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DIFFERENTIAL
DIAGNOSIS DURING
SEO AUDITS
PUBCON 2017
11/ 09/ 2017
Introduction
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
• An SEO since 2004
• Former SEO Manager Network Solutions
• Independent Consultant for 6 Years
• Joine...
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
$487 Million in revenue
1997 Founded
PRFTListed on NASDAQ
90% Repeat Business Rate
Employees
2800+
N. A...
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
= 350 Strong
STLMKEIRVATLAA CHI
@PRFTDigital
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
Disclaimer:
I am NOT a Doctor
• I didn’t play one on TV.
• I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express.
• I ...
Why Audits Fail
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
Best Practices != Solutions
Too many site audits focus on best practices
When you’re in the ER with a b...
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
Problem Impact
• Title tags or meta
description length
• Image alt text
• Universal redirects
for www. ...
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
• Checklists are useful to make sure you don’t miss something.
• A checklist does not prioritize or con...
A Better Approach
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
Doctors use a triage decision tree
The most dangerous injuries are
treated first.
Severity of Impact De...
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
Gather Information
from Client
Start by Observing Symptoms
Review Traffic Data
1. 2.
@PRFTDigital
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
Ask a LOT of questions
• What problems do you see?
• What changed and when?
• What else was going on at...
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
In Google Search Console
• Indexation
• Impressions
• Click Through Rate
In Analytics
• Traffic Changes...
Diagnosing
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
Crawl as Multiple Users
• Gbot
• Bing
• Regular User
Use Multiple Rendering Techniques
• Java
• AJAX
On...
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
Look for:
• 404 or 500 Errors
• Redirect Chains
• Redirect Loops
• Robots.txt Mistakes
• Nofollow Tags
...
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
Diagnosing
Server Logs
• Screaming Frog
Historical Comparison
• Analytics
• SEMRush
@PRFTDigital
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
Solving Symptoms
Leads to Buy In
How do you respond if your doctor tells you
“you could lose some weigh...
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
Focusing on observable symptoms “bakes in” the priority and importance of solution
Solving Symptoms Lea...
PERFICIENT DIGITAL
Now Use Checklists
& Best Practices
Use your checklist to make sure you
don’t leave a clamp in the pati...
Any Questions?
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Differential Diagnosis during SEO Audits

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Benjamin Cook, senior organic search specialist at Perficient Digital, covers why SEO audits fail and then delivers a diagnosis and best practices. He delivered the presentation at Pubcon 2017.

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Differential Diagnosis during SEO Audits

  1. 1. DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS DURING SEO AUDITS PUBCON 2017 11/ 09/ 2017
  2. 2. Introduction
  3. 3. PERFICIENT DIGITAL • An SEO since 2004 • Former SEO Manager Network Solutions • Independent Consultant for 6 Years • Joined Perficient Digital in January 2017Ben Cook - @Skitzzo @PRFTDigital
  4. 4. PERFICIENT DIGITAL $487 Million in revenue 1997 Founded PRFTListed on NASDAQ 90% Repeat Business Rate Employees 2800+ N. America locations 23 Global US, EU, China + India @PRFTDigital
  5. 5. PERFICIENT DIGITAL = 350 Strong STLMKEIRVATLAA CHI @PRFTDigital
  6. 6. PERFICIENT DIGITAL Disclaimer: I am NOT a Doctor • I didn’t play one on TV. • I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express. • I DID watch a lot of medical TV shows and will confidently dispense completely unqualified medical advice based entirely on what I saw on those shows. @PRFTDigital
  7. 7. Why Audits Fail
  8. 8. PERFICIENT DIGITAL Best Practices != Solutions Too many site audits focus on best practices When you’re in the ER with a broken arm, you don’t need the doctor to tell you about best practices. @PRFTDigital
  9. 9. PERFICIENT DIGITAL Problem Impact • Title tags or meta description length • Image alt text • Universal redirects for www. vs. non-www • Low click through rate • Poor usability, accessibility, or indexation • Potential confusion Almost All Audits Mention @PRFTDigital
  10. 10. PERFICIENT DIGITAL • Checklists are useful to make sure you don’t miss something. • A checklist does not prioritize or consider context. • A solution identifies what is causing the problem. Checklists are Tools, Not Solutions @PRFTDigital
  11. 11. A Better Approach
  12. 12. PERFICIENT DIGITAL Doctors use a triage decision tree The most dangerous injuries are treated first. Severity of Impact Determines Priority @PRFTDigital
  13. 13. PERFICIENT DIGITAL Gather Information from Client Start by Observing Symptoms Review Traffic Data 1. 2. @PRFTDigital
  14. 14. PERFICIENT DIGITAL Ask a LOT of questions • What problems do you see? • What changed and when? • What else was going on at that time? • How did you discover the problem? Gather Information from Client Everybody lies • Use Wayback Machine to verify • Review Traffic Data @PRFTDigital
  15. 15. PERFICIENT DIGITAL In Google Search Console • Indexation • Impressions • Click Through Rate In Analytics • Traffic Changes • Conversion Changes • User Satisfaction Metrics Review Traffic Data @PRFTDigital
  16. 16. Diagnosing
  17. 17. PERFICIENT DIGITAL Crawl as Multiple Users • Gbot • Bing • Regular User Use Multiple Rendering Techniques • Java • AJAX On Multiple Devices • Desktop • Phone • Tablet Diagnosing @PRFTDigital
  18. 18. PERFICIENT DIGITAL Look for: • 404 or 500 Errors • Redirect Chains • Redirect Loops • Robots.txt Mistakes • Nofollow Tags • Noindex Tags • Canonical Conflicts • Cloaking Diagnosing @PRFTDigital
  19. 19. PERFICIENT DIGITAL Diagnosing Server Logs • Screaming Frog Historical Comparison • Analytics • SEMRush @PRFTDigital
  20. 20. PERFICIENT DIGITAL Solving Symptoms Leads to Buy In How do you respond if your doctor tells you “you could lose some weight”? How do you respond if your doctor tells you “being overweight is putting additional strain on your back, which is causing your severe back pain”? @PRFTDigital
  21. 21. PERFICIENT DIGITAL Focusing on observable symptoms “bakes in” the priority and importance of solution Solving Symptoms Leads to Buy In @PRFTDigital
  22. 22. PERFICIENT DIGITAL Now Use Checklists & Best Practices Use your checklist to make sure you don’t leave a clamp in the patient. @PRFTDigital
  23. 23. Any Questions?

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