There’s a common assumption that search engine optimisation
is easier for bigger brands. Sadly, simply throwing more money at SEO doesn’t
guarantee results and enterprise businesses face their own unique set of
challenges with search optimisation.
Above all, the competition intensifies as your business grows and more of your budget gets spent on hosting and enterprise grade software. The same general SEO principles apply but you have to implement them on a much larger scale. Here are eight enterprise SEO challenges you’ll have to face from day one.
Creating a custom-built website comes with a lot of benefits. First of all, you get full control over the design, development and maintenance process. It’s more work but it means you can create a lighter, faster and more secure website for your users.
It’s important that you ensure you’re choosing the right CMS to suit your needs and not just going with the most popular. WordPress alone powers more than 75 million websites around the world – from personal blogs to business websites and eCommerce stores – small and large.
But a default theme from a CMS like WordPress or Magento may not always be suitable for your needs as although time effective, these aren’t fully customisable so your brand needs might get pushed to one side to accommodate limitations a default theme places on you.
It doesn’t take as long as you might think for an
enterprise website to reach a thousand pages. What does take a long time is
managing all of those pages once they’ve gone live – particularly when you need
to make site-wide changes.
Decided it’s time to redesign that header? Fine, no
problem. Just go ahead and recode your header across thousands of pages and see
how consistent your results are. Or try running a link audit across each page
to make sure all of your internal links are pointing to the right place.
Thankfully, managing a large website doesn’t have to be so
painstaking. Build your website the right way from the beginning and you can
make site-wide changes from one place. For example, instead of copying and
pasting your header code onto every page, you create a single header file and
call it with a PHP include function. So you make any necessary changes to your
header file and they apply to everywhere it appears across your website.
As for link audits, a nice fix for this is to create an algorithm that runs across all of your pages each month and flags up any broken links. So instead of manually running these audits, they happen in the background and you get a notification if any errors come back.
Related content: How Apollo Insights prevents link penalties
While small businesses can often get away with having one
website and a few social media accounts, enterprise brands generally have a
much larger collection of digital assets to manage – all of which need
optimising for search.
Perhaps you’ve got dozens (or even hundreds) of websites to manage or a large collection of subdomains to optimise. In many cases, enterprise brands require multilingual websites; this is essentially linking multiple versions of the same site together with translated pages, multilingual keyword research and search optimisation for audiences (and possibly search engines) in different markets.
If you’ve got mobile apps, you also need to create organic search campaigns to promote them, optimised listings in app stores and localised content for different markets.
The longer your list of digital assets, the more complex your SEO strategies are going to be to manage. The strategy that works for one asset isn’t necessarily going to work for them all. The technical process of managing ongoing search optimisation across all channels is a major challenge.
To achieve this, you need SEO talent with experience in
managing enterprise, multi-asset strategies and
the right tools to manage campaigns centrally.
digital assets you have, the more development work is required to build and
optimise them. The problem with this is that your development workload can
become overwhelming and leave you in a state where you’re constantly wrangling
with code, just to keep up with SEO basics and fix technical issues.
It’s a vicious cycle that means you’re always playing catch-up, leaving you little room for the SEO innovation that could give you the edge on your competition.
As mentioned in point #2 of this article, streamlining your development process with dynamic code will help you make changes at scale, faster. However, you can also supercharge your SEO innovation and competitor insight efforts with the right set of analytics tools.
We use our
own Apollo Insights platform to automate reports and
spot new search opportunities. Its machine learning algorithms run billions of
checks across our clients’ websites each week, spotting technical issues that
need fixing, new content and keyword opportunities and gain in-depth insights
on their competitors.
only maintains our clients’ performance in search, but also gives them a
consistent edge on their rivals.
Yes, more traffic means more leads, but it also means you need to be ready to deal with them all. The first thing this means is having a higher grade of server hosting – one that can cater for large volumes of traffic without slowing your site down.
