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The price of technical seo debt final


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  • 1. The Price ofTechnical SEO DebtYou’re leaving money on the table.Let’s stop that.John Doherty - @dohertyjf
  • 2. John DohertyDirector/Lead Consultant atDistilled NYCBlogger – johnfdoherty.comTweeter - @dohertyjfPhotographer – Usually wears this shirt tospeak
  • 3. I also call this talk “Quitbuilding links and fix yourfreakin’ site.”
  • 4. All of these are in SEOAnd Contribute to Debt
  • 5. A lot of sites don’t need more links.If links were the only factor,these guys should dominate.
  • 6. A lot of sites don’t need more links.Link competitor analysiswould reveal this.
  • 7. This talk is about advancedtechnical SEO.
  • 8. What can I teach you that youwon’t get here?Not much, if I’m honest.
  • 9. If you want to learn hardcoretechnical SEO, follow these guys @dsottimano @adamsherk @searchmartin @thenextcorner @brianprovost @mdsimmondsThey’re smarter than I am and are who I learn from.
  • 10. Read These Awesome Resources How To Perform The World’s Greatest SEO Audit (SEOmoz) Craziest Audit Checklist On The Internet (SEER via @anniecushing) Find Your Biggest Technical Flaws in 60 Minutes (SEOmoz via @dsottimano)
  • 11. Technical SEO Debt defined:A metaphor referring to the eventual consequences ofpoor or evolving architecture or SEOproblems/dependencies within a website.(paraphrase of Technical Debt on Wikipedia)
  • 12. Not Investing in Technical DebtInvesting in Technical Debt
  • 13. This talk isn’t about tipsand tricks.
  • 14. Instead, let’s talk aboutsomething that matters.After all, what’s more advanced than that?
  • 15. Technical SEO debt can costyou
  • 16. Client 1 wasn’t ranking 6+ pages targeting every term (high-volume search terms) – low effort Zero internal linking – high effort No crawl path to speak of – high effort Minimal content on “SEO” pages – medium effort Tons of links - bonusJohn Doherty | @dohertyjf
  • 17. Potential Traffic WasAstronomical This is for their top 2100 keywords. This doesn’t include longtail either. We’re talking millions in revenue per year.500,000+ visits per year potential, at $XXX/conversion. WOW.
  • 18. Client 2 wasn’t ranking No crawl path – medium effort 10,000+ 302 redirects – low effort No keyword targeting – medium effort “SEO” content, not valuable content – high effort Growing #s of links, but not trafficJohn Doherty | @dohertyjf
  • 19. “You could say we had potential.” - Abraham Lincoln
  • 20. We fixed 302s iteratively andtraffic tripled. 302s changed to 301s Oh hello.302s fixed over a 3 week period. Traffic 3x’d.
  • 21. Execs don’t understand“302s” or “internal links.”How do we make the case?
  • 22. Revenue/Effort Potential revenue * Potential converting traffic/hours*hourly rate If potential revenue is higher than the total cost to make the change, it’s worth your time. The bigger the margin, the easier the case.
  • 23. *Caveat* - I recommendbeing conservative in yourestimates to set yourself upfor success.
  • 24. I want to give youammunition for yourbosses/clients
  • 25. FirstIdentify Your Goals
  • 26. Your KPI Is Your Pitch Whatever your conversion means (revenue, profit, user signup), this is how you achieve buy-in to fix technical problems. If we do x, we can expect y. If we don’t do x, y will do z. Another way to pitch it is “How much/many money/conversions are we leaving on the table by not making this change?” users-on-the-table/
  • 27. Execs need to hang their hat onsomething.
  • 28. SecondFind your largest issues(scale) and grab as muchdata as possible.
  • 29.
  • 30. I do one Excel sheet with all mydata, and visualize. Internal links External links DA/PA/mR Page size Level in architecture Rank Load time
  • 31. Then graph it and findanomalies.Spot the correlations and anomalies – Excel for SEO
  • 32. ThirdPitch the case with dataand your KPI. If needed,propose a test.
