert:
In my 10 years in SEO, large-scale, enterprise SEO projects are always the ripest for huge benefits. It’s a big site and a big brand with an even bigger budget behind it. That said, the larger the company, the more competing interests there are when developing online initiatives.
Talk to any seasoned SEO professional and they’ll tell you story after story of website projects that launched with a ‘too little, too late’ approach to SEO.
Take my favorite SEO project, for instance: site transitions.
These projects have a tremendous opportunity for growing traffic, rankings, and revenue – if done well.
The user experience team will have their say with the visual layout and site architecture. Marketing managers will have their hands on the content strategy. Web developers will choose the CMS and development framework. As well they all should! These all have big impacts on your organic success.
That said, it is still relatively common to leave SEO out of the conversation until many of these important planning decisions have already been made.
Your SEO team can set you up for online success.
The enterprise SEO team will help ensure that your new site architecture is laid out in an easily crawlable and well-named fashion. Your content strategy will incorporate the brand message and target in-demand keyword themes. Your new CMS will easily manage on-page SEO elements while your site’s back-end will be easily indexed.
But, you can change the conversation!
With your SEO needs in mind first, follow these simple steps.
Identifying Stakeholders and Their Needs
First, identify the stakeholders in your company.
Who holds sway over the multitude of decisions that impact SEO? Chances are, it goes far beyond your marketing department. It will likely be as varied as the engineering/IT group, the infinitely creative design/UX professionals, copywriters, the finance team, and maybe some well paid outside consultant.
Know who they are and what they control. If you know this, your job from here on out will be much easier.
Second, understand their needs.As counterintuitive as it may seem, knowing what they need to be successful is what will help you be successful. I was in software sales in a past career. My favorite question was the question that helped me understand what my customer needed before they could buy. I would ask them, “What keeps you up at night? What will make your boss think you’re a rockstar?”.
Knowing their needs, you will know how to tailor your SEO objectives to their individual goals, be it content, UX, or finance.
Finally, you must frame your objectives in language that they understand. Go back to their needs, objectives, fears, and goals.
Is your CFO worried about the return on investment for a major site re-design? Show them how your SEO efforts can improve conversion rates and organic revenue.
Maybe your IT/development team is balking about time it will take to create a single, responsive site? Explain to them that having a single site will cut down on their long-term site management time.
Help your content team develop more effective articles quicker by bolstering their creative ideas with keyword research that gets results. They’ll thank you.
Can Enterprise Companies Have Great SEO?
Yes, getting a voice for SEO in a large, enterprise environment can be difficult. The multitude of competing parties can leave your ideas and perspectives out of the picture.
But, there is another way to get things done.
By determining the stakeholders involved and what their individual business needs are, you will be able to create a successful conversation that will keep SEO squarely in the picture. Want to know the quick and dirty answer? It’s really as simple as showing them why SEO is going to make their job easier and the company more successful.
To learn more about enterprise SEO services, check out this post!
Also published on Medium.