By Matt Bertram, Enterprise Seo Consultant at EWR Digital, and co-host of the SEO podcast “The Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing.”
Online marketing at the enterprise level is complex. You don’t want a rookie agency at the helm, steering your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, do you? Nor do I.
SEO is a crucial tool for modern enterprises to remain competitive online. For large corporations, the stakes are high. Websites can span thousands (even millions) of pages and deal with a variety of legacy issues. If executed correctly, enterprise-level SEO can achieve incredible results: massive influxes of traffic and new leads, countless conversions and sales and increased brand recognition.
However, not all digital marketing agencies are skilled or experienced enough to handle enterprise-grade marketing pressures and responsibilities. Hiring a reputable digital agency with enterprise-specific SEO knowledge takes due diligence. This ensures that you choose a company with the experience, skill sets and technology to manage high-performing businesses well.
Here are my top recommendations for finding an agency you can trust with your brand, money and reputation.
What Is Enterprise SEO?
Enterprise SEO is a large-scale SEO tactic for large enterprises that require specialist knowledge and long-term planning to meet multiple stakeholder objectives. Opposed to a traditional small business monthly outlook and websites — with dozens or hundreds of pages — enterprises often have website scale and legacy issues as well as corporate environments to account for when achieving long-term business goals.
Large companies need to improve their organic presence amid a highly competitive landscape. This requires high-level SEO strategies such as content quality, relationship-oriented link building, crawlability and indexability that successfully drive traffic and increase revenue in a scalable way.
What Does An Enterprise SEO Company Do?
Besides using traditional inbound marketing tactics, enterprise SEO companies tackle more complex and advanced strategies:
• Monitor analytics that track attribution and a customer journey that leads individuals down the sales funnel.
• Create a 360-degree view of every customer and segmentation of their demographics.
• Automate campaigns, workflows, online chats, email, dynamic content and more.
• Create mass amounts of unique, relevant and quality SEO optimized content (following Google’s E-A-T guidelines to boost organic traffic) and provide thought leadership to their industry.
• Manage thousands of pages — often across multiple websites and in various languages.
• Enhance brand visibility and lead growth through proper keyword targeting and strategy.
• Monitor PR and manage a company’s brand and reputation online across multiple channels and platforms.
How To Find A Reputable SEO Agency
Here are several must-have qualities when hiring an enterprise SEO company.
Reputation, Competence And Knowledge
Ask for a list of past clients to interview so you can informedly decide if the company you’re considering is right for your business. Also, look for the following information to determine how and what kind of experience they have:
• Online reviews from past customers.
• Case studies that prove experience and results.
• Podcasts or online presentations where the leadership team has been interviewed or displays expertise and competence.
A prestigious agency will remain on the cutting edge of marketing trends and techniques and invest in advanced technology for their clients. They will also have a comprehensive team of experts, including web and user experience (UX) designers, copywriters, strategists and content marketers.
Communication And Transparency
Look for a highly organized company that’s honest and transparent. They should answer any questions you have openly and clearly and present case studies that show successful, consistent results. There need to be clear deliverables on what you are getting from your money and you should be able to easily track the progress. It should not just be a black hole of spending with your marketing budget.
They should communicate with your company regularly and be available when you need help. While working with them, you should receive regular, ongoing updates about your company’s progress and new developments or hiccups that arise. The SEO company should put your needs and goals first. They should listen and learn as well as educate and share knowledge with your team along the way.
Since enterprise-level websites can encompass thousands of pages and hundreds of thousands of products, scalability is vital. Without it, you could face detrimental indexing, legacy and crawlability problems on your website that impact SEO and user experience.
An experienced SEO firm will have the tools and team to monitor large websites, identify and fix issues as or before they occur and automate tasks to ensure efficiency. Automation will reduce the amount of labor required for monitoring and maintaining processes and workflows.
An enterprise SEO company should focus on results by tracking and analyzing website data — starting with a thorough content audit to see where your online presence currently stands. Strategists should measure critical KPIs and report on how marketing efforts are moving the needle over time. Essential metrics include website traffic, search engine rankings, user flow, leads and conversions.
Without analytics, you won’t know if your SEO strategies are working.
Enterprise SEO Agency Red Flags
Avoid SEO companies that present the following red flags.
If an agency offers packages much cheaper than other quotes, consider it a warning sign. Highly competent companies have competitive pricing because they’re confident in their services and do not cut corners. Proper SEO is labor-intensive.
Promising Immediate Or Fast Content Marketing Results
If an agency promises to deliver results within weeks or even a couple of months, they could be lying to you. Most companies have to wait four to six months or longer to see substantial content marketing and SEO results unless already positioned well and the keyword difficulty is low.
Every business is unique and requires different tactics for success. If a company asks you to choose a noncustomizable package for large projects, walk away.
A good SEO company will get to know your enterprise well, understand your niche and competition, develop critical strategies to help you dominate your market, get proven results, and evolve marketing tactics over time.
As with most things in life, when it comes to hiring an enterprise SEO agency, you get what you pay for.