One of the biggest mistakes enterprise SaaS brands make is to relegate SEO to an inferior marketing role or treat it as a one off tactic.
The truth is that enterprise SEO must be a priority if you want to sustainably attract your target audience, drive qualified traffic to your website, and grow your organic sourced revenue.
In fact, considering that SEO generates 1200% more traffic than any other channel, SEO should take center stage in your content marketing strategy. Executed well, your enterprise SEO strategy can be a powerful tool in building a sustainable pipeline and boosting your bottom line.
That being said, enterprise SEO is no joke, especially considering that your tactics and strategies must be scalable across hundreds of thousands of web pages. It’s not for the faint of heart, but can pay off in a big way when done correctly.
If you’re skeptical, here are the main benefits you can expect.
“How Could SEO Possibly Help a Company as Complex as Ours?”
Enterprise SaaS SEO is the practice of managing an enterprise organization’s online presence and visibility. This can be quite complicated as it involves managing large websites, usually with a wide range of products and services.
A well-formulated enterprise SaaS SEO strategy is a critical component of business growth as it can help you generate quality leads and revenue.
How does enterprise SaaS SEO help you do that?
Everyone Uses Search to Make Decisions
Studies show that B2B buyers spend 83% of the buyer journey researching products independently. Only 17% is spent interacting with a sales rep. And since a greater chunk of that time is spent researching online, you must optimize your assets for greater visibility online. Therefore, you must focus on your enterprise SEO strategy.
And even if your ideal customer profile (ICP) isn’t actively searching, the digital marketing manager might gather a list of vendors to present to the CMO, even if the CMO isn’t actively searching for a solution. This will help them fast-track getting a solution when they need it.
Search Has One of the Best ROIs
SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing channels you can leverage to get your brand and product/service in front of your target audience. Typically, for Enterprise customers, sourcing even 2 customers from search pays for itself.
Besides helping to reduce your marketing spend, SEO also has the advantage of producing results on autopilot long after the campaign. Because of this, SEO’s ROI is greater than other channels like PPC, for example.
Greater Brand Awareness and Control Over Reputation
Reputation is everything when it comes to selling enterprise software. If all your audience sees about you online is negative reviews, your chances of making any sales are slim. However, SEO can help drive the narrative and control your online reputation. As a result, your customers will trust you more and feel confident in purchasing your product.
However, even with these benefits, enterprise SEO isn’t without it’s unique challenges as well.
Unique Challenges of Enterprise SaaS SEO
Enterprise SEO strategy, you must realize that enterprise SEO comes with many unique challenges. Understanding these will help you design an effective strategy that will bring results despite the market’s fierce nature.
Here are some of the top opens you should know and prepare for:
Pitching Leadership and Securing Buy-in
One of the biggest challenges marketers and SEOs face is pitching leadership and securing buy-in. This is mainly due to leadership not understanding the value of SEO in marketing. And the fact that SEO takes time to bear fruit only compounds this problem.
Because of this challenge, SEOs get a fraction of the budget and resources needed to design and execute impactful strategies.
The best way to get buy-in from relevant stakeholders is to build relationships with them and show them small wins as they come in. It’s also super important to educate them on the value and power of SEO.
Outsourcing can be advantageous as a professional SaaS SEO agency would know how to pitch enterprise SEO services to stakeholders.
Strict and Established Brand Guidelines
Another challenge of enterprise SEO is bureaucracy. Strict and established brand guidelines can stifle your SEO’s creativity. Especially if your brand voice and tone are stiff, this can cause problems when SEOs want to create fun and easy-to-read content because they find it performs better.
Extremely Specific and Limited Target Customers
By nature, SaaS products have a specific and targeted audience. This can be a challenge for many reasons. One such is that keyword research can become challenging. In some instances, you’ll need to leverage zero-volume keywords. However, this can be tricky for those who don’t understand SaaS keyword research well.
Besides keyword research, another problem brought about by a limited target audience is gaining a deep and meaningful understanding of the buyer personas you’re targeting. Again, this is super easy with B2C marketing as a wide pool of data is available.
Long Sales Cycles
The B2B buyer journey can be pretty complex and long.
One of the biggest drawbacks of such a long sales cycle is that showing the ROI of your SEO campaigns can become more complicated. It also takes longer as you’ll require more work to dig through historical data and use it to determine your ROI.
