Large enterprise websites come with their own set of SEO challenges, housing thousands of pages and intricate elements such as extensive product catalogs and complex e-commerce functions. To achieve high rankings in search results, technical SEO must be effectively integrated into the website’s structure. However, many enterprise SEO audits may overlook crucial aspects. In this article, we will delve deep into what your enterprise SEO audit may be missing and uncover hidden opportunities to supercharge your SEO strategy.
A Comprehensive Enterprise SEO Audit
When conducting an enterprise-level SEO audit, it’s important to remember that technical SEO is just one piece of the puzzle. A holistic approach encompasses various aspects, including the following:
- Technical SEO audit: Identifying and resolving critical technical issues that impact your website’s overall SEO health.
- Content audit: Evaluating the quality, relevance, and effectiveness of your website’s content and identifying opportunities for improvement.
- Keyword audit: Understanding how your target audience searches for your products or services and aligning it with your content strategy.
- Backlink audit: Examining the quality and relevance of websites linking to yours.
- Competitive analysis: Analyzing your competitors’ SEO strategies to gain insights and differentiate your approach.
- Local SEO audit (if applicable): Assessing local search performance for businesses with physical locations or franchises.
- User experience audit: Evaluating the overall usability and accessibility of your website.
While this article primarily focuses on the technical SEO audit, it’s crucial to recognize that all these audits work collaboratively to shape a holistic enterprise SEO strategy. Focusing solely on technical SEO leaves gaps in your overall SEO efforts.
Uncovering Hidden Gaps in Your Enterprise SEO Audit
Think of SEO as building a skyscraper. Technical SEO serves as the foundation that upholds your website’s search engine results. If the foundation is weak, your rankings can quickly tumble. This foundation becomes even more critical at the enterprise level. Two key challenges create gaps in enterprise SEO audits:
- Complexity due to large size: Large enterprise websites make common areas of technical audits more intricate.
- Unique enterprise elements: There are specific elements unique to enterprise organizations that basic audits may overlook.
This article goes beyond standard on-page audit elements to examine potential gaps in your enterprise technical SEO audit stemming from the complex nature of these websites. We’ll explore:
- Canonicalization issues: These can lead to significant duplicate content penalties.
- Indexing issues: Including problems with internal linking, sitemaps, and URL structure.
Correct Canonical Implementation
Canonical tags guide search engines to the preferred version of a webpage when duplicate or similar content exists. In enterprise setups with numerous locations and sprawling e-commerce platforms, the correct implementation of canonical tags is paramount.
For instance, when a page contains unique content, its canonical tag should be self-referencing. However, within the intricate landscapes of enterprise websites, it’s common to encounter content duplication across numerous pages. In such cases, the purpose of canonical tags shifts to acknowledging the original source of the content or the page intended to rank. This is crucial for sprawling product catalogs, franchise websites, and setups with duplicate content.
Common Canonical Tag Mistakes
Let’s dissect common canonical tag pitfalls within each category:
Generic Canonical Tag Issues
- Non-usage of canonical tags: Failing to employ canonical tags at all.
- Self-referencing tags for duplicate content: Overusing self-referencing canonical tags on pages that should reference the authoritative source.
- Canonical chains: Complex chains that confuse search engines.
E-Commerce Canonical Tag Issues
- Product pages: Incorrectly referencing parent product pages.
- Product category pages: Not referencing the main parent category, affecting Google’s crawl budget.
Franchise Canonical Tag Issues
- Varying URL structures for displaying national and local content, leading to duplicate content.
- Ensuring that all sub-site pages contain a canonical tag citing the original national source of the content.
In the intricate landscape of SEO, mastering canonical tags is like fine-tuning an orchestra for peak performance. By addressing these common pitfalls in the generic, e-commerce, and franchise categories, you orchestrate a harmonious SEO strategy,
Finding Canonical Errors
Google Search Console’s Page Indexing report can help flag potential issues created by improper canonical tag use, such as duplicates without user-selected canonical, Google selecting a different canonical, alternate pages with proper canonical tags, and mismatched canonical tags.
The Pitfall of Neglected Canonical Tags
Neglecting canonical tags can lead to substantial ranking challenges and deindexing. It’s crucial to regularly monitor and maintain canonical tags to safeguard your SEO efforts.
Indexing for Enterprise Websites
Indexing and crawlability are essential for enterprise SEO, given the size of these sites. Efficient indexing deep dives are necessary to ensure that the right pages are being indexed.
Efficient Indexing Deep Dives
Google Search Console offers valuable information on indexing, but it’s essential to complement it with a comprehensive Screaming Frog crawl. This crawl provides data on response codes, sitemaps, no-index tags, broken links, and more. Comparing this data with Google Search Console can help identify indexing issues.
Orphaned pages are web pages not linked to any other page. They can be easily spotted in a Screaming Frog crawl. Evaluate their relevance and, if necessary, create internal link pathways to improve their indexing.
XML Sitemaps and Robots.txt Files
XML sitemaps help search engines navigate your site, while robots.txt files provide guidelines. Ensure there are no errors in these files by checking Google Search Console’s Page Indexing report.
URL Issues That Can Hinder Indexing
URL-related issues can significantly impact indexing. Address three key URL issues: implementing HTTP to HTTPS redirects, choosing a preferred URL version (with or without “www”), and maintaining consistent URL capitalization.
In the intricate world of SEO, maintaining the integrity of canonical tags and mastering indexing is paramount. Neglecting these aspects can jeopardize your rankings and visibility. For enterprise websites, efficient indexing deep dives and vigilance in addressing URL issues are the compass to navigate this vast terrain successfully. Remember, in SEO, attention to detail ensures your website’s journey to the top remains on course.
Crafting an Actionable Enterprise SEO Plan
One of the gaps in enterprise SEO audits is often the lack of a clear plan for implementation. After identifying issues, create a plan with the following steps:
- Set realistic expectations and prioritize high-impact items.
- Focus on high-impact and low-effort items first, such as indexing and canonicalization.
- Avoid overemphasizing low-priority flags.
- Assess technical debt and organizational challenges to determine what can be addressed immediately and what requires further development.
Bridging the Gaps for SEO Excellence
This article delves deep into the unique challenges faced by businesses striving for digital prominence with the help of agencies like Market My Market. With an adept in-house writing team and seasoned SEO experts, we’ve pinpointed potential oversights in your digital marketing audits that could be hampering your success. From content strategy to search engine optimization, we’ve shed light on areas that often go unnoticed. By addressing these challenges, establishing clear priorities, and maintaining consistent oversight, Market My Market charts a course for mastering the digital marketing landscape.
To learn more about how we can help you succeed, contact us at (866) 270-2250 or complete our contact form today.