Corporations usually get their websites built by large teams of IT and engineering professionals. Often, these teams don’t consider SEO best practices or bring any search engine optimization professionals in to offer advice. Since most IT and engineering teams are not trained to understand or appreciate the contribution that SEO makes to the success of a website, things tend to turn out rather poorly. There are few things that have as large an impact on the success of a corporate website as SEO does – just the same as with small business websites. These tips that follow draw from lessons that experienced search engine experts in enterprise SEO have learned over their years in the field.
The CMS system
In a world where a website’s success depends very much on getting the search engines to take notice, you would imagine that every website content management system would be built for easy search engine optimization. The truth is, though, many CMS packages come designed with inadequate search engine optimization. Website building teams at large corporations can easily overlook SEO suitability in the choice of CMS that they make if there is no one on the team who is knowledgeable enough in SEO to correctly direct them.
There are many scenarios where the wrong type of CMS could actually take your previous success back a few steps.
- Custom URL structures are important (that helps with easy indexing).
- The ability to edit all common SEO tags and support for new tags like rich snippets and schema tags.
- Clean and efficient page loads and coding, basically built for speed – Google Loves Speed!
- The ability to easily integrate tools.
- Easy management of content – Remember, content is KING.
You need to have an SEO professional on the team directing your choice of CMS and making sure they do an in-depth needs analysis to determine which solution fits your companies objectives.
Large corporations tend to easily lose touch with their customer base. They can have their website completely designed by the wrong kind of team – technical and corporate types who just have no idea what the end customer really wants. A website that is designed by people who come out of such a background can easily end up using industry-speak jargon all over instead of the words that actual customers use. Not only does this kind of ignorance of the right keyword hurt organic search efficiency, it can actually turn visitors away for how unfriendly everything reads.
It’s important to make sure that every corporate website team learn about keeping their brand-related keywords and their regular non-brand ones separate. Those long tail keywords that bring in additional traffic are very important. Many successful enterprise SEO campaigns have great traffic that comes from long tail terms.
Content for enterprise SEO
Without a doubt, any website does need a strategy for great content. It used to be that SEO did work well with nothing more than fresh, regular content; these days though, every business, large or small, needs social media engagement, in addition. Every enterprise SEO strategy now needs to work on complete social media integration. The social media team at the company in question needs to be completely aware of all the different keywords that the SEO team aims for on the website to try to help with that effort. There needs to be SEO integrated into everything that’s done online – right from the company’s blogging effort to its social media effort.
Testing hard and smart
You’d be surprised at how little understanding of website analytics they have at many large corporations. Enterprise SEO needs to be evidence-based – built on a strong analytics platform that allows the company’s website team to really understand the way the website’s users interact with it. For the best all-round picture, a web analytics system could be used together with any ranking data, CRM data and social media data that’s collected.
No enterprise SEO effort should ever forget that the best results come from an evidence-based approach. In other words, things need to be constantly tested to prove what works. There are many enterprise websites that forget the basics – having a team looking at the analytics research to determine how effective the landing page is and how useful the content and links are – something that small businesses rarely neglect.
It doesn’t matter that it’s a large business – organic search gains are usually made in small baby steps. Enterprise SEO tends to be a low priority at large corporations for the simple reason that given their size, they find little interest in anything that’s on a modest scale.
But remember, SEO is almost always about small, consistent incremental gains.