Besides the complications in tracking ROI, long sales cycles also leave room for competitors to snatch your prospects.
This is why you must design your campaigns to shorten the sales cycle. A few ways to do that include:
- Focus on high-priority (BoFu) keywords
- Create problem-solving content
- Focus on the different stages of the sales cycle
Shortening the sales cycle helps you recoup your costs much faster. It also makes it easier to determine your campaign’s effectiveness.
Multiple Siloed Teams
Another unique challenge you’ll find in enterprise SEO is that there are multiple siloed teams involved. SEO is a team effort that requires input from all departments. This presents a huge problem in enterprise organizations as many stakeholders are involved.
This makes collaborating on an SEO strategy difficult, especially if there’s no real buy-in from other teams. And because siloes by nature stifle communication, it becomes cumbersome for SEOs to get crucial information from other departments.
One way you can deal with this is by creating a cohort of strategic players from each team in your organization. These can share relevant data to help your marketing and SEO departments design effective campaigns.
Large and Often Complex Websites or Custom Built Content Management Systems
A critical aspect of enterprise SEO you must pay attention to is your technical SEO. This refers to the practice of optimizing the technical aspects of your website. Doing so ensures that your site is:
- User-friendly (offers a positive UX)
This is critical to your content ranking and converting well. Unfortunately, for enterprise-level organizations, this can be quite challenging. The main reason for this is that most enterprise websites are complex, as are their content management systems (CMSes), which are usually custom-built. Here’s an excellent example:
Some common aspects to consider when working on your technical SEO include (but are not limited to):
Content Needs to Be Grouped into Subdomains
Another complication you’ll find in enterprise SEO is that it involves hundreds of thousands of web pages. And they all require optimization.
Because most enterprise websites are custom-built, they come with some hard-coded features explicitly designed for the type of business and its target audience.
As you can guess, this reduces your SEOs’ flexibility in designing and executing an SEO strategy. This is because they’ll have to work around your site’s hard-coded features.
Multiple Types of Content
Because enterprise-level organizations target many different businesses and audiences, they produce many different types of content. This poses a complication as you can run into many problems without a holistic approach. Examples of said problems include content inconsistency, duplicate content, and keyword cannibalization may occur.
With the fast technological advancements, brands must keep up with changes and trends to stay relevant. This means you’ll have to make frequent updates to your site. These include:
- Small code updates: These are done to ensure your website offers the best possible experience to users and is easily crawlable and indexable by search engines.
- Regular content production: Large websites produce a lot of content. The caveat is that it can also increase the incidence of duplicate content, 404 pages, and other SEO-critical issues.
Besides content and code updates, enterprise organizations often grow through acquisitions. This is a major update that has a bearing on your website’s SEO, as it means incorporating your acquisitions into your website and product offerings. Poorly handled, this can hurt your SEO. However, leveraged well, this can give your SEO a powerful boost.
Important Pre-Campaign Considerations
Before we delve into the components of a highly effective enterprise SEO campaign, let’s quickly look at some important pre-campaign considerations to make.
Focus on One Profitable Area of the Business at a Time
Before you develop your enterprise SEO strategy, you must first decide which parts of the business you’ll focus on. The best way is to zero in on profitable and easy to measure areas. This way, getting buy-in in other areas becomes easier.
Take Time to Deeply Understand the Target Buyer Within the Target Organization
Despite your target market being other businesses, you need to focus your efforts on the people who make decisions in your ICP. To do so, you must take time to understand the buyers in those organizations deeply. Doing so will help you understand the keywords they use when performing online searches. It also helps you craft personalized content that drives conversions.
Put Systems and Training in Place for the Work to Be Done Properly Across the Whole Organization
Enterprise SEO is a huge undertaking that requires a concerted cross-team effort. To successfully pull this off, you’ll need to put systems in place for seamless collaboration. You’ll also have to invest in training to help your teams design and execute impactful SEO campaigns.
Set Clear Priorities of Action Items to Get Things Done on Time
Another consideration to make is which action items should be given priority. This will help ensure that your campaign runs like a well-oiled machine. It also helps you focus on action items that will get you results faster. Also, make sure those responsible for said action items are clear on their assignments.
Match Paid Search Efforts with SEO to Create a Feedback Loop
Most enterprise brands run paid search (PPC) campaigns. Unfortunately, there’s a misconception that PPC and organic search are mortal enemies. However, this notion has crippled many marketing teams.
