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Best practice is not enough #brightonSEO @Linkdex #SEOnow stage


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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.

Published in: Marketing

Best practice is not enough #brightonSEO @Linkdex #SEOnow stage

  1. 1. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Best practice is not enough Stephen Kenwright @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  2. 2. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Not true Also not true
  3. 3. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  4. 4. @stekenwright #brightonSEO 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. 1 317,122 Prioritise “The average SEO at a big company has been waiting over six months for their highest priority technical change. 40%+ have been waiting over a year.”
  5. 5. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Where does best practice come from? @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  6. 6. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  7. 7. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  8. 8. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Accidently implements 302 redirects Changes title tags
  9. 9. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  10. 10. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Migrates subdomain
  11. 11. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  12. 12. @stekenwright #brightonSEO vs.
  13. 13. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  14. 14. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  15. 15. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  16. 16. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Should you spend time on link removals?
  17. 17. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  18. 18. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Best practice changes with the web @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  19. 19. @stekenwright #brightonSEO JavaScript Googlebot follows JavaScript redirects Googlebot follows JavaScript links JS taking more than 3-4 seconds to render or not rendering until an event is fired does not get indexed
  20. 20. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  21. 21. @stekenwright #brightonSEO When Google says “we got this”
  22. 22. @stekenwright #brightonSEO 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.” @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  23. 23. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  24. 24. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  25. 25. @stekenwright #brightonSEO eBay + AMP eBay (and Google) are working on… Smart buttons like “Add to Cart” and “Buy It Now” with authentication support Input elements like search boxes and checkboxes Advanced tracking. A/B testing
  26. 26. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Add lead capture forms to AMP Add the AMP iframe extended component to your <head> <script async custom-element="amp-iframe" src=""></script> 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- sandbox allow-forms" List of attributes:
  27. 27. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Read this: carousel Get started with AMP Download this: @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  28. 28. @stekenwright #brightonSEO 40% of search queries show apps in the top 5 Search Engine Roundtable @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  29. 29. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Apps appear above organic in
  30. 30. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  31. 31. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Organic Apps
  32. 32. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Think with Google
  33. 33. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Best practice = why, not how @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  34. 34. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  35. 35. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  36. 36. @stekenwright #brightonSEO 146% YOY growth in location searches on mobile Think with Google @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  37. 37. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Local search @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  38. 38. @stekenwright #brightonSEO 50% of local searchers end up in store within a day Search Engine Land @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  39. 39. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  40. 40. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  41. 41. @stekenwright #brightonSEO 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
  42. 42. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  43. 43. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Thin content @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  44. 44. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  45. 45. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  46. 46. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Video content
  47. 47. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Sub- headings
  48. 48. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Internal links
  49. 49. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Images
  50. 50. @stekenwright #brightonSEO CTA
  51. 51. @stekenwright #brightonSEO GOV.UK Content length: 5,815 Links to page: 34 Ranking: 1 Questions answered: 1 When do the clocks go back? The Mirror Content length: 36,246 Links to page: 8,663 Ranking: 4 Questions answered: 0 @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  52. 52. @stekenwright #brightonSEO
  53. 53. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Get started with a blog Set up a site using 1. Add a CNAME record through your domain registrar 2. Go to and click ‘Add Domain’ and then ‘Make Primary’
  54. 54. @stekenwright #brightonSEO Thanks @stekenwright