When it comes to SEO, all things are not created equal.
What defines your business as “enterprise” typically comes down to the size of your organization, your total annual revenue, or the number of pages on your website.
If you’re a large-scale company, traditional tactics and fixes don’t always work for you. The ability to scale, address site problems quickly, and make decisions that affect large swaths of content simultaneously, is paramount.
We all know that good SEO begins with laying solid foundations, and that’s no different with an enterprise site.
But what does keyword research look like when you’re working to scale? These 10 tips will help you get started.
1. Use Crawler Tool Insights to Filter Keywords
Before you can make any of your own site changes, you need to know how you stack up against your competitors.
There’s a good chance that, as an enterprise company, you’re facing significantly higher industry competition than a small or medium-sized business.
That means doing some sleuthing using tools such as Screaming Frog or Semrush to see what’s working well for others and where there might be gaps in the digital market that you can fill.
Be sure to:
Filter out branded keywords.
You’ll never (and don’t want to) rank for a competitor company’s name, so these words are irrelevant to your search. By filtering them out, you can narrow your focus to topic-based phrases instead.
Filter keywords by search volume over current position.
Any keyword will rank with enough effort and time. And while volume isn’t the absolute marker of a good keyword, it is a directional indicator of whether or not there is potential in pursuing the term.
Higher volume keywords could yield bigger benefits upfront as you later pursue more niche terms.
2. Segment Your Site to Make Research Easier
When you have so many pages and potential topics that you could be optimizing for, the best way to start is to break your research down into smaller, bite-sized chunks.
Not only does this allow you to stay focused on a particular area of the site, but it also makes it much easier to divide and share the workload among other members of the team.
Start by building a keyword research template that you can work from that outlines the mapping points you’ll want to account for:
- What does your business sell?
- Where are you located?
- What problems do you solve for your customers?
You can then work through your research topic-by-topic as you would with a smaller website.
Make notes of anything that overlaps or where you could add internal links once everything is on the site.
3. Look for Keyword Rankings at the Top of Page Two
Low-hanging fruit is important for all businesses, but actually achieving these rankings is much more possible when you’re an enterprise company.
Your site has usually been around for longer, and you may have several thousand (or even hundreds of thousands) of quality backlinks.
The keywords at the top of page two are potential quick wins that can satisfy stakeholders and move the needle initially.
This is especially important for consultants and marketing teams who are reporting to senior-level executives and C-suites.
For them, it’s all about the big picture and hard results, so nudging some of these phrases onto the first page will put you in a great position internally while you work on longer-reaching opportunities.
4. Find Pages Where Keywords are Being Used but Content is Thin
There’s a good chance that your site is already fairly sizable and potentially has a number of different subdomains or subfolders.
So instead of adding additional pages and creating unnecessary sprawl, go through what you already have first to find thin or underperforming content that you can expand on.
Sites like DeepCrawl and their content tool are perfect for this, so spend some time working through where additional content might add to both the user experience as well as ranking opportunities.
5. Do Market Research With Your Customers
As a larger business, you have access to a wide network of customers that a smaller company simply doesn’t have.
Take advantage of this and gather insights from your customers as much – and as often – as possible.
You’ll want to be sure that you have some kind of infrastructure to support this before you get started.
Do you have a CRM that stores conversation notes with your customer service team?
If so, that’s a great place to look for customer pain points that you can build your keyword research around, or generate new content topic ideas.
6. Look for Featured Snippets 0r “People Also Ask” Opportunities
Plug your most competitive keywords into Google directly and see what the first page actually looks like.
How much space is taken up by featured snippets or questions?
Read through the “People also ask” questions and suggested searches sections of the SERP for any additional topics that you could build a keyword cluster around.
This type of information can also help you to optimize for voice search (if it’s a part of your strategy) or determine how to structure the content on the page (i.e., where to put headers, what information can be kept to a minimum, and what will need more depth).
7. Look for International Keywords
If your business operates in another country, or multiple countries, particularly in multiple languages, this opens up a whole world of SEO possibilities (and challenges).
Especially if you’re running different websites in multiple languages, segment out these sites or pages from the English-language one and come back to these later.
You’ll want to work closely with the sales or marketing team in those locations when you do come to optimize those sites.
Look for any overlap using these tips:
Start with the English site.
Is there anything that could work well in another language or something that should be left off as it doesn’t resonate with customers in that location?
Look for regional-specific issues.
Are there concerns or questions in your industry that can be tied to a certain country or language? If so, optimize for those on one site only and monitor performance closely.
8. Search for Branded Keywords That Could Impact Brand Reputation
All businesses should be concerned about how the public perceives them, but this is especially true for enterprise companies.
Look for any keywords around your product or service that are accompanied by your brand name to see what types of content come up.
Find any negative reviews and read through them to see what concerts are being raised and how they could be addressed. You should also look for a lack of response from the customer service team so that you can pass along that feedback.
There may be opportunities for keywords and content to solve some of these problems that customers are routinely bringing up.
9. Research Smaller or Local Businesses, Too
You might feel like your company is strides ahead of small businesses when it comes to local SEO, but you could be surprised with how stiff the competition can be.
Smaller companies are often more nimble than those at the enterprise level, and your search competition might be a much smaller company (or totally different set of companies) than your market competition.
Take a look at the smaller companies that compete with you for the same keywords and, as you’ve already done with your main industry competitors, see where there are gaps or opportunities for you to make use of your enterprise-level authority.
Looking at the inbound links for both your company and local businesses is also useful at this stage of the research, along with any important information that you can gather from their Google Reviews or Google My Business listing.
10. Use Automated Tools Where You Can
With so many site pages to manage, it’s impossible to keep track of everything in spreadsheets or documents that might be shared across multiple team members or departments, or even different office locations.
Make a case for budget to be allocated to tools that help you to stay on top of your SEO, particularly keyword research and performance.
Tools like Semrush, SEOClarity, Conductor, or BrightEdge are all built by experts to support enterprise-level companies just like yours.
It might feel like an overwhelming task when you’re faced with doing keyword research for a giant website, or even multiple sites at once.
But by following these tips, you can help to make life a lot easier for you and your digital marketing team when it comes to breaking down and building out a keyword strategy that works for your enterprise-level business.
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