Editor’s note: “Ask an SEO” is a weekly column by technical SEO expert Jenny Halasz. Come up with your hardest SEO question and fill out our form. You might see your answer in a future #AskanSEO post!
How should you approach SEO for big enterprises and what’s the main factor to concentrate on?
That’s this week’s Ask an SEO question, and it comes to us from Iman H. of California. Well, Iman, here’s my take.
SEO for large enterprise comes with its own set of challenges. Because you’re working with multiple departments, goals, and directives, it can sometimes seem like it takes an Act of God to get anything done.
Here are five tips on where to focus when developing plans for large companies.
1. Decide Whether it’s Easier to Focus on Tech or Content
Many companies have long waiting periods for technical assistance.
While it’s critical that your technical SEO is buttoned-up, it can be challenging getting something even as simple as a robots.txt file into the development schedule.
If this describes you, focus on where you can have the most impact.
Alternatively, you may run on a simple CMS like WordPress or Drupal, where you can make technical changes easily, but have a long or laborious approval process for new content.
If that’s your situation, focus on the tech aspects first, and start putting your requests for content changes in so that they can begin making their way through the system.
2. Demonstrate ‘Proof of Concept’
Along with focusing on where you can have the most impact, keep in mind that you may need to provide “proof of concept” if your company isn’t totally sold on the value of SEO.
Keep meticulous records of what you changed and when, as well as short- and long-term impact.
Reporting is critical. I suggest using the annotation feature in Google Analytics to help you keep track of changes.
It can be far too tempting to just start making changes according to best practices, and then report an increase in organic traffic a few weeks later only to have another department argue that it’s actually due to some other campaign they did at the same time. Do your best to isolate your achievements.
3. Create Short- & Long-Term Lists
I like to use something like JIRA or Asana for this.
If you create individual “tickets” for each task you want to complete, it becomes much easier to prioritize those tasks and decide which should be done now and which should be added to the “backlog”. This also makes it easier to eventually transfer those tickets to the development or technical department.
The added benefit of using a project management or agile tool is that if you change departments, add a new team member, or get otherwise “re-organized”, it’s easier to bring someone new up to speed and not lose lots of time in re-training.
4. Report, Report, Report!
Show successes to others in the company and don’t be afraid to talk about how great SEO is doing. See #2 above.
SEO is often looked at in companies as a “cost-center” along with the rest of marketing, but not investing in it is an opportunity cost, and it can be a significant driver of sales.
By regularly communicating successes and a positive ROI, you can be sure that your job isn’t on the chopping block when it comes time to cut back.
5. Cultivate a Culture of SEO in Your Company
Everyone should be thinking about SEO and learning the fundamentals, from the C-level all the way down to the mail room.
Teach your colleagues to think about the right ways to describe products and services (using the language of the customer), and empower your customer service people to let you know when they start getting the same question a lot, as that’s a great opportunity for content.
If you encourage everyone to think about SEO, you’ll have no shortage of content ideas.
So to answer Iman’s question:
- Focus on where you can have the most impact.
- Apply fixes in stages.
- Report your successes.
- Educate your company on the value of SEO.
If you’re looking for specific tactics, then check back here next week for my next post!
To be continued…
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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita