Enterprise SEO was written by search marketers responsible for managing SEO for large scale websites or managing a number of enterprise-level or multiple brand sites under one corporate umbrella. Topics ranged from handling technical challenges to working with multiple key stakeholders and getting everyone to play nice together. It no longer runs as a standalone column but instead has been incorporated into the All Things SEO column.

The Forgotten SEO Strategy: Targeting Striking Distance Keywords

How you strategically approach your own unique search marketing landscape may be the first of many decisions you make on your search marketing journey, but it is also the most important.  A difference of inches when aiming the arrow can translate to feet downrange. SEOs can often approach selecting target keywords with a strict "I’m-going-to-focus-on-the-keywords-with-the-highest-search-volume" mentality, while others favor a ‘flavor-of-the-day’ mindset and center on the keywords their CMO cares about most at the moment. An often overlooked strategy for keyword building is to focu [...]

Why Enterprise SEO Shouldn’t Focus Solely On Keywords

But... we had a keyword list?! I’ve got a joke for ya: What has 250,000 URLs, a content team of 15 people and three target keywords? Your website. I understand SEO’s keyword obsession. It’s hard to let go, and a nice, high ranking for a really juicy phrase tends to justify budget. But, as I’ve written before, there’s more to justifying enterprise SEO than keywords alone. In fact, in enterprise SEO, I’d say keywords should be the last thing you look at. You can get your biggest, best wins with a a general focus on site visibility, content clarity and site performance. Here’s why: Someone’s Already P [...]

Does Your Enterprise Have A Social Silo Just Wasting Money?

The need for integration between social media and SEO is steadily increasing. We have all read the articles about the way that content is +1'ed by people you follow is shown in Google results (or how content Liked by a Facebook friend is elevated in Bing results). You have also most likely seen articles about how social media can be used to develop relationships that drive links to quality content on your site. This is all SEO goodness. Sadly, too often social media is siloed in the enterprise. What happens is someone in the executive team recognizes that there is potential value in soci [...]

Easy SEO Wins For Big Sites

GZIP If you're optimizing a site of 10,000+ pages, one-by-one title tag edits isn't really your best bet. Enterprise SEO is all about scale. So, when I'm working on a behemoth of a site, I look for lazy site-wide wins first. I define a lazy site-wide win as one that: Won't require intra-office diplomacy worth of Kissinger. Requires only a single configuration or code change. Will result in big gains for almost every page of my website. Here are my favorites: Server Compression Before you do anything else, make sure your server is using HTTP compression. With this type of compression, y [...]

Contingency Plans: The One Thing Mike Tyson Wants You To Know About Enterprise SEO

Before we get to the everyone's favorite collector of white tigers and facial tattoos, it is important to set the stage with another heavyweight. "Brands are the solution, not the problem.  Brands are how you sort out the cesspool."  - Eric Schmidt, Former Google CEO and current Chairman of the Board, Google. For the last five years or so, the role of Director of Search and other prominent Enterprise SEO titles within big brands was the easiest way in the world to collect an outsized paycheck. You didn’t even need a college education. As such, relatively junior SEO's with very little [...]

How To Structure Your Organization For SEO Success

At SMX West, I sat in on a panel with Adobe's Warren Lee and he offered some great insights on Enterprise SEO. As a result of this panel, we had some follow up discussions about those challenges, and I asked him to write up some of the things we discussed. The column below is the result. Enterprise SEO Discussion With Warren Lee, Adobe Warren is responsible for over ~48 million monthly visits from SEO to Adobe. Warren manages SEO for Adobe.com, Photoshop.com and the many Web properties owned by Adobe. Prior to Adobe, Warren worked for MOVE inc., where Warren was also an in-house SEO m [...]

How To Prune The Enterprise Link Tree

As Barry Schwartz pointed out earlier this month, Google's warning sites about spammy link practices. And it's no April Fool's joke. While most of the attention's been focused on affiliates, link networks and the like, enterprise sites need to take a careful look at their own link profiles. [caption id="attachment_117297" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="If only it were this easy"][/caption] But that's not easy. Instead of hundreds of links, you may be looking at thousands, or tens of thousands. Or more. In my experience, a moderately-popular enterprise client can have 30,000-40, [...]

How To Get Past 9 Common Enterprise SEO Roadblocks

Managing an enterprise SEO program is like trying to get something pushed through the UN: lots of conflicting agendas, language barriers and procedural issues. You’ll get there eventually but you are in for a long, slow haul. The good news is the main obstacles are fairly universal and there are ways to overcome them. To help you navigate the process, here are nine common enterprise SEO roadblocks and the solutions for each. Let’s start with a couple fundamental, site-oriented roadblocks: 1.  CMS Deficiencies Many companies are hamstrung by an outdated content management system (C [...]

24 Ways To Make Life Hard For Your SEO Team

While the industry is maturing, SEO still remains a largely misunderstood discipline. There are three main reasons for this: The search engines keep the details of their ranking algorithms private. There is a lot of bad information and misperceptions that are presented as SEO wisdom online. The algorithms search engines use are frequently changing. As a consequence of this landscape, it takes real working experience to develop strong SEO skills - you can't get them without it. Making changes and seeing what works and what doesn't is simply a must. Even if your SEO team (or SEO agen [...]

The Latest & Greatest On SEO Pagination

pages-pagination-featured Technical SEO topics such as pagination are near and dear to my heart. This article will build upon and update my previous treatment of pagination and SEO. I've written and presented often on pagination for SEO. Why so much attention on this subject? The reason is simple: it can be a big, hairy deal for sites. It's right up there with faceted navigation as one of the most problematic crawling and indexing issues for large-scale SEO. It's a tactic (actually a set of tactics) that our teams are continually evolving, testing, and refining. So it was "double prizes" when Google announced [...]

