Technical SEO.
Alec Bertram
Senior SEO Engineer, Fresh Egg

@KiwiAlec
Alec Bertram

Senior SEO Engineer at Fresh Egg
Passion for technical SEO
New Zealander (sorry for the accent)

Industry st...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Technical SEO is the foundation of organic marketing
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Today.

• A quick run through of how your website’s architecture affects
your organic search per...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Today.

• Not going to give you code examples (too basic)
• Not going to go in depth or solve al...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

How search engines find your website.

Crawling

Indexing

Post-Index
Analysis
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

How search engines rank your webpages.

User Search
Query

Information
Retrieval

Ranking +
Alte...
Crawling.
How a search engine sees your website
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Robots.txt
• “disallow” blocks access to URLs. Will not stop a URL from being
indexed
• Never bl...
Website structure
Your site’s architecture affects it’s performance
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Site structure and the flow of link equity.

45
100
100

100*0.9/2
100*0.9/1

135
135*0.9/3

32....
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

URL Structure.

• Vertical not horizontal
/poker/learn/what-is-a-flop
Not
/learn-poker-what-is-a...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Where should you put a new website section?

• Sub directory?
www.yoursite.com/blog

• Sub domai...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Site Speed is critical.
• “Just One Second Delay In Page-Load Can Cause 7% Loss In
Customer Conv...
Technical on-page basics
The things that you need to always get right
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

The important (but completely mundane) bits.

http://moz.com/blog/the-web-developers-seo-cheat-s...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Let’s talk about duplicate content.

Why it’s important to eliminate:
• Search engines rank webp...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Canonical URL.

• Canonical is the postcode of your website
• Every unique page needs a unique
c...
Giving meaning to your content.
The case for semantic mark up
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Microdata.

• Tells robots the meaning behind a piece of content
• Schema.org, RDFa, Microformat...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Schema.org Places.

• Location microdata sends a strong
signal that the page is suited to
local ...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Schema.org Reviews.

• Review microdata tells search
engines that text is a user
review
• Has ob...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Schema.org Product.
• This page has a strong
“purchase” intent
• More likely to be
returned to a...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Schema.org for Email.

• Get into a user’s email and predictive search (Google Now)
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Social Microdata.

Twitter Cards

Facebook OpenGraph

• OpenGraph markup turns a page into a sem...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Google Data Highlighter.
• Give Google a semantic understanding of your pages without implementi...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

The argument against using microdata.

• “Giving Google too much information will kill your mark...
Reclaim lost link equity
Finding your city of gold.
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Reclaim Lost Link Equity.

BBC.com

Yoursite.com/old-poker
Pokerstars.
com

Dmoz.org

404 Error!
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Reclaim Lost Link Equity.

BBC.com

Pokerstars.
com

Industry convention states that link equity...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Reclaim Lost Link Equity.

BBC.com

Pokerstars.
com

Dmoz.org

Reclaim lost link equity by imple...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Reclaim Lost Link Equity.

• Find all pages with inbound links on your website
• Google Analytic...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Reclaim Lost Link Equity.

http://fortseo.com/bulk-website-response-checker/
Audit Your Website.
Common problems that you probably have.
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Audit your website.

http://www.deepcrawl.co.uk

• Enterprise level website auditor and monitori...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Audit your website.
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Audit your website.

• Eliminate links to broken
pages or which redirect
• Identify spidertraps ...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Audit your website.

• Identify pages which do not
have “the basics”
• Find pages which have
dup...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Audit your website.

• Google some page titles and
description snippets – if the same
page is in...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Speaking of lost link equity.

• This is what happens when you remove pages without redirecting
Winning with alternates
The opportunity in going further afield
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

What are alternates?

Site.co.uk/poker

Site.de/poker

mobile.site.co.uk/poker
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Language / Region Alternates.

• Expand internationally by leveraging the relevance and authorit...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Language / Region Alternates.

• I am a travel discount & cashback affiliate:
• Hreflang impleme...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Other internationalisation.

• Set geographic target in webmaster tools
• Google is not always t...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Mobile Alternates.

• Mobile devices are not The Future. They are The Now.
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Mobile Alternates.

• If your desktop site gives a poor mobile experience, it may not
rank as we...
SEO tools you should be using
Efficiently monitor for technical issues
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Webmaster Tools.
• Crawl and error data
• Link and keyword data
• Control search crawler and ran...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Website Auditing.

