When you have a small business, it’s fun and challenging to do search engine optimization (SEO) yourself or with your small team. But when your company becomes an enterprise, everything changes. The sheer volume of the things you need to do exponentiate and having a reliable team and a scalable SEO workflow are the necessary formula you should exploit. If you’re clueless about what this formula is, read on.
Follow a scalable SEO workflow
Thankfully, if you’ve done SEO before and did it by following best practices, you may have already been doing a scalable workflow. After all, there’s little benefit in only doing methods that you suddenly need to change once your company grows. That’s why most veterans in the industry advocate the usage of scalable SEO from the very start, regardless of whether you’re in a small company or a huge enterprise.
However, if you don’t know what a scalable SEO workflow entails, here are some of the practices included in it and how you can apply them on an enterprise level:
- Avoid and eliminate duplicate content
Working on your SEO involves dealing with a massive amount of content. And with that, you should make sure that every page on your sites and guest posts on your partners’ sites are unique.
As Aaron Gray of NO BS Marketplace said, “Duplicate content is a killer for SEO efforts. It makes it harder for search engines to rank your website and pages accordingly against websites which use the same content as you.” That is true, regardless you’re running a small or large campaign or website.
However, be sure that you don’t categorize derivative content as duplicates or unnecessary redundancy. Leave them be as they don’t pose harm and may even help your ranking. Not to mention that they’ll be a crucial part of your SEO strategy eventually, which will be discussed in another section.
- Focus on content vs. keywords
There’s a lot of debate surrounding the prioritization between keyword- and quality-centric content. While it’s great to start with highly optimized content to the point of sacrificing quality, it’s only suitable for small companies as they need the attention fast and quick, not to mention it’s cheaper and easier to source optimized content than quality ones.
Unfortunately, that setup doesn’t scale well even if you’re using other effective SEO techniques that can increase your traffic. However, you can leave that behind once you work on enterprise SEO. Now, instead of creating pages of content to target keywords, you have enough resources as an enterprise to focus on creating a library of content about a topic, which search engines love.
You don’t need to be tight with the inclusion and density of the keywords on each page you post on your websites. Instead, you can prioritize posting a series of articles that can expand on topics your company is an authority in—regardless of the usage of latent semantic indexing (LSI), short-tail, locational, market segment, or whatnot.
And with enough effort, your website may even become or be considered an authority site if you play your cards right. Remember that search engines would instead rank websites with extensive knowledge on a keyword or topic than fully optimized sites with a devil-may-care attitude when it comes to content quality.
- Target audience or buyer persona development and refinement
Make it a point to refine your buyer’s persona continually. Know that all the tools and services you use can provide rich amounts of data that can help you further specify what kind of people are attracted to your business and campaigns.
Aside from attracting more people from your target demographic, you can also keep the ones outside the demographic and will never become your customers away. Making that happen can make you more efficient by not wasting any time or resources on those people.
- Refresh old content
Thankfully, you don’t need to chug out unique and fresh content as always since it’d be difficult, primarily if you operate on a highly specific niche. Instead, you can just take your old content and refresh it, and here are a few ways you can do that:
- Update articles: Pull some of your old content and update them with new facts, statistics, and discoveries.
- Expand old articles: Search engines love long-form content. Find old ones that you weren’t able to fully elaborated on. Don’t worry about optimization and keyword placements—just focus on creating good content.
- Combine old articles: Long content is always good. If you can’t expand articles, you can combine short ones instead. Aside from producing long-form content, it’s also an excellent opportunity to remove weak ranking content out of your sites and replace them with something better.
- Create evergreen versions: News and update contents die down together with time. To make use of them, turn those content into evergreen ones. For example, if you have a news article regarding a search engine update launch, you can rewrite it as regular content explaining what it is and what it did—similar to making historical pieces out of old news.
- Convert to other media: You don’t always need to rewrite or spin your text content. You always have the option to convert them into infographics, podcasts, and videos. While it’s easier said than done, it allows your site to have a diverse array of content for your visitors to consume and search engines to index.
Refreshing your old content should be a part of your scalable SEO workflow and long-term SEO strategy. And as you can see on paper, it’s efficient to do and will require less resources than getting more people to produce unique and fresh content.
- Improve website performance and structure
At this point, you know very well how a site’s load speed affects search engine rankings. As your site grows into one for an enterprise, you shouldn’t slack off when it comes to optimizing your website’s performance.
One of your options is to migrate to a better and faster web host. Another option is to use a better content management system (CMS). Also, if you have a deeper understanding of markups, scripts, and server stack management, don’t hesitate to optimize your code and apply updates on your backend.
Aside from speed, you can also work on your web structure and sitemap. As the number of pages in your sites grows, navigating it can become especially tricky. A few things you can do is to add new categories for some of the pages you have. Another thing you can do is to archive your underperforming pages and those with expired content (e.g., irrelevant, debunked, erroneous).
With archiving, you should also make sure that your code 404s (content not found) and 301s (permanent redirects) are working. It depends on which error message or action you would place instead of the archived pages, but make sure you put something that will work.
Create a solid SEO team
Having a solid SEO team is half the formula to success in enterprise SEO. However, it’s not easy to find one and replace your old team. So, it’s often the best and much efficient choice to keep your current one and make some adjustments. Just like your workflow, a great team can scale with you even if the company gets even larger. Here’s what you can do to start:
- Team restructuring: Your current team may have been your go-to experts when you were still small. But when things get larger, they may need to make way for more people, typically ones from outsourced and third-parties. Also, make sure they’re prepared to handle other people. Back then, they may be the ones doing the legwork. Now, they will be in a position where they track, monitor, and manage. It’s a significant change, and they need to be prepared.
- Get some more money: SEO on an enterprise level requires more work and cash. Remember to set aside a bigger budget for your SEO team. Buying ads, hiring content creators, and getting third-party SEO services cost a lot.
- Prepare them for organizational politics: In a small business, an SEO team’s goal is tightly aligned with what the business needs. In enterprises, their job is to align with the business needs and the demands of executives and other stakeholders. Remember that those people hold your budget. If you can’t get their buy-in, you can say goodbye to your team’s effectiveness.
- Make them establish and focus on KPIs: To ensure you can get the buy-in, you must ensure that your SEO workflow or processes meet and follows standard key performance indicators (KPIs).
Also, let them understand that when they present their reports, they must make sure to only focus on KPIs that executives and stakeholders would understand and care about. They don’t care about the effects of brand awareness and coverage issues. They want tangible numbers—those that can directly affect profit, like conversion rate and reach.
And of course, they shouldn’t forget that they should emphasize on how much returns on investment (ROI) their efforts are making. After all, it’s the best measure of success that everyone can understand, and it’s actually their ultimate goal. SEO at an enterprise level gives the team more freedom and time, but they still need to ensure that their work can pay for itself.
While changes and benefits are immediate in small-business SEO, they’re slow at an enterprise level. Not to mention that the results you want will also be on a larger scale. Understand that this isn’t a drawback—it’s an advantage.
As an enterprise, you have more time and resources. After all, you don’t rely on SEO alone to boost your profits. You have other channels and departments to help. With time on your side, you’re also free to experiment on what works and what doesn’t.
With that kind of situation, you have more legroom. However, it doesn’t mean that you should slack off and let your SEO perform badly. To prevent that, make sure that you follow this simple formula: develop a great team and use scalable SEO for enterprise.
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