You must create a feedback loop to get the most out of your organic search and PPC efforts. This will help you get more accurate data to inform both disciplines for better results. That’s why you must collaborate with your paid search team and leverage their data to enhance your SEO.
Use Email and Social Media to Amplify and Enhance Content to Improve Reach and SEO Performance
As you consider the elements to include in your enterprise SEO strategy, you should also consider how to amplify your efforts.
This has to do with content distribution and, in particular, how to increase your reach and boost your SEO performance. Two of the most powerful channels to consider are email and social media. Email marketing gives you direct access to prospects who are highly interested in your product. Social media marketing, on the other hand, helps you spread your net wider.
You should also consider listing on SaaS business directories for greater visibility as well as for backlinks.
Touch Base with Other Marketing Teams and Leadership with a QBR to Ensure that Tactics are Aligned with Business Strategy
You should always align SEO with your business strategy and overall business growth. That’s why you must always touch base with other marketing teams and leadership to ensure you’re all pulling in the same direction. Failure to do so could result in your SEO efforts bringing in results that don’t impact important goals discussed in your organization’s quarterly business reviews (QBRs).
Build Optimization Templates for Content Types that are Dynamically Generated
To increase your effectiveness, you should consider building templates for content types that are dynamically generated. This helps optimize your content production workflow. Examples of dynamically generated content types include title tags, meta descriptions, and partner listings. Other types include landing pages and product pages.
Creating templates for these will help you produce optimized content much faster.
Decide what to Automate
SEO has many moving pieces. Enterprise SEO takes the number of moving pieces to a whole new level.
Unfortunately, most of those moving pieces are repetitive and mundane.
That’s why you can’t run SEO campaigns manually. Instead, you need to design and create a system to automate the design, execution, and monitoring of your SEO campaign. This includes automating research and data collection, content brief creation, social media sharing, tracking and analytics, and more.
Once you know which parts of your campaign you’ll be automating, determine which tools you’ll use to do so.
How to Build an Enterprise SEO Strategy in 2022
Ready to build your enterprise SEO strategy?
I’m sure you’re rearing to go, so let’s get to it.
- Work Across Departments to Map Out Objectives, Timelines, and Responsibilities
This can’t be stressed enough — for your enterprise SEO campaign to be effective, you need to involve every department in your organization. This is essential in helping you know which keywords your customers use, understanding your buyer personas, and the frustrations they have with your (or your competitors’) software.
This intel, and more, can be easily discovered through cross-departmental collaborations.
To get the most out of this collaboration, make sure to map out each department’s objectives, timelines, and responsibilities.
- Deep Dive on Specific Ideal Customer Profile
Getting clarity on your ideal customer profile (ICP) is crucial because it helps you understand the total viable market to target in your campaigns.
But just knowing which businesses need your offering isn’t enough. That’s why you must take a deep dive into your ICPs. You need to know:
- What problems they solve, and how you fit into the equation
- The decision-makers involved in the buying journey
- The primary problem they’re trying to solve
- How many people in the organization will be using your software
Understanding your ICP will help you create hyper-targeted campaigns. These, in turn, will help prove your expertise to the buyer personas in your ICPs, resulting in higher conversion rates.
- Align Brand Guidelines Around Messaging, Topics, and Visuals
SEO relies mostly on the content you publish. Because of this, it’s important to align with the branding and marketing departments on the assets you’ll be producing. Essential aspects to consider are brand guidelines, voice, messaging, and tone. You must also align on topics and the type of visuals to use in your assets.
Aligning the core elements that help define your organization is essential in boosting brand awareness across different channels. It also helps give users a positive experience with your brand. Both are factors that have an impact on your SEO.
- Start Your Research Process with a Competitive Gap Analysis
A crucial element you need to focus on as you lay the foundation for your enterprise SEO strategy is to run a competitive gap analysis.
To get started, identify your direct competitors. These competitors target the same customers as you and provide the same solution. You also need to identify indirect competitors. These may not sell the same solution as you but target the same audience with the same or similar keywords. In both instances, outperforming your competitors in search increases your chances of driving more traffic to your site and growing your business.
Some elements to consider when conducting a competitive gap analysis for SEO include, among other factors:
- Domain authority (DA)
- Number of backlinks
- Number and quality of content assets
- Internal linking strategy
- Website structure
Armed with your competitive gap analysis, you now know where to focus your efforts as you develop your SEO strategy.
