Before you purchase these essential tools, make sure your organization has the resources, and the right mindset, to practice search engine optimization effectively.
Understanding your current marketing processes, knowing how to measure success and being able to identify where you are looking for improvements are all critical pieces of the SEO platform decision-making process. The following section outlines four steps to help your organization begin that process and choose the SEO platform that is the right fit for your business needs and goals.
Do you need an enterprise SEO platform?
Deciding whether your company needs an enterprise-level SEO platform calls for the same
evaluative steps involved in any software adoption, including a comprehensive self-assessment
of your organization’s business needs and resources, staffing, management support and financial resources.
Use the following questions as a guideline to determine the answers.
Employing people to implement and use SEO platforms is a prerequisite to success. If you have marketing staff, utilizing SEO toolsets can make them more efficient and effective. The vast majority of organic search marketers struggle to justify their SEO budgets. SEO platforms and tools are a key component of helping to keep overall costs down while getting the required work done. Their analytical capabilities can also help SEOs prove the impact of their work on the bottom line.
Enterprise SEO software can be a five- or six-figure investment annually. It is critical to demonstrate the value of SEO to C-level executives by running pilot test projects and agreeing to a definition of “success” in advance.
Successful enterprise SEO needs dedicated technical resources deployed to it to act on the recommendations and opportunities surfaced by the analytics and reports. With many SEOs reporting a technical backlog as the primary thing hindering their SEO success, allocating resources to this task can be the factor that determines whether an implementation is successful or not.
Enterprise SEO is commonly placed into marketing, editorial or IT, depending on the nature of the business. Unfortunately, in large companies, it usually ends up with either whoever has the budget or whoever can best articulate the business case. In a best-case scenario, it should be both.
It is vital to provide training to technical, design, content and marketing teams, and reinforce it on a regular basis. A successful enterprise SEO implementation will find ways to inject SEO knowledge into existing training programs and identify internal evangelists to broadly distribute the messages. Training needs to be comprehensive, consistent and continuous. Some tool companies include or offer training for an additional fee, so be sure to ask about this.
Some tool providers focus significant development resources on simple interfaces that can be utilized by people in other organizational roles – such as writers or C-suite executives. If this is important to you, make sure you specifically look for this when evaluating possible platforms.
It’s important to know upfront what you want your SEO to achieve. Do you want to improve SERP rankings or the time visitors spend on your site? Is conversion – whether a product purchase or whitepaper download – your key objective? Having goals will help you decide if you’re ready to put an enterprise platform to good use, as well as help you decide which tool will best meet your organizational needs.
Depending on your site’s monetization strategy, make sure you know how you’ll determine if the rollout of the platform and the successful execution of the established KPIs actually increased sales, conversions, or page views.
It is not uncommon for enterprise SEO efforts to take at least six months to generate tangible results. If SEO is a new initiative within the organization, cultural shifts and workflow processes will need to be implemented and refined. Setting realistic timelines and goals will help build support at all levels of the enterprise.
Many organizations begin to invest in SEO but find that a lack of understanding of SEO across the organization cripples its progress. Broad educational programs are often required to provide consistent performance and results.