  • 33. Example 1: InformationArchitecture
  • 34. Bad Information ArchitectureKills Your Rankings/Revenue Visualize yours vs your competitors. Show ranking and potential traffic comparison. I used Visio here.
  • 35. Bad Information ArchitectureKills Your Rankings/Revenue Visualize yours vs your competitors. Show ranking and potential traffic comparison. I used Visio here. If you show this to your VP I will fly to your office and kick you in the shins.Pitch what they care about, not what you find interesting.
  • 36. I showed it this way too. Level in architecture was closely correlated to rankings. We ranked terribly, and this convinced the exec to buy into letting us make changes.Competitor comparison is powerful.
  • 37. Pitch the potential $$/users. 5000 potential visitors 5% conversion rate $200 per conversion $50,000 potential revenue in this test.John Doherty | @dohertyjf
  • 38. Show how the investment willpay off. 5000 potential visitors 5% conversion rate $200 per conversion $50,000/(hours)*(hourly rate)John Doherty | @dohertyjf
  • 39. Use Story Time To Get AccurateNumbers. The only way to get these numbers as accurate as possible is to get commitment from the development team about how much time *they* think it will take. This is true agile. Some companies call it “story time” where they sit down, build the “story” of what they want to do, and come to a team consensus.
  • 40. Pitch a test if necessary. Getting buy-in is the hardest part, so pitch a test. We did an internal links test and these are the results we saw across the domain (30%+ increase in keywords and unique ranking URLs). Protip – execs love these charts. Up and to the right is their language.
  • 41. Be sure to report on the resultswith KPIs in mind. Here’s one keyword that we tested (10k/visits mo) and now have buy-in for more work.John Doherty | @dohertyjf
  • 42. Use one success to create moretests for success. Here’s one keyword that we tested (10k/visits mo) and now have buy-in for more work. It worked. Got more buy-in.John Doherty | @dohertyjf
  • 43. Example 2: Thin Content
  • 44. Thin Content Keeps You FromRanking In this case, content on- page was very highly correlated to rankings/traffic . This held true across SERPs run through Screaming Frog.John Doherty | @dohertyjf
  • 45. Thin Content Keeps You FromRanking Added content to important pages. When the page already ranked, saw a 13.46 position increase on average. 5.65 was average when URL changed.John Doherty | @dohertyjf
  • 46. Built upon previous success toget buy-in and prove worth. Repeated Success.John Doherty | @dohertyjf
  • 47. Example 3: Pitch BiggerIdeas After Test
  • 48. Client Targeted A KeywordAbout To Spike in Volume We hit it here and…John Doherty | @dohertyjf
  • 49. Client Targeted A KeywordAbout To Spike in Volume Search volume spiked Months later, we still get converting traffic from it.John Doherty | @dohertyjf
  • 50. Client Targeted A KeywordAbout To Spike in Volume You know where I’m going with this now. It’s time to do some more modeling and show reason for doing it again.John Doherty | @dohertyjf
  • 51. Pitch the Internal Case Study If A did B and got us result C What we’re saying here is “let’s do it again!” If example A yielded x% conversion and y number of users, then it’s worth trying to replicate that success especially since the infrastructure already exists!John Doherty | @dohertyjf
  • 52. At the end of the day, yourboss should care aboutrevenue, not rankings.
  • 53. Technical SEO Matters For TheBottom LineJohn Doherty | @dohertyjf
  • 54. Fixing Technical SEO Issues SetsYou Up For Future Success This was the 302s. Flywheel acceleratingJohn Doherty | @dohertyjf
  • 55. Remember This Formula Avg Avg Potential Conversion Conversion Traffic Rate Value Cost to Fix
  • 56. ????
  • 57. Profit
  • 58. Questions?