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How to Get Big Companies as SEO Clients

| Posted in category Search Engine Optimization

Have you ever tried (as an SEO specialist) to take on a large company as an SEO client? It may surprise you, but big brands often ignore SEO and have websites that are poorly represented online.

SEO meme

For instance, how important is online brand reputation to Fortune 500 companies? Looks like many don't care at all. Last week I analyzed some websites of the world-famous businesses. Just look through the found SEO stats below:

1. Exxon mobil (2nd place in Fortune 500)

Exxon mobilThe found site issues:

- Thin homepage content
- No h1 tag
- 231 not found (404) pages
- 2190 broken links
- Outdated design
- 2258 pages miss their titles

2. Philips 66

Philips 66

- Thin homepage content
- Omitting h2 tag (h1 followed by h3)
- 14 not found (404) pages
- 425 broken links
- Wrong format of the robots.txt
- Wrong sitemap format
- 95 duplicate titles
- Useful content in flash (not found in the index)

3. Berkshire HathawayBerkshire Hathaway

- No heading tags
- Thin homepage content
- Very outdated design
- Missing titles and descriptions
- No robots.txt
- No sitemap

4. General MotorsGeneral Motors

- Heading tags start with h2
- Rather thin homepage content
- 60 broken links
- 314 duplicate titles
- Missing ALT attribute

5. Caterpillar
Caterpillar
- Heading tags start with h3
- 48 not found (404) pages
- 353 broken links
- 2262 duplicate titles
- Too long titles and descriptions
- Strange set up of rel=canonical (added to all pages)

 

A quick check of the basic onpage and onsite factors (I have used WebSite Auditor to get the figures) revealed just the top of the iceberg. I’m sure, if you dig further, you’ll find even more SEO issues that need webmaster’s attention.

Can you smell a business opportunity here?

If you have mostly worked for small business companies and want to advance your SEO business, you can target some top-notch companies that still ignore internet marketing. But before you start pitching CEOs and Marketing directors, you need to work out the methodology adjusted to the needs of larger organizations.

According to Marshal Simmonds, the Founder or Define Media SEO, the methodology that works for big brands is to “Organise, Analyse, Educate, Execute and then Track results”.
Let’s look at each stage in detail.

SEO Project Management

Organize

First and foremost, you should understand that you’ll need to cooperate with multiple departments (web development, design, marketing, sales, PR, etc.), that’s why you should have the out-of-the-box schemes that would let all people work as a single team. The holistic approach is truly important and if you cannot show the readiness to cooperate, it’s unlikely you’ll get hired.

Analyze

Before getting down to SEO, analyze what has already been done on its website(s), how the business operates, what the strong and weak points are (yes, the good old SWOT analysis comes in handy). Are you sure the company needs a massive backlink campaign? Or a brand-new blog with daily posts? Analyze the current conditions and define the SEO goals (traffic, leads, improved online reputation, etc.).

Educate

Be ready to face the ignorance of the in-house teams and offer some education. The 3 important points here are:

1. The education program should be prepared beforehand
2. It should be very closely tied to the needs of the organization
3. It should involve some live communication – sending PDFs with SEO guides will be most probably a waste of your time.

Execute

At the beginning, you’d better focus on small things that will bring major results. For instance, removing some indexing issues can take an hour of the developer’s time and may result in increased traffic in the nearest future. This way you’ll also get more credibility and will be able to offer more complicated SEO tasks and processes.

Track results

When tracking SEO results, make sure you don’t simply send a pile of PDFs with reports, but:

- Define and discuss the “critical” metrics (stats that are most important and are easy to understand)
- Explain what activities and events caused specific changes (in rankings, traffic or online sales)
- Make sure that data’s secured and will not be seen/published/lost

When the cycle gets finally shaped, you should constantly revisit each step of the campaign to see if there’s any room for improvement (there’ll always be some!).

Big brands that do it right

Some large companies invest a lot in their online success. While working on your SEO proposals to top Fortune companies, keep these examples in mind – they might be helpful when reaching out to the C-level managers.

Amazon

Every product page on amazon.com is detailed and profound – the content answers any question a user might have. It’s probably one of the most sophisticated landing pages I’ve ever seen.

Landing Page of Amazon

If you see that the company you target lacks this kind of landing pages, while it can profit from adding them – add this to the proposed SEO strategy.

New York Times

When the company hired Define Media Group (Enterprise SEO company), one of its biggest challenges was that the paper was not indexable: a critical problem for SEO. To cure this, the registration wall was pushed back 5 clicks, which finally resulted in a huge boost for the site.

Ikea

Ikea targets users via localized websites and YouTube channels:

The UI of the IKEA websites usually ensures comfortable browsing and again the amount of information for every product item is fascinating

Are you ready to be an enterprise-level SEO (company)?

If you have mostly worked for the small-business companies, you’ll find it harder to get to the next level. Below I’ve compiled a number of articles and posts that can help you learn more about this enterprise niche and finally get the top-notch contract signed:

Do you have experience in SEO for big companies? If yes, what was most challenging to you?



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