SEO

Why Enterprise SEO Is Different – Here’s Why #246

John Dietrich and Eric Enge on Here's Why Enterprise SEO is Different

Large brands usually have a great offline presence. But does this get carried over online? Would these large brands need to do SEO?

In this episode of the award-winning Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Eric Enge and John Dietrich explain how SEO is different for larger brands and what the keys to success are.

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Transcript

Eric: Hey, everyone. Welcome to another episode of “Here’s Why.” Today, we have John Dietrich joining me. John is a marketing consultant from the SEO team here at Perficient, and he specializes in technical SEO. Say hi, John.

John: Hello, everyone. Thanks for having me on, Eric.

Eric: Always a pleasure. So, one of the things that’s really interesting to talk about is how different it is doing things with enterprise-level organizations. And to that end, I’m going to start you with a softball question. What is enterprise SEO?

John: That is a softball question, Eric, but thanks for asking. So essentially, it’s pretty easy to answer. Basically, it’s search engine optimization for very large businesses. We’re talking about Fortune 100 companies with names that everyone would recognize — Home Depot, Comcast, Walgreens, Amazon, Ford — these are household names. That’s the type of company we’re talking about.

For sizes like these, there are some fundamental elements that share similarities to SEO for the smaller sites out there, mid-sized companies, that sort of thing. But operating at the scale of these companies is what makes it different. So, for example, title tags are an important on-page SEO element for any website regardless of its size. But for large websites like we’re talking about, they have millions to tens of millions of pages, so the strategy and the approach to that sort of optimization are quite different.

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Eric: Yes. It makes sense, but let’s build that out a little bit. Tell me some more about how SEO is different for large brands.

John: Absolutely. Like I said, title tags are one way that the enterprise SEO differs, but it’s really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to on-page and site architecture, SEO elements that need to be tuned. And again, I mentioned the scale that they operate at is really a big piece. The tens of millions of pages are really challenging for a lot of operations to get their hands around. For example, one of the important things to do is to crawl a site. And to do that, it really takes a level of architecture on the side of the crawler to be able to do that. So that’s a really important element. Most web crawlers just can’t do that, but to begin processing the data and to really start making sense out of these sites, you have to be able to do that. That’s one more detailed way that enterprise SEO is quite different.

The architecture of a site comes into play. Again, this is something that’s important for smaller sites, but for these larger sites, it’s particularly important to understand where their pages you’re optimizing fit into the larger picture. And to see that at scale, you have to crawl an enormous number of pages and then use other tools — PageRank Data Modeler as an example — to really understand how these pages fit into the overall architecture and then how you can optimize them.

Eric: Right. And for clarification, John’s reference to PageRank Data Modeler is a Perficient tool that builds a complete page rank flow model for your site, respects all the tags, and does all those things. It’s a cool tool that helps you map the overall website architecture.

John: It’s awesome.

Eric: But these are huge brands you’re talking about. Do they really need help with SEO?

John: Absolutely. Without naming names, we’ve worked with a lot of enterprise-level SEO clients, and you’d be surprised how many of them need quite a lot of help with SEO. A lot of these companies developed and grew up, so to speak, in an era where SEO didn’t matter. Some of these companies came around before the internet even existed. So, they were able to ignore SEO for a while. And then they get very large and to get their hands around SEO becomes somewhat of a challenge. And media mentions and media coverage, that sort of thing, can give exposure beyond organic search. But again, at a certain point, these companies often realize and will come to us or other companies that can do this type of SEO. And there are a lot of optimization opportunities that we’ve found and provided for them.

Eric: It’s interesting. I think a lot of times, we see these brands, and they end up coming to us after they’ve been hammered by a Google core algorithm update. And it’s because they didn’t have the content quality or the basic things in place because they were so used to prospering just because they were a big brand. But it’s gotten more complicated. I think we agree they need help, but can’t they just buy their way out of their mess?

John: That’s a good question. So yes and no. One way to deal with the lack of exposure that comes from a Google core algorithm update that negatively impacts you is to buy your way out with online advertising. You can use Google AdWords — that’s a really popular one. Bing has a platform. There are a lot of options out there, but it gets very expensive. These companies operate in very competitive markets, so there are a lot of other companies out there vying for the same eyeballs, so to speak. So again, it gets expensive.

But with organic SEO, the input that you can put in upfront lasts a long time. Basically, your ROI is a lot higher with organic SEO because essentially, your return on an investment lasts a lot longer. So you can reap benefits for months or even years after you engage in an optimization campaign with SEO, whereas with advertising, as soon as you turn off the dollars, the exposure goes away. That’s a pretty big difference there.

Eric: That’s great. So, what should they do when they want to get help? Who can they turn to, or what approach should they take?

John: That’s an excellent question because you can’t just go anywhere for this particular enterprise-level SEO. There are a lot of SEOs out there, a lot of very talented people. But for this level, it takes a team of individuals who know what they’re doing, who have experience in this area, and then also have the tools at their disposal like we were talking about earlier with PageRank Data Modeler and the website crawler that we have here at Perficient. Those are tools that you really need. And again, the size of the team is important to really meaningfully guide changes at an enterprise level to be successful with SEO.

Eric: Absolutely.

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About the Author

Eric Enge leads the Digital Marketing practice for Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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