SEO Tip #104: If You Were An SEO of A Large Company, What Would You Include In Your 2011 Strategy?

Matt Cutts: Great question. So, let’s start off by pretending that you really do control everything within the website and you’re a really smart SEO and you have complete buy in from your CEOs, CTOs and all that sort of stuff. One thing I would pay attention to is optimizing for speed.

It is a slight factor in Google’s rankings. Lots of people have run tests and they have discovered if you are able to decrease the speed latency when pages are returned within your website customers end up doing more things; more purchases, more exploring, more browsing. So you can definitely increase your ROI when you decrease your speed or your latency.

So I would try to make sure you can make your site a little bit faster. That is one thing I would pay attention to because it could be as simple as minifying JavaScript or CSS, trying to merge includes, trying to make sure your images are optimized. These are all relatively simple things but can have a big impact on your bottom line when you start to think about real user behavior.

The other thing is I wouldn’t necessarily assume that you really did have buy in from your CTO, your CEO, it’s very few cases that I have seen where you have a large cooperation that gives complete buy in to SEO because they realize how important it is and how important search engine ares. So the other thing I would do is make sure you have control of the CMS, the content management system. I would make sure that you really did have everybody on the same page because in my experience that needs to be renewed in an evergreen kind of way. You’ll have new people come in who might not know about SEO, so an education program that says, “Here are the results that we have seen. This is why we invest in SEO. This is why it’s a good idea.”

I would include that as part of your strategy. Also things as simple as making sure your internal linking is consistent and you’re not dropping links off the ledge of a cliff with 404 errors. Try and make sure that when you do make internal links they’re good keywords but not spammy and describe a product in a descriptive way. So, optimize for speed, try to make sure you have good internal CMS practices and internal linking and good education.

The last thing if you have all that in a row is I would think about social media marketing. Social media marketing is spreading things on Twitter, spreading things on FaceBook, throwing things onto Digg, Redit, or wherever you’re going to throw it. Those can be things to get whatever you want to talk about out to a wider audience.

Now, can that effect SEO? Well if you get 100 visitors then one of those visitors might make a blog post or might make a link and that link could eventually flow PageRank or send more visitors.

So a lot of people think SEO versus social media marketing and a lot of the times it makes sense to keep a holistic view and think, okay first you have to have great content and some reason your site is not just a brochure so people would want to link to your site and then you need to tell people about. Social media marketing can be a really good way to do that.

So just to sum up I would:

Optimize for speed
Make sure your internal linking and CMS is in good shape, which includes educating people about why SEO is a good idea
Then I would actually pay attention to social media marketing

Thanks for the question.

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About the Author

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.