•

– Will give you raw data (Advanced users)

•

– Full crawl and some top-li...
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Technical SEO resources.
• Google Webmaster Central
• Google Developer Guidelines
• @mattcutts –...
Key takeaways.
If you only remember five things, make it these five
Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec

Key takeaways.
• Ensure all pages have a correct canonical tag
• Perform top line website audit
...
Thanks!
Alec Bertram
Senior SEO Engineer, Fresh Egg

@KiwiAlec
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Technical SEO - Presentation from London Affiliate Conference 2014

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My presentation on the most common and easiest to fix technical SEO issues from the London Affiliate Conference 2014

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  • Only applies to Google – will not benefit any other semantic indexer
  • Technical SEO - Presentation from London Affiliate Conference 2014

    1. 1. Technical SEO. Alec Bertram Senior SEO Engineer, Fresh Egg @KiwiAlec
    2. 2. Alec Bertram Senior SEO Engineer at Fresh Egg Passion for technical SEO New Zealander (sorry for the accent) Industry standard tool for monitoring usage of brand images across the web New tool for discretely tracking who sees offsite content I’m an affiliate too
    3. 3. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Technical SEO is the foundation of organic marketing
    4. 4. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Today. • A quick run through of how your website’s architecture affects your organic search performance • A broad look at the most important aspects of technical SEO • Five things you can do to improve your website’s organic visibility through technical SEO • Hopefully time for questions and to run through some of your questions
    5. 5. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Today. • Not going to give you code examples (too basic) • Not going to go in depth or solve all of your problems (too advanced) • • • • • • • • • • Website and URL structure Site speed Robots directives Basic and essential on-page elements Microdata and semantic markup Reclaiming lost link equity Basic website audit Internationalisation Setting up mobile websites Tools you need to be using
    6. 6. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec How search engines find your website. Crawling Indexing Post-Index Analysis
    7. 7. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec How search engines rank your webpages. User Search Query Information Retrieval Ranking + Alternates More? Managing Gigabytes: Compressing and indexing documents and images
    8. 8. Crawling. How a search engine sees your website
    9. 9. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec
    10. 10. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Robots.txt • “disallow” blocks access to URLs. Will not stop a URL from being indexed • Never block images, javascript, stylesheets, or other elements • Don’t get it wrong More? https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/156449
    11. 11. Website structure Your site’s architecture affects it’s performance
    12. 12. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Site structure and the flow of link equity. 45 100 100 100*0.9/2 100*0.9/1 135 135*0.9/3 32.9 40.5 40.5 40.5 36.5*0.9/1 32.9*0.9/2 40.5*0.9/1 36.5 14.8 14.8
    13. 13. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec URL Structure. • Vertical not horizontal /poker/learn/what-is-a-flop Not /learn-poker-what-is-a-flop • Site architecture should make sense to users and group similar pages in the same directory More? https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/76329
    14. 14. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Where should you put a new website section? • Sub directory? www.yoursite.com/blog • Sub domain? blog.yoursite.com • Separate domain? www.yourblog.com • Google says subdomains are treated the same as subdirectories In general, try to use sub directories More? http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/subdomains-and-subdirectories/
    15. 15. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Site Speed is critical. • “Just One Second Delay In Page-Load Can Cause 7% Loss In Customer Conversions” - Amazon • “1 second above the fold rendering goal for mobiles” - Google • • • • Compression Conditional GET Minimise use of, and optimise images and script files Implement SPDY • Benchmark your speed against competitors using GTMetrix More? 1 Second target: https://developers.google.com/speed/docs/insights/mobile SPDY: http://www.chromium.org/spdy GTMetrix: http://gtmetrix.com/
    16. 16. Technical on-page basics The things that you need to always get right
    17. 17. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec The important (but completely mundane) bits. http://moz.com/blog/the-web-developers-seo-cheat-sheet-2013-edition
    18. 18. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Let’s talk about duplicate content. Why it’s important to eliminate: • Search engines rank webpages from a pool of eligible documents • When it finds two identical documents, how does it decide which to rank? It uses authority and relevancy signals • It’s better to merge all authority and relevancy signals into one document • Having one strong document is better than many weak duplicates
    19. 19. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Canonical URL. • Canonical is the postcode of your website • Every unique page needs a unique canonical • If the page is served from a “wrong” URL, canonical ensures authority and relevance signals go to correct URL • HTML tag or HTTP header More? https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/139394
    20. 20. Giving meaning to your content. The case for semantic mark up
    21. 21. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Microdata. • Tells robots the meaning behind a piece of content • Schema.org, RDFa, Microformats • Use Schema.org • Do dishonest implementations, get a penalty • Social microdata More? https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/176035
    22. 22. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Schema.org Places. • Location microdata sends a strong signal that the page is suited to local search queries
    23. 23. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Schema.org Reviews. • Review microdata tells search engines that text is a user review • Has obviously been spammed (now penalised)
    24. 24. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Schema.org Product. • This page has a strong “purchase” intent • More likely to be returned to an “inmarket” user
    25. 25. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Schema.org for Email. • Get into a user’s email and predictive search (Google Now)
