How to Do Corporate SEO

Enterprises often run marketing in a way that throttles SEO performance and suppresses organic growth. The SEO strategy needs to be shared and adopted across departments like web engineering, PR, and marketing teams in all activities and content production. To align all stakeholders on the same page, you need data and results. It is a fact that only a few marketing managers have a basic understanding of SEO, as you go up, it is a desert field. Talking to the management in SEO KPI terms makes sense because they are easily measurable (keyword rankings, organic traffic, visits, and conversions). It is worth doing some research to understand how the internal teams view SEO and how they work in-house or with external agencies.

SEO Challenges in Big Corporations

SEO for Corporate: Big corporations tend to have many corporate domains, and web engineers have little interest and in many aspects lack skills in detecting and fixing issues. Here is a list of issues that we discover all the time: 500 errors, chain of redirects, redirect loops, soft 404s, AMP issues, structured markup issues, crawl rate, missing tracking pixels and false statistics reported, spam backlinks, page highjacking, canonical issues, missing internal linking, missing meta tags, duplicate content, non-compliant URL structure, conversion issues, lagging page speed, non-optimized images, outdated mobile versions, extensive use of javascript, thin page content, non-optimized AMP (if available), lack of SEO outreach and producing quality content.

Organizational issues: lack of SEO understanding, low SEO budgets while outrageous spending in more costly channels, understaffed and under-experienced SEO teams (if any), external agencies spamming the corporate website and false reporting, lack or delay of adopting modern SEO trends, failure to do competition research, confusing SEO with other channels, missing audience segments, low-quality SEO reporting, failure to set and understand SEO KPIs.

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Before any upcoming technical changes, the engineering team must get feedback from the SEO team when making site changes, plan to migrate a site, or launch a new project. When I was working as an in-house SEO Manager for a large corporation, I had to do damage control daily. The engineering teams were such knuckleheads that not only ignored the repercussions to SEO performance and marketing in general, but they wouldn’t even bother to communicate them to the other teams working on the same websites. The damage control involved tracking issues when the tracking pixels were disappearing, duplicate pages found in search results that required weeks of work to clean them, lack of proper redirection of old pages to new pages, etc. Some issues could be fixed and prioritized; others remained unsolved for months as they had full website control; overall, they created a mess. These fools considered themselves the upper caste (probably pulling from their ethnic origin) in the website pyramid and were dumb enough to go down that road. There was an asymmetrical relationship, which was primarily the fault of the management who didn’t contain the wild animals ravaging the crops. Even simple testing like A/B testing took weeks of discussions to run. Despite the endorsements and, at times, direct orders from the management, the engineers continued destroying our work.

All-in-one Marketing Agencies

Marketing agencies that offer all types of digital marketing will not be able to help a business with its SEO. They don’t have specialization in SEO (mostly blind concerning it) and rely on Paid search, Display Marketing, Content marketing, and other channels. I had to deal with this issue when I was working as an in-house SEO, and I was overseeing the services provided by external ‘big’ agencies. One so-called head of SEO was only proficient in paid search, the other head of SEO was a spammer, and it goes like this. SEO is an animal species on its own. It requires hard work, someone dedicated with lots of experience, experimentation, and a working method, three virtues very rare to find.

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