Announcer: 00:01 On this episode of Edge of the Web.
Aleyda Solis: 00:04 Realistically, to the people who are going to… You need to go through Edge and actually implement it is like, “Oh where do I begin? What is all this?”
Erin Sparks: 00:13 Why did you do this to me?
Aleyda Solis: 00:14 I have all these things wrong. Are you for real? What are… Yes indeed.
Announcer: 00:20 Your weekly digital marketing trends with industry trend setting guests. You’re listening and watching Edge of the Web. Winners of best podcast from the content marketing Institute for 2017. Hear and see more at edgeofthewebradio.com. Now, here’s your host Aaron Sparks.
Erin Sparks: 00:42 Hey, this is edge of the web radio episode 332, and I’m your host Aaron Sparks. Every week we actually bring you amazing industry guests, and chat about trending digital marketing news and unpack topics about digital marketing to our digital marketing audience. Be sure to check out all the recent shows over the edgeofthewebradio.com. This edgeofthewebradio.com are cranking out podcast, videocast, blogs and transcripts on each show. If you miss something, jump in over there, and deep dive with each show. Edge of the Web is actually brought to you by Site Strategics, title sponsor of the show. Site Strategics is a pioneer in the agile digital marketing realm. There are core specialties of technical SEO, conversion optimization and omni-channel media marketing. Agile marketing is iterative results based marketing that works. If you’re interested in what that means for you, what they can do for you, give them a call at 877-SEO-4-WEB or 877-736-4932. All right, going to toss it over. Jacob is in the production booth. He is a studio creative director. Sir.
Jacob Mann: 01:44 Hello.
Erin Sparks: 01:45 Hello sir. How you doing?
Jacob Mann: 01:46 Good afternoon. I’m doing well.
Erin Sparks: 01:47 You’re doing well.
Jacob Mann: 01:48 Yup.
Erin Sparks: 01:48 You sure?
Jacob Mann: 01:49 I am. My eye has healed. “You’re okay. Wear safety glasses when you run a weed-whacker-”
Erin Sparks: 01:54 Absolutely.
Jacob Mann: 01:55 “… because acorns flying into your eyeball will scratch your cornea, make things blurry.”
Erin Sparks: 02:01 Literally. The animated GIFS in slack, in our corporate slack… It was one to behold. Dude, yeah, those eyes are precious, right? You got to protect it.
Jacob Mann: 02:13 Yeah, I know. It wasn’t much fun.
Erin Sparks: 02:16 We’re glad that you’re taking care of that, and glad to have you in the seat there. Certainly appreciate your hard work on a regular basis. We need to make some notes here on the Edge. Just to quickly update you everything, we’re really geared into SEO audits and reporting, and we’ve been doing that for a number of shows, and we have a great interview. We had a great interview with Andy Drinkwater over IQSEO and we went over his 209 point checklist. We’re excited. After that long interview, yeah, it was really long, but we enjoyed it greatly. To actually bring Andy back around again, and do a live SEO audit. Yes, live. We’ll be live on this Wednesday, November 13th at noon Eastern on YouTube. You want to set your reminders, jump in there. We picked a submission and we’re going to be going over the site factors on YouTube live. Set that reminder at the… I will do launch with us, with the edge team, and Andy Drinkwater, and we’ll dissect our willing participant domain.
It would be loads of fun, and I will certainly take your comments on the show while we’re doing it. Another note, we just want to run it through, some of the upcoming guests are going to be on this show. Bruce Clay is going to be on November 18th. Kim Scott is returning to the show with an upgrade of her book, November 24th. Elizabeth Mason is going to be joining us, December 22nd. Thalia Wolf is on the show, December 9th, and Robert Rose is joining us at the end of the year on our December 16th show, and we’re thinking about having one more show, but we’re keeping it secret for right now. Make sure you set reminders on YouTube to get notified whenever we’re live with those shows. If you’re actually interested in being a guest, drop us a line over at edgeofthewebradio.com and we’ll be happy to oblige.
Check out all the trending topics over at edgeofthewebradio.com, that’s edgeofthewebradio.com. Want to make sure that we give thanks to our continued sponsor of the Edge, that’s ahrefs.com, that’s ahrefs. Make sure that you check them out. You can truly get a good competitive analysis, very easy. Their tools show you how competitors can actually get their traffic, and why they’re getting their traffic. Check out their pages. You can see their content that’s sending the most traffic to your competitors. Guess what? You can reverse engineer, and be able to outgun them on a regular basis. You can actually find out the exact keywords they’re ranking for, and which backlinks are actually helping them in that. Go over to ahrefs.com. That’s a-h-r-e-f-s.com and sign up for a free trial today. You’ll swim in great data just like we do at our shop. All right, so with all that, let’s turn the channel here, and let’s talk to this week’s featured guest.
