What's Important for Technical SEO?

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  • 1. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... TECHNICAL SEO WHAT’S IMPORTANT? “12 Popular, interesting & critical issues we’ve discovered in our most recent technical consulting projects” Richard Baxter – Founder / Director – SEOgadget LTD
  • 2. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 1) THIN INTERNAL PAGES / NO CONTENT / BOILERPLATE CONTENT You’ve got to have unique text on a page – try persuasive, beautifully written content to inspire your customers to trust, be inspired and buy!
  • 3. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 2) POOR INTERNAL LINK ARCHITECTURE Increased # links on homepage and improved internal nav elements with CSS styled drop downs and popular products 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 Visits 200 0 Internal links and links from the homepage to key internal category pages remains an important part of your SEO strategy
  • 4. ...............................................................................................................................................................................................3) EXCESSIVE DUPLICATION OF CONTENT VIA PAGINATED NAVIGATION / FACETED NAVIGATION Check out this pagination guide: Best Practices for SEO & User Experience (SEOmoz), be careful with rel=“canonical” and use noindex, avoid robots.txt if you can
  • 5. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 4) INDEXED STAGING SERVER Cleaning up a leaky staging server is a pain – best way, user agent detect and 301 the staged urls to the public site. Use IP detection – anything that isn’t from a pre-approved range, redirect it.
  • 6. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 5) CANONICALISATION – AND NOT JUST THE WWW Domain level canonicalisation still a huge problem – most sites we review have a bunch of problems like this. Check that the trailing slash is added (or removed) and case is handled correctly – check for https in the index too.
  • 7. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 6) SOFT 404 HEADERS / NO 404 RESPONSE Don’t install Firefox 4 just yet – live HTTP headers doesn’t work. Redbot is one of many server header checkers
  • 8. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 7) IF-MODIFIED-SINCE PRODUCES 500 ERROR Feed the Bots IF-MODIFIED-SINCE server header checker is really useful – check it out: http://www.feedthebot.com/tools/if-modified/
  • 9. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 8) SITEMAP.XML FILE RESPONDED WITH A 404 SERVER HEADER RESPONSE EVEN THOUGH THE FILE WAS DOWNLOADED “Google webmaster tools reported no sitemap found at the sitemap URL – the file was loading in a browser, but the malformed server header response had everyone scratching their heads.” Internal pages and 404 pages aren’t the only files you should check out – sometimes malformed server header responses can cause days of work to diagnose
  • 10. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 9) BINGBOT / MSNBOT CRAWL BLOCKED It’s good to crawl like a search engine from time to time, use SEOmoz’s toolbar to change user agent – disable JavaScript and CSS for a new kind of awesome.
  • 11. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 10) 40,000+ INTERNAL 301 REDIRECTS Learn to install IIS SEO Toolkit - http://seogadget.co.uk/how-to-install-and-use-iis-seo- toolkit/ we think it’s awesome
  • 12. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 11) VERY EASY TO INJECT LINKS WITH HTML Do Followed Link Check your search boxes and other form functionality to make sure that HTML is stripped – particularly for sites that create user profile pages and search results
  • 13. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 12) UGC CONTENT ON INTERNAL PAGES IN JAVASCRIPT “Fantastic!..Excellent quality with a brilliant bag to keep all the items in...wonderful present for a scooter crazy chick, with a pink scooter to match her pink car/scooter wash kit! “ 35000 30000 25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0 January February March April May June July August September Check your search boxes and other form functionality to make sure that HTML is stripped – particularly for sites that create user profile pages and search results
  • 14. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 12) TONS OF DATA / CONTENT? MAKE IT EMBEDDABLE Be it content, data, images, video, charts – almost everything can be converted to an embeddable strategy – think: how can others use our data on their sites?
  • 15. ............................................................................................................................................................................................... THANK YOU richard@seogadget.co.uk @richardbaxter Thanks for listening! Check out our blog at SEOgadget.co.uk for more actionable guides and tips – or hire us for SEO, Conversion Rate Optimisation and bespoke technology consulting.