Making an enterprise website more search friendly
With a few rare exceptions, the website platform deployed by a large corporation is not chosen because it is search-engine-friendly or conforms to the latest web standards.
(This case study is a composite of several enterprise transformation projects at more than one client and they cannot be named.)
- The web platform was chosen because it came as part of a package that solved many non-website problems.
- Enterprise application coders might be oblivious to the way search engines work, so the page URLs are such that could make parts of the site invisible to the search engine.
- These days, we expect to see Web 2.0 features such as RSS feeds, video embedding and XML sitemaps. Unfortunately, some enterprise platforms don’t provide them out of the box.
- Accessibile websites are a legal requirement in some countries and at best might attract a lawsuit in countries where it is not.
- Business managers don’t have time to write content, so they take the easy route and license content written by a third party. If that content has already been published by many other businesses, it will not help with search engine visibility.
- Internal red-tape and rules can make someone’s job easier, but often make it harder to make the website search friendly.
- Large companies buy numerous domain names and sometimes they may replicate their primary website on them. This can create search visibility issues.
- Multinational companies have their own set of website issues with duplicated content, domain names and so on.
We have encountered a few more shortcomings, but all of them can be resolved; some sooner and some later. The contract with the vendor might be rigid, but it’s in the vendor’s interest to improve the product and keep the customer happy. Resolving internal, red-tape issues can be more difficult to resolve.