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A Day in the Life of an Enterprise SEO

30th May 2019Kyle BlanchetteKyle Blanchette

By Kyle Blanchette, Search Data Strategist, Botify

You’re walking up to the office, phone in hand, checking your calendar for the day.

Stand-up meeting with the SEO team at 9. Prioritization meeting at 11. Call with our technology partner at 2.

In between, you’ll probably need to compile some data to get your SEO sprint approved, help an SEO Analyst or two, and check in with your development team to see how your canonicalization project is going.

This is a day in the life of an enterprise SEO.

At many enterprise organizations, SEO has matured, taking on a different nature than the SEO many of us are used to.

Enterprise SEOs act less as siloed individual practitioners and more as product managers, advocating for changes that will move the organic performance needle in the right direction and liaising between teams and technology partners to ensure it happens.

Why is enterprise SEO different?

Enterprise SEOs face unique challenges and opportunities presented by both their organization and their websites.

  • Size & complexity of websites: Millions of URLs, JavaScript, AMP, faceted navigation - you name it, an enterprise SEO probably has to work with it.
  • Organizational structure: Enterprise organizations typically have well-defined departments and often work with multiple stakeholders, so enterprise SEOs must navigate multiple teams.
  • Internal processes: Mature enterprise organizations typically have structured workflows requiring clear business cases before initiatives can be approved.
  • Data-driven decision making: With so much on the line, enterprise SEOs need big data to drive their strategies.

While an SEO practitioner at a smaller organization might spend their time running audits, fixing title tags, and performing keyword research, an enterprise SEO will spend more of their time on:
  • Liaising with different departments
  • Prioritizing SEO initiatives
  • Compiling data to make business cases for SEO changes
  • Validating releases and making sure changes were implemented correctly

What does it take to be an enterprise SEO?

More than being technically savvy, there are three main qualities that make for an effective enterprise SEO.

Enterprise SEOs need to prioritize initiatives

Enterprise SEOs need to be able to see the big picture and orchestrate the highest-impact changes. They view SEO through the lens of The Action Priority Matrix.

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While SEOs working on smaller websites can face similar issues as enterprise SEOs, the difference often lies in both the complexity of the issues and the processes enterprise SEOs need to go through to get issues prioritized and fixed.

Enterprises have too much at stake to divert resources to busy work, which is why it’s so critical for enterprise SEOs to be able to organize projects by impact and effort.

Prioritization can’t happen if enterprise SEOs are spending all their time computing the data. They need solutions that can compile accurate and reliable data so that they can spend their time prioritizing actions.

Enterprise SEOs need to use data to back their recommendations

Once high-priority projects are identified, enterprise SEOs need to act as an internal salesperson, using data to pitch those projects to the necessary stakeholders. While a traditional SEO might be able to implement changes because “it’s SEO best practice,” enterprise operations demand more justification.

Traditional SEO Enterprise SEO
“We need to make these changes because it’s SEO best practice.” “We need to make these changes because it’ll result in a projected 20% traffic lift and a $X lift in revenue.”

Without data, particularly as it relates to revenue, an enterprise SEO’s initiatives may never see the light of day.

Enterprise SEOs need to be agile

In order for enterprise SEOs to get their initiatives implemented, they often need to work with their development team, and most mature enterprise organizations use agile methodology.

The agile methodology is all about breaking down large or complex projects into smaller, iterative steps. When SEO projects are too large (ex: overhaul the entire website hierarchy), they don’t make it into your development team’s roadmap, so enterprise SEOs must take the time to not only prioritize initiatives, but break them down into manageable sprints.

A sprint usually works like this:

  • Planning meeting between the development team and the product owner (the SEO)
  • The development team determines how much work they can accomplish during the sprint
  • The product owner sets the criteria for the project
  • Development commences
  • Both parties review the work and, if completed adequately, the product owner accepts it

Enterprise SEOs need to be able to step into the product owner role and work collaboratively with their development team to create reasonable initiatives.

What do enterprise SEOs need to be effective?

To be an effective member of their organization, enterprise SEOs need deep insights backed by the highest quality data. That’s where we come in.

We’re proud to work with some of the best and brightest enterprise SEOs in the business. Whether they need to know what percentage of their pages aren’t being indexed by Google or which sections of their sites are driving the most conversions, enterprise SEOs can trust Botify to deliver.

If you need a scalable solution to help you identify your organization’s biggest organic opportunities, drop us a line! Come see how we’re helping enterprise SEOs be the most effective versions of themselves.