Announcer: 04:56 Now it’s time for edge of the web featured interview with Aleyda Solis. International SEO Consultant and Founder at Orainti.
Erin Sparks: 05:08 All right. Let’s introduce our guests to our listeners. If you haven’t caught… Later in the person on the speaking circuit, you really need to catch one of her sessions. The latest, she’s international SEO consultant and founder of Orainti. Her service is phenomenal. She’s been providing international SEO consultation services for last seven years, and she’d been doing search engine optimization and for a European American and Latin American companies having worked in as an in house specialist as well as an agency consultant, and an independent professional. Aleyda is also an experienced SEO speaker. I’m talking about international conferences. She’s spoken in the best known online marketing events worldwide in the U.S., U.K., Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Chile, Israel, Belgium among other countries. Your frequent flyer mile package must be fantastic, Aleyda.
Aleyda Solis: 06:05 I do get at this point already, thankfully, finally after so much extra upgrades opportunities.
Erin Sparks: 06:13 There we go.
Aleyda Solis: 06:13 I cannot complain. I cannot complain.
Erin Sparks: 06:15 Oh wow, that’s the pack right there. You’ve been doing it. You’ve been on the speaking circuit for a very long time, and you truly are kind of acclaimed as the champion for international SEO. It’s a clarion bell for so many SEOs. We’ve been myopic in the English language for such a long time. For us working in the international companies, it’s just been an unheated concept for the longest time. You’re doing a great job in that space. Why don’t you give us your back story of how you came into SEO?
Aleyda Solis: 06:51 I started in SEO in 2007 when I started to work for an online marketing agency that did a lot of SEO as a service to their own clients, right? Also, they had their own website. At the beginning, they hired me to run their own websites, to monetize their websites, to develop content, optimize, etc., and this is how I learned. At some point, I started to work for the clients too, and many of the clients were international targeted and based too. I ended up doing and entering a much more into SEO within this type of international type of settings, multi-lingual type of audiences, and ended up focusing much more on it until I started after a while, after a few years also to share my own experiences, to blog, to speak about it. First, only in Spanish and after while also in English.
I think that I started speaking at conferences in English in 2012 or so. Yes, it has been quite a ride, I have to say. I never expected that it was going to be so good. I have been lucky to be able to share my experiences in SEO, what I learned at a continuous basis. This is how I see speaking, right? To give back, to share back. Also, I speak a lot and go to conferences because I am remote based, right? By going to conferences, this is how I keep up, and also connect with other people, and share a little bit of my concerns, of what I found useful or not, or things like that.
Erin Sparks: 08:31 I’ve got a question for you. Again, international SEO is a new frontier for a lot of SEOs. Have you been seeing your effect in the space of speaking and be able to convey international SEO concepts? Have you been hearing from professionals that they’re taking your advice, and have you been getting feedback from those SEOs?
Aleyda Solis: 08:57 Yes, I think that… Well, I get a lot of feedback say, “I look for this stuff again. Of course, there was an article about you talking about it.” That means a lot and it’s very, of course, its mission accomplished. I will be very happy. Or whenever they run into a very glorious scenario, I get an email, right, and I’m very happy to dig into it, and take a look at it or tweets about weird scenarios of coverage. I think that more and more, there has been this awareness that, first, there’s a lot of potential targeting international audiences and even within the U.S. markets because there are also so many Spanish speakers nowadays.
I think it was last year, I have a couple of very prominent companies and brands in the U.S. to effectively make sure that they were correctly configuring and localizing their content for Spanish speakers in the U.S. I think that there’s much more awareness and maturity too. I think it’s natural that after, especially the companies that started doing SEO many more years ago, they reach a point… They realize that to grow a very natural way to grow is to target global audiences, international audiences that they can serve pretty well-
Erin Sparks: 10:11 Absolutely.
Aleyda Solis: 10:12 … already at that point, yeah.
Erin Sparks: 10:14 Yeah, absolutely. Well, if you don’t mind, let me take a quick moment. If you’re liking this show, we certainly ask you as a listener to reach over to our YouTube and subscribe, and hit that bell, so you can be alerted to great shows like this with different guests in the future. That’s okay to hear this for the Edge. All right. You had a great presentation over at SMXL19 recently, literally last week. It was about SEO audits and the maximize growth. Just a quick note, you’ve been tweeting for a long time, but you’re one of the actual SEOs that has such a great following, 70,000 followers and growing. Congrats to the hard work here. Quick note about SEO on social media. Have you noticed that the social chatter and engagement has grown over the last year?
