A Point of View on Enterprise SEO Tools
The purpose of this point of view is to help illustrate the need for obtaining an enterprise level SEO platform when assembling an internal SEO team or digital center of excellence involving the management of SEO.
I developed this particular point of view document while working as a consultant for Accenture, in which I had been asked to develop an agnostic view of the various enterprise SEO platforms, their purpose and comparisons.
Because SEO (search engine optimization), is complex, and does require timely information to help assess and identify areas critical to a successful program, it is imperative and highly recommended that the use of a full scale enterprise SEO platform be used to organize, and manage your SEO internally.
In the above image - I listed out the most commonly used SEO platforms - you likely have either heard of or have worked on them at some point in your SEO career.
All The Platforms - How To Decide Which is Best?
Many search professionals may select one or another based on a budget, or limited experience they may have had within a previous agency or through a client's owned platform.
I've had the opportunity to test out various platforms against one another over a period of four years. I'll go into depth as to what I specifically looked at and what either made the platform above average or not.
There are many reasons that necessitate the need to acquire an SEO platform. There are situations, where In order to bring SEO officially in house, technology should be part of that program as a way to organize & manage for the following reasons
- The timing and type of data required to make good, sound SEO decisions is critical to sustaining year over year growth – without such tools would handicap the SEO.
- Ecommerce competition is challenging and competitive and something that would require a greater need for employing such tools. The need to pivot and remediate is necessary or required to mitigate negative search impact.
- Good data in real time is of great importance when making critical decisions in a rapidly changing environment
- Utilization of an SEO Enterprise platform allows for immediate monitoring and direct management of the SEO program on a day to day or week to week basis. Highly recommended to use during QBR, Mid-Year, and EOY reviews of the SEO program to effectively report out KPIs, business goals, vision and opportunity.
DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THE ENTERPRISE SEO GUIDE
LEARN what questions you should ask platform vendors and Find out what the 4 core categories every top level Enterprise Platform MUST have
Which Features Are Important to Consider?
The most critical factors come down to a variety of areas to consider including:
- Ease of use - It absolutely must be intuitive and easy to use, or what's the point?
- International capabilities - If you have or planning on managing any international sites - you should have other language and local search engine functionality built in.
- Scalability- Ask that potential vendor if they run R&D, and ask their users for feedback to scale that platform up to align with current SEO standards
- The ability to conduct a thorough content audit and page level analysis - I've used these platforms to conduct many content audits. You should have that ability to dissect user intent, and develop a content gap analysis
EDITOR'S COMMENTARY: Having a platform in place to serve your SEO needs is a wonderful investment, however, not having anyone in your company who is dedicated to optimizing your SEO program, aka SEO Manager, would make choosing any of these platforms a poor investment.
It is far better to use a lower cost tool such as Ahrefs or SEMrush than it would b to have hundreds or thousands of dollars on a platform that doesn't get used.
Ok - just one more analogy if you'll permit me - It's like buying a really expensive treadmill that sits in your bedroom because you don't have time to train on it or even know how to turn the thing on. (the only exception here being you might use the treadmill as a place to throw your clothes - can't do that with your SEO technology 😉
There are many other factors, but for the purposes of this POV, the emphasis isn’t so much on the brand of tool, but the importance of obtaining one.
No matter what platform you choose, I highly encourage those of you who manage digital marketing/SEO internally, to utilize the right set of tools based on your needs.
If you have no one internally to manage your in-house SEO program, it would not be a good financial decision to invest thousands of dollars each year on a license to any of these if you have no one to manage the platform on a day to day basis.
This helps ensure the program runs efficiently while always having the ability to leverage these tools to successfully navigate the ever changing and somewhat volatile search landscape.
Download the guide above to get a much deeper level analysis!
Let me know what platforms you have experience with or whether you have any questions on any of the platforms I've mentioned here.
MARCH 2019 UPDATE:
Each year Martech creates a fairly intensive analysis on all the major SEO Enterprise players - I have used this guide at various times throughout my career and I wanted to make sure you also had access to the guide!
Here's a link to the SearchEngineland Buyers guide post and over here you'll find a direct link to the 9th Edition of Enterprise SEO Platform guide where you can download the guide