How to Succeed in Enterprise SEO?
Enterprise SEO, on its surface, sounds as if it refers to any search engine optimization efforts done at the enterprise level. And in a lot of ways, that is actually the case. However, what might not be commonly understood is how the way enterprise SEO is carried out is fundamentally different from the sort of SEO tasks you’d be completing on an average size website.
Certainly, optimization at the page level will still be the same. But how you tackle the depth and breadth of each project will be vastly different. And one thing is for certain: you can’t do it alone.
Understanding the Scale and Scope
There’s quite a large difference between doing SEO work for a small business website and multinational corporation. Enterprise level SEO encompasses so much more and there’s so much more to consider as it relates to how every task gets done. When you’re checking off your SEO to-do list on a medium-sized website, it’s pretty straightforward. You conduct research. Each page gets optimized. You update content regularly and ensure new content is produced on a consistent schedule. And so on.
At the enterprise level, everything must be scaled up to meet the needs of much larger sites. These sites are often run by a much larger staff, and that means there are whole teams for completing SEO tasks. These teams may even be broken up into smaller teams dedicated to content creation, analytics, and optimization.
To get a handle on the sheer complexity of enterprise SEO requires first knowing the scope of the project, knowing what’s expected of the team, knowing what’s expected of you individually, and having a clear set of goals. More than anything else, however, you’ll need to know how to work with other people effectively and how to delegate tasks.
Enterprise SEO is a Team Effort
Enterprise SEO requires a team to perform correctly. If you’re transitioning from managing small projects to enterprise level ones, this will take adjustment as it’s really hard to scale the tasks any one individual was responsible for — including their expertise.
Even so, it is possible to scale this work by knowing who to assign tasks to. So, this might mean creating a workflow that involves all team members. It might mean utilizing team communication tools like Slack. It may also mean adding specific tasks to existing assignments to address SEO on a structural level. So, if you have a content writing team, providing written SEO guidelines for each piece of content can be a helpful way to ensure each of those optimization metrics are being met without having to complete them yourself.
Likewise, if you have a reporting or analytics team, coordinating with them about keywords to research and focus on can be helpful for learning information about how specific marketing campaigns are performing (landing pages, sales, special offers, etc).
Essentially, by breaking down all that goes into optimizing a website and delegating each of those tasks to separate people can be an efficient way to ensure your SEO efforts are completing at a broader scale.
I mentioned this briefly already, but putting together and providing full documentation for how to complete specific SEO tasks can be a real life-saver. There’s a lot of learned experience that goes into being a successful SEO manager, so if you can impart that wisdom to your team members in a concise way, great!
You may only need to create a quick checklist for some. Others may require a full course on SEO, and for that you can create slide decks and PDFs to share. It takes time to develop this level of documentation but it’s well worth the effort when you don’t have to explain the same things over and over again. It also helps your team become accountable for checking their work and learning new procedures.
For particularly technical aspects, consider making walk-through videos. It’s easy enough to screen-record these days, using tools like Screencastify, so do this and walk through new team members through the essential steps from logging in to saving their work.
Planning is Required
Another thing to keep in mind when approaching enterprise SEO is to consider your schedule and your resources. A lot of planning is involved to make sure everything is completed and if you don’t have a sufficient team to check all the boxes nor the budget to pay them, you could be in trouble.
This is why, before embarking on any SEO project at this level, you need to take a full accounting of the resources available to you. What budget do you have to work with? What tools/services will you need? How many people are required to complete the job?
It may be that you’ll need to take on the project at a slower pace than you would prefer. But this can be fine so long as none of the changes you’re making are seasonal or trendy. Sticking to tried and true methods, keeping abreast of where trends will be going and making a step-by-step plan will save you a ton of headaches later.
Additionally, your plan shouldn’t focus too heavily on any one area. Try to intersperse tasks that require more than one team with those that only need the work of one person; tasks that don’t require much work and those that are in-depth. Mix it up, keep it consistent, and prioritize tasks that promise the best results
Accurate Reporting is Essential
Lastly, your enterprise SEO work will all be for naught if you’re not conducting regular reporting and analytics. This necessitates setting up analytics before you even start your SEO work. Then, it requires conducting reporting efforts at least once a month. Being able to show, in charts and graphs, why and how your SEO efforts are helping the company is the best way to ensure you get to continue doing this work. After all, if you can draw the line between SEO and the company making money, your efforts will be appreciated.
Enterprise SEO Needs a Different Approach
As tempting as it is to approach enterprise SEO as you would any other SEO project you’ve ever done, that would be a profound mistake. Instead, you need to think of the scale and scope of the project. Think about the budget and resources you have available to you, including team members. You also need to consider how specific tasks can be handled by various departments across a company. Providing guidance through documentation is key on such large projects. And reporting is needed to “prove your worth” in dollars and cents.
Enterprise SEO can feel like a colossal beast, but if you approach it with big plans, realistic expectations, and a clear idea of how to get things done, you can be successful at taming it.