Forget about shared hosting plans; you need a dedicated
server all to yourself. You want a package that doesn’t set a limit on the
number of monthly visits to your site (unmetered bandwidth) or at least sets a
higher limit than you’ll ever need. Just consider how much you aim to increase
your traffic over time.
There’s a lot more to consider with enterprise web hosting, but the key thing is to make sure you’re ready to handle large volumes of traffic without impacting performance.
Moving away from hosting, something else you need to be
ready for is handling data from all those visitors you’re expecting. You’re
going to need to automate your data collection and attribution process so that
traffic volume doesn’t become an issue. No matter how much your traffic and
lead count spikes, automation will mean you’re ready to scale up when needed.
collection and management is important for every business but enterprise brands
with large and complex datasets need particularly robust systems in place.
coming in from a large number of channels, you need a place to house all of
that data and the means to clean, segment, visualise and analyse it all –
collectively and at more granular levels.
need the right data collection protocols in place, which can vary from one
source to another – especially when it comes to privacy regulations like GDPR.
SEO audits assess the health of your website and other assets, in terms of
search indexing and visibility, at the code level. It’s crucial to run audits
periodically to ensure issues like broken links or recent development updates
aren’t getting in the way of your search presence.
SEO audit involves dozens of checks, including:
The list goes on. Your technical SEO checklist multiplies for every website, subdomain and asset that needs to maintain search presence.
audits manually simply isn’t practical so you’re going to want to automate as
many of these tasks as you can.
technical SEO audits will make your life much easier but you also need to be
able to deal with potential issues that come up. For example, if your sites are
suddenly targeted with a batch of low-quality links (a common negative SEO
tactic), you need to get your link profiles cleaned up quickly.
Related content: Technical SEO – does it work?
reports, reports – these things are essential for keeping track of monthly
objectives, gaining valuable business insights and pinpointing new
opportunities. They’re also crucial for proving that your marketing efforts are
having the desired impact to shareholders and the key decision-makers.
businesses have access to more data than ever but too many are drowning in more
data than they can deal with. Datasets need to be cleaned and visualised before
insights can be extracted and reports compiled – all of which takes time to do.
Manually compiling reports isn’t an option for today’s enterprise brands, but this is another area where automation can make a huge impact. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming more capable of spotting patterns in data, and extracting insights and automation tools are more than capable of compiling these insights into reports.
Check out our automated, interactive reports here
Traditionally, enterprise SEO has been handled by large
in-house teams or agencies but their roles are gradually changing. We’re now
automating more of the technical SEO process to free up resources for more
creative tasks, such as content strategy. So less of our time is being spent on
manually running website audits and more of it spent on creating the kind of
content that engages users and moves them along the consumer journey.
If you’d like help managing your enterprise SEO, check out our enterprise SEO services, call our enterprise SEO team on 02392 830281 or drop us your details and we’ll get in touch.
Lee has been working in the online arena, leading digital departments since the early 2000s, and oversees all our delivery services at Vertical Leap, having joined back in 2010.
Lee joined our company Operations Team in May 2019.
Before working at Vertical Leap, Lee completed a degree in Business Management & Communications at Winchester University, headed up the online development and direct marketing department for an international financial services company for ~7 years, and set up/run a limited company providing website design, development and digital marketing solutions.
Lee had his first solely authored industry book (Tactical SEO) published in 2016, with 2 further industry books being published in 2019, and can be seen regularly expert contributing to industry websites including State of Digital, Search Engine Journal, The Drum, plus many others.
Lee has a passion for management in the digital industry and loves to see the progression of others through personal learning, training and development. Outside the office he looks to help others while challenging himself, having skydived, bungie jumped and abseiled (despite a fear of heights) with many more fundraising and voluntary events completed and on the horizon.
As a husband and dad, Lee loves to spend time with his family and friends. His hobbies include exercising, trying new experiences, eating out, playing countless team sports, as well as watching films (Gangster movies in particular – “forget about it”).
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