Enterprise SEO is a little different in 2019 than years prior.
In this article, I’ll cover what you need to know about enterprise SEO.
What is Enterprise SEO?
Generally speaking, the term Enterprise SEO is used when talking about large organizations with large websites.
Large companies tend to have much larger websites that require a different course of action and strategies that are scalable.
In practice, enterprise SEO is the act of optimizing large websites with hundreds, thousands or millions, of webpages.
While the SEO principles are essentially the same at the enterprise level, the difference is in the scale.
Because the scope of work to do is substantially increased, enterprise SEO requires additional resources such as a capable platform and a well-organized team who have a good understanding of the company’s objectives and are able to stay on track to meet them.
What is Dynamic Optimization?
Dynamic Optimization involves using a set of principles to optimize many different pages all at once.
It’s a way to automate the process of updating multiple sections of a website simultaneously rather than having to manually do it.
For example, in 2017 Ignite Visibility teamed up with the largest online wedding industry marketplaces WeddingWire.com to do an unprecedented overhaul of their desktop and mobile domains.
Using the principles of dynamic optimization, we were able to go in and optimize every single category, sub-category, product, service and so on.
Trying to optimize the pages of a website of this magnitude manually would have taken…well…we probably would still be working on it. Instead, by implementing dynamic optimization, we were able to get in, get it done and see significant increases in traffic in only a few months.
Site Structure for Enterprise SEO
A solid site structure is the foundation upon which a high ranking, well-functioning website is built. In short, it is the way you set up your website so that everything is segmented properly.
In terms of SEO, site structure helps us understand what keywords to associate with which segment of the website.
It also gives us the ability to drill down on keywords and continue building on to the list so that users can find the information they are looking for.
An e-commerce site can provide a good example of this. Let’s say you have a large shoe website with thousands of products inside hundreds of categories and sub-catergories. Within those categories, you will also have many different brands, colors, sizes, etc.
For example, your templates could be dynamically optimized into sub-categories as follows
“Best running shoes”
“Best Adidas running shoes”
“Best Adidas black running shoes”
“Best Adidas black running shoes size 7”
To compliment your optimized site structure, you want to be sure your URL structure is on point.
This means having short, keyword-focused URL’s that Google can recognize, crawl and index.
While you don’t want to keyword stuff, you’ll want to incorporate your keywords into each categories URL in a directory style.
Using the shoe website above as an example:
Always use hyphens to separate keywords and make sure not to use more than 2,083 characters.
How to Structure an Enterprise SEO Program
Having a well-structured program is important for any SEO project, but for an enterprise…it’s critical.
When you’re operating the SEO machine at the enterprise level, there are a lot of moving parts. Too many people tinkering in areas they are not adept in and pulling levers they shouldn’t, will only cause things to come to a screeching halt.
In order to keep things moving and working properly, everyone, and everything, needs to have their place and work in unison.
With that in mind, let’s see what a well-structured program should look like.
1. Let One Person Take The Lead On Strategy
You’ve probably heard the saying, “without a conductor, every player had an idea for how the music should go”. Well, much like an orchestra, if there is no one person in charge you run the risk of making a lot of noise and not having a lot of harmony.
Whether it’s your agency or someone internal, let one person take the lead who has the ability and know how to make tough decisions and have the final say.
2. Enterprise SEO: Use An Agency
Speaking of agencies, you should definitely have one, especially for enterprise SEO.
You may have an amazing internal SEO team but they cannot do it all. An agency can support the internal team with specific projects, linking, large scale content projects, SEO testing and more.
3. Assign Roles
It’s important for everyone involved to have and know their place. They should be well-qualified and stick to their assigned roles. Here are the important roles you will want to fill.
Enterprise SEO Project Manager
You will undoubtedly need to have a project manager to push projects through, keep them on track and moving along. In this instance, while the PM should some technical knowledge to relay concepts, etc., their sole focus should be on SEO.
You will also need someone to take the lead for the technical implementation of SEO items and to make sure the rest of the development team understands SEO concepts.
It’s also important to have someone internal, with skin in the SEO game, to answer to the CEO or CMO about performance. Many times this ends up being the project manager, but it can certainly be someone else.
- Copy editors
- Graphic design
- Link builders
- Project coordinator
4. Use a Project Management System for Enterprise SEO
It’s important to use a project management system that everyone can access in order to stay on track.
Here at Ignite Visibility, we use BaseCamp, but there are many options. We often integrate with client’s systems as well.
5. Make Sure Everyone’s In The Know
Good communication is going to be the cornerstone to your team ’s success. Therefore, it’s important that everyone is in the know and on the same page.
This can be accomplished by having the team review the monthly reports together and scheduling weekly meetings, calls, email updates, etc. at a scheduled time.
6. Document Everything
Part of ensuring good communication, and keeping people from going rogue, is to document everything in Google Documentation. This will give everyone involved important reference material so everyone stays on track and on the same page.
7. Don’t Make Too Many Changes at Once
If you make too many changes to your SEO at once, you’ll never be able to track and test what is working and what isn’t.
This is true for any website, but just imagine how much more convoluted things will become with such a large venture as enterprise SEO.
Think about it: if you go through and make tons of changes, how could you possibly know which change did what to your search rankings?
Exactly. You wouldn’t.
That’s why it’s best to do a few changes at a time and monitor results before adding in any more tweaks.