- Conduct User Intent Focused Keyword Research
It’s not enough to know the keywords that drive traffic due to high search volumes. As much as traffic is good, it’s not the end focus of enterprise SEO. The end focus is generating sales.
And this is why you must conduct intent-focused keyword research.
This is keyword research that focuses on high-value traffic. Tips to do this include:
- Jobs to be done focused keyword prioritization
- Align keyword hubs around the product features
- Categorize each keyword based on search intent
- Prioritize keywords in positions 2-20
Using this method to choose your keywords is essential in ensuring that your campaign attracts users who are interested in your solution and ready to buy. As a result, you get a higher ROI for your campaigns.
- Set Up Rank Tracking and Tag Each Keyword to Improve Attribution
Besides tracking performance, keyword rank tracking also helps with attribution as it shows exactly which keywords and content are driving more sales.
While this may sound complicated, it can be easily done, even with free tools like GA. To track your keywords easily you can:
- Align tags with keyword hubs
- Give high-priority or bottom-of-funnel keywords a special tag
- Create a reporting dashboard
Doing this will make SEO reporting much easier for your team. As a result, you can better prove SEO’s value to the leadership.
- Perform a Technical Crawl of the Entire Site
A technical crawl of your site will reveal areas of your site structure that are lacking and can be improved. It will also help ensure that your website gives users the best possible experience as they navigate your site.
Because enterprise websites are much larger, this can be time-consuming and quite laborious. To help you do this effectively:
- Work in sections of the site one at a time, highest priority first
- Prioritize issues by importance and implementation timeline
- Assign each action item to a specific person or team
Running a technical crawl of your site will also help you see exactly how search engines crawl and index your content. This will help you identify pages that aren’t crawlable, orphan pages, broken links, and much more. Ironing out these issues will help boost your rankings and result in a positive UX.
- Create an Inventory of Content Assets and Audit Each Based on Performance
Before you run off and start creating content based on the insights above, you need to take a step back and consider the assets you already have.
You need to run a content audit and create an inventory of all your content assets. Check how they perform in search and their impact on your bottom line. Depending on the performance of each asset, you can either:
- Delete: Get rid of any content that’s not moving the marketing needle.
- Optimize: Content that’s not performing well but still has potential should be optimized for better performance.
- Consolidate: Some content assets may need to be consolidated for them to produce better results.
Take time to analyze all your assets and measure them against competing assets on search engine results pages (SERPs). Using the data you get, determine the best route to take.
- Map Keyword Targets to Content
Once you’ve conducted your content audit, you’re in a better position to know how to best use your keywords from the keyword research stage. Here, you have two main options:
- If content exists that could rank for that keyword, optimize accordingly
- If no content exists, add to the editorial strategy and prioritize
Mapping your target keywords this way will help prevent duplicate content and keyword cannibalization. It also ensures that you have a robust content moat that shows search engines you’re an expert and authority on the topics you focus on.
- Improve On-page SEO
Improving your on-page SEO is another critical element of building an impactful enterprise SEO strategy. Again, because of the sheer number of pages on your site, this can be quite a challenge. To help you effectively do this
- Work in sections of the site one at a time, highest priority first
- Use templates when you can
- Prioritize each fix based on the potential impact
Updating your pages and improving your on-page SEO is the easiest way to improve your SERP rankings and drive more organic traffic to your site.
- Create Editorial Plan and Content Calendar
Once you’ve ensured that all your current content is up to par with SEO best practices, you can now focus on creating new content. The best way to go about it is to create an editorial plan and content calendar.
The main elements to consider here are
Content calendar including:
- Topic and target keyword
- Link to content brief
- Link to draft
- Category or keyword hub
- Stage of the customer journey
An editorial plan including:
- Staging and publishing guide
- Publishing frequency
- Distribution plan for each piece of content
This will help keep your content production consistent and organized.
- Ramp Up Content Creation
By this stage, you have created an effective content creation system. You now need to scale your content production. To help you ramp up your content creation, start with bottom-of-funnel terms first. This includes assets like product pages, use cases, features, solutions, e.t.c.
You should also prioritize low-hanging fruit opportunities for quick wins. Here, you can leverage content identified for improvement from your content audit. You can also focus on high-value keywords that you’re ranking for, but not well because you don’t have a dedicated piece of content.
