Enterprise SEO with Nick Wilsdon

Photo courtesy of Nick Wilsdon
Photo courtesy of Nick Wilsdon

In this episode. of the B2B Lead Gen Podcast, digital marketer and strategist Nick Wilsdon talks about the enterprise SEO strategies of major brands, working with SEO specialists, why big changes at Google could make or break your search engine visibility, and more.

Nick is the co-founder and CEO of TorquePartnership, a company that provides digital consultancy and search engine optimization advisory programs to enterprise clients. A speaker, blogger and contributor to industry publications such as The Drum, Reuters and The Moscow Times, Nick is passionate about digital performance, integrated digital marketing campaigns and joining up the dots.


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Enterprise SEO vs Small Business SEO

According to Nick, there are major differences in the ways enterprises and small businesses approach SEO. Small businesses, for instance, are more focused on link building, whereas enterprises are more focused on the technical side of SEO, since they deal with considerably larger websites. Enterprise SEO is B2C SEO. Small businesses serve consumers and other businesses, but it’s fair to say that most SEO B2B campaigns are launched on behalf of small business. “Link acquisition isn’t really as important for them,” Nick reveals. “They’ve got the authority. Usually, the thing that’s holding them back is tech, SEO, and implementing that.”

Nick also mentioned that in order to get a decent SEO strategy up and running for an enterprise, there’s a complex process that involves a lot of tweaking, fixing, and approvals. “There’s a lot of process and politics behind that, to get those things fixed. That takes a huge amount of strategy and thinking to kind of push that through those organizations.”

Another key difference is the sheer scale of enterprise SEO, which is the kind of problem that small business SEO strategies don’t have to deal with. Even the seemingly simple act of making SEO changes must take the different teams and interests of the organization into consideration; Nick says that this often requires a “very strong business case” to justify those changes. “It involves [the specialist] having an understanding of the commercial nature of the business, far more than most of the technical SEOs. So you have to have a balance between your technical knowledge, but also an understanding of what the business is trying to do and what the objectives are through the business.”

Value of Soft Skills in Enterprise SEO

That’s why soft skills are important for people working in SEO: Being an expert on the nitty-gritty of SEO can only take you so far. “If you can’t convey the value of what you’re trying to do to senior stakeholders, then you’re never going to move up in your career, and you’re never going to make these kinds of projects land.”

Nick also took the time to emphasize the importance of internal linking, whether for enterprise sites, small business sites, or any other type of online business site. “Those internal links are absolutely fundamental,” stresses Nick, “and you should be always thinking, ‘If [I] have highly linked pages, and [I’m] going out with something that does attract links, where am I linking to internally from from that page?”

Ironically, this is the aspect of SEO that’s often overlooked, according to Nick. One example is how when an internal link goes dead and goes to a 404 page, it no longer transfers any equity to your site. “As a small business owner, what are you doing to recover those links that are coming into your site? How are you making sure that you monitor them with some of the tools that are out there to make sure that they’re always live? Because it’s far easier to do link recovery, and to monitor and maintain your current linking database, and it is to go out and get more links.”

Ecommerce, and Tips for Working with SEO Specialists

With the overnight changes in the business landscape brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nick believes that now more than ever, it’s time to hop on the ecommerce bandwagon. Lockdowns and health restrictions have forced businesses to go “digital first” — and this transition has made businesses realize just how important it is to prioritize getting the digital aspects of their operations (such as digital orders) working, mainly because we don’t know what else to expect in the years to come. Nick cited the UK as an example, in which Black Friday and Christmas sales were restricted to digital events. “When people kind of joke about what has caused business transformation, ‘Has it been the CEO, the CTO or COVID?’ It’s definitely been COVID. It’s pushed us 10 years ahead.”

When it comes to hiring an agency to work on SEO, Nick suggests that businesses should look at consultants before looking at agencies. “I think this also reflects the way that the market has changed,” Nick opines, citing how businesses these days tend to jump right into SEO execution without coming up with a decent plan first. “I would take the time to talk to a consultant, to really establish a plan and a blueprint for what [I’m] trying to do… Just to actually do the thinking behind this before you go into execution mode is so important.”

To hear more of Nick’s insights, including the knowledge gap some companies have when it comes to SEO, cross-platform campaigns, working with major brands like eBay, and finding reliable WordPress developers, make sure to listen to the full episode.

If you’re just getting started and need basic SEPO training, take my FREE SEO Course to bring yourself up to speed.

And to support this podcast, rate and review us on Apple Podcasts here.

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