Introducing our series on Enterprise SEO Platforms.
In this first piece, we will help you choose an SEO platform for your enterprise website.
For context, we will:
- Define the category of "Enterprise SEO".
- Summarize the latest industry thought leadership.
- Offer our take on whether enterprise SEO still matters in 2020.
What is Enterprise SEO?
Enterprise-level SEO refers to search engine optimization performed for a large organization, like a Fortune 1000 company. There is some nuance here, of course. It's not just the size of the organization that can define an enterprise. Some people also define an enterprise based on some combination of high page volume, brand authority, and the impact of the businesses’ organic channel on company revenue.
The common factor in all of these scenarios is that Enterprise SEOs are incorporating more sophisticated levels of automation, collaboration, and scale into search data fundamental organic channel tactics like the updating of title tags and URLs. The planning and execution look very different.
Does Enterprise SEO still matter in 2020?
Yes. The internet is continually growing in complexity, and Google's mission is to organize the world’s information in a useful and accessible way. That means Enterprise SEO will matter a lot.
Here is some context:
- Content creation has never been easier. There are over 130 trillion pages on the web now.
- Businesses are employing the latest technologies on sites with millions of pages.
- Google fails to index somewhere around half of the content on enterprise websites.
Translation: Google is struggling to keep up with a growing internet and enterprise businesses aren’t doing enough to optimize their content marketing efforts for the organic channel.
All this reaffirms that Enterprise SEO is critical to organic channel growth, the overall digital marketing strategy, and the company's bottom line.
What Enterprise SEO strategy works best?
(Part of) the strategy that got us into the current predicament looks as follows:
- Target the best keywords.
- Make the best content.
- Get it to rank as highly as possible in search so your audience can find it.
- OR scrap these previous steps altogether and just assume your brand is strong enough for Google to index and rank your content without any work on your part.
As Botify researchers point out in their description of a comprehensive SEO funnel, this process makes some hefty assumptions about Google’s capabilities and neglects fundamental pillars of technical SEO. Namely, making it easy for their Bots to crawl, render, and index your content.
The best Enterprise SEO strategy starts with making sure all your priority content gets into Google’s index. This involves common technical tactics, like dialing in navigation and crawl depth, redirecting error pages, fixing robots.txt files, and improving page speed.
Additionally, in many cases for enterprise organizations, it involves the use of an SEO platform as well. Let’s explore this option.
What is an SEO platform?
An SEO platform is simply a consolidation of marketing technologies that help grow your organic channel. For example, common SEO platforms will offer some combination of the following tools, tracking, recommendations, and reporting features to assist marketing team members in their various organic channel initiatives:
1. Keyword research and analysis to determine search volume and keyword selection
2. Real time rank tracking
3. Competitor analysis reporting
4. Custom crawls for site structure and website audits
5. Link building insights
6. Log file analysis
7. Reputation management
8. Social media alerts
9. SEO workflow management
10. Content optimization and content gap analysis
Newer platforms go a step further and include products that leverage key Google initiatives, like dynamic rendering, page speed, and structured data markup to directly increase performance and key metrics like ranking keywords, organic impressions, and organic clicks.
Both the “old guard” and “new guard” of SEO platforms exist so that Enterprise SEOs can scale the workflows of all their important work — including individual projects and overarching initiatives. For example, in a matter of minutes, they can identify 404 errors or discover search demand for various keywords across thousands or millions of pages. Likewise, if they are working across teams and departments, or making a business-case to executives, the automation and alignment components of platforms help these teams to communicate easily and convincingly.
In short, a good SEO platform:
- Increases efficiency and productivity of SEO campaigns.
- Decreases the time and resources needed for SEO campaigns.
- Centralizes the tools, resources, and reports relied upon by SEO teams.
- Drives performance, in addition to analysis and reporting.
This last bullet point is key. The needs of SEOs and the nature of the craft are changing. Thus, as we enter into the 2020s and Google places increasing emphasis on technical SEO, it is important to ask the following questions about platforms you are considering:
- Is the platform creating solutions for new Google initiatives?
- What new features is the platform considering?
- What does the long term feature roadmap look like for the platform?
- Does the platform produce or help produce the best SEO results?
How do SEO platforms fit in an Enterprise strategy?
