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An affiliate's guide - navigating the technical seo minefield - Digital Marketing Show 2015

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The talk I gave at the Digital Marketing Show on 19th November 2015.

The starting point of any SEO effort is helping the search engines crawl, understand and index your site. Even with the furore around ever-changing link & content signals, technical SEO's increasing sophistication of options, plus continued importance of fundamentals, means it should kick off every campaign. At this talk we'll cover technical SEO mistakes we see affiliate sites make, under-the-bonnet checks all sites should have & tools to do the job that will suit every affiliate marketers budget. Google might be getting more clever, but we still need to give them a guiding hand…

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An affiliate's guide - navigating the technical seo minefield - Digital Marketing Show 2015

  1. 1. pagesauce@ A guide for affiliates; Navigating the technical SEO minefield Digital Marketing Show 19th November 2015
  2. 2. Charlie Williams Head of Marketing charlie (at) white.net @pagesauce
  3. 3. pagesauce@ Affiliate sites Frederick Valleys, Google (then) Affiliate Summit 2010 are largely “just an unnecessary step in the sales funnel” http://searchengineland.com/author/frederick-vallaeys
  4. 4. pagesauce@ SEMrush affiliate link
  5. 5. pagesauce@ What does really want? https://moz.com/search-ranking-factors/correlations
  6. 6. pagesauce@ Relevancy (content) Authority (links, citations, trust) Brand recognition Engagement (user signals, SERP bounceback) https://moz.com/search-ranking-factors/correlations
  7. 7. pagesauce@ BUT… before that can happen…
  8. 8. pagesauce@ BUT… before that can happen… Google has to be able to crawl & understand your website = Technical SEO
  9. 9. pagesauce@ Not having it STOPS you ranking Is the prerequisite to play SEO: Technical SEO
  10. 10. pagesauce@ It supports other marketing/SEO work doing it Plenty of your competitors aren’t Much of this is simple to implement Good news: Quick wins
  11. 11. pagesauce@ Think of your website like a shop… Your content is your staff, site design the shop building & technical SEO the layout & signage
  12. 12. pagesauce@ Technical SEO prevents this Do you show what’s in your shop?
  13. 13. pagesauce@ 15 technical fundamentals That you can check on your site
  14. 14. pagesauce@ 15 technical fundamentals That you can check on your site & 2 bonus proactive optimisations
  15. 15. pagesauce@ Tools http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home Webmaster & crawler
  16. 16. pagesauce@ 1. Technical SEO right now How successful are you right now? What does Google think of your site?
  17. 17. pagesauce@ How many URLs are on your site?
  18. 18. pagesauce@ How often does Google visit?
  19. 19. pagesauce@ 2. Meta keywords tag Remove it, unless your CMS uses it for internal search
  20. 20. pagesauce@ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK7IPbnmvVU
  21. 21. pagesauce@ 3. Robots.txt Showing what’s open for business
  22. 22. pagesauce@ Folders robots (search engines) are blocked from Signpost your XML sitemap
  23. 23. pagesauce@ Select host (domain) to see URLs affected Common issues
  24. 24. pagesauce@ 1. Edit robots.txt 2. See if warnings appear 3. Test URL to see if successfully blocked
  25. 25. pagesauce@ 4. Robots meta tag Can be (mis)used to stop a page from being indexed http://www.robotstxt.org/meta.html
  26. 26. pagesauce@ Know which of your URLs are noindexed
  27. 27. pagesauce@ 5. XML sitemaps A guide to your website
  28. 28. pagesauce@ Monitor indexation of submitted URLs http://www.sitemaps.org/
  29. 29. pagesauce@ Use sitemap index & multiple maps on large sites
  30. 30. pagesauce@ 6. Internal errors Issues search engines, & users, have crawling your site
  31. 31. pagesauce@ Errors identified by Google, split by type & device Not always comprehensive or current!
  32. 32. pagesauce@ Use crawler: See the broken URLs, then the pages that link to them – fix!
  33. 33. pagesauce@ 6.5 External errors If I ran an affiliate site… I’d be checking my external links weekly (unless I decided I liked losing money)
  34. 34. pagesauce@ 7. Internal linking Showing what’s important & where I want to direct users
  35. 35. pagesauce@ Homepage is usually most powerful URL How many pages do you link to from it?
