Once a week or so I watch the Google Webmaster channel on YouTube. Today I found a video that interested me, featuring Google’s own Matt Cutts. I hope you find it valuable as well – check it out here: Google Webmaster YouTube Channel.
A question was asked about what to focus a company’s web strategy on in 2011. Cutts responded with 4 points, 3 of which I personally feel are all valid and important. This question is geared towards an in-house SEO, so if you do your own SEO, this should interest you.
I agree that this is very important when developing a website, especially an e-commerce website. If a page takes a long time to load, chances are people will leave. Also, the other way around, studies have shown that the quicker a website loads, the longer users will stay on the site and the more pages they will view. A very good free tool that I use is the site speed plug-in for Firefox (you can find it here)
Some of the fixes to make the page load faster are quite simple, such as optimised images or image size specifications. Others such as gzip are a tad harder to implement.
Use of CMS documentation
This is handy if multiple people log onto your content management system. It doesn’t really help with SEO or any form of online marketing – it just makes life easier for other people. So I don’t agree that it’s relevant in many cases.
Internal linking structure
According to Cutts, external links aren’t the most important factor anymore in Google’s algorithm; internal links are just as important. The reason being is it makes for a better user experience. Google is pushing for this lately, so if your internal links are bad, you’d better change them!
Social media marketing
I have noticed a MASSIVE push by Google to make this happen. In almost every video or blog they mention social media or bookmarking websites. This is good because it gets your name out there much quicker than waiting to get to number 1 position. If you create and manage social media, you are able to drive a ton of traffic without having to wait too long.
Social media will also help with link building. If users see your website through a social media platform such as Facebook, chances are 1 in 100 that one will like the site and then potentially link to it. Natural links are the best type, but also the hardest to get.
Hope this helps!