Someone recently asked me a question about the Process and ROI of SEO if I could put it into a few lines. Now the thing is gaining ROI and process from SEO is very different for small business and big business. It is question where you will have a different answer for a different type business.
I decided to break the process down for both small and large business:
1. Small Business – If you work with a small business where you deal directly with the business owner or the key marketing people in the business you can gain ROI quickly in comparison to a big business. The thing is with smaller businesses you can launch things quickly, you can get things signed off quickly you do not have many barriers to entry. Smaller clients will prefer to take risks to gain traffic. Therefore with a smaller business you will be able to see positive ROI quickly.
2. Big Business – If you work with larger businesses you will have to deal with far more stake holders, you will be dealing with various different departments where every one has their own budgets and every one has a different requirement and need.
I have worked on numerous Enterprise SEO accounts in the past and this is the normal team set up below, where as a SMB client will have one contact point. With a big business it may look like the below:
PR Team – The PR team will be helpful to your SEO process if you can train them up on using PR to assist SEO in a nautral way.
Social Media Team – Building links and citations from social media and also running competitions to assist SEO and social is hand in hand. You really do need to get on with the social team.
Marketing Team (Offline & Digital) – Marketing teams both online and offline will need feedback from SEO, I have seen offline teams roll out creative that states “SEARCH FOR XYZ KEYWORD” and they only use paid search they do not even use SEO for the campaign it is a real night mare.
Sales Team – Sales team will want to be your friend if they think their is some benefit to them making ROI within the business, Sales people by nature are usually curious about any easy money makers so be prepared to have a chat.
IT and DEV Team – IT and DEV team will be one of the most important groups in a business to get on with, some ideas are: 1. Bribe the DEVS with Whiskey or treats to get them moving because SEO will be right at the back of their to do list. 2. Get in contact with their seniors and try and get SEO included in their KPIS. I have done both in the past.
Customer Service Team – Customer service team can be very helpful for SEO if you treat them nicely, I trained up a forum and twitter reply team for one company to do some low level link building, its good to include the help team in the wider project because you want people to feel like they are part of a wider project.
Senior Management – This is any one from the CMO to even the CEO when they chime in on SEO such as searching for random terms and asking “why are we not ranking”. And also looking at the balance sheet and saying why are we not making specific ROI in a specific time frame.
Legal Team – They will want to check various things such as copy on sales items. And specific targeting on various terms, legal team can be a hard process to get things passed quickly.
Copywriters – Internal or external they will also be a very important part to any SEO project.
External Suppliers – Who need to check off content, if you work on big project with numerous suppliers you need to get things checked off.
Now This is just a small sample of a enterprise SEO project you probably have other areas such as Eternal agency partners; web dev, content, social, PR and so many more who want to chime in on different things, or recently a tactic I see big companies doing is they use say 3 different SEO companies at once to target 3 different sections of a site and they test them all at once my company has worked on projects like this.
One other thing I would recommend is to have Monthly meetings or bi weekly meetings with the key stake holders for the SEO project. Also every 6 months hold a big meeting with everyone from the project even the help desk people and pay for every ones lunch. Shows them progress with the project, get every one keen to do more great work.
Now further to the team you will work with on a big project the SEO process with big business is you have many stages moving forward in the project before you see ROI:
So overall as you can see working on a big SEO project is VERY different to a Small SEO project. ROI processes will be different in both cases so please be aware of what is involved.