The Importance of Large Scale Content Projects for Enterprise SEO
The purpose of any content marketing plan is to drive traffic and increase conversions. So it only stands to reason that large-scale content projects will capture a significant amount of traffic and really boost conversions – when done right.
But scaling content is hard work.
It takes preparation, a solid plan and a great team to execute it. When these things are in place, you will be pumping out high quality, high-value content that will help accomplish your overall goals.
Again, we’re talking Enterprise SEO, which means everything is bigger – including your content plan.
From the target audience and keyword research to execution and promotion, make sure you have a clear course of action and expert oversight to keep your plan on track.
For some clients, we do hundreds of pages of content a month.
Dealing With Website Audits and Technical Errors
Issues are bound to arise when you are working on large SEO projects but, having a process in place to deal with them can take help to alleviate some of the stress.
It is essential to run a website audit prior to any large-scale SEO project. Performing an audit will allow you to re-evaluate a website’s performance and help spot any technical issues.
The main assessments you want to make during the audit are:
- Site performance – is your website optimized for maximum usability and speed?
- SEO – does your website contain high-quality content and are you following SEO best practices for maximum visibility?
- CRO – is your website optimized for lead generation and conversions (i.e. optimized calls-to-action, landing pages, offers, etc.)?
- Technical – does your website have any technical errors that need addressing?
Enterprise SEO Technical Issues
There is a lot that can go wrong. Here is basically everything.
The Importance of SEO Tests and Mini Case Studies for Enterprise SEO
Every marketing effort requires testing to validate them.
After all, if you don’t know how the strategies you have implemented are performing, how can you spot problems or guarantee its success?
Enter mini case studies.
If you have conducted split tests (as I’m sure you have), then you are basically familiar with case studies. The biggest difference is that with a case study you start with a hypothesis and try to prove it.
For example, you may hypothesize that changing the size of the font on your call-to-action button will increase clicks by 2%.
You would then make the change, roll it out and give it enough time (approximately 1 week) and gather the data to see if your hypothesis proves true.
I’ve written an in-depth article on creating mini SEO case studies that I think you will find very useful.
Beyond your usual split test, you can use dynamic SEO testing to performthe same tests on a broader scale.
So if you’re considering changing a product description, you can test it out on just one segment of your website. If you’re an e-commerce seller, maybe you try it out exclusively on athletic.
If the tests go well, you can then incorporate the changes you made throughout the entire site.
Why Conversion Rate Optimization Matters in Enterprise SEO
Even though conversion rate optimization is not directly related to SEO efforts such as organic site traffic and search engine ranking, CRO does benefit SEO in the following ways:
Better Customer Insights
Since conversion rate optimization focuses on increasing the number of visitors to a website who convert, CRO can help you understand who your key audience is so you can send the right message to the right people. This can valuable for everything from content to keywords.
Given that scalability is a main focus of enterprise SEO, when you incorporate the data you gather from your CRO efforts, you will have more information and valuable insights to transition browsers into paying customers.
Better User Experience
Conversion rate optimization studies what elements of your website are utilized most, which pages visitors spend the most time and so on. By taking that information and expanding it to your SEO efforts, you can create a better user experience and empower visitors to engage and interact with it more.
When you combine your CRO data with your SEO efforts, you can create an experience between the two that empowers your visitors. When you know how visitors use your website and what empowers them, you can incorporate content that inspires trust in your enterprise.
What are the Best Enterprise SEO Platforms?
Enterprise SEO software is a key element to a successful large-scale SEO project. With a good platform, you will be able to maximize productivity, save time and reduce errors.
Since choosing the right platform can be a daunting task, here is a list of some of my favorites to help you along.
1. BrightEdge SEO Platform
BrightEdge is an amazing all-encompassing platform that incorporates search and social. It uses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to mobilize content where it is needed most…where consumers are looking for it.
In addition, it uses a proprietary metric to measure your overall visibility, while also providing valuable insights to help you achieve search ranking success.
2. Conductor Searchlight
Much like BrightEdge, Conductor Searchlight brings together content and enterprise SEO to provide consumers with the information they seek.
This platform provides valuable insight into consumer behavior, while also giving you an inside look at what your competitors are up to.
Conductor Searchlight requires use by a team who has SEO knowledge. With that, your team will appreciate the ease of identifying changes needed to improve ranking, fix issues and its overall in-depth analysis.
SearchMetrics helps take the guesswork out of content development and allows you to reach the right people at the right time.
In addition, it provides advanced analytics and insights to reveal opportunities, create strategies and help make important decisions.
I’ve mentioned SEMRush in many of my articles and there’s good reason for it.
It’s an SEO tool heavyweight for websites of all sizes, and that includes large-scale enterprises.
With SEMRush for enterprise SEO, you can count on features such as custom keyword database, integration with workflow and project management tools and custom-built reports.
DeepCrawl is a leader in tech platforms. Its greatest value is the ability to crawl large, complex websites. It allows you to perform audits, track changes in SEO performance and detect issues to be corrected.
This will allow you to develop the best SEO practices and rest assured that your enterprise site is optimized for search.
Wrapping Up Your Enterprise SEO Campaign For 2019
We have covered a lot of information here. Even still it is just the tip of the enterprise SEO iceberg. However, these fundamentals are a great guideline to put the pieces in place and get you started.
When you put together an experienced team, have a well-structured process in place, and utilize the the best software for your objectives, you will be well on your way for enterprise