While the same white hat SEO guidelines should apply to all websites regardless of size, larger websites (think 1,000+ pages) face a unique set of challenges that smaller website may not have to deal with. Smaller websites are often able to make decisions quickly and act on them ever quicker because they don’t have to worry about these 3 common onsite SEO challenges:
The most obvious problem facing many large websites looking to begin their onsite SEO is the sheer size of their website. I can tell you first hand that optimizing a 1,000+ page website is no small feat; the keyword research alone can easily take 40-80 hours of work, while actually optimizing the content (including writing Meta tags, optimizing the URL structure and so forth) can take twice the amount of time, depending on how content heavy the site is. Getting the ball rolling on the onsite SEO is oftentimes the hardest step, especially if your marketing team is already maxed out on time. Where are you going to squeeze an extra 50 hours of work into your work week? Even if you try to spread it out over a month, things come up and your onsite SEO is pushed even further down the priority list. Many enterprise websites outsource their SEO for that very reason, leaving the heavy lifting to someone else.
However, just because a large website outsources their SEO, that doesn’t mean the final product is produced any faster than if they had just done it themselves. I’ve seen many enterprise websites drop the SEO ball on their end because they couldn’t designate an internal SEO liaison with their SEO partner. A good SEO provider is not going to start changing your site without getting your approval first, and many larger websites have a huge chain of command that all changes have to work their way through, getting approval each step of the way. Either the SEO liaison either can’t get things moving through the chain of command quickly or there is no liaison to ensure that the work is getting into the right hands for approval. The work may be done, but without the go-ahead from the website’s management, the onsite SEO is stalled.
Another common onsite SEO challenge I have seen with many larger websites is that one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing. Just like the SEO liaison is responsible for keeping the momentum moving on their end, they are also the ones who make sure the right people are involved at the right time. For instance, does your IT director really need to be involved in the social media marketing strategy planning session? Should your PR firm have a say in what keywords your onsite SEO should target? Does the CEO need to be involved in meetings about coding issues? Sometimes there are too many cooks in the kitchen, and other times there are too few.