  36. 36. pagesauce@ 8. URL structure • Lowercase • Readable • Contains keywords • Isn’t full or parameters (?=) https://moz.com/blog/15-seo-best-practices-for-structuring-urls https://moz.com/learn/seo/url
  37. 37. pagesauce@ 9. Duplicate content part 1 So many ways to reach one page
  38. 38. pagesauce@ URL Parameters test.com/vs. test.com/sort=price Trailing Slash test.com/vs. test.com Index variation test.com/index.html www vs non-www test.com/vs. www.test.com/ test.com/ responsetester.appspot.com
  39. 39. pagesauce@ 10. Duplicate content part 2 Products in many categories
  40. 40. pagesauce@ What do I mean?
  41. 41. pagesauce@ An example
  42. 42. pagesauce@ Say hello to this guy
  43. 43. pagesauce@ 11. Duplicate content part 3 Manufacturer descriptions
  44. 44. pagesauce@
  45. 45. pagesauce@ 12. Duplicate content part 4 The blessing, & curse, of rel=canonical
  46. 46. pagesauce@ <link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/blog" /> https://moz.com/learn/seo/duplicate-content https://moz.com/learn/seo/canonicalization
  47. 47. pagesauce@ Rel=canonical tags Ian Lurie Portent Interactive “I still don’t recommend using rel=canonical. It should be your weapon of absolute last resort” http://searchengineland.com/why-i-still-hate-relcanonical-48317
  48. 48. pagesauce@ 13. Doorway pages Created to rank highly for specific search queries - make you click again to get what you actually need
  49. 49. pagesauce@ Mentions affiliate traffic http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot. co.uk/2015/03/an-update-on-doorway- pages.html https://support.google.com/webma sters/answer/2721311
  50. 50. pagesauce@ 14. Page speed Nobody likes a slow website 47% of consumers • 40% abandon a website that expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less 40% abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds
  51. 51. pagesauce@ 14. Page speed Nobody likes a slow website • 40% abandon a website that
  52. 52. pagesauce@ 47% of consumers • 40% abandon a website that expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less 40% abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds
  53. 53. pagesauce@ https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/?hl=en
  54. 54. pagesauce@ 2 billion global smartphone users audience searches 15. Mobile Being usable however your
  55. 55. pagesauce@
  56. 56. pagesauce@ http://searchengineland.com/google-search-algorithm-adds-mobile-friendly-factors-app-indexing-ranking-215573 http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/faqs-april-21st-mobile-friendly.html https://moz.com/blog/9-things-about-googles-mobile-friendly-update
  57. 57. pagesauce@
  58. 58. pagesauce@ https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ Get detail on what is & isn’t mobile friendly
  59. 59. pagesauce@ 16. Schema Semantic markup to help get you understood, & noticed SERP rich snippet Knowledge Vault
  60. 60. pagesauce@ • Person • Product • Event • Organisation • Movie • Book • Review https://developers.google.com/structured-data Current Schemas in the SERPs (Rich Snippets)
  61. 61. pagesauce@ http://schema-creator.org/ http://schema.org/ http://searchengineland.com/schema-markup-structured-data-seo-opportunities-site-type-231077 http://searchengineland.com/google-may-add-structured-markup-data-to-ranking-algorithm-230402
  62. 62. pagesauce@ https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2692911 Data Highlighter
  63. 63. pagesauce@ content 17. User testing Eye-opening insight into what your audience wants from your
  64. 64. pagesauce@ https://www.usertesting.com/product/videos-and-metrics Audio, visual & written feedback Starts @ $49 per video
  65. 65. pagesauce@ How users interact with your site has become an important ranking consideration. https://moz.com/blog/the-massive-ranking-factor-too-many-seos-are- ignoring-whiteboard-friday http://backlinko.com/google-ranking-factors
  66. 66. pagesauce@ Reading to get you started • http://www.seerinteractive.com/blog/screaming-frog-guide/ • https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/basics-of-search- engine-friendly-design-and-development • https://blog.kissmetrics.com/seo-guide/ • http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.co.uk/ en/uk/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter- guide.pdf • https://www.softwarepromotions.com/news/how-to-carry-out- an-seo-audit-for-free/
  67. 67. pagesauce@ GET THE SLIDES http://whdot.net/dms-2015
  68. 68. pagesauce@ THANK YOU Questions? charlie (at) white.net @pagesauce

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