Aleyda Solis: 11:08 Yes. I think that there are many more conversations for sure. Indeed, I think that maybe because… I don’t know. It’s not that Twitter has become much more harder necessarily. You know what, realistically, I think that I know why… Maybe I have an hypothesis, right? Before we had comments on prominent blocks. The main SEO blocks, they had comments too. There were many of the forums that existed, but I think that comments are now gone mostly for most of the blocks, right? I think that that might be one of the reasons why more-
Erin Sparks: 11:52 They pushed us out on comments. Now, it’s taking to Twitter.
Aleyda Solis: 11:55 Indeed, indeed. Yes, you’re correct. There’s much more about the latest SEO topics or tip being shared off Twitter directly, and Twitter threads also.
Erin Sparks: 12:06 Oh my gosh. That’s incredible. Yeah.
Aleyda Solis: 12:08 You know what? It’s crazy. I am part of this very crazy Twitter thread that is called the Mega thread. We even created a shirt. There was a shirt being created and we all donated. I donated a bit to create the mega shirt. The people who are in this thread are 50 people that I think is the maximum allowed for us, thread in Twitter.
Erin Sparks: 12:34 How long has this been going on?
Aleyda Solis: 12:36 Since years. This is the thing. There are certain SEO news that are related that shared within the thread, but most of it, these are, Wechats that we… every time that anybody on the thread travel somewhere, he’s like Wechat to the mega thread and all sorts of John Mayor’s because he loves Wechats and then find them… conversations about any topic. Anyway, it is funny because, yes, there were so many… this one is great. I love them.
Erin Sparks: 13:09 It is. It’s almost like SEOs reared up their heads and go, “Hey, there’s actually social media. We can talk in that space.” It’s been really exciting to be able to see that. All right, let’s get back to the show, sorry. SEO audits. You certainly are a professional SEO auditor. We certainly value your insight into this. We want also to touch on some of the key points that you covered in that regarding the tools that can be used, the technical analysis, content analysis, link popularity. You went through the game and it looked literally like a top shelf wet bar to be honest with you. If you actually have a look at some of these… Let me pull up page four there. We go Jacob, literally off of the deck… We’re going to have links to this slide deck as well.
For crawling, you had, right, a botify, oncrawl, screeningfrog, sitebulb, deepcrawl, SEOlizer, [fanDegoSEO 00:14:00], I’ve never come across that, and GSC for content quality yet all those plus safe content, link popularity. All the top names, ahrefs, cognitiveSEO, SCMRush, MajesticMaz and GSC for rankings, SEOmonitor, SEO-Sistrix, right, GSE and GA, audience and competition analysis-Sistrix, SEMRush, HRScognitive. Holycow, pick your favorites out of that bunch.
Aleyda Solis: 14:29 I have to say that I forgot. Now that I am realizing, “Oh my God. I’m so bad at this,” that I you have added an extra layer or extra layer on reporting.
Erin Sparks: 14:37 Yeah. Oh my gosh, yeah.
Aleyda Solis: 14:39 Google got a studio. Google got a studio for that. For continuous monitoring, there are a couple of great services that I use, Little Warden and a little warden and [inaudible 00:14:47] to be alerted whenever something happens to specific configurations that you have within your website, this tools will be proactively monitoring your robot’s CXD, you can only call tax configurations. If you’re flying on rotations, we’re changing specific carriers of your site.
Erin Sparks: 15:08 All that can be monitored?
Aleyda Solis: 15:12 Yeah.
Erin Sparks: 15:13 Wow. Okay. I think I cut you off on the first reporting tool that you are referencing. Go ahead and tell me that again.
Aleyda Solis: 15:19 Google studio, you mean?
Erin Sparks: 15:21 Yup, absolutely. Just wanted to make sure that everybody heard that on the show. All right. We went through a huge amount of great tools there. Do you have a favorite in that bunch? Of course, you don’t.
Aleyda Solis: 15:35 It’s hard to tell. It depends for what goal. I have to say that I have been playing much more and using much more lately a couple of them, right?
Erin Sparks: 15:47 Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Aleyda Solis: 15:48 Because of their integration with Google search console. They have built all of this additional layers and reporting to better understand in a much more actional way the data from Google search console directly you see, which are the pages that are very likely suffering from content canonicalisation issues because many pages are run before the same type of top tops, which are the new keywords for would you have started to run in the last week or the last day, the ones that you have lost more keywords. You see in a single page the keyword along the page around the rankings all aggregated together. It’s great from an analysis perspective, it facilitates so much.
