How scalable is your website, but more importantly how scalable is your SEO? Optimization for a small business site and optimization of a corporate enterprise web property both have unique needs that present unique challenges.
For a smaller business and their website, not having sufficient content may present a problem (based on budgetary or time constraints). On the contrary for a corporate enterprise website, the site may sag from having an overabundance of (off topic) pages to rise above a plateau of mediocrity for desired search engine rankings.
Also, the various departments and their unique needs can often require months of planning and even longer to execute when and if new SEO principles are applied. The advantage to a smaller site is (a) you can typically implement changes faster (without having a buy-in from opposing departments); (b) there is no penalty for adding quality unique content to your website or making modifications to the navigation or link structure.
Navigation and linking are primary methods for changing the way a website distributes on page SEO equity, yet it must relate directly to keywords with a high correlation to conversion.
This means that if you understand the premise of which keywords are prevalent and mission-critical to your online success, you can them implement a blueprint that integrates those keywords strategically into your web content throughout the website.
The more pages you have, the more opportunity there is for lateral or vertical linking. Each page can increase its scope of ranking by receiving internal links from other pages within the site which link to that page and aid in sculpting what keywords the target / preferred landing page appears for in search engines.
Search engine optimization to a great degree is based on three prominent factors, (1) how competitive is the keyword and (2) how many pages do you have to work with within a site? And (3) how many links does it take (per keyword) to overcome the barrier to entry and acquire a top 10 ranking.
Ultimately, there are different ways to rank websites, but a proven method is through adding relevant content on the subject to broaden the semantic footprint of the website to encompass more search engine traffic.
Consider each page like a net, depending on the keywords used on the page, the title, how many other pages in the website you have with the same keywords or related keywords and how many pages (both within the site and from outside the site) are linking to it, determine the scope of traffic.
Knowing this in advance, it is important to build your website to accommodate the addition of topical content and integrate this into the primary and secondary navigation (so these pages are fed and can contribute to ranking other pages).
This irrigation process which ensures that each page is sufficiently linked (based on its place in your websites hierarchy) includes monitoring and meticulously managing the distribution of (a) outbound links from designated pages and (b) in bound link anchor text (from both within the site and from other sites).
This also includes methods such as creating an array of sitemaps, adding RSS feeds to showcase fresh content, using specific server side includes (to structure a link hierarchy) of related pages, deep linking and other collective optimization tactics in order to achieve optimal ranking velocity.
SEO can encompass everything from caching and server delivery time to link flow and site structure, every granular metric impacts the whole. We implied that content creation is imperative to create more ranking equity within a website (as search engines assess the quality and popularity or a websites content to derive the context or authority).
We have written about SEO for large websites in the past as well as the best method for implementing title tags and meta descriptions, but more importantly, the tactics you employ for the type of web property you are optimizing depends on the competitive climate and the industry.
In most cases, a new stand up site (using a content development, deep links and blog and ping SEO tactic) can gain traction within 6 months with the proper SEO method; even if the space is dominated by 800 lbs gorilla sites grandfathered into the index.
By the same logic, sites with mammoth amounts of content can be scaled back through creative selection of which landing pages serve as the apex and which pages are designated for the SERPs (search engine result pages) and which pages are more apt for human consumption. SEO is a balancing act, but you have to plan accordingly and understand the pitfalls of flawed performance (if you let the pressure off too soon or exceed the necessary force and risk over optimization).