A marriage of two minds. That’s what the session “She Said, He Said. Two SEOs give their take on how to solve your SEO questions.” was.
Covering as many SEO problems as possible in 75 minutes, Carolyn Shelby of Tribune Interactive and Rohrer Rohrer of NorthSide Metrics ran through clear examples of how to deal with day-to-day SEO issues. Whether this was on migrating to a new content management system (CMS) or creating content for a blog, the solutions all came down to communication and research.
They covered five topics with a stake in SEO performing well. In this post, I’ll cover their top tips for each area they covered, including:
- Site speed
- How do you get more budget for SEO?
SEO tips for Migration
What can be an exciting idea for the company’s leadership team can easily turn into a nightmare if not all of the teams involved in the website’s maintenance are brought into the conversation. Let’s review some of Shelby and Rohrer’s top tips for keeping your SEO rankings when migrating a website:
Rohrer: Create a checklist of what needs to be done before you begin the migration. Make sure all appropriate teams are involved and can contribute to this.
Shelby: Research is key here. You’ll want to get a list of all the current pages within your site (these means you’ll need to run a crawl), all the inbound links, and compile where your traffic is going within your site. Finally, have conversations across departments about what functionality will need to be maintained. There may be components of your CMS, your database, and more that are being used by one person in one department, and will break when you migrate.
SEO tips for Content
The relationship between SEO and content is a close one. This means an “all hands on deck” approach should be taken.
Rohrer: Consider how much you spend on promoting your content. While you may be writing multiple posts a day or a week, how much efforts goes into promoting each post? Join forces with your social team, your internal communications team, and other relevant departments to promote your content across different platforms and to different audiences. But remember to tailor your message and speak the audience’s language!
Shelby: Continuity and consistency are key here. Reinforce your message everywhere. Get clear about what you need and your personas want. Know their language and know when and where they’ll start to search for things. Timing is very important.And finally, if your content sucks no one is going to share it and link to it.
SEO tips for Crawling
What’s more frustrating than a website having tons of pages and no clear structure? Being the person who has to navigate the site. Regular maintenance and some front end work can save you and your team from this hassle.
Rohrer: Take inventory. There are a number of tools to help you do this, including:
- Free tools: Sitebulb, ScreamingFrog, Page Modified, Xeno Link Sleuth
- For small to medium businesses: Sitebulb, ScreamingFrog, Page Modified, Xeno Link Sleuth, Deep Crawl, SEM Rush
- For Enterprise sized businesses: DeepCrawl, SEM Rush, Page Modified
Shelby: Menu structure is extremely important. Help yourself and the crawler understand how to get to each page. A great tip is to build deep links instead of linking something directly from the homepage. Don’t have duplicate content or 404 errors. To manage this you’ll need to audit your website regularly.
SEO tips for site speed
Site speed can greatly affect your traffic and how Google views you. The tips from Shelby and Rohrer were all about optimization. Doing your research and being targeted is key here.
Shelby: Optimize and plan! Consider your image sizes, plugins, cookies, and even your DNS locations (they should be in separate locations in case there’s issues). Try to be lean and efficient. Your site should be like a race horse. Keep the idea of optimization top of mind to have a fast site.
Rohrer: Audit what’s on your site! Start with tracking pixels. Rohrer told a story of how he found multiple Google Analytics tracking codes and call tracking tools on the site, weighing down speed and causing issues. His first task was to remove all the unnecessary ones, which increased the speed and helped with SEO.
That’s great, but how do I get budget to do all of this SEO work?
Rohrer and Shelby had different takes on how to engage your leadership team and earn budget for SEO work. But they stressed both approaches worked for them and combining them might work even better.
Rohrer: I like to align goals. Some of us don’t have it as easy as just flat out saying how much money they bring in. For me it’s about getting things done. Having everyone work together and communicate, you’ll get there faster and more efficiently. Start with company goals- team goals- personal goals. Then consider how you can convey this when working with other teams to stay on goal.
Shelby: I flat out tell them how much money, traffic you bring in and how you are generating money. It’s powerful stuff.
With so much packed into only 75 minutes, Rohrer and Shelby packed a punch with this session. Ultimately, they stressed the solutions to your SEO problems will depend on your ability to focus on your communication (especially across different departments and roles) and your focus on digging deep into the data available to you.
Jacqueline Fassett – A Salesforce certified Pardot Specialist, Jacqueline joined Portland-based Idealist Consulting in 2016 with proven experience helping small businesses and nonprofits with marketing campaigns. While she loves all things marketing, her favorite topics are marketing automation, content creation, and email marketing.
Scott is the SEMpdx Volunteers Director and works with volunteers to make SEMpdx monthly events, marketing, and member services happen. He’s the founder of 32 Degrees Digital, a local Portland digital marketing agency that works with clients that have an experience to sell such has Hotels, Resorts, Non Profits, Symphony Organizations, Sports Associations, Wineries, and other local business franchises.