Of course, they have also a powerful crawler that allows play and integrate Google search console and Google analytics data. For example, if you’re analyzing and validating content that for example has content issues or contemplation issues. You can see right away if this pages are self canonicalized or indexable or if there have been content issues, if they are also sharing the content or they have content duplication with which all the pages and the type of traffic that they are attracting specifically.
Erin Sparks: 17:12 Wow.
Aleyda Solis: 17:13 They are also targeting or ranking any keywords that is been informing the Google search console. You can see right away there for which keyword it is. It makes so easy to decide, “Yes, I should start just knowing that scene or even redirecting or consolidating these pages.” Or “No, it is worth it for me to start optimizing the content much further and improving it and for this keyword directly.” All the data aggregated in a single way, it makes the decision making process much more easily.
Erin Sparks: 17:44 All right. She sold me, I have to go over and write, and just download that immediately. All right. Oh my God, so many tools, so little time. All right. Your presentation went into depth and a number of different spaces. I can’t ask you to cover them all, but we will go through some hidden gems that were maybe often overlooked. When it gets down to some of the things that should be executed from a crawling standpoint, you actually referenced, and you didn’t go through all the checklist, but you referenced some facet and filter and pagination issues that you should be able to be paying attention to. Structured data configuration, international configuration obviously, and Amp configuration. These are some of the things that a regular caller indexing audits not going to really share, but they are critical whenever talking about technical SEO analysis and especially the pagination. Pagination just gets lost along the way. Give us some of your key thoughts of gems and technical SEO that get brought out of some of these technical SEO audits.
Aleyda Solis: 18:50 Yeah, the realistic it is that thing, right? It all depends on the type of website and the size of website, the maturity of where the website is. If it has done many more SEO processes in the past, the context matter for sure. If it is small website that, yeah, indeed they are just starting in an SEO process, potentially trying to optimize the pagination or probe budget or etc. It won’t make much more sense. This was the whole point of that presentation, right? How would you focus on making your audit much more cost effective, much more efficient instead of just seen as going through a checklist that you need to check.
For example, for bigger website, more complex website, I work a lot with the market places. The typical type of issues is, indeed, of the which point do they need to paginated or show content in a single page because they have so much information? Which are the rules that you should set to be able to differentiate enough the information within different type of facets that are worthy to index, instead of having rule of thumb type of rules, everything after this level of category, or this level of organization, or filtering is going to be no index, or is going to be canonicalized to the party particularly. Develop more sophisticated type of validation and rules within the systems to also validate, “Okay, it’s not only about the offering but also about supply and demand. Is there enough demand that we could be targeting with these pages?”
It’s about integrating with the API of fewer tools to verify there’s enough search volume that could be targeted by these pages. There’s enough demand that will make worthy to optimize the supply. How do we differentiate the products that we are offering to this page? It connects in a much better way with the type of query, with the type of need of this specific user for this product. On the other hand, that allows also the website to differentiate the content with another very similar, that might be similar type of category or subcategory or layer that they might have on the website, right? It’s important to have all of this input and validation and data to give much more context on how to better real optimize for a different types of scenarios, not necessarily rule of thumbs, but there are so many ifs and conditions to fulfill, right?
Erin Sparks: 21:38 All right. I’m going to pull you back because you actually gave a great example of how to use that audit. But the fact of matter is that you’ve got so many points of technical analysis that you can go through, that you can get into what we call analysis paralysis. Fact of the matter is your presentation was really focused on how do you use the SEO audit report, not how do you generate it, right? That’s really the key factor is that SEOs that just crank out 160 page document that covers every one other thing under the sun over here, over here, over here, over here.
Literally, that’s great from an academic standpoint, but it is completely impractical to get into actual execution. You started this entire presentation with making your analysis strategically based and we love that concept. What’s the unique selling proposition? What’s the business model and the goals? What’s the previous SEO results and the challenges that you experience? What are the platform restrictions? Absolutely. What are the industry challenges and requirements? Honestly, before an SEO execution or audit ever gets through, you need to answer those questions, right?
Aleyda Solis: 22:50 Indeed, indeed, to make your outage much more meaningful and really connected with the reality of the website and the business as a whole realistically, right?
Erin Sparks: 22:50 Right.
Aleyda Solis: 23:01 This is the thing we need to realize that what we should be looking as an outcome of our SEO that is indeed not to deliver a document to the client but also to make our recommendations happen. To make our recommendations easy to be executed and they are executed so that the client can see an actual result because of our analysis, right? That they deliver the type of SEO goals that they are trying to achieve, which is not to get a document from us, but realistically is to see their traffic grow.
