If you’re doing SEO at the enterprise level, going it alone is a recipe for disaster.
The size and scope of SEO concerns and tasks are exponentially larger than for smaller sites.
That means not only building a good team and excellent relationships with other stakeholders in your organization but also using third-party solutions to help you make better decisions.
This article will give you the criteria you should look at when deciding which SEO solution provider to use for your enterprise SEO efforts.
For this overview, we’ll focus on platforms that provide essential organic search data and analysis scalable for larger sites, so I’m not including things like internal search or PPC under the umbrella of “search solution platforms.”
Here are the main criteria you should use to evaluate which enterprise search solution platform will be best for you.
A true enterprise SEO solution platform should be your “single source of truth” for organic search data and analysis.
Such a platform involves a big investment on your part, so it should be able to replace most or even all of your point solution tools.
There’s a hidden but expensive cost in relying on multiple point solutions: the time you have to invest in downloading, coordinating, and analyzing all of that data outside the tools themselves.
The best SEO enterprise solution should be able to integrate all data in useful ways across the platform’s own features.
For example, you should be able to analyze third-party analytics data in conjunction with the platform’s own data and analysis tools.
Also, be sure to take a look at what restrictions are placed on your data. One platform might seem less expensive at first glance, but if you have large data needs that it will upcharge you for, it may prove to be more expensive in the long run.
Summing up, here are the key questions to ask when investigating the data capabilities of an SEO platform:
An enterprise SEO solution should not only be fully transparent about the sources of its data but should provide you with full access to that data in whatever form you need.
No matter how complete a platform’s analysis tools are, there are times when you will want to grab the data and do your own analysis outside the platform.
The ideal solution will make it easy to export that data, either by direct download or APIs.
Enterprise SEO solution platforms usually involve term contracts and a substantial investment on your part, both in the monetary cost of the platform and your time in learning to use it effectively.
As with any potential long-term relationship, full transparency upfront is critical to success.
That starts with how the platform presents and sells its various packages.
Every platform is going to have certain limits on usage or data access, but make sure those limits make reasonable sense, such as having to limit to avoid abuse or cause unreasonable stress on the platform’s capabilities.
A great enterprise solution should also be transparent and honest about its commitments and follow-through on innovation and new features.
Furthermore, what does the platform offer and commit to in terms of customer service?
This may be one of the most overlooked value aspects. The best suite of tools in the world will be useless if you can’t learn how to use them or get help fast when things don’t seem to be working as expected.
Other areas where there should be full transparency include security and the ability to customize to your needs.
A complete enterprise SEO solution should offer a robust crawler backed by sophisticated analysis tools to give you an accurate picture of your site’s health.
To meet the needs of a larger site, there should be no real limits on the number of crawls you can run.
An up-to-date enterprise organic search platform should go beyond just accumulating and displaying data.
The best platforms available today include sophisticated AI-powered tools that sift through your mountains of data and audit reports to surface the things you need to pay attention to first.
These tools should be able to alert you to an array of issues or opportunities, including but not limited to:
Also, look for alerting capabilities such as automated notifications for changes to pages or fluctuations in ranking.
Success in SEO will never be fully achieved without effort to build the best, most relevant content, and to continually improve the performance of existing content.
Therefore, an enterprise SEO solution should include tools to help you research, create, and optimize content for your site.
That starts with a robust content gaps tool that can sniff out your true search competitors and find the biggest opportunities where they rank but you don’t yet, for things relevant to your site and business.
The platform should also offer sophisticated research tools that go beyond traditional keyword research to being able to tease out search intent, overlapping audience interest, and semantically related topics.
The very best platforms will also have a content creation/optimization tool that allows you to either create content inside the tool or analyze existing content.
That tool should give you proven, actionable insights into how to improve your content based on its analysis of the pages currently ranking for your chosen topic.
This post has given you a lot of features to look for and questions to ask.
That’s a good indication that the process of finding the right solution for you will involve some time and effort, but considering you’ll want this to be a long-term relationship, your investment will be worth it.
In reality, there are a great many SEO point solutions and software suites out there, but only a few can provide all that you need at the enterprise level and scale.
To help you narrow down the field, Search Engine Journal has published an in-depth guide to the top enterprise SEO platforms.