Doing SEO for enterprise companies has a slew of benefits and challenges compared to smaller companies. The basic on-page SEO factors are always there, regardless of what website you are working with. The main difference comes from understanding how search engine optimization plays a role in the entire marketing mix. This can be rather challenging considering there are many factors that come into play with enterprise marketing.
Here are the 3 things I have learned working with enterprise companies:
1. Company branding trumps everything.
Every piece of content needs to represent your company’s brand and effectively speak to your target audience. In some cases, your keyword research will provide you with keyword groups with high search volume that may not necessarily be the best keywords to use for your content. Knowing which keyword targets to focus your content around, regardless of search volume, is important to building proper content for your companys’ websites.
According to the 2014 Rank Correlation Analysis and SEO Ranking Factors study from Searchmetrics, the importance of your ”brand factor” will influence how your brand is shown and ranked in Google. Big brands are generally prefered over lesser known brands online. Take advantage of the authority that Google places on Fortune 500 companies. Publish content that continues to build your brand further. Leverage multiple media formats so that your assets can take up more SERP real-estate.
Optimizing for earned and owned media (and paid media for the PPC folks) will ensure your brand has top real-estate saturation in the SERPs. The strict brand guidelines of many enterprise companies may seem very limiting to your SEO efforts, but having consistent messaging online will send clear signals to Google that you are an authoritative brand online.
2. Effectively working with multiple stakeholders determines your success.
There are a multitude of departments, groups, and agencies that are behind the overall marketing mix of enterprise companies. An SEO firm is one of a dozen other agencies that are strategizing and executing the next big marketing initiative. Everyone has their own goals and plans for the company. In order to ensure your goals and plans get implemented, you need to know how to work with multiple departments.
I have learned that seamless communication between all stakeholders is key to keeping your initiatives top-of-mind in all decision making processes. Between various teams, including social media, paid search, PR, legal, R&D, etc., you must present your ideas in a way that will speak to each group. This is challenging, however, because everyone has differing ideas. Finding a happy medium between SEO and the other teams’ goals is ideal. Ultimately, knowing your role within the holistic marketing mix is key to strategically placing yourself deeply within the organization’s decision making process. If done properly, you will have a lot of leverage to execute effective SEO practices and make a lasting impact on the company’s bottom line.
3. Plan ahead to achieve best results.
Many enterprise companies are in the marketing planning phase way in advance of a product launch–in many cases, 3 months or even 1 year in advance. Planning out your online content strategy will allow your client to know how to best integrate your initiatives into the whole plan. Know what kind of on-page and off-page SEO strategies you need implemented to achieve the highest visibility in search engines at product launch. Make sure you present them in a clear manner with hard facts to get your clients to buy into your ideas. Your goal is to get them aligned with your plans so that you are free to move forward with your initiatives.
The months leading up to a product launch is a time to be as creative as you can. Take advantage of this timeframe and think outside the box. Having innovative content ideas can impress your clients and build a lasting relationship.
In conclusion, enterprise SEO allows you to do large scale online marketing strategies, but there can be a multitude of challenges that come into play. From experience, the larger the company, the more layers of conflicting ideas you need to cut through. Ultimately, having a holistic SEO plan will benefit your websites’ visibility online in the long term (see Nike screenshot above). Whether you are working on a small or large brand, planning and proper execution is key to reaping the most benefits. What will differentiate your initiatives with others in the space is your ability to think more strategically than just <title> tags and <H1>s.
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