Technical search engine optimization (SEO) for large companies is very different from traditional SEO as they often have complex, advanced infrastructure and numerous integrations and dependencies.
SEO professionals looking to work with enterprise clients should be familiar with technical SEO and need overlapping skills in related disciplines.
SEO experts with a wide range of knowledge and experience in enterprise SEO are hard to find. Most agencies and SEO companies don’t have these specialists on their staff.
With Enterprise SEO, you don’t just migrate. They transition a new platform, designing and replacing a well-oiled machine – with one that hopefully performs even better and is more profitable.
It’s like replacing a former Olympic gold medalist with a rookie contender. And that’s risky.
If the new person is MVP material or not used to competing at a high level, your team will lose. You want someone who has trained hard every day to win – someone who is doing their best.
This is exactly how you should hire an SEO expert for your business.
Going by the old mindset that “SEO is just an SEO project” is lousy leadership. Even if you have a great relationship with your current SEO agency or their staff, that alone does not qualify their team to handle your enterprise-level SEO needs.
Good business leaders carefully choose an SEO consultant for their business, be it a retailer, service provider, or any other type of organization.
SEO in an enterprise is like a lake
Many streams, streams and even rivers flow into a lake. Likewise, many teams in a company (marketing, content, developers, IT, traffic, UX, etc.) all flow into the SEO “lake”. Many of my clients are initially shocked when they first notice this.
They thought SEO was limited to Google and search engines alone. And they openly admit to underestimating the true potential of this vague, fuzzy, long-term mystical thing called SEO.
Once they start thinking about enterprise SEO differently—and see how it all “goes over that bridge and into the SEO lake,” they get a better understanding of the bigger picture. And enjoy the financial impact of SEO on your business.
Most of these leaders quickly begin to understand how enterprise SEO intersects with teams, departments, specialized roles, strategy, technology, systems, and overall infrastructure.
The long future potential of SEO
An effective corporate SEO strategy can be a powerful weapon that, when exploded, puts competitors out of business—and keeps them out for years. But it requires an investment in the early planning stages before you change platform, redesign, migrate and launch.
With a good communication plan, anchoring, and knowledge transfer—all backed by leadership, appropriate budget, and trust—the upside potential can be amazing.
My clients are often amazed that while creating their UX templates (PLP, PDP, local store pages, etc.) I’ve identified and fixed a few more things that will build a strong, scalable, automated highway for Google’s crawlers – all within the same budget and timeframe.
Such planned modifications have several advantages:
This requires a solid one-time setup, after which everything works automatically with no maintenance costs. It’s like wine that gets better with time.
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Enterprise SEO is a strategic investment
SEO has a business-critical impact that is long-lasting.
However, search optimization is the least important success factor in corporate SEO. More important is how it enables the interaction of sales, marketing and branding to span your customers’ buying journey.
Google has become an integral part of life and is crucial to most purchasing decisions. Without a dominant presence in Google’s organic search results, your business will be out of sync with customers in the world’s largest marketplace.
For this reason, many savvy business leaders view an investment in platform development and SEO as an evergreen, non-seasonal activity. SEO can be extremely effective for stimulating ROI, increasing sales, predicting profitable scenarios, and more.
But you can’t cut it into chunks and do it in installments over time. Everything has to be ready before it goes live. You must be willing to invest in analytics and break free from the self-defeating mindset that “too much analysis equals paralysis”. The worst strategists believe that “10% analysis, 90% execution is better”.
Performing detailed situational analysis to research, analyze, and combine available data externally and internally with precision shaves years off the timeline for the same budget and with fewer staff—while quickly gaining market share and increasing profits for owners.
The unmeasured cost of missed opportunity
Being passive in all of this has hidden costs that have nothing to do with SEO metrics, traffic, or the site itself.
Unless relevant, enterprise-level re-platforming (particularly with an unrealistic budget) only becomes more like “same old, same old”.
Most companies only compare against previous performance from the same month of the previous year – i.e. YoY. They rarely compete against their own highest potential. And this does not maximize value for owners, shareholders and customers.
If you analyze the situation improperly, you may find that you’ve grown 30% above your own historical performance, but overlook the searches that aren’t ranking in the top 100 or 200 results on Google!
This means that you will not get any impressions in Google Search Console or traffic in Google Analytics for these terms. This is a blind spot. Making decisions without correcting them is like driving with your eyes closed!
Without this information, it’s difficult to gain trust, which is critical to enabling the right mindset required for an SEO transformation.
But once you have all the relevant data, it quickly becomes clear that something with the potential to make a billion deserves more resources and a higher priority than another alternative that historically wasn’t worth more than a few thousand.
Interestingly, even these alternatives might have been limited to thousands just because someone wrongly decided they were irrelevant and didn’t pay enough attention.
It could well turn out to be a crucial ingredient that can indirectly generate $1 billion over the long term. And through new decisions along with a strategic reallocation of resources, it could be pushed to generate even $5 billion.
And this amplifies the “cost of alternatives” that are not selected.
Choose correct benchmarks
Compare your full potential by combining:
Do all of this before setting an SEO budget. Your decisions become more effective.
All proposed timelines, plans, and decisions that include the following will grow synergistically:
Anyone who wants what is best for your business will lend a hand and lay a solid foundation for SEO success and eventually business growth and greater profitability.
Because of this, I recommend a process and method that:
To determine the appropriate budget for a one-off initiative like this, consider what it would cost to hire an SEO professional for three months. This is a realistic timeframe to paint a meaningful picture of your business.
This analysis will help bridge the gap between where you are right now and what could be on a higher path to rapid growth with a higher bottom line.
The arguments for why you should do this and how, when it’s relevant, and why you shouldn’t be passive, whether you are:
They can help you avoid mistakes. Or even turn them back into big hits.
If you underestimate their importance in enterprise SEO, you are setting things up for failure. But if you get it right, even partially, the rewards will be rich – and well worth the effort.
The best strategy for enterprise SEO
Many consider SEO to be a purely technical discipline.
The problem with corporate SEO is more often a leadership problem.
A successful corporate SEO strategy is ideally one that:
Across two decades of my own experience and countless similar ones shared by my peers in the industry, both locally and internationally, the same patterns and ingredients for success emerge as the most important.
The plan outlined in this report is time-tested, effectively documented, works in practice, and is specifically tailored for large organizations.
However, it can only be carried out if:
Achieving all of these will earn you a “golden ticket” that consistently:
For this, SEO needs to work across streams, from basic planning to the final stages of implementation.
Enterprise SEO permeates every facet of your business, running like blood through the heart, brain and guts of your business.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily those of Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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About The Author
Trond Lyngbø is the founder of Search Planet and Senior SEO Consultant. He has over 20 years of experience in SEO, e-commerce, content strategy and digital analytics. His clients include Fortune 500 multinational companies and large Norwegian corporations. Trond has helped businesses grow through more effective search engine marketing and SEO strategies. He enjoys working with e-commerce companies and web shops to develop and grow their omni-channel marketing initiatives.