I just started working with two companies. One a large online shopping site and the other a small local insurance company.
As we worked on strategy, it drove home the difference in efforts for for large company SEO versus local SEO.
Just like there specifics to make local a success, the same holds true for national company SEO.
Before any thought can be given to building out SEO, the technology in use has to be flexible or customizable to service SEO needs.
The CMS or static page architecture need to have the option to customize metadata like title tags, meta descriptions, headers, photo tagging, structured data, and cross links.
Ideally, this should be able to be done somewhat at scale, so corrections can be released to all pages simultaneously when necessary.
Content is a key component of all SEO efforts, but there is an important SEO variation here, too.
Whereas a local SEO will focus on building dozens of pieces of content targeted at key audiences, national SEO will require hundreds to thousands of articles of content to be created.
One way I like to start on brand new projects is to think about who the audience for my content/products will be and where in the funnel they will be when they discover the content.
The end results is the same however; providing useful information to prospective customers.
Anyone who’s read up on SEO knows how important links are.
Manual link outreach for key pages might work for smaller sites, but on sites with thousands of pages, this doesn’t scale.
A link building strategy for national SEO will focus attracting links to hub or category pages rather than specific pages.
Developing a real plan is also critical as many pages will never get external links, so internally linking those pages might be the only way to boost their value.
Lastly, depending on the size of the enterprise there might be an in-house PR team or agency on retainers, so the SEO team will want to make sure they are coordinating with this resource to maximize link value.
Hiring for national SEO is an incredibly hard role to fill. SEO in a national setting will be a very important function and one that leaders would likely want to recruit an experienced hire.
The challenge is that there are just not that many experienced hires that will fit the bill for what most companies want.
A good approach to at least get national SEO efforts off the ground might be to fall back onto an agency or a consultant that has had experience building out SEO efforts in a large firm.
Done successfully, national SEO has the potential to build one of the most profitable acquisition channels for a company.
However, it also comes along with many potential pitfalls due to all the moving parts.
A successful national SEO effort needs:
I know I only scratched the surface with the foundation above, but it should be enough to point you in the right direction.