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Prioritising Technical SEO Fixes

Slides from my talk at the 2021 online SMXL conference, where I spoke about my approach to prioritising technical SEO recommendations.

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Prioritising Technical SEO Fixes

  1. 1. Prioritising Tech SEO Fixes The Biggest Bang for the Smallest Buck Barry Adams SEO Consultant Organized by
  2. 2. @badams www.smxl.it My SEO Audit Model
  3. 3. @badams www.smxl.it Web Search Engines Crawling Indexing Ranking
  4. 4. @badams www.smxl.it The Three Pillars of SEO Technology Relevancy Authority
  5. 5. @badams www.smxl.it Technology Crawling Relevancy Indexing Authority Ranking Relation toWeb Search
  6. 6. @badams www.smxl.it Technology Crawling Relevancy Indexing Authority Ranking ‘Technical’ SEO Audit
  7. 7. @badams www.smxl.it What is an SEO Audit?
  8. 8. @badams www.smxl.it
  9. 9. @badams www.smxl.it
  10. 10. @badams www.smxl.it Analysis of a website using applied SEO theory to initiate a process towards improved organic search visibility. Start of an Improvement Process SEO Audit
  11. 11. @badams www.smxl.it https://jamesclear.com/marginal-gains
  12. 12. @badams www.smxl.it The Actual Audit
  13. 13. @badams www.smxl.it Checklist
  14. 14. @badams www.smxl.it The Key to a Good Audit
  15. 15. @badams www.smxl.it The Key to a Good Audit Pattern Recognition
  16. 16. @badams www.smxl.it 1. Homepage 2. Category page 3. Product/Service page 4. Blog/News overview page 5. Post/Article page 6. Static Content page 7. … ? Identify Page Templates
  17. 17. @badams www.smxl.it Writing The Report
  18. 18. @badams www.smxl.it It will be shared
  19. 19. @badams www.smxl.it Make it Actionable
  20. 20. @badams www.smxl.it Only Include What Needs The checklist should be provided as an attachment
  21. 21. @badams www.smxl.it Omit The Trivial Stuff .
  22. 22. @badams www.smxl.it Concise and Light on Jargon If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it yourself
  23. 23. @badams www.smxl.it
  24. 24. @badams www.smxl.it
  25. 25. @badams www.smxl.it
  26. 26. @badams www.smxl.it Three Main Audiences: 1. Management 2. Marketers 3. Tech
  27. 27. @badams www.smxl.it • Summary of key points; • No jargon • Don’t Apportion Blame; • You need to keep marketing & tech on side • Show Them The Money; • Estimate the positive impact of your recommendations 1. Management
  28. 28. @badams www.smxl.it • Your Job = Make Marketing Look Good • SEO is a process; • Not a one-off activity • Competitors aren’t doing everything right either; • Don’t imitate, innovate • Give them the tools; • Teach a man how to fish… 2. Marketing
  29. 29. @badams www.smxl.it • Speak Their Language; • Understand their paradigm • Basic Concepts You Need To Get Across: • How search engines work • URLs are sacred • SEO benefits Tech • Don’t Tell Them How, Tell Them Why; • Outcome focused – they can find their own path 3.Tech
  30. 30. @badams www.smxl.it
  31. 31. @badams www.smxl.it
  32. 32. @badams www.smxl.it • Impact: ➢ How much impact will this change have on the site’s traffic? • Effort: ➢ How much effort will this change require? Impact vs Effort
  33. 33. @badams www.smxl.it Prioritisation Matrix
  34. 34. @badams www.smxl.it Quick Wins Worth Doing Worth Doing Maybe Implement Maybe Implement Maybe Implement Probably Not Probably Not Definitely Not Prioritisation Matrix
  35. 35. @badams www.smxl.it Prioritisation Matrix
  36. 36. @badams www.smxl.it Prioritisation Matrix
  37. 37. @badams www.smxl.it Prioritisation Matrix
  38. 38. @badams www.smxl.it Prioritisation Matrix
  39. 39. @badams www.smxl.it Prioritisation Matrix
