Large scale search engine optimization projects are often viewed as a golden egg career opportunity for many SEO professionals. Big budget projects and well-known brand names can look great on a resume. Unfortunately, many search marketers quickly realize that the golden egg actually came from a large, slow moving tortoise.
Many Search Marketers are accustomed to optimization projects where the advice they are paid to give is communicated directly and for the most part, actually implemented. Those same marketers may not be prepared to adapt SEO processes to accommodate the operational and communication needs of large, complex organizations. Successful enterprise SEO projects require a unique combination of creative and mechanical SEO expertise as well as large company political savvy.
The best SEO advice in the world is not so great if it never gets implemented.
The good news is that making significant progress in a reasonable amount of time on an SEO effort for a large company is possible with the right mix of planning, communication and expertise. Once the required departments and stakeholders (and executive sponsor) are moving in the same direction, the egg laying turtle can turn into a nimble, fast moving hare.
Highly competent SEO skills from optimizing core web vitals to link building are table stakes in today’s world of enterprise company search marketing. The key to this tortoise to hare SEO transformation is to empower client side contacts responsible for work flow, approval and implementation. To that end, here are 5 tips on empowering large company SEO projects:
1. Ongoing Education – There is no substitute for an informed SEO client. It’s important that key contacts understand SEO in general as well as the business benefits to both their department and the larger organization. Continuing education will help motivate those involved to execute on the program elements, account for client staff changes and changes in the industry.
It is important to understand that one size SEO education does not fit all stakeholders at a large company. Education about the business case, operations and impact of an SEO effort need to be customized to the audience. For example, a sponsoring executive is going to be less concerned about mobile site speed than understanding the impact on revenue short and long term.
2. Energize Advocates – Client side staff that catch on quickly and are excited about the program can be leveraged to help “sell” SEO throughout the organization. As evangelists, client side team members can be empowered with tools to spread the SEO message. Examples include: progress reports, multi department SEO scorecards, presentations or participating in meetings as a resource for departments that have been slower to implement.
3. Market Results – No matter how good the agency/client working relationship is, there is no better motivator for continued site optimization than seeing results. Enterprise SEO can take time, so it is important to share milestone results to keep individuals engaged. Show results at multiple stages in the program to keep client side staff and management motivated.
A bit part of the results conversation is expectations management. One way to structure progress communications is to communicate the program rollout in phases with associated KPIs for each. That way, when an out of loop executive chimes in at month two about where the increase in sales are, Phase 1 KPIs can referenced as well as what comes next in Phase 2.
4. Be Available – Be available to client contacts in whatever medium is comfortable for them whether it’s a Slack channel, social network DMs, text or email so when they need information about SEO, you can answer questions quickly.
This not only makes your contact an internal SEO champion, but helps pass the correct content to the organization. Understand though, that providing such access is also very demanding on the marketing agency.
5. Customize Communications for the Enterprise – Be prepared to create communications specifically for the enterprise such as formal presentations, newsletters and training sessions. Do not assume the types of reporting that work for small or medium sized companies will work for a Fortune 100 company.
Big company web site optimization projects require about as much search engine optimization knowledge as the ability to navigate the organization structure and communications of complex organizations. However, by empowering client side advocates with the right knowledge, tools and ongoing resources to promote processes and results, large SEO projects can deliver big results without being bogged down.
For more insights on winning at enterprise SEO including case studies, check out our website.