Erin Sparks: 23:40 It doesn’t matter. It’s just going to pick up dust unless there’s an actual action plan from it. What was unique about your presentation, they actually got further than just understanding the audit. They actually got further than actually action plans, and actually got into how you reinforce this, how you get this validated into the entire resource system. But before we get there, you brought a number of things to avoid out of your presentation. Whenever you’re doing an SEO audit, one of them is just not taken too long to analyze bloody everything that’s could be possibly wrong in an SEO audit. You went through a number of different ways to analyze prioritization of issues. If I could, just give me a brief concept on what those issues are, and how you should actually go through the prioritization and how to create also efficiency in targeting certain key SEO issues.
Aleyda Solis: 24:40 Yeah. This is the thing, right, based on what we discussed before, that not all websites are the same, and not all website needs the same. For example, if I will be investing my time on trying to optimize a crawl budget, for example, the crawl efficiency of a smaller website, it may not necessarily make up such a big impact, right? Maybe these type of websites are new. They don’t necessarily need to be tried to sort out the index scene or gullibility of every single page, but actually to better improve their content, to establish better crawl clarity by understanding there’s a really profile gap versus their competitor, if they have only a couple of years in the market. Again it depends on the context of the website, if it is a big brand, if the small brand, if it is international or if it is local. All these input that we need to take from the client when… and context and information that we can take us an input to better because it will make our work more efficient.
Also, to be doing an audit for example, to give an additional support when migration is coming or the sign is coming. It’s completely different than to audit for and go in SEO process on an overall SEO process. Again, all of this will change. Based on that, I will say that it’s important to focus on identifying, which are the areas within SEO that will be rather much more meaningful at that stage, right?
Erin Sparks: 24:40 Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Depending on the type of criticality of the issues that you start finding, you say, “Yes, the structured data will be nice to have, but not so critical as this other aspect of it.” You see that the product cannot even render all of the pages because it stopped after a while because they take so much to load. Of course, at that point speed is going to be our priority. It’s important that when you start validating those areas that based on the context of the website will tend to be much more important. It’s important to take into consideration the current optimization status. How critical is that area to achieve the final results that we want to get? Based on that, on the current status, or how optimize it on the potential and technicality that that area has.
Also, taking into consideration the effort that the website needs, the owner, the resources that need to be put to make that happen. We need to balance all that to really prioritize those specific actions that will pay off much more easily, much more quickly. That will be much more meaningful to tackle in the first three months in the first iteration of the process. Because again, SEO is an ongoing process that is attractive, that is incremental. We cannot expect to release a to do list of 100 items. Half of them are really nice to have, not necessarily critical to have, right?
Erin Sparks: 28:18 That’s the thing, is that the SEO auditor could literally can go into the annals and the depths of all the possible checklists. Again, it’s almost obviously people are going to glaze over if you’re looking at every one of those different dope points with the same level of criticality. Your point of the entire presentation is the goal of the audit is to be the source and driver of the SEO process to achieve growth. That means that it can’t just sit in its own space as an audit. This was really interesting to me. You actually have to go through and feature the examples of those key critical, those key priority things that you’ve identified. You have the goals and an understanding of the challenges.
You also have the audit and also have the prioritization and the criticality of certain things. Now you’re actually in that selection stage of what the fix. You also say, how to fix it in the audit. The audit has actually grown into almost a how-to, an instruction list for those resources, and understanding how you’re going to test it and validate that it has actually been resolved. This is no longer an audit anymore. This is more of a project management resource, right?
Aleyda Solis: 29:33 Indeed, because they all connect together. This is the thing, the real outcome of the audit that we want is that to make those recommendations happen. We need to make sure that our audit is as easier to follow as possible. It is organized in a way that anybody within the organization will understand. Even if there are not necessarily that knowledgeable in SEO, we can show them with screenshots that this pages are showing results. Take a look at how much traffic they could be getting, and how competitors are ranking with this same pages that they are-
Erin Sparks: 30:09 Absolutely, and that was the other shoe to fall was show how the issues are impacted by those changes. You integrate like you’re talking about, integrate rankings, integrate competitive analysis and source potential. Again, I’m just looking at these different stages, understanding all of this but also connecting to those resources and showing how their efforts are actually going to impact. That’s all lost in a technical audit. It never has context of what it’s going to actually do for your domain.
Erin Sparks: 30:41 It is.
