Overcoming Corporate Roadblocks for Enterprise SEO Efficacy
Posted by jaredgardner
“You don’t have an SEO strategy problem. You have an organizational efficacy problem.”
That is typically what I tell our new clients at Red Door Interactive (RDI). Poor organizational efficacy can be caused by several things, most commonly a lack of labor, a lack of knowledge, or a lack of senior executive buy-in and direction. Many people would say “efficiency” is a more accurate term than “efficacy,” but I like to remind people that you can do ineffective SEO in a very efficient manner. If the work doesn’t move the needle, then there’s a fatal flaw in your SEO program.
At RDI, we specialize in marketing services for mid to large enterprise clients with annual revenues of our ideal client ranging from $50M/year to $20B/year. The size of clients that we work with have 50+ person marketing departments, and some with more than 1,000. Implementing profitable and evolving SEO programs is much more difficult for non-agile companies and those with marketing that predates the internet. Despite having more resources and built-in topical authority, enterprise SEO can be much harder than SMB SEO — not only because the SEO challenges are greater, but because it introduces another layer of organizational challenges.
What is enterprise SEO?
This same question was on a slide at a recent SEO meetup lead by Ratish Naroor, Director of SEO at Overstock.com. Ratish’s opinion of what constitutes enterprise SEO differed from mine in a few areas. Ratish’s main qualification was that the site in question had one million organic landing pages. At RDI, we work with companies that drive hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenue through organic search. Often these sites have less than 5,000 pages, yet their digital marketing departments are twice the size of many marketing teams at e-commerce-first companies. In my opinion, there’s more to consider than just the number of pages. I like to focus on the organization itself and not the size of its site; organizations whose website is its product take SEO more seriously. E-commerce retailers like Overstock, real estate sites like Zillow, and travel sites like Trip Advisor or Expedia all invest heavily in SEO programs. Many times, “old companies” that have been around 40+ years will have “old management” stakeholders who are a little late to the digital marketing party and more resistant to change. Does this late adoption of SEO and digital marketing make the organization itself any less enterprise? I don’t believe so.
If it’s not just page count that matters, where do you draw the line for “enterprise SEO”? Here’s how I classify it:
- Corporate team structure, budgeting, and approval process. There’s no hard number here, but typically 20 or more people are involved in taking web pages from an idea to a 200 status code. Some companies are so lean it will blow you away, so think more than just the total head count.
- Organic search as a channel can drive realistic business. SEO isn’t for every company, so it’s crucial that the company can drive top-line revenue growth through organic search.
- Unique and difficult SEO challenges. This may include large page counts where scaling on-page changes and crawl control is important, competitive industries where search terms have high paid CPAs, or international SEO operating in multiple languages and countries.
How do you succeed at enterprise SEO?
When working with an enterprise organization, there are three major areas to address in order to minimize internal SEO challenges and to see real follow-through in implementing high-value SEO ideas, strategies, and tactics.
1. Create a culture of SEO through visibility
SEO can’t succeed in a silo. To get your strategies implemented, you will need full participation and cooperation with content producers, developers, legal, and department heads. It’s important to remember that companies of this size will have an established culture. Sometimes this culture is dysfunctional, and overcoming it will be an uphill battle. Tom Critchlow recently described this culture as a “grain.” The direction and depth of this “grain” is going dictate how much time you spend on this step, and the best way to get people involved is to keep your work visible to the decision makers:
- Automated reporting: Focus on showing each team/person metrics they can control
- Dev teams: Technical crawl reports with issues such as internal redirects or 404 reports are relevant things that they can control. We like DeepCrawl for crawl reporting.
- VPs and directors: High-level performance …
You can read the full article at Moz Bloghttp://seopti.com/overcoming-corporate-roadblocks-for-enterprise-seo-efficacy/http://seopti.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/moz-logo.pnghttp://seopti.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/moz-logo.pngSEOMOZPosted by jaredgardner'You don’t have an SEO strategy problem. You have an organizational efficacy problem.' That is typically what I tell our new clients at Red Door Interactive (RDI). Poor organizational efficacy can be caused by several things, most commonly a lack of labor, a lack of knowledge, or a...firstname.lastname@example.orgAdministratorSEOPTI