Moderator: Joe Laratro
Speakers: Marshall D. Simmonds, Vice President of Enterprise Search Marketing, New York Times, on the web Bill Hunt, Search Effectiveness Team Lead, IBM.com, Global Strategies Ash Nallawalla, Traffic Manager, Yellow Online, Sensis Pty Ltd Scott Polk, Sr. Manager of SEO Edmunds.com
Description: Do you have a large site with more than a million pages? This panel will look at the special issues surrounding mega-site SEO and SEM.
Session Notes: Marshall is first up... His perspective is both as an internal search specialist for New York Times, but they also consult with many major brands.
They spend a lot of time managing expectations. Must learn the different venaculars of the clients you are working with. Ask questions until you understand their business and their customers.
Find quick wins to get leverage and buy-in. Exlain the experience with metrics and dollars.
Like to approach each project with three different buckets: editorial, production and promotion. Little things like moving keywords to the front of the title tag, exposing the archives for additional content, and monthly network wided communications.
He also recommends having your site in a constant state of audit. Provide checklists to the staffs involved. For example the SEO team is constantly reviewing keywords and onsite basics. The people need to be empowered to make adjustments too.
For social media at TV Guide they established a social media person who became the brand embassador. This person was responsible for building online awareness.
Mistakes to avoid include walling off content, undercommunicating, not checking with IT/Production/Ad Team, not doing META tags, not talking to the people implementing the changes, and not setting proper expectations.
Bill Hunt is up next...
Monitor page level performance by breaking your keywords into tier 1,2 & 3 level phrases to help you focus on the task for getting them ranked.
Leverage your interconnected network by leveraging your large family of high quality relationships. If you are a major company you may have many sites to take advantage of... list your sites to see what servers they sit on. You may be able to find a lot of sites on differnt class C IP addresses and use them to help each other out from a content and link perspective.
When working with multiple SEM/SEO companies, make sure you are putting all the data together so that you can see the big picture and to allow you to focus on things that are working and things that are not. Compare PPC vs organic numbers to help you focus on terms that convert.
Feed the need for information and create compelling information consumers will pull and interact with.
Make sure you prepare for increase in traffic from offline marketing. Integrate them right from the planning process. Don't argue about who brought the traffic in, just convert it!
Next up is Scott Polk...
Scott is now with Bruce Clay, used to be with Edmunds.com. He is covering SEO friendly CMS and interanl projects.
Need to be able to customize and control the HTML output. SEO has to become part of the entire process from requirements gathering to project lifescycle to documentation.
SEOs must evangelize internally. Find SEO champions, offer training and education, make SEO part of the culture, develop relationships and then provide validation that what you did worked.
Ash Nallawalla is the final presenter...
SEO differs for very large sites: - could be millions of pages, can just say "lets change our title tags" - greater emphasis on site architecture and strategy - web platform may not be search engine friendly - duplicate content is pervasive - often there are islands of information spread across a business - you have to deal with trademark/copyright statements which may even discourage linking from others
Ash feels where the SEO sits in a company is often much lower than it should be. SEOs should be involved with senior management. SEOs need to spend a lot of time education sr. management to show them the importance of search.
URL length and parameters are critical. Smart site architecture will use good PR sculpting by properly implementing internal links.
Duplicate content can occure in multi-national sites, or where content is licensed from a special provider, or the company used muliple domain names to display the same website.
Ash was very careful about how they structured the title tags for deep pages. They made sure the tag was build based on the keyword or category used to get to the inner pages.
His suggested checklist: - if you don't rank well consider hiring a 3rd party professional for review - you may need internal SEO training - may need a linking budget - check your linking policy
These session notes were written by Arnie Kuenn from Vertical Measures a link building and website publicity company. Please excuse any typos or grammar issues, the session notes are written live and meant to be posted as soon as the session is over.