Aleyda Solis: 31:35 It’s important also to facilitate that is very easily consume. My point also was how do you format your routed to make it easy to be read, right? Start with those recommendations or actions are much more critical as the start. Instead of focusing on the problems, every finding, every problem should have an action that drives to a solution. Focus on the solutions and the opportunities instead. The wording here matters, I believe. Also, to not get into any confrontations with a team, to stakeholders that are also responsible for many of this too. That is also important. Gain their support too.
Erin Sparks: 32:17 You’re already in that space where you beat me to it, is literally isolate the resources, getting that resource buy-in especially the stakeholders, the decision maker of sanctioning those efforts or that budget. You also put forth a recommendation matrix that’s boiling down priorities as well as execution difficulty, so you can actually see what’s critical, what’s a priority. On top of that, you’re also tying in the search data, the potential conversion data. If they were to change this, all of a sudden that bell rings for the decision maker, the CMO, the CEO saying, “Oh, wow. You’re literally saying, if we actually invest this much effort, we’re going to be able to unfetter this type of conversions.” You’re painting the entire holistic picture and for the most part, so many SEOs just move that SEO audit of a checklist and doesn’t connect the dots and the impact that it’s going to have in the organization all the way to the bottom line.
Aleyda Solis: 33:21 It should and in a very natural way, because if you see what I presented there, what I’m proposing is that those priorities and efforts and pre qualities that you will be showing for each one of your recommendations, put that together as a summary that you can use as an index at the beginning of the document to make it easier for the stakeholders to go through your document. It can serve as an index and then you can use the same matrix, this same table when you’re sharing the outcome of the analysis to assess which of this recommendations are actually doable at the moment? If your prioritization, ideal prioritization can be actually followed, based on the available resources and flexibility from a technical perspective, counter perspective, etc., etc., decision making business related type of actions.
For example, maybe the client say, “Okay, I understand that you need to implement this redirects here for this particular pages, but we are about to do a migration in a week and a week and a half or in a month. It doesn’t make sense to do this right now because we need to better way to make it much more consistent and to leave that done in final type of configuration that you will have.” Based on that, you can also reprioritize and validate with your clients that we charge a feasible recommendation.
Based on that, end up having a final race of actions and tied those in… Also, what the needed resources and verify that there will be allocated resources for each one of them and the expected times that they will be recommended. You can even use the same document to follow up later in-
Erin Sparks: 33:21 Exactly.
Aleyda Solis: 35:09 … and see if the actions are being implemented as expected. If not, again, this is super important for me. If not, you can very easily tell it, “Look, this is not being implemented as we agreed. Sorry, but we cannot achieve the results that you expected also. This is very important issue with SEO. You want it all, you expect it all, but if you don’t implement, sorry, but you cannot expect to achieve it, right?
Erin Sparks: 35:38 Exactly, so that’s the final hammer right there is you use this documentation as a validation of what’s been done, what’s not been done. All of a sudden, those resources realize that SEO document has a bit of teeth to it too, because you are completely instructing on how to execute what particular line of code or what particular point in the DOM that you have to be changing. All of a sudden, now they know you can also verify that as well. There’s a much larger context of what we’re talking about than just an SEO audit. This is a project management document. It’s a validation process document and it also is a verification of execution.
That’s also a level of accountability for the resource but also clearly communicates to the C level individuals that you did your job and you isolated everything, and what happened could very well be down the line of execution because you’re clearly demonstrating exactly how to do it. You’re actually removing a lot of the impediments that we as SEOs experienced on a lot of times because it is about us and if we don’t communicate it and don’t actually walk through the process of how to fix it, then you’re relying on somebody else’s contextual knowledge, somebody else’s skill-set and somebody else’s own prioritization of their efforts as opposed to your efforts. That’s the entire scheme of this thing, right?
Aleyda Solis: 37:13 Indeed. Actually, you mentioned a point that is super important here. That is also, what we want to achieve at the annual day. That is the actual execution of the recommendations to achieve results and see success in our SEO processes. It’s funny because a few months ago… Actually, yes, it wasn’t September, a couple of months ago, I actually gave this presentation at Brighton SEO regarding why is you failing? It’s because I did this poll over Twitter, requested a lot of people. Whatever type of platform I was in, I got a little more than 500 answers of why SEO specialists see as the main top three reasons that their process has failed. This was very interesting to me to see that it was not necessarily because of the complexity of the analysis or the latest, I don’t know, Tech or buzz or whatever, but it was mainly because of the lack of implementation and resources and flexibility that will support the recommendations that took for the recommendations to be executed.
