Intel’s Philosophy and Approach to Big Brand SEO #SMX #14C

Intel is a Fortune 50 company present in 63 countries with 110,000 employees — in other words, they have a large global footprint. Today, in the SMX West session “Extending the Value of Search Beyond Your Website,” Digital Intel Digital Marketing Manager, Laura Ann Mitchell, and Global Strategies Sr. Vice President, Ken Shults, will discuss how Intel approaches SEO.

How Intel Approaches SEO

Intel SEO Philosophy.Mitchell explains that Intel is aggressively pursuing new opportunities with new products for new audiences in new markets. Mitchell is invested in keeping things engaging. Intel has to leverage search to understand what consumers are looking for, what their pain points are, and how Intel can reach them, she says.

Organic search to Intel websites has increased by an average of more than 20 percent per year since establishing a centrally managed SEO program in 2008. Organic search brings half of all referrals to

In 2014, there was a 9 percent drop in organic traffic at Intel, causing the SEO team to ask: “Have we reached maximum potential?”

Understanding that a one-dimensional approach is myopic and presents no true opportunities for sustainable growth, Intel decided to branch out into other arenas.

Shults points out that there have never been more ways to engage with customers than now. And while every path is unique, search almost always plays a role in the journey, giving search a unique position among marketing channels.

Looking at search data, for example, lets him see that that gaming is by far the biggest use case for the laptop audience. He also can see that interest in tablets for children surges to five times its normal amount during the holiday season. This information helps shape the marketing messages and choices.

At Intel, the different teams (paid search, display, editorial, content creation, SEO, and social) meet together weekly to learn from each other. All of this plays into Intel’s philosophy on digital marketing: “SEO is not something you do. It is what happens when you do everything else right.


  • Leverage search to understand what consumers are looking for, what their pain points are and how Intel can reach them.
  • Organic search is alive and well (more than half of referrals come from organic search for Intel), but don’t put all your eggs in one basket if you’re looking for sustainable growth; branch out and make sure your search strategy has layers.
  • Looking at fluctuations in search volume, and who is searching for what, when, can help guide marketing messages and choices.
  • Your team should never be on an island! At Intel, paid search, display, editorial, content creation, SEO, and social teams work together, and are constantly learning from one another.

To see how other big brands approach SEO, take a look at what Disney, Vistaprint, and Autodesk had to say at SMX West (2016).

Kristi Kellogg is a journalist, news hound, professional copywriter, and social (media) butterfly. Currently, she is a senior SEO content writer for Conde Nast. Her articles appear in newspapers, magazines, across the Internet and in books such as "Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals" and "The Media Relations Guidebook." Formerly, she was the social media editor at Bruce Clay Inc.

See Kristi's author page for links to connect on social media.

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