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6 tips for choosing the right Enterprise Search solution

6 tips for choosing the right Enterprise Search solution

If you do SEO at the company level, going alone is a recipe for disaster.

The size and scope of SEO concerns and tasks are exponentially larger than for smaller sites.

This means not only building a good team and good relationships with other stakeholders in your organization, but also using third-party solutions to help you make better decisions.

This article gives you the criteria to look at when deciding which SEO provider to use for your business SEO efforts.

For this overview, we will focus on platforms that provide important organic search data and scalable analytics for larger sites, so I do not include things like internal search or PPC under the umbrella of “search solution platforms.”

Here are the main criteria you need to evaluate which business search platform is best for you.

1. All the data you need in one place

A true enterprise SEO solution platform must be your “only source of truth” for organic search data and analytics.

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Such a platform involves a large investment on your part, so it should be able to replace most or even all of your point-of-sale tools.

There are hidden but expensive costs of relying on multiple point solutions: the time you have to invest in downloading, coordinating, and analyzing all of that data outside of the tools themselves.

The best SEO enterprise solution must be able to integrate all data in useful ways across the platform’s own features.

For example, you need to be able to analyze third-party analysis data in conjunction with the platform’s own data and analysis tools.

Also, be sure to look at what restrictions are placed on your data. A platform may seem cheaper at first glance, but if you have large data needs that it will charge for, it may prove to be more expensive in the long run.

In summary, here are the key questions to ask when examining the SEO features of an SEO platform:

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What data does the platform provide – and from what sources? How well does the platform integrate with other third-party data sources, such as my analytics program or the Google Search Console? Are there any artificial restrictions on data that I can access within my plan? If a platform says “unlimited data”, what does it really mean? Make sure none of the exceptions are mission-critical for you. How often is the data updated? How easily does the platform use integrated third-party data across the platform’s various research and analysis features?

2. Data are fully available

An SEO solution for companies must not only be completely transparent about the sources of its data, but must give you full access to this data in the form you need.

No matter how complete a platform’s analysis tools are, there are times when you want to grab the data and do your own analysis outside the platform.

The ideal solution makes it easy to export this data, either by direct download or APIs.

Key questions:

How accessible is the data on the platform for use outside the platform? In what forms or by what methods can they be accessed? Are there any limits to how much data I can export out of the platform? Does the platform allow us to easily verify its data, such as single-click SERP snapshots in its keyword research tools?

3. Transparency in prices, innovation, service and more

Enterprise SEO solution platforms usually involve time-limited contracts and a significant investment on your part, both in the monetary cost of the platform and your time to learn how to use it effectively.

As with any potentially long-term relationship, full transparency in advance is crucial to success.

It starts with how the platform presents and sells its various packages.

Is the pricing for each package clearly defined, as well as what you get for it? Are there hidden charges, such as fees for more data or access to other parts of the platform? Are there unreasonable limits where there is no good reason the platform should charge, but they do just because they can?

Each platform will have certain restrictions on use or data access, but make sure that these limits make reasonable sense, such as having to limit to avoid abuse or cause unreasonable stress on the platform’s capabilities.

A good business solution must also be transparent and honest about its commitments and follow-up on innovation and new features.

Does the platform have an accessible roadmap with innovations and new features? Is this roadmap updated regularly? Are there indications that they are following promises in the roadmap? How many projects have they completed and how often? What level of commitment do users have in the roadmap? Can they suggest new ideas? Comment on them? Raise them? Is there any indication that suggestions from users greatly influence what the platform builds?

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Moreover, what does the platform offer and commit to in terms of customer service?

This can be one of the most overlooked aspects of value. The best package of tools in the world will be useless if you can not learn to use them or get quick help when things do not seem to work out as expected.

Are both client success and technical support included in the package? Are there any limits to interacting with any of these? Does the client success team offer proactive training to get your team running on the platform as quickly as possible? Do their training focus only on learning the platform, or do they actually help you succeed in SEO using the platform? Is technical support available 24/7? What are the contact options and the average response times?

Other areas where there needs to be full transparency include security and the ability to adapt to your needs.

4. Unlimited review of site audit

A complete SEO solution for businesses should offer a robust crawler supported by sophisticated analytics tools to give you an accurate picture of the health of your site.

To meet the needs of a larger site, there should be no real limitations on the number of crawls you can run.

Key questions:

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Is crawling and auditing included in my package, or is there a surcharge? Are there any restrictions on the number or size of crawls I can run? How sophisticated are the audit and analysis tools provided?

5. Automated, AI-driven insight

An updated company’s organic search platform should go beyond just gathering and displaying data.

The best platforms available today include sophisticated AI-powered tools that permeate your mountains of data and audit reports to surface the things you need to be aware of first.

These tools should be able to warn you of a range of issues or opportunities, including but not limited to:

Technical issues that may hamper indexing. Page speed or other usability issues (security, mobile friendliness, etc.). Issues that can affect placement, including incorrect tagging, missing SERP features, options, and cannibalization. Issues that affect page authority, such as opportunities for internal linking, or where multiple external links may be needed.

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Also look for alerting features such as automatic page change notifications or ranking fluctuations.

Key questions:

What levels of analytics automation are included? How much information do they provide? Can they be customized? Are site and page monitoring tools included?

6. Content Optimization

Content and SEO are inextricably linked.

Success in SEO is never fully achieved without an effort to build the best, most relevant content and continuously improve the performance of existing content.

Therefore, an SEO solution for businesses should include tools to help you research, create and optimize content for your site.

It starts with a robust content hole tool that can sniff out your true search competitors and find the greatest opportunities where they rank, but you do not yet, for things that are relevant to your site and your business.

The platform will also offer sophisticated research tools that go beyond traditional keyword research to be able to tease search intent, overlapping audience interest and semantically related topics.

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The very best platforms will also have a tool for creating / optimizing content that allows you to either create content inside the tool or analyze existing content.

This tool should provide you with proven, actionable insights on how to improve your content based on its analysis of the pages currently ranked for your chosen topic.

Key questions:

Does the platform contain tools specifically for content research, creation and optimization? How robust is its content gap analysis? Can it identify your true search competitors (those who actually compete with you on your search topics, not just those you think of as “real world” competitors)? Can its current research tools identify semantically related terms? Can it tell you how relevant these terms are to your identified topic, including audience overlap and user intent? Does the platform offer a content tool that gives you on-the-fly analysis and suggestions as you type? Can you connect existing content to get the same recommendations?

Choosing your Enterprise search solution

This post has given you a lot of features to look for and questions to ask.

It is a good indication that the process of finding the right solution for you will involve some time and effort, but considering that you want this to be a long term relationship, your investment will be worth it.

In reality, there are many SEO point solutions and software packages out there, but only a few can provide everything you need at the enterprise level and scale.

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To help you narrow down the field, the Search Engine Journal has published an in-depth guide to the best SEO platforms for businesses.

More resources:

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