Understanding your current marketing processes and knowing how to measure success are key components of being a marketer.
The key component of any SEO platform is being able to identify the areas you want to improve.
This guide will teach you:
- 5 key benefits of enterprise-level SEO platforms
- How much do enterprise SEO platforms cost?
- How to make informed purchases
5 key benefits of enterprise-level SEO platforms
Enterprise SEO has become more complicated and time-consuming with thousands, tens, thousands, and even millions, of pages, websites, social conversations, images, keywords, and other optimizations.
An enterprise SEO platform can improve efficiency and productivity, while reducing time and errors in managing organic search campaigns.
More specifically, SEO management through an enterprise toolet can offer the following benefits:
- One interface, many tools. Enterprise search engines perform many tasks in a single system. A comprehensive dashboard can help you monitor your organization’s SERP rankings and trends. It will also show you how your competitors are doing and how your share of voice is doing. Enterprise-level SEO operations can reap significant benefits from the integration and prioritization tasks, reporting, and user permissions.
- Intent insights. Due to the increased focus of search engines on user intent, enterprise-level SEO tools vendors are developing machine learning model that analyzes user behavior and site contents to help marketers answer searchers’ questions. This information can be used to inform content development strategies, which is crucial given the importance of quality content.
- More efficient global operations management. Enterprise SEO tools include diagnostics that can help identify site-wide issues across countries, languages, and regions. These tools can identify macro and micro issues in pages, templates, and infrastructure.
- Keeping up with search engines. SEO vendors have dedicated teams of engineers and engineers who monitor search engine algorithm changes and the impact on SEO reporting required for enterprises. A relationship with a quality vendor can give marketers an edge by providing education and software tool development.
- Automatic reporting to provide data in near-real-time. Many companies end up trying to store a lot of data into spreadsheets and manually updating them. However, this doesn’t give a complete view of data. Many enterprise SEO platforms provide highly customized reporting capabilities that can be widget- or wizard-driven to make reporting easier and faster. Many allow data export to business intelligence tools and other analytics software.
How much do enterprise SEO platforms cost?
A significant investment can be made in licensing an enterprise SEO platform, especially for retailers or ecommerce brands with hundreds of thousands SKUs or product pages.
Marketers spend thousands of dollars every month on licensing fees. To maximize the platform’s value and capabilities, they may also need to pay for staff training and installation.
Virtually all enterprise SEO platforms are provided on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis (i.e. The vendor makes the software online and is responsible to maintain and administer the system.
Pricing models for enterprise-level services vary depending on the number of users, websites, keyword rankings, link volume and other SEO activities.
How to make an informed purchase of a SEO platform
Are you ready to help your company choose the right SEO platform for your business? These are the four steps that will help you choose the right SEO platform for your business.
Step 1: Do your enterprise need an enterprise-level SEO platform?
The same steps are required to determine if your company requires an enterprise-level SEO platform. This includes a complete self-assessment of the organization’s financial resources, staffing and business needs.
The following questions can be used as a guideline for determining the answers.
- Are we able to hire the right people to implement and use SEO platforms? SEO toolsets can help you make your marketing staff more efficient and productive. Most organic search marketers have difficulty justifying their SEO budgets. SEO platforms and tools can be a key component in helping to keep overall costs low while still getting the work done. SEOs can also use their analytical skills to prove the value of their work on the bottom-line.
- Do we have C level buy-in? Enterprise software can be a five or six-figure investment each year. C-level executives need to be convinced of the value of SEO by running pilot projects and agreeing on a definition for success.
- Do we have the appropriate technical resources? A successful enterprise SEO requires dedicated technical resources to implement the recommendations and opportunities presented by analytics and reports. Many SEOs report that a technical backlog is the main obstacle to their SEO success. Allocating resources can make a big difference in whether an implementation succeeds or fails.
- Who will be responsible for enterprise SEO? Enterprise search is often placed in marketing, editorial, or IT depending on the business’s nature. It is often placed in IT, marketing, editorial, or IT. This can be a problem in large companies. It should be both, in the best case scenario.
- Should we invest in staff training? Training is essential for technical, design, content, and marketing teams. It should also be reinforced on a regular basis. An enterprise SEO implementation that succeeds will identify ways to integrate SEO knowledge into existing training programs, and identify internal evangelists to spread the message. Training must be consistent, comprehensive, and continuous. You may find that some tool companies offer additional training, or include it. Ask about this.