There are infinite examples. Here are at least two:
1. An SEO platform gives Enterprise teams the tools they need to effect change in multiple departments.
2. An SEO platform gives Enterprise teams the reporting features necessary to make the business case for their initiatives at the c-suite level.
Let’s unpack both of these scenarios.
First, Enterprise SEOs are increasingly integrating into the engineering and design departments, in addition to their commonly understood position on content teams. With engineers, they need to ensure web development initiatives are optimized for the beginning of the SEO funnel. With designers, they need to ensure trafficked content doesn’t get negatively edited or deleted. And of course, they need to ensure writers are optimizing content for the target audience so that it is discovered in search engines at every stage of the customer journey and driving highly-qualified organic traffic. All of the tools needed to work with these departments are typically offered in an SEO platform.
Second, given that they work in big companies with well-defined departments, multiple stakeholders, lots of internal processes, and executives managing limited budgets, these days, Enterprise SEOs operate a lot like internal salespeople. That’s because it is not the norm for these organizations to focus on SEO and have all the dots connected business outcomes. This means these people are constantly working to convince stakeholders that SEO is a high margin activity and that traffic can’t be taken for granted. The data aggregated and reports generated from these platforms are essential for this activity.
SEO Platform Considerations
You will want to answer the following questions while considering SEO platforms. As our Enterprise SEO series continues, we will cover some of these questions more in depth:
- Do your senior executive team value SEO?
- Do you have SEO goals tied to business KPIs that can be tracked and measured?
- Do you already have an Enterprise SEO team? Do you have a process in place?
- Do you have the necessary technical resources to implement changes at scale?
- Do you need to centralize and scale your SEO processes?
Here are a few SEO platforms primarily focused on auditing, analysis, research, and reporting:
Huckabuy’s Technical SEO Platform
Huckabuy’s technical SEO platform is focused on the performance side and has three products:
Our dynamic rendering solution serves one version of your website optimized for the human visitor and another for the robot visitor so they have a seamless experience crawling, understanding, and indexing your content.
Also referred to as schema markup, our automated structured data markup solution speaks the language of Google’s robots so they can contextualize and understand your content, as well as qualify it for rich features that improve your brand presence in organic search results.
Our page speed solution raises your Google Lighthouse performance score up to 25-30 points, which has a big impact on key SEO goals like improved user experience and conversion rates.
These three products leverage key Google initiatives to drive organic channel growth, like increases in ranking keywords, organic impressions, and organic clicks.
Huckabuy also has a reporting dashboard to:
- Monitor standard organic performance metrics via the Google Search Console API
- Monitor crawling behavior, overall cloud health, and create reports via the Huckabuy Cloud
- Redirect URLs
- Edit Structured Data
- And much, much more.
What makes Huckabuy different from other platforms is it’s focus on performance-based SEO. Where most other platforms focus on analytics and reporting, Huckabuy software moves the needle on key organic metrics.
Enterprise SEO is more important than ever. Too many large organizations are making it difficult - or even impossible - for Google to crawl, understand, and index much of their content.
A traditional SEO platform focused on a combination of analytics, diagnostics, and reporting enables Enterprise SEOs to automate and scale solutions to these fundamental technical issues while also achieving buy-in from colleagues across other departments of the organization.
As search engine optimization advances in the new decade, the capabilities of SEO platforms are expanding as well. Not only are these platforms capable of offering prescriptions to problems. Some are able to automatically resolve those problems and drive real organic performance as well.
Stay tuned for the next installment of this series where we will introduce you to cover the philosophy of performance-based SEO platforms in-depth.
Until next time!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between an SEO Tool and an SEO Platform?
A: Whether it is a standard or enterprise SEO tool, it will serve a single purpose. For example, you might use “Answer The Public” to assist in your keyword research. By contrast, an SEO platform will typically incorporate multiple tools. Simultaneously, for example, you could run a technical and content audit.
Q: Is an SEO platform necessary?
A: For enterprise sites that need to automate, widely collaborate on, and scale SEO initiatives, an SEO platform is often a critical component of the organic channel growth strategy. For SMBs and teams managing smaller websites in general, SEO platforms are not as critical.
Q: How much does an SEO platform cost?
A: They can range in price from hundreds to thousands to tens of thousands of dollars per month depending on subscription levels.