Todd Friesen is modding.
Andrew Gerhart from Primedia was up first. They acquired an auto site with tons of strengths... The weaknesses of the site are that; entire site was built on a flat file CMS, code is a mess, majority of the content is not optimized, content is input manually, web site structure is not optimized, site links out to partner websites for content, and forum is on a different platform that is not SE friendly. The opportunity was that there was room for content expansion, minimal changes would product large returns, site does not currently rank for primary keywords, utilize established brand to gain rankings and links, traffic can be immediately monetized. The threats include; time, resources, political issues and pushback and multi-platform websites. Step 2 was planning, they needed to train people in SEO, optimize all the existing content, optimize the site templates and code, restructure the web sit, optimize the internal linking structure, build new content and build links. They made procedural changes which was communicated from the top, including SEO reviews, new URLs, one on one training, daily monitoring and weekly and monthly progress reports. SEO training includes; document content optimization guidelines, document seo best practices, basic seo training, review seo strategies and goals, review seo phases and current initiatives, work throughout content optimization examples and follow up with one o one meetings. SEO Phase 1: Seo team and interns optimize every page of every article, document of existing and new urls, set up 301 redirects. SEO Phase 2: optimize code of existing site, etc. SEO Phase 3: new content sections, use existing resources, replace link outs within site content, integrate links into existing CMS content, relaunch forums and launch blogs. SEO Phase 4: build links, etc. Results: 70% in search referrals.
Robert Carilli of Shop.com. He shows the shop.com timeline, starting off as catalogcity.com... He shows off their competitive advantage, all promo stuff for them so far. They have teams set up as; keyword review team, account management team, seo technology team, seo marketing team and analytics team. Keyword Review: keywords are the life blood of SEM, tens of millions of keywords are in the shop.com database, proprietary keyword review and classification tools, explore creative strategies for expanding the keywords and the keyword universe is constantly under review. Account Management: Daily ppc account review, regular account updates, constant creative testings, partner relationship management, regular reporting, invoice validation, international coordination and maintain subject matter expertise. Keyword landscape, plan for and react to seasonality, react to change in the bud market, stay up to date on the nuances of SEs, anticipate impact of current events, manage trademark budding practices, stay up to date on merchant changes, track ROI. BOT SEO: traffic driven via SE crawling and indexing pages, regular review and application of SEO practices, constant coordination with engineering dep. DATA FEED SEO: traffic driven via data feeds regularly sent to SEs, regular review and optimization to ensure max results, constant coordination with partners. MARKETING SEO: link building, content dev, social interaction, press release, reputation monitoring, close coordination with creative team and regular reporting and analysis. Phew, he spoke a mile a minute... hope I got everything.
Aaron Shear from Shopping.com is next up, he did not have a presentation, but took the podium. He explains that highly trafficked sites that use load balancing can often run into problems with bad URL structures, with numerous URL "nodes." He said if your site performs very slowly, it normally wont do well in Google. He said focusing on the long tail is very difficult to make sure all those pages are fully indexed. If you have to click 30 clicks deep to get to a product, it is not good user experience, and Google will see that. He said, consider inserting multiple navigational paths to get to the same product or landing page. A good approach is to sell the optimization as a giant needle mover for the company, but make sure the engineers get credit for it, will make them work harder, quicker and more for your department.