These are easy ways to pump out quality content, as most of the work has already been done.
- Scale Your Link Building
Content creation isn’t the end of SEO. You still need to build links to your content to help it rank better.
And no, organic link building won’t cut it as it’s too slow.
You need to create a proactive link building campaign and scale it.
FYI, backlinks are important to your SEO as they are:
- A vote of confidence that other websites value your content
- Sources of relevant traffic
- Authority and trust builders
Because of this, backlinks are one of the most important ranking signals. Therefore, ramping up your link building should be an important element of your enterprise SEO strategy.
Enterprise SEO Tools To Help Scale Operations
As mentioned earlier, you can’t build SEO campaigns manually, especially at an enterprise level. You need tools. Here’s our list of some of the best enterprise SEO tools to help you scale operations:
Conductor is a powerful enterprise SEO and content technology platform designed to help you discover what your customers are looking for and the intent behind those searches. The tool also helps users develop content and track SEO performance.
- Technical SEO audit and analysis
- Content guidance
- Demographic and social insights
- Chrome extension
Conductor is one of the most comprehensive enterprise SaaS SEO tools on the market, making it an invaluable tool to have in your arsenal.
Demandwell is another enterprise SaaS SEO tool that helps marketers easily scale their SEO strategy. The tool helps with all aspects of creating optimized content. This includes keyword research, content planning, and even tracking and analysis.
- SEO health scorecard
- Keyword intelligence
- Growth reporting
- Content brief builder
- Content analysis
If you’re looking for an enterprise SEO tool to help you scale your content creation, Demandwell should rank high on your list.
Lumar (Formerly Deepcrawl)
Lumar (Deepcrawl) is a specialized enterprise SEO tool designed for site crawling and technical audits. This helps you detect growth opportunities and ensures there are no code errors that can tank your SEO.
- Website crawling and monitoring
- Trend reporting
- Technical SEO quality assurance
- Hundreds of built-in reports
Because Lumar automates a lot of the technical SEO analysis and reporting, it’s easier to get a handle on your technical SEO — even at scale.
seoClarity helps marketers perform enterprise website audits that include over 100 technical SEO health checks. It also combines those insights with machine learning to help you develop proven content strategies, discover competitive gaps, and much more.
- Keyword research
- Ranking analysis
- SEO analytics and reporting
- Automated SEO execution
Despite being an extensive enterprise SEO tool, seoClarity is easy to use and gives tons of SEO and marketing insights.
MarketMuse is an AI-powered enterprise content research tool. It effortlessly handles everything from analyzing content performance to competitor analysis. One of its fortes is that it helps you create optimized content at scale.
- Content inventory
- Content briefs
- Content optimization
If you want to run powerful content marketing campaigns at scale, MarketMuse should definitely be one of your go-to tools.
Botify is an enterprise SaaS SEO platform designed to help improve crawlability and indexability as well as search rankings.
- Botify Analytics is a powerful tool whose functions include log file analysis, rank tracking, web crawling, and more.
- Botify Intelligence uncovers high-impact opportunities and reveals critical SEO issues.
- Botify Activation is a tool that turns your data and insights into actionable insights to help you optimize your site. without resource constraints
With Botify in your toolbox, it becomes easier for your content to become more visible in search.
Google Search Console (GSC) is another invaluable enterprise SaaS SEO tool to add to your repertoire. It offers excellent behavioral insights you can use to monitor search performance. GSC is also a great tool to help you create data-driven SEO campaigns.
- Sitemap submission
- Penalty reviews
- Backlink analysis
- Troubleshooting errors
- Page position tracking
The best part about GSC is that it’s 100% free.
Enterprise SaaS SEO: Get In Front of Your Target Market and Drive More Revenue
With the competition in the enterprise software space getting stiffer by the day, you need to ensure that your sales and marketing strategies are working at their optimum.
One way you can do that is by creating an efficient enterprise SaaS SEO strategy.
And as can be expected, due to the large number of web pages on enterprise SaaS SEO sites, creating an impactful SEO campaign can be a mammoth task. It also means you need a specialized team of SEOs who understand the ins and outs of enterprise SaaS SEO.
Need help with your enterprise SaaS SEO strategy?
Don’t hesitate to reach out for a tailor-made strategy!