This Week In SEO 45
Technical SEO, Trackers, App Store Optimization, & More
We just published an 80/20 On-Page SEO guide. Check it out here.
Technical SEO: A Guide
I’ve talked about this before, but I see so many sites that clearly neglect the technical aspects of their site.
Lucky for you, there are some A+ resources out there to help you diagnose and fix common problems holding your SEO back. This post by Mattias is in-depth and heavily technical. I recommend going through it and, if it’s over your head, having someone who understands these points to take the checklist to your site and tighten up the loose screws. You’ll rank better for it.
Use the HTML elements to your advantage: h1 headers for your most important titles, h2 for the next level titles, h3 for the next ones, and so on. Google parses your content and uses those tags as its guideline.
Semantic markup goes a lot further than just h1 tags though. If you’re an event- or booking-site, you can add structured data to your markup that can be parsed and shown directly into Google’s search result pages.
Trackers: Creepy AF
Marketers and online entrepreneurs can become pretty insulated when it comes to all the stuff we do to optimize our conversions, increase traffic through ads, and so on.
This post is a fun, if brutal reminder that your online “personal space” is constantly being violated, sold to the highest bidder, and relentlessly tracked. It’s interesting how the shifting point of view (consumer/marketer) puts its own spin on this behavior. It’s definitely creepy when the process is personified.
But this tracking and advertising system works really, really well. Case in point: Facebook made 2.9 billion in MOBILE AD REVENUE ALONE, in just the 2nd quarter of 2015… (source)
A couple of weeks ago I went to the local shopping centre looking for a thermometer. After entering one store upon leaving without buying anything a tracker was assigned to me. I didn’t think much of it at first, but he followed me dutifully around the shopping centre, took careful note of how I walked. Whenever I visited a store he made a note in his little black book (he kept calling it my profile, and he didn’t want to show me what was in it so I assume it was actually his, rather than mine). Each of those stores of course assigned trackers to me as well and soon enough I was followed by my own personal veritable posse of non-descript guys with little black books making notes.
Moving to a CDN
CDNs (content delivery networks) can be a great thing for your site’s SEO. Increased site load time and resistance to hacks are two that come quickly to mind.
However, moving a few of your sites to a CDN is not the easiest thing to do. There’s a lot that can go wrong and work against your SEO fortune. But moving over 1100 sites? Madness!
In this interview, and SEO interviews his agency’s CTO to get the scoop on the who/what/where/why of moving that many sites. Really interesting; recommended reading.
Was the problem with point A our hosting, or the lack of a CDN?
Both, sort of. Our top cause of downtime was malicious traffic that our hosting environment was not positioned to handle. Also, our server response times consistently hovered at around two seconds. Response times should be under half a second, and two seconds should be nearing a complete page load!
Are Rich Snippets a Necessity in 2016
According to this article, nearly a third of the searches displayed in organic search contain rich snippets.
If your site would be well suited to use rich snippets (ecommerce, reviews, recipe… and so on) but is not taking advantage of rich snippets? Hopefully this article convinces you to take the first steps to getting it set up.
It’s also important to keep in mind that a related feature, “Related Questions,” which recommends follow-up queries, is also rising dramatically. It stands to reason that Google is heavily invested in providing more of these direct-answer search results to improve user experience and potentially bypass the need for those users to click-through.
App Store Optimization Checklist
App Store Optimization (ASO) is essential for bringing organic traffic and downloads to your app. Just as important as SEO, neglecting ASO is a sure way to stay in obscurity forever.
This Moz article highlights the 10 most important items for optimizing your app.
App indexing allows you to drive downloads and app store traffic directly from a search engine results page.
App indexing has quickly shaken up the world of search, with 40% of searches now returning app indexed results. The world is going mobile, and those apps ahead of the curve in ASO and app indexing trends will be those that nab market share from traditionally web-dominated search results. (For more ways to move beyond the app store with your marketing strategy, check out our guide The 2016 Guide to App Marketing Channels.)