Enterprise SEO is truly unique. While a larger company size may provide substantial leverage in many cases, it also creates some particular challenges.
At the recent SMX East conference, I watched a great panel covering this topic with Scott Nickels of Hearst Autos, Simon Heseltine of HP Enterprise, and Amber Fehrenbacher of Surety Bonds.
In today’s post, I’m going to summarize much of the wisdom they shared about enterprise SEO challenges and their approaches to overcoming these obstacles. I’ll also add a few of my own thoughts along the way.
Basic organizational structure
Large enterprise organizations often have many different product/service teams that focus on different offerings of the company. As a result, you can end up with many different ways that the SEO team can be set up:
A centralized SEO team that interacts with the different product/service teams and provides them with guidance.
Distributed SEO teams, where each product/service team has its own SEO resources.
A combination of the two, where there is a centralized SEO team, but there are also SEO personnel in some or all of the product/service groups.
You may also have an agency in the mix. They may be working in an advisory capacity, or they may be the ones that are doing most of the auditing work, and your main task is to focus their efforts where you most need them.
Each of these scenarios brings its own challenges, and these can be broken down into two major categories:
1. Authority: Regardless of the structure, there is always a question of whether or not the recommendations of the SEO team will be followed. For example, if the SEO team makes some recommendations to a given product/service team, will those recommendations be followed, partially followed or totally ignored? This can happen in all three scenarios outlined above, but the dynamics of how you work through it vary depending on the people involved.