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How to Find and Fix Common Technical SEO Issues

Slides from my webinar with Webpromo.expert about common technical SEO issues and how to fix them.

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How to Find and Fix Common Technical SEO Issues

  1. 1. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Find and Fix Common Technical SEO Issues Webpromo Expert Webinar 19 January 2016 Barry Adams
  2. 2. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Barry Adams
  3. 3. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Agenda: 1. Server-side Technical SEO 2. On-site Technical SEO 3. Technical SEO for International Websites 4. Q & A
  4. 4. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Server-side Technical SEO
  5. 5. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Crawl Optimisation • Minimising wasted crawl budget Crawl Budget = the maximum amount of time a search engine spider will spend crawling your website before it gives up.
  6. 6. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Crawl Sources • Site Crawl • XML Sitemaps • Inbound Links • DNS Records • Domain Registrations • Browsing Data
  7. 7. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Crawl Waste DeepCrawl report
  8. 8. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Crawl Issue: URL Duplication • http://website.com • http://www.website.com • http://www.website.com/index.php • http://website.com/index.php • http://www.website.com/category • http://www.website.com/category/ • http://website.com/category • http://website.com/category/
  9. 9. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Solving URL duplication: WWW • Apache .htaccess rules: RewriteEngine on RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^website.com RewriteRule (.*) http://www.website.com/$1 [R=301,L] This redirects all requests to http://website.com to http://www.website.com
  10. 10. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Trailing Slash Redirect • Apache .htaccess rules: RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(.*)/$ RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://domain.com/$1/ [L,R=301] This redirects all requests to /category to the version with the trailing slash: /category/
  11. 11. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams HTTPS Redirect • Apache .htaccess rules: RewriteEngine on RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} !^443$ RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.website.com/$1 [R=301,L] This redirects all standard HTTP requests to the HTTPS version of the website
  12. 12. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams SSL Certificate Quality https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/
  13. 13. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Learn more about Apache .htaccess: • http://www.htaccess-guide.com/ • http://www.htaccesstools.com/
  14. 14. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams HTTP Status Codes The most important ones:  200 OK everything is fine, here is your content  404 Not Found the page you are trying to view doesn’t exist  301 Permanent Redirect the page you are trying to view has moved permanently, here’s the new URL  302 Temporary Redirect the page you are trying to view has moved temporarily, here is the new URL  500 Server Error there’s been a massive fuck up, I can’t serve you this page
  15. 15. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams On-Site Technical SEO
  16. 16. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams XML Sitemaps
  17. 17. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Optimise your XML sitemap • Ensure your sitemap contains final URLs only • Minimise non-200 status codes
  18. 18. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Use Multiple Sitemaps • Google says max 50.000 URLs Nick Eubanks case study shows 35.000 is optimal Source: http://seoauv.com/increase-traffic/
  19. 19. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Mismatched Canonicals • All URLs in XML sitemap should be final canonical URLs only
  20. 20. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Always use Canonicals • Duplicate URLs can originate from various sources… http://www.website.com/page1.html http://www.website.com/page1.html?utm_source=buffer& utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=seo
  21. 21. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Use Full URLs in Canonicals <link rel=“canonical” href=“/page1.html”> <link rel=“canonical” href=“www.website.com/page1.html”> <link rel=“canonical” href=“https://www.website.com/page1.html”>
  22. 22. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Use Canonicals wisely… • “rel=canonical” is primarily for index issues It is not a fix for crawl waste Search engines need to see the canonical tag before they can act on it Ergo, pages need to be crawled before rel=canonical has any effect Ditto with meta noindex tags
  23. 23. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Internal Redirects • Find redirects with Screaming Frog or DeepCrawl • Internal links should all be 200 OK • Flat site structure
  24. 24. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Pagination • Potential for massive crawl waste Especially when combined with sorting
  25. 25. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Optimise Paginated Lists • Show more products per page • Use pagination meta tags; <link rel="prev" href="http://www.domain.com/category/?page=2" /> <link rel="next" href="http://www.domain.com/category/?page=4" /> <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.domain.com/category/?page=all" /> Googlebot will deprioritise deeper paginated pages • Block sorting parameters in robots.txt; User-agent: Googlebot Disallow: /*?order=* Noindex: /*?order=*
  26. 26. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams GSC Robots.txt Tester
  27. 27. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Alternative: X-Robots-Tag • Special HTTP status code intended for crawlers • Implemented in Apache .htaccess file: <FilesMatch ".pdf$"> Header set X-Robots-Tag "noindex, nofollow" </FilesMatch> More info: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/control-crawl- index/docs/robots_meta_tag
  28. 28. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Faceted Navigation • Risk of crawl waste & index inflation
  29. 29. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Dealing with Faceted Navigation 1. Block facet URL parameters in robots.txt User-agent: Googlebot Disallow: /*attribute=* Noindex: /*attribute=* 2. Tag facet links with “rel=nofollow”
  30. 30. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams JavaScript & Faceted Navigation • ‘Hiding’ facets in JavaScript does not work Google will execute JS and can follow embedded links Don’t block JavaScript & CSS in robots.txt! • JavaScript can add load time Fast load speed is crucial
  31. 31. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Optimise Load Speed • Crawl budget = time • Fast website = more pages crawled in same amount of time
  32. 32. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams WebPageTest.org • Time to First Byte • Lightweight pages • Caching • Compression
  33. 33. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Code Bloat
  34. 34. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Structured Data • Schema.org markup
  35. 35. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams JSON-LD Markup • In the <head> section Separate from body code Easier to implement
  36. 36. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Google Tag Manager JSON-LD • Use GTM data layer macros to inject JSON-LD schema.org code in your product pages Source: http://www.swellpath.com/2015/03/7-steps-to-pushing-json-structured- data-using-google-tag-manager/
  37. 37. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Structured Data Testing Tool https://developers.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/
  38. 38. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Expired Pages • Google’s advice: serve 404 Not Found Downside: potential loss of link value Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tz7Eexwp_A
  39. 39. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams My Advice • Keep the page up
  40. 40. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams High-churn Ecommerce • Products with a limited lifespan, potentially thousands of new pages every week Online auctions / ‘… for sale’ classified sites / etc  301-redirect old URL to most relevant new URL Minimum 180 days Serve 410 (or 404) on old URL after 180 days
  41. 41. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Technical SEO for International Websites
  42. 42. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams International Domains • Pick the right domain;  Generic TLDs: .com, .org, .net, .info, …  ccTLDs: .co.uk, .ie, .de, .fr, .it, .nl, … • Generic domains can be geo-targeted with Google Search Console • Country-code domains will be assumed to target that country It’s almost impossible to get a .it website to rank in google.co.uk
  43. 43. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Google Search Console
  44. 44. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Website Structure • Subdirectories:  website.com/gb  website.com/it • Subdomains:  gb.website.com  it.website.com Verify separately in Google Search Console and set the geo-target
  45. 45. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Country & Language www.website.com/be-fr/ www.website.com/be-nl/ www.website.com/be-de/ Use official ISO country & language codes where possible
  46. 46. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams HTML Language Tag • Use the ‘lang’ attribute: • Don’t forget to change when you launch your international version!
  47. 47. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams HREFLANG Meta Tags <link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en-ie" hreflang="en-ie" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en-ca" hreflang="en-ca" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en-au" hreflang="en-au" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en" hreflang="en" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/" hreflang="x- default" /> More info: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077
  48. 48. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Google Search Console
  49. 49. POLEMIC D I G I T A L@badams Questions? barry@polemicdigital.com www.polemicdigital.com @polemicdigital @badams

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