The following is an excerpt from the Executive Summary of our new study, "Big Companies Fall Short with SEO and Content Marketing."
Or, download your complimentary copy of the 30-page study.
Check out our infographic that features some of the key findings.
By Mike Murray
President, Online Marketing Coach
Even with their vast resources, Fortune 100 companies still miss the mark with search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing on multiple levels.
They clearly enjoy high rankings for many keyword phrases, but I don’t believe that they are doing as much as they should to pursue some keyword phrases that could drive millions of visitors to their websites.
They have the capacity to make headway. After all, Fortune 500 companies that made the 2015 list generated $12.5 trillion in revenues and $945 billion in profits while employing 26.8 million people around the world. Surely, the top 100 could leverage some of their earnings and talent.
For each of the Fortune 100 companies, I focused on their 500 most searched keyword phrases, which rank 11-20 on Google 19.4% of the time on average. Some of those keyword phrases are relevant and are searched thousands of times a year. Others involve millions of searches every year.
Big companies like the Fortune 100 could make some changes as simple as fully optimizing SEO page titles. For example, 56% don’t use non-branded keyword phrases in their home page SEO titles.
Home pages should include keywords within SEO page titles to help attract more visitors who can engage with websites. Here are three examples from Fortune 100 companies that aren’t as strong as they could be:
Here some of the key findings:
- 23% don't use a home page meta description that could appear with search engine results
- 71% merely repeat visible interior page headers for their SEO page titles instead of adjusting SEO page titles to accentuate keyword phrases
- 89% generally don't name images with keywords with dashes (they prefer ineffective underscores and generic or jammed words)
- 93% feature a reasonably evident call to action on the home page (several were borderline)
- 99% don't include keywords other than the brand in domain names
- 76% generally use dashes to separate words with page URLs (they still lack strategic keyword choices in many cases)
- 70% benefit from 500,000 or more inbound links
- 20% aren't mobile-friendly based on Google's test
Fortune 100 and other large companies have many options to ensure that their SEO and content marketing efforts pay off for them. They could certainly expand the content on some pages and improve overall SEO techniques. But they should seriously consider creating new content to target keyword phrases that haven’t managed to make the first page of Google. Their current pages often support many keyword phrases already, including those within the 1-10 positions. New content could include:
- How-to Guides
- Case Studies
- Industry Trends and Resources
- White Papers
- Videos with Transcripts
When diving into the data, I noticed many single keywords (also known as head keywords) that ranked 1-10 on the first page of Google. But I also saw plenty of longer keyword phrases that didn’t appear until the third age of Google or several pages later.
For example, IBM ranks #25 on Google for the word “notebook” for this page: http://www.ibm.com/software/products/en/analysts-notebook
Google estimates that there are nearly 600,000 thousand searches a year for “notebook.” Ranking that low, it’s not likely that IBM attracts many visitors who use that word. With that amount of volume, it’s still relevant even though “notebook” could also refer to everything from paper to a tearjerker movie.
ExxonMobil ranks #17 on Google for “best synthetic oil” that’s searched about 40,000 times a year. The current landing page is:
Costco sells washers and dryers and encourages visitors to become members of the popular wholesale club.
But Costco ranks only #16 for “dryers” on Google, meaning it’s not likely to get many of the estimated 8 million annual searches for that search term.