Jeff Preston was part of a panel on In House SEO, and his particular section of the session resonated with me because he really emphasized getting back to basics. Working with a company like Disney is certainly different than many other experiences; but the general takeaways from Preston were simple ideas you can implement into your own work and into your life in general.
Simplicity was the overtone of his presentation, and with good reason. In a time where information is everywhere, where updates and algorithm changes shake up the SEO world, it is a refreshing and rejuvenating take on an industry that can feel quite overwhelming at times. There were four main elements to his SEO Lessons Learned, all of which serve a distinct and crucial role in an effective SEO strategy.
First, collaboration. It is easy for an SEO to forge down new paths alone and test new strategies solo, but collaboration is a key element to multilevel business with a strong Web presence. There are ways to get involved with various departments within your company by tweaking a few things. Plan meetings with different teams, such as the PR department, the editorial staff, and so on. Get everyone on the same page. Subscribe to department calendars and know what is going on around you. Regularly communicate with co-workers, and especially with other SEOs.
Second, education. Providing regular training sessions and informational meetings with your team is crucial. Introducing new ideas and teaching the tactics you want your team to incorporate is a vital task. It may seem obvious, but many SEOs are trained and then left to navigate new developments as they arise. Training will keep everyone up to date and “in the know.” Aside from trainings, document everything. Use a program like SharePoint and make resources readily available and easy for your team to access. And, of course, keep it simple.
Next, organizational savvy. Play by the rules in your company, and don’t step on toes. With that said, there may be sparing occasions throughout your career where you might have to “go rogue” and go around the system to get certain things accomplished. Regardless, communicate with your peers, make friends throughout the company, keep executives engaged, and share your data.
Last, attitude. Your attitude about your work is contagious. Have a positive attitude towards your site, your executives, and your goals. Bad energy is contagious, and you shouldn’t be the source of it. Take responsibility for your results, good or bad, and continually try to better yourself. Preston ended his Pubcon Las Vegas 2012 presentation with a few concise words of encouragement that can apply to all of us: be calm, be patient, and be willing to learn as you go.
Erika Thomas is an SEO copywriter and link building specialist at Tandem Interactive, where she has worked for two years. Thomas also operates fashion blog Blah Blah Blonde and is a freelance writer. Her Twitter handle is @itsmeerikat.