My name is Charlie Williams. I am a consultant in SEO, I work for Screaming Frog in the UK, a search marketing agency, and I am here at SEOday because I was very kindly invited to speak, which I am very excited about.
What was your presentation about?
Charlie: The main thing I wanted to get across in my talk was that in 2017 technical SEO needs to be exciting and it is something we need to make sure our clients understand really can still benefit them. It is not just a series of checklist we do in the beginning of a project to making sure we have page title and hreflang tags in place.
As we can do more advanced things with SEO as Google changes to things like mobile first index there are more technical things we need to be aware of, to be on top of and to generally do a really good job with for our clients.
What are your three best tips?
Charlie: From my talk, I think my three main takeaways I like anyone to have are 1: be aware that it is the mobile version of their code there is going to be used by Google in the future rather than desktop one. As SEOs, I think we spent many years getting our desktop sites absolutely the best they can be and now we are going to make sure the mobile version is exactly as good.
The second is if you are dealing with something like a java script website which at first can be quite confusing – don’t panic. There are ways to get around it, everything is figure-out-able so to say. With a java script website, what you are trying to get at is understanding the code that Google or Bing are actually using to index your site. So, making sure you understand the code that appears before the java script renders the content and the code that appears afterwards. It is the second bit of code that you need to be really obsessing about making the best of.
The third thing as a takeaway from my talk that I like to sort of let people go away with if they will is generally to educate other people – first of all, our link building and our content writing SEOs brothers and sisters. Make sure they understand the technical side of the subject. Make sure they can bring into what they do both in terms of making a better job, by understanding how the technical side affects their particularly bit of work, but also putting in front of clients. Making sure that clients see that everything we do actually has a technical aspect and need to be aware of how affects everything else. The second part is educating the clients themselves about how Google crawls and uses their website. Giving them back a little bit of control in something that can seem pretty out of your hands as in how Google crawls your website. That is a really cool thing we can do this year to help people.
Which tools do you prefer?
Charlie: Away from Screaming Frog, I will park that to one side obviously. Some other favourite tools to SEO specific I would say Ahrefs. I really enjoy that and I think it has got a great great link index but also its keyword research tools are really useful and some others things like its comparison tools, social metrics counting and so on. It gives you a really good oversight in lots of different types of jobs that we do. I would also say SEMrush. I think if you are into actually digging in to what contents are working well or what is working for your competitors it is a fantastic tool that you can pull reams and reams and reams of data out of.
Away from SEO specific tools and the obvious answer of Excel, I would say Timekeeping Software. I think nothing can scupper SEO work more than realising you went to spend a couple of hours fixing a small problem and because you can’t get it right you are obsessing and spending three days on it. So just be aware of how you are working and just again give yourself a bit more control of your workflow, I think lets everyone do a better work.
What keeps companies from having success?
Charlie: I think perhaps there is a twofold answer to that, if that is okay. I think first of all there is a barrier in knowledge. People think because it is a realm of developers and it is code that it is going to be difficult and they are not really going to understand the benefit of it or understand how to implement it properly. That stops people from wanting to try, because they are worried that it is going to take too long to learn all and they are never actually going to do the work in the first place.
I think the other aspect of it is people who never see the benefit. There are many many articles out there saying that you need to have links, you must have links to work in SEO. You need to have content, you must have great content to work in SEO. They don’t realise that actually technical working with the content allows you to what I describe as curating your search experience. It is not just creating a great bit of content, but also being able to determine how Google and the users are going to see that in the search results. That is making the most of those assets that we are building.