Entrepreneur Program Blog / Head of SEO at TripAdvisor Gives Tips on Optimizing Your Website


Jon Mellen, Head of SEO at TripAdvisor, gives his advice on optimizing your website to EforAll Accelerator Finalists

Jon Mellen, Head of SEO at TripAdvisor, gives his advice on optimizing your website

It was a star-studded week at EforAll. First, Jim Mill (Founder of Fire+Ice) connected with our EforAll Accelerator Finalists about his successes and failures (see post below for full recap). Then, Jon Mellen (Head of SEO at TripAdvisor) stopped by to do a session on the basics of Search Engine Optiimzation. Here were some of his tips:

Basics of SEO

  • Definition: SEO is a science to support Free Search
  • Risks: The right SEO can net you thousands of visitors and attention, but the wrong moves can hide your site deep in the search results where visibility is minimal (putting up bad content or links)
  • Index + Rank: In addition to making content available to search engines, SEO also helps boost rankings so that content will be placed where searchers will more readily find it

Always Collect Authentic & Relevant Links

  • Links are an essential tool for SEO. Once Google discovers your page through at least one link, your page becomes “indexed”
  • A single link is enough to be discovered. But multiple links increase your credibility, and can help you to rank better next to a competitor
  • Links must be authentic (not purchased)
  • Relevant links are more valuable (if you have an event business, it’s more valuable to get a link from flowers.com than lawyers.com)
  • Links from high value pages are more valuable (i.e. Boston.com)

Develop Content that is Relevant to Both Users & Search Engines

You should always build your website for users, not search engines…but still consider some important factors:

  • Search engines typically cannot read images, video, or flash–so always use html & text
  • Text should be written based on how people search
  • Keep content consistent across a page (and in the page title), to avoid confusing search engines (and users)
  • Be unique: avoid duplicate content, both across your site and between other sites