Developing a SEO friendly CMS from the Ground Up – Interview with Fabrizio

Fabrizio heads up the SEO team at Transferwise. When he started, there was a very small team and over the years he has been responsible for its growth and development. Here he shares some of his insights of the presentation he will be talking about at Digital Elite Day.



“Your presentation is about developing a SEO friendly CMS from the ground up. Can you share with us what is the best SEO friendly CMS to have in an organization?


Choosing the CMS to use in your organisation always depends on certain variables. While for a small business that is not planning to expand massively its web presence I advise to use out of the box and free solutions like WordPress. I think it’s crucially important for any larger organisation to think carefully what platform will allow them to produce and manage best content so that it performs in search. I guess ultimately it boils down to how committed you are to building a web presence, the more you plan to stay for the long run the more investing in developing custom solutions with internal resources makes sense. Whatever provider you go for, make sure you work a CMS that doesn’t constraint your SEO plans.

You have been working at Transferwise for some time and you are leading the SEO team. What do you think has been the key in growing the team?


Started the team as the only SEO together with 3 full stack devs. We have been really careful in adding SEO resources trying to raise the bar very high on technical skills, our first few hires were all pretty experienced. That took a while but helped to build a solid foundation that now allows us to expand our team exponentially counting now almost 25 people across SEOs, Designers, Developers and copywriters. The stronger your initial hires are the more you will be able to build scalable initiative that deliver fast growth and keep the bar high the more you hire. Once that happens hiring more people becomes easy and natural as numbers justify doubling down our investment.



How would you recommend others to grow a happy and content SEO team?


Since we look for very independent and fairly experienced SEOs we are then able to give them the freedom they need. We have all sort of perks you can find in a startup in Shoreditch including a sauna in our office but I guess ultimately what matters most is the ability to deliver work that we feel is impactful and we like doing. SEOs in our team have complete freedom to experiment whatever they like as long as it useful to our customers and we make sure they have resources and support to do so.


Can you share your thoughts on where you think SEO will be going in 2019?


I tend to be more conservative as opposed to suggesting more apocalyptic predictions or making up new names to describe stuff we have done for ages. As SEOs we always need to be on top of technological advancement on the web and therefore Google’s understanding of it. On the tech front I’d say to continue to keep an eye on where JavaScript is going, I’m really excited about progressive web apps and see where other initiatives to improve performance like AMP are going (personally not a big fan of it). Search engines tend to adapt to users and their behaviours, different devices, connected homes and voice search. That will naturally increase the importance of the quality of web products and data which could remain the only differentiator in some verticals. If in the past you could get away with a poor product powered by not so good data, today you will struggle to stand to higher expectations from users coupled with possibility of Google launching a competing product (e.g. Flights, Jobs).”


Thank you Fabrizio for your time and taking part in the interview with us for Digital Elite. Book your ticket to the best conversion and search conference today.

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