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?
    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?
    14. 14. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Where should you put a new website section? • Sub directory? • Sub domain? • Separate domain? • Google says subdomains are treated the same as subdirectories In general, try to use sub directories More?
    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: SPDY: GTMetrix:
    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.
    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?
    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 •, RDFa, Microformats • Use • Do dishonest implementations, get a penalty • Social microdata More?
    22. 22. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Places. • Location microdata sends a strong signal that the page is suited to local search queries
    23. 23. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Reviews. • Review microdata tells search engines that text is a user review • Has obviously been spammed (now penalised)
    24. 24. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Product. • This page has a strong “purchase” intent • More likely to be returned to an “inmarket” user
    25. 25. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec 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. Pokerstars. com 404 Error!
    32. 32. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Reclaim Lost Link Equity. Pokerstars. com Industry convention states that link equity does not flow through a 302 redirect -poker 302 / 307 Redirect -poker (there is some empirical evidence to dispute this)
    33. 33. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Reclaim Lost Link Equity. Pokerstars. com Reclaim lost link equity by implementing a 301 redirect -poker 301 Redirect -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 • • • • Free Link Graphs • •
    35. 35. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Reclaim Lost Link Equity.
    36. 36. Audit Your Website. Common problems that you probably have.
    37. 37. Alec Bertram - @KiwiAlec Audit your website. • 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?
    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 ( • 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 • *
    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 Bing Baidu Yandex
    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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