Best practice is not enough #brightonSEO @Linkdex #SEOnow stage
Think back to the last time you applied for a job. It doesn’t matter if you work in-house or agency side – it’s likely that there was a line in your job spec that read “a good understanding of best practice”.
But when you turned up on your first day at work, knowing the best thing to do in every situation that might arise I doubt you were surprised to find out that the best thing to do couldn’t be done.
The website wasn’t built that way.
The client won’t sign that off.
That’ll never get past legal.
So you need to come up with the second best thing to do. That’s not part of best practice. Opinions come to a head and nothing gets done because businesses are mistaken in their opinion that doing nothing is fine if the best thing can’t be done.
But best practice is a misnomer anyway.
When we say best practice what we really mean is standard practice.
If all you ever implement is standard practice that’s all you’ll be. Standard.
If you can’t even reach standard your business deserves to fail.
Where does best practice even come from though? People treat it as if it’s some kind of bible handed down from the gatekeepers – the guys who can shut off your revenue.
Best practice is actually more like Wikipedia than a bible. It’s populated by everyone who works in the industry and most of it is factually incorrect. You should get 0 points for referencing it. The only things in there that actually do come from the channel owners are loaded with bias. Contributions from experts are self-serving and so many pat each other and themselves on the back that received wisdom becomes perceived fact.
But if neither are reliable – and if what everyone is doing is the same thing – isn’t there a chance that doing something, anything different could drive better results than best practice?
I would always overrule an expert if the data says otherwise.
If we know our customers want X and the channel owners want Y, we should spend our time getting X to work with Y and not the other way around.
Staff are fearful that deliberately setting out to do something that isn’t best practice will result in an automatic dismissal. I’m not saying it won’t.
As a result, people will wait months or years for best practice to be implemented because it’s safe. The channel owners told us to do it. The experts concurred. Businesses spend a lot of money and a lot of time being average because nobody gets sacked for being average. After all – it’s in the job description.
Issue Issue Frequency
The page contains broken hyperlinks. 83,539
The page contains invalid markup. 74,462
The page contains unnecessary redirects. 63,756
The link text is not relevant. 43,457
The page contains a large amount of script code. 21,536
The title is too long. 7,158
The description is missing. 6,613
The URL for the hyperlink is broken. 6,509
The title begins with a brand name. 6,495
The <img> tag does not have an ALT attribute defined. 2,551
The request is disallowed by a Robots.txt rule. 257
The <h1> tag is missing. 246
The page contains a large number of Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) definitions. 212
The canonical URL is broken. 172
The page was excluded by a noindex attribute. 126
The canonical URL is linking to a resource that permanently moved. 6
The page contains multiple canonical formats. 6
The page contains multiple title tags. 5
The page contains too many hyperlinks. 5
The description is too long. 4
The description begins with a brand name. 2
The page contains multiple <h1> tags. 2
An unexpected error has occurred. 1
The description is empty. 1
The redirection response results in another redirection. 1
“The average SEO at a big
company has been waiting
over six months for their
highest priority technical
40%+ have been waiting
over a year.”
Where does best practice
Best practice changes
with the web
JS taking more than 3-4 seconds to
render or not rendering until an
event is fired does not get indexed
When Google says “we got this”
Unblocking CSS + JS for a Panda recovery
“We recommend making sure Googlebot
can access any embedded resource that
meaningfully contributes to your site’s
visibility or its layout.”
Accelerated Mobile Pages
eBay + AMP
eBay (and Google) are working on…
Smart buttons like “Add to Cart” and “Buy It Now” with
Input elements like search boxes and checkboxes
Add lead capture forms to AMP
Add the AMP iframe extended component to your <head>
<script async custom-element="amp-iframe"
Add an AMP iframe tag to the body at least 600px / 75% of first viewport from the top +
add some values to the sandbox attribute of the iframe e.g.
sandbox="allow-same-origin allow-popups allow-popups-to-escape-
List of attributes: w3schools.com/tags/att_iframe_sandbox.asp
Get started with AMP
40% of search queries show
apps in the top 5
Search Engine Roundtable
Local search at scale
Invest in a Location Management Platform (LMP) like
1. Update store data simultaneously across locations
2. Post content to all Facebook Locations / Google My Business pages simultaneously
3. Create store locator pages on-site / in-app with minimal input from developers
Get started with a blog
Set up a site using WordPress.com
1. Add a CNAME record through your domain registrar
2. Go to WordPress.com/domains and click ‘Add Domain’ and then ‘Make Primary’