I share a few ways to handle this in that presentation. This is the thing. Would the outage making it far more easier to be understandable and to connect better with the different stakeholders to gain better their support, that is the certainly away. There is also a very important aspect that I don’t think that we talk much about it. That is during access process of the SEO, we need to validate and verify well that well there is an actual fit for the client to… because one thing is I want to SEO but then you realize that has zero technical resources, has zero technical understanding and also not willingness or even ability to put any effort at this point or content resources or etc, etc.
It’s important that there’s a feed and understanding and willingness to ways also to see results. There’s good alignment and good position what client is everything. By validating well, it’s all what matter at the beginning, to minimize. There will always be instances, of course, officious later on but at least you minimize the much more evident and obvious ones. This is a thing, a lot of SEOs that I have mentioned this, after my presentations that came was like, there is a point also tackling that and the presentation say, “Unfortunately, I’m not the decision maker and I have an urgency and they need to reach goals with clients,” right?
That is why I think it is important to not necessarily look into a volume of clients, but quality clients. I said this and I repeat it every time, for me, sometimes I prefer to tell clients and be very honest. I prefer not to start on this, your process, would you want to wait or better go to face search specialties and until you are ready. Be ready to have an extra [inaudible 00:40:30], because otherwise it will be bad. It will be even worse because I can see that you will be very difficult to achieve any kind of results, and they will blame me. I prefer to be honest at the beginning and advice best possible way like this. Right. [crosstalk 00:40:47] those clients.
Erin Sparks: 40:49 Aleyda, you know roller coasters, right? And you know amusement Patch, right? All right, check this out. What you’re talking about is whenever you come up to the roller coaster and the guy at the ticket or the counter and say, “You know what, you’re not big enough to ride this ride.” Literally what you’re telling the clients is that, “No. Come back whenever you grow up a bit so you can actually handle the roller coaster’s ups and downs because that is absolutely what SEO is,” and it’s got to be able to fit the temperament of the clients.
Aleyda Solis: 41:22 Yeah
Erin Sparks: 41:22 My gosh, we’ve discovered it right there is that you just have to have a metric meter stick and be able to make sure that you can measure that client up because it’s ultimately just going to turn into a bad scenario if they’re not patient enough or they don’t know what you’re talking about or they don’t have those resources available. Wow.
Aleyda Solis: 41:42 Indeed, 100%. Then there’s this other part after the recommendations, right? It’s how it connects? How you gain later on the support from all of the areas and this where SEO becomes really, really tricky, right? Because some part of our work has to do with developers, some part of our work is with the copywriters. Another part of our work is at the marketing efforts, some PR efforts and outreach effort that if these bigger companies, likely already exist within all the areas in marketing, right? It’s not only supported, all for SEOs. Our word there is to… how do we align with all of these existing teams that have their own goals, have their own purpose on the road, but they will need to also support us?
Erin Sparks: 42:31 Oh, but come on. We’re all SEOs, we’re introverts and we’re left brain and we don’t want to talk to anybody else. We just look… want to print over our data. You’re forcing us into a very uncomfortable scenario, Aleyda.
Aleyda Solis: 42:43 This is what is required of you jointly, especially a bigger organization. If it is a little more press website that we will be doing everything ourselves, it’s much easier. Let’s do the much more meaningful projects, and where most of the profit and money is this bigger type of scenarios and more challenges. Indeed, it’s a more complex type of organizations, but it is needed. It is important to tackle and to develop ourself a little bit of more this communication skills, right?
Erin Sparks: 43:11 Yeah. You got to be prepared for that. Because SEO is a huge factor of unknown, you have to be able to translate it and to also be able to hoarse whisper into the different stakeholders what they need to know, and on top of that be able to give them affirmation data. Whenever that execution goes through, they can see their own results. This is what we were talking about before air, is that as soon as you actually see it, an SEO reiteration go through and those stakeholders see their efforts actually come to fruition, now you’re going to be able to see that the next iteration is going to go a heck of a lot quicker and more seamless because you’ve got them bought into the process.
Aleyda Solis: 43:50 That is why sometime testing is needed, pilot projects. Even if we don’t have a full type of buy-in or support to deploy a change in the whole website, at least to be able to negotiate and earn a little bit of resources and time to show that it does work well in those areas where you are allowed to make the implementations happen for example. Then on the other hand, when you are communicating the challenges, the problems, the opportunities to also, do it in a way that will actually connect with the person that you are talking with. If you’re talking with the CMO or CEO, you won’t be talking about the technical type of issues.
