When it comes to SEO for enterprise companies and working in-house, an SEO professional will start to feel overwhelmed with the growing set of keywords they optimize for and the thousands of impressions they’re seeing.
When I made the move from agency to in-house, I experienced this feeling first-hand.
With each move to a larger company as I advanced in my career, I found myself seeing the numbers and the complexity of the sites I was dealing with grow.
How do you know when you have gone from working on a law firm’s SEO that needs some help ranking for “personal injury”, or the chain of restaurants that need help with their local presence, to SEO for enterprise companies?
The truth is I had no idea what was possible and how complex enterprise sites could get.
Working on SEO for medium-sized businesses with a few hundred to a few thousand employees are still considered manageable with a team of writers that can create unique content and engineers that carefully craft each page around user experience with eye-popping designs.
Each page can be monitored in a tool like Moz or SEMrush and quickly adjusted to raise position whenever necessary.
An SEO may see a million, or a few million, impressions data in GSC for a 3-month span.
Content can be adjusted with a script that adds copy or logically implements crosslinking to relevant pages that could be deemed as valuable.
While working for companies of this size, I truly felt I was in the big times.
Companies with 24 million database-driven pages in the Google index, millions of keywords to track, and millions of users coming from organic search traffic.
However, despite the millions of data-driven pages developed for SEO that drove millions of users, I had no idea what I was in for as my career progressed.
When an SEO logs into GSC to see billions of impressions and conversations include “Pull Request”, “Ruby on Jekyll” or “node.js”, that’s when they know they’ve reached enterprise SEO.
What Is Enterprise SEO, Really?
Enterprise SEO isn’t just about the massive volume in impressions and clicks or the complex systems that build pages, it’s about working within a large organization that has established priorities.
Enterprise SEO is about getting buy-in for SEO from stakeholders and multiple different personalities across an organization.
SEO for enterprise is working with engineers to understand why you are asking for changes in their code, or to implement additional elements.
It’s about understanding the level of impact from the amount of effort by projecting goals for the smallest (or most complex) of changes.
SEO in an enterprise organization is about testing theories and ideas and using those learnings to make a larger impact on the business.
SEO for Enterprise Companies
Understanding the nuance of what it takes to manage a site that produces such a high volume of impressions can be overwhelming, but it is manageable.
Whether the SEO is an individual contributor within the organization or there is a team of SEOs, it’s best to break it into four parts.
I outline this in more detail in my The 4 Pillars of Enterprise SEO Success article, which basically boils down to:
SEO Mitigation: Error Management & Technical SEO
Using a tool like Botify to crawl the millions of pages generated by the site and identify any issues that might need to be resolved.
Additionally understanding opportunities from structured data, AMP, and other technical SEO strategies that can be implemented.
SEO Analysis/Reporting: Calculating Assumptions & Reporting on Successes
At the enterprise SEO level, the business expects reporting on key performance.
Being able to calculate goals from SEO work and report on those successes is extremely important and a skill of its own.
SEO Project Management: Determining Growth & Managing Projects for SEO
There will always be an opportunity to grow for SEO and the need to own SEO as a product or work as a Project Manager to drive initiatives through will lead to the growth of SEO for the business.
Relationship Building: Championing SEO to Stakeholders & Other Teams
90% of SEO’s success relies on other teams to do the work.
Getting buy-in from key stakeholders and championing SEO to the business is a skill that not every SEO possesses, but those who do can really reap the benefits.
Most enterprise organizations expect their teams to have a strategy planned out with goals determined for the fiscal year.
An enterprise SEO professional should be able to step back and look at the bigger picture.
Using the four main aspects of SEO a strategy for the year (or longer) can be easily worked out.
Understanding what technical work that is needed, identifying what projects the SEO would want to tackle, and being able to report on it are what drive the strategy.
I personally like to add some strategy for relationship building in the form of education with the goals of general buy-in from specific teams.
It can be reflected in new projects or some technical SEO work that would show growth as the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
In the end, this all comes together into a holistic approach for SEO that will reflect in the overall growth towards the billions of impressions the business sees.
- What Is Enterprise SEO?
- Enterprise SEO Guide: Strategies, Tools, & More
- 15 Most Common Enterprise SEO Job Requirements
All screenshots taken by author, August 2020