    26. 26. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Social Microdata. Twitter Cards Facebook OpenGraph • OpenGraph markup turns a page into a semantic entity (potentially eligible to appear in Facebook graph search).
    27. 27. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Google Data Highlighter. • Give Google a semantic understanding of your pages without implementing any code
    28. 28. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec The argument against using microdata. • “Giving Google too much information will kill your market”
    29. 29. Reclaim lost link equity Finding your city of gold.
    30. 30. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec
    31. 31. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Reclaim Lost Link Equity. BBC.com Yoursite.com/old-poker Pokerstars. com Dmoz.org 404 Error!
    32. 32. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Reclaim Lost Link Equity. BBC.com Pokerstars. com Industry convention states that link equity does not flow through a 302 redirect Yoursite.com/old -poker 302 / 307 Redirect Yoursite.com/new -poker Dmoz.org (there is some empirical evidence to dispute this)
    33. 33. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Reclaim Lost Link Equity. BBC.com Pokerstars. com Dmoz.org Reclaim lost link equity by implementing a 301 redirect Yoursite.com/old -poker 301 Redirect Yoursite.com/new -poker
    34. 34. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Reclaim Lost Link Equity. • Find all pages with inbound links on your website • Google Analytics landing pages • Google Webmaster Tools • Commercial Link Graphs • Ahrefs.com • MajesticSEO.com • OpenSiteExplorer.com • Free Link Graphs • Openlinkprofiler.org • Webmeup.com
    35. 35. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Reclaim Lost Link Equity. http://fortseo.com/bulk-website-response-checker/
    36. 36. Audit Your Website. Common problems that you probably have.
    37. 37. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Audit your website. http://www.deepcrawl.co.uk • Enterprise level website auditor and monitoring tool • Free 10, 000 credits when you signup before Monday: URL: [redacted] Password: [redacted] • I’m not affiliated with DeepCrawl, it’s just great.
    38. 38. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Audit your website.
    39. 39. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Audit your website. • Eliminate links to broken pages or which redirect • Identify spidertraps and block with robots.txt • Identify pages which are disallowed
    40. 40. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Audit your website. • Identify pages which do not have “the basics” • Find pages which have duplicated content • If thin pages are key organic landing pages, ensure they provide good value
    41. 41. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Audit your website. • Google some page titles and description snippets – if the same page is in more than one result, you have a problem • Find cases where the same text has been duplicated across your site (or other sites)
    42. 42. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Speaking of lost link equity. • This is what happens when you remove pages without redirecting
    43. 43. Winning with alternates The opportunity in going further afield
    44. 44. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec What are alternates? Site.co.uk/poker Site.de/poker mobile.site.co.uk/poker
    45. 45. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Language / Region Alternates. • Expand internationally by leveraging the relevance and authority of your main site • Declare language and (optional) country alternates for each page in HTML header – see “rel=alternate hreflang” • Can be used to segment countries in the same language (US and UK) or languages in the same country (French and English in Canada)
    46. 46. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Language / Region Alternates. • I am a travel discount & cashback affiliate: • Hreflang implementation on one merchant: two extra pages (German and Dutch) caused a 40% YoY uplift in conversions • Cost me a round of beers • Speak the language, but understand the culture – using Google Translate is asking for a content penalty
    47. 47. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Other internationalisation. • Set geographic target in webmaster tools • Google is not always the king • US: Consider Bing • Russia: Yandex • China: Baidu • A ccTLD normally wins (but do market research first)
    48. 48. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Mobile Alternates. • Mobile devices are not The Future. They are The Now.
    49. 49. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Mobile Alternates. • If your desktop site gives a poor mobile experience, it may not rank as well on mobile searches* • Three types of mobile deployment – responsive, dynamic, separate. For separate mobile sites (mobile.yoursite.com): • Implement “rel=alternate media” on desktop site, and canonicalisation on mobile site • A sub-directory is normally preferred for microsites. In this specific case, sub-domain (or separate TLD) is fine • *http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/changes-in-rankings-of-smartphone_11.html
    50. 50. SEO tools you should be using Efficiently monitor for technical issues
    51. 51. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Webmaster Tools. • Crawl and error data • Link and keyword data • Control search crawler and ranking settings • Your only communication channel to search engines Engine Google URL https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ Bing http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster Baidu Yandex http://zhanzhang.baidu.com/ http://webmaster.yandex.com/
    52. 52. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Website Auditing. • – Will give you raw data (Advanced users) • – Full crawl and some top-line analysis of data and issues • Microsoft IIS Search Engine Optimisation Toolkit – one of the better (and least-known) free website crawlers • – Alerts you when your robots.txt has changed.
    53. 53. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Technical SEO resources. • Google Webmaster Central • Google Developer Guidelines • @mattcutts – Always tweets out latest technical things • Moz – Best practice and some implementation examples • SEOBook – The opposing view
    54. 54. Key takeaways. If you only remember five things, make it these five
    55. 55. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Key takeaways. • Ensure all pages have a correct canonical tag • Perform top line website audit • Reclaim lost link equity • Fix your internationalisation with hreflang (or consider internationalisation) • Ensure your mobile experience is fantastic
    56. 56. Thanks! Alec Bertram Senior SEO Engineer, Fresh Egg @KiwiAlec
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