We've all agreed that specialized SEO is integral, and a lot of people know at least a little bit about the subject when we are not already practitioners.
But have you considered that the way you consider technological SEO can be hindering or helping your success?
Today, technical SEO is something which plenty of individuals know a lot of things about. You collect knowledge over the years from a lot of different resources, and that is where lots of the value we provide comes from. But not everyone can consider technological SEO from a strategic perspective, and that is the skill that I believe we should talk more about.
Framing the Issue
Let's start by framing the problem. So look at these charts. I would argue that most people's psychological model of technical SEO matches this original chart.
So in this graph, the solid black line is the actual traffic that you are becoming, whereas the dotted line would be that the hypothetical traffic you might be getting if each of the technical problems on your site has been resolved. So some people today see that and say, "Well, you know, if I can just keep fixing technical things, I can keep getting more visitors to my site."
That is one way of looking at it, however, I would argue that it's not exactly the ideal way of studying it, because really there are only so many technical things that can go wrong with your website. There's a finite number of issues. It's not an opportunity so much as an issue that needs to be solved. So what I try and encourage my customers and colleagues to do is think about it this manner.
So it is the exact same graph and the same circumstance. Here's the true traffic that you are getting and the hypothetical traffic you might be getting. But actually what is happening is the technical problems are keeping you from realizing the maximum potential traffic you might be capturing. To put it differently, there are technical issues preventing us from getting all of the traffic that we can. Now, once you've framed the issue this way, how can you resolve it?
So some people just say, well, I have this big problem. I need to comprehend how all the items that may be wrong with this website. I am just going to dip in. I'm going to go through page by page, and I'll complete when I run from webpages or longer realistically I run out of time or I run out of their customer's budget. So what if there's a better way to really solve this problem and understand that it's been solved?
Well, that's exactly what this frame that I'm going to introduce to you is about. The way that we would advise doing that is by taking the big issue, the overall difficulty of specialized SEO and breaking it down into subproblems and breaking those down until you have problems that are so small they are trivially solvable. Now, I'm going to explain to you exactly how we accomplish that, and it's going to be a little bit subjective.
So if you need something concrete to follow along with, I'd recommend checking out the blog post at this URL. That is dis.tl/tech-audit. Okay. So once you've got a significant problem that you're attempting to break down, many people's first attempt winds up looking something similar to this Venn diagram. So we take a single issue, break it down into three subproblems, but there is some kind of overlap between those issues.
When there's overlap, you lose a great deal of confidence. There really is, are you repeating effort across these various areas? Or did you miss something as both of these things are sort of the same? Everything just gets a little hazy very quickly. So, to get past that, what I've utilized at Distilled is that this consulting concept called MECE.
Mutually exclusive and comprehensively exhaustive
MECE stands for mutually exclusive and comprehensively exhaustive. That is a lot of fancy words, so I'll show you pictorially what I mean. So, rather than having a Venn diagram like this, what if all those problems were completely separate? Now the same area is still covered by them. There's no overlap between these, and that is what MECE means.
Because there is no overlap between them, they are mutually exclusive. Since they cover each one of the first problems, they are comprehensively exhaustive. So what does this imply in specialized SEO specifically? Now, remember the problem that we are dealing with is that there are technical issues preventing us from capturing traffic which we would otherwise be able to. What exactly are the 3 ways which that could happen?
- Perhaps our content is not being indexed. There is a reason that our content is not being indexed.
- Our content does not rank as well as it might, and consequently, we're losing this traffic.
- There is a technical reason that our content isn't being exhibited and it could be in the SERPs.
This is things like getting rich snippets, celebrities, things like that that could increase the click-through rate. These things seem kind of trivial, but really each of the technical problems that you can locate on your site donates to one or more of these 3 categories.
So, for example, we're starting by considering there's a technical reason that our content isn't being indexed. Well, what exactly are the ways that that could occur? One of those ways is that URLs are not discoverable by crawlers, and, again, that is an entire thing in itself that can be broken down further.
So maybe it's that our XML sitemaps aren't uploaded to Google Lookup Console. Obviously, this is not a guarantee that we are having issues. However, if there is an issue down here, there's a fairly good possibility that trickles back up to a problem up here that we are really concerned about. The beauty of this is not simply that it winds up helping us produce a checklist so that we know each of the technical issues we need to be looking at.
But in addition, it helps us communicate precisely what the meaning is of our findings and why people should care for them. So this is the template I encourage my colleagues to use at Distilled. "We are visiting ________. This is a problem because of something. You should take care of that since something else." The way this works is just like a Mad Lib style, except we operate like indoors out.
So we begin with this point. We are seeing our XML sitemaps aren't uploaded to Google Lookup Console. This is a problem because maybe URLs are not discoverable by crawlers. We should care about that because there's a technical rationale our articles isn't being indexed, and that right there's precisely the message which you deliver to your client.
Thus again, this is precisely the framework that we use for our specialized audits at Distilled. It has given us much more confidence. It has given us a lot more insight into just how long this procedure should take for our analysts and consultants, and it has also got us improved outcomes particularly because it has helped us communicate about what we discovered.
Thank you very much.