Adam Audette will be speaking on the “SEO for eCommerce” panel at SearchFest 2014 which will take place on February 28th, 2014 in Portland, Oregon. For more information and to purchase tickets, please click here.
1) Please give us your background and tell us what you do for a living.
You know I actually thought about it, and this is my 7th year speaking at Searchfest. Pretty amazed to have been involved that long, and it’s all due to you, Todd, giving me my first shot back in 2008. Thanks for that.
Since we’ve done at least six of these over the years, I thought it would be fun to link to each of them here:
Adam Audette Searchfest Mini Interviews:
Online marketing is in my blood! I’m a digital marketer who focuses a lot on search, especially SEO and social. I’m chief
kitten knowledge officer at RKG. I’m a father of two and happily married.
At RKG I work on the overall strategy of our SEO, social and content offerings, on partnerships, and special projects. I’ve been distracted the last several months with some other priorities, but in 2014 I plan on doing a lot of writing and speaking, which has been a big focus of mine the last 8 years. I also work closely on one or two SEO projects to keep my sword sharp.
RKG is fast approaching 250 people. We’re best known for paid search and SEO, and work with amazing clients like Google, Zappos, Walmart, Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Walgreens… many more and lots of interesting projects.
2) What are some scalable SEO Practices that can positively affect 100K+ page E-Commerce Sites?
Scalable SEO practices for ecommerce sites… it’s a great question. First, technical. It’s important to create efficient, canonical crawl paths for bots. The most important thing is consistency: canonical annotations, internal links, XML sitemaps – they should all be consistent and reference the same set of canonical URLs.
Next, smart keyword mappings. It sounds really, really basic, but mapping the right terms to the appropriate pages is significantly important. It means understanding who your target audience is (on big ecomm sites, there are lots of personas), and knowing the kind of search queries they’re using to accomplish their tasks, and lining those up on the site. Not only keyword mappings, but also that customer journey – when they come through from organic search, what’s their path? How can you make it easier for them to find what they want, and to convert? This is where content strategy and site architecture come in, which are first-order priorities before even considering SEO.
Finally, good mobile experiences. To me responsive design really is the way forward, especially if it’s done right it can be really fast and seamless. You can still create mobile-specific experiences, too, in addition to RWD.
Then there are all the other things: thinking about SERP presentation and CTR, microformats for rich snippets, the Knowledge Graph and G+ and authorship.
3) How would you “site architect” a massive e-commerce site for efficient spider crawling?
Not sure I would architect the site from an SEO perspective. Actually, I know that I wouldn’t. I’d first understand the reasons why and how the site is architected from the UX and front end teams. Once I have that understanding, if there are big areas I see as SEO issues, that can be covered. But SEO crawling comes after the site is architected from a user perspective. In some cases, there can be SEO insight prior to the IA being developed, and that’s beneficial if possible, but it’s more frequently the case at large brands that the site is developed with very little SEO insight. That can actually be an okay thing. As long as SEO input can be fed into actionable implementations, we’re good. We just need to get things done, and that means having a seat at the table, but importantly having a resource allocated to execute on our recommendations.
Last a little nugget: the key to internal linking on a large ecomm site is the category (and possibly sub-category) level. That is where your focus should be, not at the product level. I’ll talk more about this at Searchfest.
Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/audette