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SEO Surgery APAC #1


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Slides covering my audit of an Australian eCommerce website with big crawling and indexing issues. Run by SEMrush.

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SEO Surgery APAC #1

  1. 1. Tony McCreath Tony McCreath SEO Engineer Using technical skills to build solutions eCommerce Digging deeper for big wins Structured Data That works
  2. 2. Tony McCreath SEO Surgery APAC Episode 1
  3. 3. Tony McCreath
  4. 4. Tony McCreath Current Status ● Looks healthy and progressing ● A small Google Ad campaign ● Home and Category pages rank and cause traffic ● Mostly non branded searches. I.e. new customers - Good
  5. 5. Tony McCreath Do an SEMrush site audit
  6. 6. Tony McCreath Terrible Missing Page
  7. 7. Tony McCreath Multi-Hop Site redirects ● ● ● These should all redirect DIRECTLY to the same page on the designated site. In most cases they do not. This wastes Users and Bots time.
  8. 8. Tony McCreath Massive index Screaming Frog crawled 168,000 URLs over night and killed my computer. It still said only 26% done! ● 20,000 were internal ● Many were external ○ cdn images ○ Resource files with timestamps (poor cache blocking) ○ calls, which don’t seem to disallow? ○ Facebook/Youtube links
  9. 9. Tony McCreath The t parameter Action and pagination URLs introduce a “t” parameter to their links, this seems to be a random number generated for each page. It introduces a spider trap with an infinite number of URLs to crawl. Make sure these URLs controlled. Option: Noindex, then disallow?
  10. 10. Tony McCreath Faceted Navigation Plus the t parameter issue. Keep them out of the crawl and index. Noindex then later disallow? Think about hiding them from crawling (don’t use href)
  11. 11. Tony McCreath Paginated Navigation We want them in the index, to help discover products. Fix the t parameter. Use rel prev/next to indicate they are related pages.
  12. 12. Tony McCreath Duplicate URLs with postfixed dashes (_) Product links sometimes add an _ to the products URL. This causes two versions of every product, to be crawled, indexed, then filtered out. This issue can be recursive. A single _ URL can generate double __ URLs, etc. This is a URL Google is showing in search:
  13. 13. Tony McCreath jsessionid parameters Screaming Frog picked up some cases where a URL would 302 redirect and add a session parameter to the URL. session parameters are another way to cause infinite crawl paths. Every request from Googlebot is a new session. Investigate this.
  14. 14. Tony McCreath Ask Questions and the rdm parameter Screaming Frog with rendering found many URLs with rdm parameters. I think a false capture, but worth checking the Google Search Consoles “URL parameter tool” and crawling/indexing reports to see if it causes issue.
  15. 15. Tony McCreath Half Way!
  16. 16. Tony McCreath Pages you don’t want crawled or indexed Some pages have no value in the search results. So are best kept out of crawling and indexing. Google bot checks out every URL it finds in an <a href="" />. E.g. ● Add a review links ● Login links Stop bots wasting their time with these URLs: ● Don’t make them links. E.g. use onclick. ● Noindex or disallow the destination pages.
  17. 17. Tony McCreath Disallowing almost everyone from crawling Maybe this is because of the spider traps causing strain on your server? Be very careful, as you may be blocking a spider that is of use to you. And it only works with nice bots. It’s a request.
  18. 18. Tony McCreath No canonical tags Canonical tags can help control these duplicate and infinite crawl issues, by bringing the bots back to a main page for each bit of content.
  19. 19. Tony McCreath Try and use clean URLs WARNING: I’m not suggesting altering existing URLs. Some characters in URLs are troublesome. It’s best to stick to a few known to be safe characters: ● a-z and A-Z (Some people prefer all lower case to avoid other issues) ● Dashes (-) and Underscores (_). Dashes are best. ● 0-9 The biggest issues characters are spaces (aka + or %20), decimal points (.) and anything that gets encoded on the fly.
  20. 20. Tony McCreath Good for mobile and Speed checks ● HTTP/2.0 ● Compress images ● Compress resources
  21. 21. Tony McCreath The Usual eCommerce Suspects ● No home page content ● No content on category pages (that rank and make you money) ● Thin or Duplicated product descriptions ● Faceted navigation indexing ● Duplicate or near duplicate product pages
  22. 22. Tony McCreath Structured Data ● Almost perfect Product/Review structured data (brand missing name) ● Add rel prev/next to paginated pages ● Breadcrumb structured data is missing the URL (id) for each step ● Pages without breadcrumbs markup an empty one (home page) ● I could not find Organization markup Check the Search Consoles Structured Data and Analytics report set to “Rich results” to see how they are performing.
  23. 23. Tony McCreath Stuff I liked ● The parts finder on the home page (analyse and possibly make more prominent) ● Banner is not too tall ● Trust messages (address, ABN, Terms, Payment methods ● Filters (If they were taken out of the crawl) ● Detailed tracking ○ Events ○ Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce ○ Google Ads Dynamic Remarketing and Conversion tracking ○ Facebook Pixel ○ ...
  24. 24. Tony McCreath Learn from the New Google Search Console ● URL parameter report - how bad are those parameters affecting the crawl ● URL inspection tool - What does Google think of a specific URL ● Index coverage reports - Why are URLs excluded from the crawl and index ● Performance report - which pages are causing traffic for you, and why ● Which valuable pages stopped working. What happened.
  25. 25. Tony McCreath Learn from Google Analytics ● Which landing pages from search are making you money, improve them. (Home, Categories, Products) ● Which valuable pages stopped working for you, why? Can they be fixed? (Moved, Removed, Changed)
  26. 26. Tony McCreath Takeaways ● Fix spider traps and crawling/indexing issues. ● More content for your valuable pages. Help them along. ● Fix Structured Data issues. ● Do an SEMrush audit. Understand the issues and fix those that will benefit you.
  27. 27. Tony McCreath Done! Tony McCreath Web Site Advantage Adelaide Australia Top Contributor Google Webmaster Central Help Forum
  28. 28. Tony McCreath ● Big banner ● Blog. Enable click on post headings ● No Structured Data found (LocalBusiness, Services, BlogPostings…) ● Move Capabilities to their own page? ● Work page is slow. Reduce images sizes to how they are displayed. ● Work page and several other base pages are noindexed? ● Work page has a rel next to another page with the same content ● Using gtag plus ga three times!!! A fifth to a different property. And GTM.
  29. 29. Tony McCreath ● Big banner ● Not secure is live (canonicals to secure) ● Secure links are to not secure pages ● Non www redirects to Default.asp ● Home page meta description repeated on many pages ● Articles all use the same title ● Use of old Google Analytics (ga) and very old Google Analytics (gat)? ● Support subdomain is blocking resources ● “Next Page” is a POST based form ● Very basic structured data (Product)