  40. 40. @badams www.smxl.it • Missing Structured Data that can enable Rich Results Issue
  41. 41. @badams www.smxl.it • Missing Structured Data that can enable Rich Results • WordPress CMS, easy to implement with a plugin
  42. 42. @badams www.smxl.it
  43. 43. @badams www.smxl.it A
  44. 44. @badams www.smxl.it • Missing Structured Data that can enable Rich Results • CMS is bespoke, no easy way to implement Structured Data • Manual implementation? ,
  45. 45. @badams www.smxl.it C
  46. 46. @badams www.smxl.it More Examples
  47. 47. @badams www.smxl.it • Website uses client-side JavaScript rendering for primary content
  48. 48. @badams www.smxl.it • Website uses client-side JavaScript rendering for primary content. • The JS framework has a SSR solution, it needs to be installed, configured, and tested. ,
  49. 49. @badams www.smxl.it • Website uses client-side JavaScript rendering for primary content. • The JS framework has no SSR solution • Can plug the site into a provider like PreRender.io to enable some measure of SSR ,
  50. 50. @badams www.smxl.it • Site has no meta descriptions on any page ➢ Google uses its own snippet text when ranking pages
  51. 51. @badams www.smxl.it • Site has no meta descriptions on any page ➢ Google uses its own snippet text when ranking pages • CMS has description field, it’s not being used • Manual effort to input meta descriptions ,
  52. 52. @badams www.smxl.it • Site has no meta descriptions on any page ➢ Google uses its own snippet text when ranking pages • CMS can be configured to auto-populate meta descriptions ,
  53. 53. @badams www.smxl.it • Ecommerce site uses fully crawlable Faceted Navigation • Enormous amounts of crawl waste
  54. 54. @badams www.smxl.it • Ecommerce site uses fully crawlable Faceted Navigation • Enormous amounts of crawl waste • Facet URLs have unique URL parameters • Example: /category/?filter=[facet] • Simple robots.txt disallow rule will solve ,
  55. 55. @badams www.smxl.it • Ecommerce site uses fully crawlable Faceted Navigation • Enormous amounts of crawl waste • Facet URLs are folders and have no unique patterns • Facet names match some category names • Example: /category/facet-name/facet-name/ • So… robots.txt blocking is not possible • Alternative solutions required… , ??? Effort
  56. 56. @badams www.smxl.it • Ecommerce site uses fully crawlable Faceted Navigation • Enormous amounts of crawl waste • Facet URLs are folders and have no unique patterns • Facet names match some category names • Example: /category/facet-name/facet-name/ • So… robots.txt blocking is not possible • Alternative solutions required ,
  57. 57. @badams www.smxl.it What if you have multiple issues in the same priority category? Multiple Category Issues
  58. 58. @badams www.smxl.it Three Types of Issues: Crawl Issues Indexing Issues Ranking Issues
  59. 59. @badams www.smxl.it
  60. 60. @badams www.smxl.it Prioritise Backwards 1. Ranking Issues 2. Indexing Issues 3. Crawl Issues
  61. 61. @badams www.smxl.it • Ranking issues tend to yield quick results • Gets buy-in from the company • Crawling issues tend to be more technically complex • Hard to fix and slow to improve Backwards Prioritisation
  62. 62. @badams www.smxl.it Prioritisation of Issues
  63. 63. @badams www.smxl.it Summarised
  64. 64. @badams www.smxl.it • Use a Priority Matrix ➢ Estimate Impact ➢ Understand Effort • Ranking > Indexing > Crawling • Quick results > Long-term activity • When in doubt… Guess. Prioritising Tech SEO
  65. 65. @badams www.smxl.it Barry Adams ➢ Doing SEO since 1998 ➢ Specialist in Technical SEO & News SEO ➢ Chief Editor at State of Digital
  66. 66. @badams www.smxl.it Grazie!

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