jonathan lackman

MCSE, MCSA, Project Management, SEO, Web Design

What I'd do...

if I were to start an Enterprise SEO project.

This article focuses on ORGANIC SEO, not paid search or Adwords. Maybe one day I'll write about that as well.

This is an interesting scenario. Much of what you read about SEO is performed by, and discussed by the webmasters who do the work. In these situations, the folks are used to doing the actual work, and can update any SEO code on a site in hours.

Things are much different in an Enterprise environment. Some of the challenges include;

  1. The SEO resources do not have any access to modify code.
  2. The tools and software used to build websites do not lend themselves well to SEO; .NET, VB, etc.
  3. Changes must be funneled through formal change management processes.
  4. Content needs to be approved by business owners, and/or legal and Brand.
  5. Account access to SEO tools like Google Analytics and Webmaster tools can be a challenge.
  6. Log access can be challenging with the resources managing the servers sometimes not interested in supporting SEO endeavors.
  7. Other SEO tools like RSS feeds, blogs, newsletters run into hurdles when reviewed by Brand, legal and the business.

In spite of the challenges, engaging in proper SEO on an enterprise platform can be successful. I think some of the steps I'd follow would be;

  1. Set up reporting first. You will need to be able to MEASURE your improvements, to prove the value to the business.
  2. Don't skip the fundamentals. Build a documented keyword list with the help of the business sponsors.
  3. Continuing with fundamentals, ensure you have accurate sitemaps, and have them submitted regularly (monthly or when big changes occur) to;
    • Bing
    • Google
    • Yahoo
  4. Using your keyword list, build keyword specific TITLE tags for each page; no duplicates.
  5. Build meta KEYWORD and DESCRIPTION tags. Yeah, I know Google doesn't use them, but other search engines do. Additionally, this content populates the site description in search engine results and this organic information is much more trustworthy in studies than any paid SEO data.
  6. Analyze each page for proper keyword usage, density, and prominence. Each page should be different.
  7. Review content for volume; many simple corporate sites do not have enough TEXT to rank well. Search engines can't read flash, images, JavaScript, or any of that crap. Content is what you need, and that means WORDS.
  8. Number of pages; I'd try to get up to 100 pages or more. Small sites of only a few pages simply don't have enough content to show in multiple searches.
  9. Build a community through blogs, rss feeds, link to Twitter, Facebook, etc. Search engines reward sites that have a RSS feed, and/or a blog, in addition to the inherent benefits from the add-ons.
  10. Register your domain for 10+ years. This accomplishes two things;
    • Engines reward this because they feel you are not a fly by night outfit who is going to be gone in a year.
    • Secondly, in some cases, the search engines backdate your launch date and show a older site AGE than is accurate. Older site age = GOOD.
  11. Buy lots of keyword related domains. This is one of the easiest ways to drive traffic, assuming all the related domains aren't gone. A thousand dollars a year can buy a lot of domains for $7.00 each, but companies spend hundreds of thousands on Adwords.
    • Do not forget to scour the expiring domain lists to buy expiring domains that are keyword related. These can be sniped for around $20.00, assuming you don't have a hot domain with lots of interest.
  12. Kill to get listed (figuratively speaking)  in DMOZ. Try everything you can think of.
  13. Build a mobile site, and register the .mobi. .mobi domains get indexed much quicker due to the focus on mobile technologies.
  14. Longer term there are some more challenging things to consider;
    • What tools are used to build the site?  Some are very difficult to tailor to good SEO.
    • How do you keep updated content? This is often a huge hurdle for Enterprise deployments due to politics, Brand, Legal, etc.
    • What about file/folder structure and design? This makes a difference and can be a challenge to set up right in a corporate environment.
    • How do you balance the corporate executive need for "slick" and "cool" and "flashy" with the SEO need for CONTENT.
    • Inbound links; somehow you have to build inbound links. For a corporate site, you likely don't want to participate in link exchange programs. The approach has to be LINK BAIT; content so good that other sites will link to it.
Share |

Website Hosting

Reseller Hosting↓

Domain Names↓