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Why Fortune 500 Companies Struggle With Organic SEO
Great SEO Post From Search Engine Watch―The firm I work with recently issued organicsearch rankings for the world’s leading high-techmarketers using the patented Covario SEO AuditScore™ system.
We took a look at how well Fortune 500 high-techcompanies optimize their landing pages for specifickeywords, so that they play a critical role in giving theirbrands optimal search engine visibility for high-traffic termsand phrases.Within the overall scoring system, there are sub-scores forcontent, technical quality and linking. We found that thosehigh-tech marketer websites with Content Audit Scoresabove 75 (out of 100) also had an average Google organicrank of 12. That’s page-two results, folks. Naturally thelower the Content Audit Score, the lower the rankings inthe search engines for the high-tech sector.
Needless to say that the high-tech sector is teeming withmarketers who know more than a thing or two aboutbuilding lasting brands online. Many global brand marketersunderstand that organic search is a powerful brandingchannel when people are conducting product research. Thissize of enterprise almost always has SEO programs in placethat follow what SEO best practices practitioners preach.So why is it that the larger the enterprise the greater thechallenges they face when it comes to creating searchengine and people friendly content?
It’s because SEO is different for large companies as opposedto smaller businesses. Yes — similar tactics are used tooptimize websites for small business and big businessesalike, but on a different scale, of course. Enterprise levelwebsites create more problems for SEO practitioners not justbecause they are bigger, but because they add layers ofcomplexity into each channel of their online marketingprocesses.For example, larger enterprise-level websites tend to havesome, if not all of the following issues to overcome.
SEO implementation hurdles due to: Suboptimal content management systems (CMS) IT resource challenges Untrained and/or third party personnel Budgeting limitations Millions of pages; much of it duplicate or very similarcontent Multiple countries and languages with multiple entry pages Flawed attribution data and/or limited analytics programs Multiple stakeholders with divergent strategies Multiple service providers with divergent priorities
Most online marketers and/or IT staff members for largerbusinesses have also had some history with SEO. That is tosay that most, if not all, Fortune 500 firms have tackledmajor or minor SEO initiatives over the past few years.Consequently, each enterprise’s marketing structures,technical processes, business priorities, and overall SEOknowledge can be quite different from one enterprise toanother – even within in the same industry.
All of this adds up for making the race toward SEO successa marathon more so than a sprint for big businesses. Butattaining SEO success doesn’t have to be this challenging,especially when it comes to creating compelling, searchengine-friendly content. If some measure of accord can befostered between key stakeholders around business andmarketing goals, then the path toward winning the first legof a SEO race to higher rankings is not far very away. Youjust have to be willing to separate the whole from it parts.
What the heck does that mean?Let’s take a look at a ―normal‖ SEO initiative for a largeenterprise. What usually happens is … A senior executivesigns a contract with a SEO agency and hands off steerageto a VP of marketing or sometimes IT. The VP in turn handsoff the SEO program management to a director, who is alsothe up-line for the in-house SEO manager. The SEO in-house manager will work with the organization’s personneland other third-party agencies for tactical implementation ofSEO recommendations as made by the SEO experts at theagency.
This is a recipe for failure, especially when dealing with amature enterprise that has implemented multiple layers ofSEO recommendations over the years. Nowhere in theprocess does a conversation occur about who controls thecontent on the websites, on the microsites or blogs, in itspress releases, in Twitter and on Facebook, or at Flickrand YouTube — let alone if the enterprise is willing andable to flex business processes in order to improvecontent quality of its individual online entities.
Otherwise what usually happens is that the SEOconsultancy invests time and money to produce some greatcontent that goes through to the online marketing team forapproval and then hits the public relations department’sfilters for branding continuity, and next gets reviewed andedited by the legal team, only to secure sign-off and somelast-minute tweaks from a middle-manager who sends thecontent to an off-shore IT department only to stand in linefor being added to the website during the next round of ITupdates.
Three months later the phenomenal SEO content sees thelight of day; however, it’s not what you wrote. It’s beencompartmentalized and broken down into being the same-oldplain vanilla piece of nothing that is now duplicated acrossthe enterprise’s websites in 22 countries in 18 languages.This is the problem with enterprise level SEO campaignstasked with creating competing, search engine-friendlycontent. This is why the real potential for producing SEOsuccess lies in optimizing the communication of expectationsof SEO goals up and down the different parts of anenterprise’s online marketing ecosphere.
Search engine success for larger enterprises is attainedwhen SEO goals are wholly aligned with the enterprise’sbusiness and marketing goals, and then entirelycommunicated throughout the many layers of the businessline. All SEO agencies need to do to affect this type ofparadigm shift is to bring the concept of the contentcreation processes into the conversation from the get-go,as opposed to waiting until it’s done-gone.‖Post produced by P.J. Fusco