- How much do we need to share reports? Some tool vendors focus significant development resources in simple interfaces that can easily be used by people in other roles, such as writers and C-suite executives. This is something you should consider when considering possible platforms.
- Are we able to establish KPIs and have a system in place to track, measure and report results? It is important to understand what your SEO goals are upfront. Do you want to increase SERP rankings? Or the time that visitors spend on your website? Is conversion your primary objective, whether it’s a whitepaper download or a product purchase? Setting goals will help you decide whether you are ready to use an enterprise platform effectively and which tool will best suit your organizational needs.
- How do we measure success? Depending on the monetization strategy of your site, you need to know how you will determine if the platform rollout and successful execution of established KPIs resulted in increased sales, conversions, page views, or both.
- Are we realistic in our expectations? It is not unusual for enterprise SEO efforts take at least six to six months to produce tangible results. SEO initiatives that are new within an organization will require cultural shifts and a refinement of workflow processes. Support at all levels of the organization can be gained by setting realistic goals and timelines.
- Is there an SEO culture? Many companies invest in SEO, but lack of knowledge about SEO throughout the organization slows down their progress. For consistent performance and results, it is often necessary to have a broad education.
Step 2: Contact the right vendors
Once you’ve decided that enterprise SEO software is right for your business, it’s time to get started
The following steps can be used to research individual vendors and their capabilities:
- You should make a list of all your SEO capabilities, as well as those you wish to have. This last category is crucial and will help you avoid costly mistakes. If you find one vendor that doesn’t have this capability, it’s probably not the right fit. International data can be expensive. You may not want to track all your markets. Instead, you might use an enterprise-level tool for your most important market and then switch to simpler tools for secondary markets.
- Next, make a list of your capabilities and do some research. Many vendors featured in this report offer whitepapers and interactive tools that can be of assistance.
- Reduce your list to vendors that match your criteria. Send your list of SEO capabilities to be considered and set a time frame for them to respond.
- Decide whether or not you will need to engage in a formal process of RFI/RFP. This is a personal preference. However, it is important to provide the same list to all vendors to facilitate comparison.
The best RFPs are focused on relevant information and include ample information about your company and its SEO requirements. It should include high-level strategic goals as well as KPIs. You can mention the most important KPIs of your company and how you will assess the success of your SEO efforts. You can also include details about the timeline and any digital technology that you have already deployed.
A RFP, when done correctly, will ease the sales process. It will also ensure that all parties involved have a common understanding of the intended purchase’s purpose, scope, and structure. You should be able narrow down your list to three to four platforms that you want to demo from the RFP responses.
Step 3: Scheduling demo
Demos can be set up with your shortlist vendors in a short time frame after you have received the RFP responses. This will help to make relevant comparisons.
Make sure all internal users are present at the demo call. Pay attention to the following:
- How simple is it to use the platform?
- Does the vendor seem to be able to understand our business and our marketing requirements?
- Are they showing us the “must-haves”?
- Is the reporting actionable
You can also ask the vendor questions like:
- How can you calculate search volumes? Understanding how the system treats information types will affect how you assign value to certain keyword terms, make decisions regarding keyword and content choices, and impact the ROI of search marketing efforts. You can find out where raw data is extracted (e.g. log files, analytics, or a proprietary tracking device pixel).
This system can track millions of visits, searches, site pages, and other information. What is the status of the
Platform is either a true enterprise solution, or a simple tool that may not scale well for your business.
It is important to consider your needs. There could be limits on the number of keywords, pages, or traffic tracked.
This could have a significant impact on your system’s use or increase the cost.
- Do international search support you? There are many nuances in international SEO that can confuse even the most experienced SEOs. Find out if the platform’s average clicks for search or average search volume are normalized for global (in that country) search. Also, find out if search ranks are calculated from within a country or remotely. Is their tool capable of making hreflang-coding recommendations? It will manage page relationships and directional recommendations. Your search marketing efforts could be negatively affected if you misuse international data.
- How can you track and report universal searches? It is important to find out if and where your site appeared on the results page. Do you want to know if your listing appeared in web results, the In the News segment or the video results? This information and the reporting feedback can help you quantify your strategic and tactical efforts.
