Launching a large reference site is perhaps the most challenging online venture. Significant competition across most niches and aggressive aggregators are a challenge to all innovative attempts to monetize content and ad-based revenue streams. A digital strategy which includes SEO is esential. Here are just a few thoughts on the subject:
- SEO for smaller eCommerce sites has the luxury of being able to concentrate on relatively small numbers of keyphrases or pages to drive sales. The SEO strategy for large sites is more complex and may need to optimize hundreds of thousands of pages at a time.
- SEO strategies for reference sites can (and in some cases should) be adjusted slightly as the sites become more ‘powerful’. However, technical and content issues aside, the engine of the SEO marketing strategy should be brand and site ‘authority’ improvement.
- A reference site SEO consultant requires: a technical understanding of the site architecture, a fundamental understanding of your content taxonomy, knowledge of how people search for your content online, familiarity with your online competition and finally, experience with social network marketing strategies.
- One of many differences between large reference sites and traditional websites is that the bulk of your visitors may not be entering your site on the homepage but rather on deep-level content pages. This has significant usability and SEO implications.
- Large sites have important inherent issues that need to be monitored and resolved to avoid search engine penalties (one example being that of duplicate content). Despite having worked on the sites of top international web design companies (who often state their sites have built-in SEO), we have yet to find an acceptable ‘as delivered’ content management system for large reference sites