5 search engine optimisation (SEO) mistakes big brands and enterprise level businesses are still making (and need to fix now)…

Having worked at an enterprise level in the SEO sector, I’ve seen many flaws around strategy, tools, knowledge, perceptions and in general, good SEO practice.

In this post I’ll be touching on the top 5 SEO areas that need to be avoided at enterprise or big brand level.

1. Duplicate Content

The biggest mistake of them all is believing because you’re an enterprise or big brand, duplicate content won’t effect you.

Let’s get one thing thing straight, Google is a super smart machine and if content has originated from another source or is being duplicated internally, Panda will strike.

Making sure canonicals, product pages and the like are setup correctly are also a must have.

2. Paid Links

Penguin, another super smart part of the algorithm – I’ve been a little critical in the past around Google Penguin as in some cases hasn’t done it’s job well enough, but in others it has.

Take the Interflora SEO penalty, in part caused by paid links. Google is clear, if the intent of the link is to pass PageRank and game results, free or paid, this is against their ranking T&C’s.

Only last year did I see a super brand in the insurance sector get smacked by the Penguin update – and the evidence was 26,000+ backlinks for just one phrase which was ‘car insurance’ – to this day, they have never recovered and their PPC activity saw a big increase to accommodate their ranking drops.

If you’re an enterprise or big brand buy links to pass PageRank – stop now!

3. Legacy Link Building

OK, so this isn’t something you can avoid per se, but there are plenty of things that can be done to move away from legacy link building.

As we know, Google Penguin continues to get more aggressive and even the low level links which have the business name as the anchor comes into scope, why I hear you ask? Because the link is coming from a low level site which isn’t trusted, and not forgetting the link association with other external links from the site.

Google has given plenty of warnings and legacy will come back to haunt enterprises and big brands in the future.

I’d strongly recommend a backlink audit using Moz, ahrefs and the like along with a link removal programme and a structured multi-level disavow process.

4. On-Page Errors

When it comes to running successful SEO campaigns, I’m a big believer in delivering good UX.

From strong CTAs to supporting images and text, everything needs to work, but time and time again I’ve been on sites that have broken links, images and the like.

How are these errors delivering a good user experience? There NOT!

I’m a big believe in all Google Webmaster Tool errors, Raven Tool Auditor errors, Moz errors and so on should be fixed.

SEO is about the user! Why would Google want to send users to sites with internal site issues?

5. Multi Device Website

Responsive, responsive, responsive – there really is no excuse not to have a website which works on all devices.

Yes I agree the development costs for an enterprise to overhaul a site would be very high but with traffic from mobiles and tablets increasing year on year – now is the time to invest.

TechCrunch have a great article around growth and I expect Google to share big news around traffic from mobile and tablet devices later on in the year.

This also goes back to UX, many desktop sites don’t work well on small screens. Whilst Google has stated it doesn’t effect rankings, I’m pretty sure it will in the future. Also, this article is also well worth a read - 10 websites that aren’t responsive (and probably should be)

and finally…

Nobody said enterprise or big brand SEO is easy, but from my point of view, there are many instances where ‘back to basics’ would be beneficial.

Image Credit: Target image from SXC.hu

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