You must create an environment where SEO is a company-wide adoption where everyone understands its goals and how their individual roles directly influence organic search performance.
Managing SEO at the enterprise level is a completely different ball game than it is with smaller and more agile organizations. Sure, there is significantly more content to leverage, dedicated marketing departments with tons of resources for online and offline channels, no problem with brand awareness, and the ability to naturally attract links. These likely all sound like positives for someone who's been doing SEO on a smaller scale and fighting to build up and promote the importance of these exact qualities. However, with these come a lot of moving parts that can create several pitfalls if they aren't addressed quickly and efficiently.
How Can You Avoid These Pitfalls?
The answer can be summarized in two words: constant communication. This doesn't mean just sending an email every once in a while. It requires open lines of communication in just about every direction imaginable - with upper and senior management, with marketing departments, IT departments, content writers, branding teams. The list could go on and on. The point is that you must create an environment where SEO is a company-wide adoption where everyone understands its goals and how their individual roles can and do directly influence organic search performance and in turn company performance. This may mean customized training sessions, creating easy-to-understand infographics to show results, newsletters promoting the work you've done and the results you've achieved. Ultimately, you must be proactive in promoting the value of SEO internally, which can oftentimes feel like a full-time job itself. This creates an additional pitfall to be wary of: figuring out how to have enough time left over to actually get the SEO work done.
What other SEO pitfalls do you find at the enterprise level and what methods do you use to combat them?
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Crispin Sheridan is the Senior Director, Global Search at SAP. As part of the digital team, he established and leads the search and testing practices at SAP. Crispin is responsible for paid, natural, and mobile search and all online testing. Search and testing at SAP are fully centralized and globally funded and run under a hybrid in-house and agency model.
Crispin has proven that search learnings and keyword insights work hand in hand with social media marketing and together can effectively drive B2B lead generation. Furthermore, the development of the SAP.com Test Lab has contributed significant success to SAP's digital marketing efforts.
A frequent guest speaker at conferences, including SES New York, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Delhi, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, Crispin was appointed to the SES Advisory Board in December 2009. He has also been a guest speaker at the e-Metrics Summit and ad:Tech, and is a member of Google's B2B Technology Council. You can follow him on Twitter at @crispinsheridan and read his monthly SEO column on ClickZ.
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