- Does your tool allow customers to understand the activities of their competitors and draw actionable insights from them? What are some of the most important features that a tool provides for competitive research? Although competitive intelligence is a standard feature on most enterprise SEO platforms, the cost and scope of this feature can vary between vendors. Check out the data provided about your competitors, vertical industry, and ensure it meets your needs.
- What are your reporting options? Different users may have different reporting requirements. Find out if reports are customizable and can be automatically delivered to different types of users. Also, find out whether data can be exported as a CSV file.
- Where are the actionable reporting opportunities? Enterprise tools offer dashboards and a lot of data, but it is important to understand how and which reports can be used immediately to benefit your business. A strong sales team will be able to understand your company’s objectives, KPIs, and will have reports prepared or be able run them in real time. This data can be passed to the appropriate departments and acted on quickly.
- What meta-information does your system gather that could be made available via API. Being capable of tracing search traffic data from the beginning of the funnel to sales data in CRM or business intelligence (BI), will help you calculate ROI more accurately.
- Does the platform have a workflow that allows me to coordinate my content, marketing, and social media teams? SEO cannot work in silos. True enterprise platforms should offer workflow management, which includes task assignment, management, and monitoring of completion rates among groups.
- What is the onboarding process and how long does it take? What training options are available (e.g., will they train us online or will they send someone to our location? Make sure you find out what support and onboarding are included in the pricing.
- What level of client engagement and ongoing support will your account team provide? In what way will you measure our use of the platform’s features. A company that doesn’t use the platform enough is one of the main reasons they leave an enterprise platform. How can they help you avoid tool fatigue and checkout? Vendors should be prepared to address this issue, and specifically how the tool engages users and gets them back in the environment.
- What new features do you consider? What is the long-term roadmap? When will they be available? With new features constantly coming out of Google or Bing, the SEO landscape is constantly changing. How fast can they respond to new SERP features? It is important to know the level of innovation as well as the ability to track and add new technologies. It is important to know the vendor’s release dates and ability to adhere to them. This establishes trust and a expectation with the vendor that they will always be at the forefront of SEO.
Step 4: Check references, negotiate a contract
Before you make a decision on a vendor to work with, speak with at least two references from customers, preferably one who works in the same industry as yours. If you are unable to identify the references, the SEO vendor should be able provide them with several.
This is a great opportunity to ask additional questions or learn more about topics that were not covered during the demo. You must ensure that the person to whom you have been referred is the primary user of the solution.
These are some basic questions you might also want to ask:
- Why did you choose to use an enterprise SEO platform instead?
- Why did you choose this platform over other platforms?
- Is this platform living up to your expectations?
- What was the time it took to implement the system?
- Are you also using other tools for crawling and page evaluations, competitive analysis or domain and link data?
- Did you discover any surprises you wished you knew about?
- How was the training and onboarding quality?
- Which areas have you experienced the greatest success? What are the biggest challenges?
- Does your company have other teams that use the tool? How did you get their support?
- How do you measure your success?
- How easy was it to set up and how long did it take? How helpful was the vendor?
- How responsive is customer support?
- Is there any downtime?
- Are you making use of all the resources available? If not, which ones?
- What is your favorite, most actionable report that the tool generates?
- What would you like them to do differently?
- Why would you recommend this platform to others?
While not all vendors require an annually contract, many do. After you have selected a vendor to work with, make sure you get a written list of the technology and support that is included in the contract. Ask about any additional fees that might be applicable.
- Is there a charge for custom integrations? If so, what are the charges and how long does it take to complete onboarding?
- What is the hourly rate for engineering services? Is there a minimum?
- What are the available partner organizations to install and integrate this tool?
- What will it cost to train a new employee mid-year?
- What is the “out clause”?
- Are they open for a trial period and have the option to end the contract?
It is better to have the answers in writing and upfront than to be surprised.
You can save money down the line.
A Marketer’s Guide to Enterprise SEO Platforms
Our MarTech Intelligence Report examines market trends for SEO platforms and the considerations that must be taken when implementing them. This 65-page report examines the market for SEO platforms and the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities.
Get your free report: Enterprise SEO Platforms: The Marketer’s Guide (12th Edition).
This report was compiled through in-depth interviews with industry experts and vendors. The research was conducted in the first quarter 2022. These data, along with third-party research, are the basis of this report.
The full report compares 15 top enterprise SEO software vendors:
- SE Ranking
Search Engine Land’s first article was How to Choose an Enterprise SEO Platform.