For enterprises, SEO is big business, and for good reason. Organic internet searches can deliver more than half of the traffic to a business’ website, and SEO is, therefore, a key component of getting to the top of those search results lists. And the game is changing too, for Google has made a host of changes to the way that it ranks pages, with the old rules now obsolete in terms of how you improve those rankings.
At an enterprise level, businesses are spending on average more than $20,000 per month on SEO activities, with in-house SEO teams responsible for this integral marketing practice. Investment is all well and good, but it is, in fact, mastering people, process and platform that is essential is boosting enterprise SEO.
From a skills perspective, SEOs are a special hybrid mix of creativity and technique, which is highly agile. Beyond this, truly successful enterprise SEO strategies see support for SEO from the boardroom down, with joined-up thinking across the entire organization in regards to approach. That means, not only is SEO understood across the organization but is actively prioritized and supported – it is not something to be built in at a later stage.
What are the other skills deemed essential to SEO professionals? Collaboration, adaptability and the ability to effectively manage their time are three vital components of any individual responsible for SEO at the enterprise level and are highly sought after skills.
“Identifying the correct people, and team, to carry out SEO activities is becoming one of the priorities at enterprise level. However, often the right people are already within the organization, and it is just a matter of delivering the training which completes their evolution. Nothing, however, can succeed in a vacuum, and so SEO must be supported across all departments, and from the top down,” points out Mia Harding, a Project Manager at Australia2write and BritStudent.
Getting the right people in place is, as we have seen, essential, but even the best talent in the world will be able to deliver enterprise requirements if suitable processes are not in place. Once you have those people established, they may help you establish those correct working processes, but these two elements must go hand in hand.
But what does the right process actually look like? There is no real consensus on this as it stands, but what is appreciated is that there are core concepts, namely;
- A well-defined strategy that effectively covers all elements of SEO, including on-page, off-page, and technical SEO.
- An approach that is totally customer-driven and defined by hard data and information that is current and delivered in real-time.
- A collaborative approach between all elements of the marketing bloc, including content and paid advertising strands, to name but two essential elements.
- An approach that is joined up, and supported, by the core business principles and ethos of the business or brand.
It is these components that are considered central to the process of delivering a successful Marketing approach, which of course SEO is deemed critical. And of course these can only be a success if the culture of the business is right for the task, and that can take time to foster.
“Selecting the right platform to deliver upon your Marketing approach is as critical as the processes you implement and the people that you deem fit to deliver on your ideals. In fact, the platform is more important, because the wrong choice can seriously hinder everything else. Don’t shirk on the investment, pay your due diligence, and don’t be afraid to change if the need arises,” warns Seb Young, an SEO Adviser at 1 Day 2 Write and NextCoursework.
Indeed, the platform you decide upon to deliver on all of your SEO and broader Marketing intentions will make or break your approach. Modern platforms can support all of your SEO efforts and have even brought to the fore the ability to support processes through automation, SEO optimization across all strands of the business, and decision-making processes that are driven solely by the data that matters (and then of course the platform must be able to effectively collate this data in a meaningful way).
The fact is that the best platforms (which are not always the most expensive) are able to integrate all of these vital strands into one, seamless operation that intelligently supports every aspect of the enterprise. No longer must teams attempt to join up these activities themselves as the software solutions exist to bring all of these once disparate tasks together.
Automation, in particular, has been a revolution within the Marketing industry and has resulted in much less stressful activates for Marketing professionals who once upon a time had the responsibility of bringing it all together themselves, requiring eye-watering degrees of collaboration. This collaboration is still key, but no energy needs to be wasted when the platform is able to deliver on these requirements.
Your SEO approach is part of a wider consideration but will thrive if the three core strands of People, Process, and Platform work effectively together.