If you take the same approach to big brands as all other companies you work with, you are limiting your results.
This is true regardless if you’re working in-house or on the agency side of digital marketing
Larger brands have unique challenges and untapped potential. But you can easily get lost in the red tape and noise that often comes with bigger entities and their marketing dilemmas.
When I’ve worked with enterprise clients over the years, five SEO tactics repeatedly have made things better.
Here are five ways to use SEO and work smarter with the bigger brands.
SEO is the marketing channel that takes on accountability for websites in their entirety.
This includes a consistent lead role and performance enhancement covering:
- Technical performance
- Website maintenance & health
- Marketing integration
- Data (integrity, tracking, insights, visualization)
- Total site performance
- Search footprint & coverage
- PPC has dedicated landing pages and a clearly defined page focus to maximize revenue and return on advertising spend (ROAS).
- Social media primarily entails broader external attention and driving buzz, awareness, content longevity plus on-site engagement and interest. (As an aside, here are some great tips for brands to effectively use Twitter.)
- Other specialisms such as user experience (UX) and content strategists have highly targeted goals and KPIs.
These often sit as key parts of the full site delivery but not focussing as much on the total site in a consistent fashion as required.
So on to the five ways SEO helps you work smarter with bigger brands.
1. Setting a Solid Foundation from Which to Build
Perhaps the most overlooked value enhancement that SEO offers in an all-channel marketing approach is the creation of a solid base to grow site success.
Tasks such as 404s, site speed, content reviews, and content gaps, often span specialisms to the detriment of anyone taking ownership and getting them regularly audited and improved.
An SEO expert with their span of expertise can easily become the go-to for all of this and a whole lot more.
As site health, functionality and performance becomes a monthly focus item, and discussed agenda point, it moves away from being nobodies job to everybody’s performance enhancer.
When working with a brand of bigger scale, technical performance and site health problems, escalate fast.
Here is where SEO takes the lead, puts in place improved working practices, and regains control over unwieldy and underloved websites.
Technical performance impacts:
- Content digestion
- Social sharing
- Micro and Macro goal completions
2. Creating More Comprehensive Data Ecosystems
The data-driven approach of SEO, combined with the role of the integrated lead, positions SEO perfectly for managing and improving the data ecosystem.
Typically this will include fundamental responsibilities covering:
- Data collection, integrity, and tracking.
- Data visualization and reporting (integrated).
- Automating data-led insights.
- Prioritizing actions and tactical changes from data.
- Expanding the data points, sources and data recombination.
With bigger entities, the data dilemmas are frequently more expansive, repeated and complex, reinforcing the priority and timely application of a data improvement role from SEO.
Initially, the data value coming from SEO can include pulling all the data into a single place, as well as understanding and acting on existing data pain points.
3. Leveraging the Power of the Brand
This covers everything from practical brand storytelling and expertise sharing, through to audience awareness and community contribution.
Within every brand sits unrealized potential tied closely to the brand.
With larger brands, this opportunity to vastly greater.
With an SEO hat on, a big brand adds to the marketing opportunity for:
- Expanding the topics that rank highly by the association with the brand.
- Maximizing the relevancy of the brand to peoples lifestyle choices.
- Bringing to the foreground expertise and knowledge sharing that exists within the organization.
- Larger campaigns and increased budget for experimentation and expansion.
- Faster and increased comprehensiveness of content coverage.
SEO inclusion within the marketing mix on bigger brand marketing can systematically reinforce the local focus leveraging that can regularly go untapped.
An example of this in action would be location optimization for retail brands.
Effective SEO inclusion in this would:
- Establish location tracking, actions plans, and prioritization of targeting.
- Report on data changes, growth, and refinements of approach.
- Set best practice and frameworks for increasing the efforts and actions from disperse teams.
- Facilitate head office control measures over remote teams.
- Drive forward ongoing action taking through the justification of requirement and result sharing.
4. Keeping an Eye on the Little Things
Large organizations and fragmented in-house teams naturally lead toward oversight on the smaller actions and the perceived “little things.”
Over time this lack of attention to the granularity intermittently comes to the surface once the issue grows to the extent that it places itself onto somebodies radar.
An example of this in action could be something as simple as broken content on the site.
Ideally, this type of check and fix would be planned as a monthly activity.
Without the planned time of this being in place, it is likely that a bigger issue needs to occur for this to be repositioned onto somebodies active workload.
For example, website bugs being targeted as a project to fix once a senior member of the team uses the website and notices something not working.
This then leads to increased prioritization of sites lack of operability and output being a fresh site usability audit being completed.
A lack of focus on the little things can manifest itself in many ways including:
- Inconsistencies of applied best practice.
- Inaccurate campaign tracking.
- Increasing errors and technical performance decline.
- Single success content mentalities (no mechanism for consistent refinement and iterative content improvement).
- Lack of ownership or proactivity on smaller action completion.
- Inefficient gap filling between teams and specialist focus areas.
5. Consumer Insights & Real World Behavior
When working with big brands it is easy to make assumptions.
For example, the keywords being used for product positioning has had extensive keyword research completed.
Or that there are established ways for deciding on the content to remove (and due diligence in place).
These assumptions and many others are often not true.
The role of SEO to sanity check assumptions can add huge value.
As can the ability for an SEO expert to quickly support or question the decision making with data.
This is a key part of SEO and search agencies especially – to be able to be part of the team and actively participating within decision making as opposed to after decisions have been made.
Real-world application of business data, plus decisions support and justification, help deliver increasingly robust strategies and tactical action-taking.
There are many ways to derive extra gains when working with bigger brands.
The five explored in this article were:
- Establishing a solid website foundation.
- Creating more exhaustive and reliable data ecosystems.
- Making more out of brand power.
- Keeping an eye on the smaller details and actions.
- Sanity checking decisions and data-driven decision making.