How To Get The IT Team On Your Side

Ah, the IT team: The land where SEO dreams go to die. The bigger the institution, the harder it is to pry a few tiny SEO tweaks out of the developer group. They're resource-constrained, buried in the poop that the entire company dumps on them and, by the time you get to their office, not in a particularly giving mood. [caption id="attachment_113836" align="aligncenter" width="360" caption="Welcome to IT - please enter at the door"][/caption] So, how do you get the IT team to work with you? Work with them. Make A Case For Growth Why is IT treated like garbage? Same reason SEOs are: We'r [...]

Why So Many Companies Fail At Enterprise SEO

seo-featured A well-defined brand no longer guarantees search placement. It is only through enterprise-level cultural changes, informed by a close monitoring of search evolution, that sustained SEO success can occur. Yes, brands are still a very strong signal when it comes to ranking, however, recent advancements like "authorship rank" and Search Plus Your World have hyper-focused our promotion strategies. A presumption of entitlement drives many legacy brands to complacency. Too often, we see an organization enjoy a few years of strong search results and then relax into "we’ve got that covered" mo [...]

Enterprise SEO Panel Preview For SMX West 2012

SMX West is approaching fast, and one of the sessions that caught my eye was the Enterprise SEO – Challenges & Solutions. The panel is loaded with speakers with deep experience in enterprise SEO. I decided to reach out to the panelists and get a preview of their presentations, so I asked each of them some questions in advance of the show. Jordan Koene - Head of Global Content, Ebay Eric Enge: Can you tells us how Ebay deals with the challenges of producing content on a large scale? Jordan Koene: The cool thing about eBay is that we have millions of pages making the management of t [...]

You Don’t Have To Be Nuts To Worry About Changing Your Domain

Enterprise SEO is all about mitigating risk. Slow and steady, fix what is broken, don't let anyone do anything radical chasing the latest fads, don't push the envelope into anything black or even grey and keep your IT department from inadvertently destroying your rankings. So what do you say when a large, branded site wants to go about changing a well-established domain? For the last 6 years or more, moving a website from one domain to another has been fairly straightforward and low risk endeavor. Set up a 301 redirect that maps all of your old URLs to your new ones and then sit back and wai [...]

The Challenge Of Justifying Enterprise SEO

It all comes down to money. Face it: You can talk about executive buy-in, cultural shift and managing expectations. But if the C-Suite doesn't see a return on investment, SEO is dead within the enterprise. So you need a way to measure and justify SEO activities. To do that, you must deal with two challenges: Attribution: SEO generates organic clicks. Visits that start with organic clicks often end with exits. Especially on big sites that aren't always retail-driven. Somehow you have to close the attribution loop. Illustration: Whatever data you deliver has to speak to the reader [...]

3 Ways Enterprises Cripple Their Online Marketing Efforts

An increasing number of enterprises are engaging in PR, SEO, social media, and content marketing. Having these four areas covered is great, but many companies are not getting anywhere near the full ROI from their investment in them. In today's column, I am going to explore the reasons why that is the case, and outline how to make sure you set yourself up for success. The Goal Understanding your real goal is a great place to start. How does your website help you achieve your goals? Direct sales? Leads? Referrals to others? Page views (advertising or dissemination of information)? [...]

The Ultimate Guide To Enterprise SEO: 25 Things To Know Before You Take The Plunge

Enterprise Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not rocket science. In fact, it is not even as faceted as many other sectors of SEO in which practitioners have to perform many more nuanced SEO tasks (and often by themselves). So why is Enterprise SEO so underserved and why do so few large organizations embrace it properly? Because Enterprise SEO is much more like Supply Chain Management than it is Marketing. As an executive considering investing in an Enterprise SEO initiative, hopefully you can learn from this primer and my experiences over the last decade leading large institutions i [...]

The Enterprise SEO Guide To Response Codes

Response codes impact every page, image and file on your website. A visiting search engine bot figures out what to do based on those codes. Incorrect response codes can cause: Indexation problems; Duplicate content; Site performance problems; All manner of other site higgledy-piggledy. Enterprise SEO is all about big, site-wide wins. Response codes are just that: They're easy to set up. They have a broad impact. Seems like a slam-dunk to me. And yet, when I checked 1,000+ large sites—'large' meaning 'more than 5,000 pages'—only 30% got their response codes right. [...]

Large-Scale Content Optimization Tactics For Enterprise Sites

For large organizations, keeping a close watch on keyword targeting and on-page optimization across an entire site or network of sites is not an easy task. At the enterprise level, a single site can have millions or tens of millions of pages, and larger organizations such as news publishers may have 20-30 different sites or more. So, how do you effectively manage all those pages? The in-house SEO team certainly cannot check every page by hand. An agency can be brought in to do individual page audits but this is costly (and ultimately inefficient) and it creates an outside dependency. [...]

Don’t Fall Into The Made-For-SEO Website Trap

mouse-trap-featured There are many things that categorize a Made for SEO website. Large scale sites are prone to fall into this trap, because their scale often has them already competing for a large number of search terms across their many pages. Some of the biggest factors that mark a Made-for -SEO Site are: Thin slicing on search phrases - i.e. pages on the site which are not very distinct from each other, but which were created so they could each compete for minor variations of similar search phrases. Many large sites have this problem. The question that needs to be answered for every page is why does i [...]

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