You will be talking about this body that you are losing because you are not showing this content well in the top positions and connecting with your clients type of actual needs. It’s like this is money. If you’re talking with the development team, it will tend to be different. You won’t be talking about money, but more about, “Look, this is generating all of this extra crawlability problems, crawlability issues much more type of problems. What hosting would speed, etc.” You discuss at every level, but specific matrix that will actually matter to different types of stakeholders that you will have in the team indeed.
Erin Sparks: 45:26 Well, we can’t do everything though, come on. We know that SEOs do rule the world, the digital world, but we can’t let them know that. All right, your final point was actually very, very clarifying. Simplifying and prioritizing the to-do list of the SEO audit execution. You need to do that without overwhelming the stakeholders. That’s the clear hearkening bell here is that out of everything that you’re doing, you’ve got to be able to tell them how to do it. Don’t over overwhelm them with so much. As an SEO, you’ll live and breathe. You’ll love to see the data. You love to see the analysis, but it’s got to work its way into the hands of somebody that’s actually going to work on this and buy into it.
Aleyda Solis: 46:12 100%, because maybe we are super proud of the 200 pages that we are delivering-
Erin Sparks: 46:12 Absolutely.
Aleyda Solis: 46:15 “Oh my God, take a look at this. Amazing.” Realistically, to the people who are going to need to go through EDGE and actually implement it is like, “Oh, where do I begin?”
Erin Sparks: 46:25 “Why did you do this to me?”
Erin Sparks: 46:33 Okay. Well, before we finish up here, I do want to make a quick plug for our newsletter. If you’re interested in what we’re talking about on our shows regularly, who we’re talking about… who we’re talking to, not about. We don’t talk about them after the show. Go over to edgeofthewebradio.com and sign up for the newsletter right there. You can also text to the number 22828, the word edge talk. You can sign up right there. We have all the recent information of the interview, who we’re going to be talking to next as well as the key news items of this show. All right, turning this back around, Aleyda, we certainly appreciate your time and certainly your insight into this. Last couple of questions we always ask our guests, what bugs you about your industry right now?
Aleyda Solis: 47:21 What bugs me? You know what, I actually think that we talk about that, about people trying to oversimplify or make everything, make whatever is mentioned as a potential score or ranking factor, like the “bird score” or the “it score,” this type of thing. Trying to also chase this type of latest algorithm. I’ve come up with something that two other obsess. Seen at the list instead of seeing the whole trees as a whole, as a part of the context of something bigger to achieve results. Maybe this is something that tends to bug me a little bit indeed.
Erin Sparks: 48:03 Hopefully, Hopefully, we are witnessing a bit of a shuffling off of the old. It’s almost like ambulance chasing if you’re familiar with that concept is. Constantly chasing after that next dog, chasing after that ambulance. Literally, SEOs have to have that context. I think we’re actually growing much more cognizant of language, of intent, of the buyer’s journey and how that applies to the different steps that SEO can actually interact with that consumer. I think we’re actually kind of growing up a little bit, but… It’s very funny whenever you see an algorithm drop and it has an acronism to it, right? All of a sudden you’ve got 1500 pages of how to optimize towards that and it’s just old people stop doing that type of content. All right. Conversely, what excites you about your industry right now?
Aleyda Solis: 49:01 Well, I am really excited to see… speaking about groups, speaking about also a lot of more people, new people, and more activity over Twitter. I love to see a lot of efforts put in recently to give women in SEO much more visibility and prominence and support between each other. There is this great group that was developed by Areej. She’s a technical SEO in London. She created this group that is called Women in Tech SEO and she’s doing a conference next year too. It’s amazing because it’s supporting women and giving more… a network for women to support each other and to share and incentivize each other, also to get out there professionally and also more to speak and share our work. I think that that is amazing and I love that.
Erin Sparks: 49:59 Okay. What can we actually promote for you right now?
Aleyda Solis: 50:04 Well, I am still promoting a bed at my YouTube channel that is called Crawling Mondays. I started this year with this little challenge, right, to sort out and validate how YouTube optimization works. Yes, I did actually a presentation about the topic with the outcomes a month ago or so at some mix of bands in Berlin. Anyway, I did a few, I don’t know, 20 something episodes still at the beginning of the year. I took a little bit of a break in summer, but then I am retaking it in a couple of weeks again with many more topics. Subscribe to the channel if you want to see the new episodes that will be very actionable and hopefully insightful also for the latest and in technical international SEO too.
Erin Sparks: 51:00 Excellent. Excellent. All right, well, we certainly want our listeners to track… Well, before anything else, give us one final thought about technical SEO and rolling out an SEO audit. Give this one brief thought about that digital marketer that’s trying to get the attention of that sea level, of a thing that needs to happen. Go.
Aleyda Solis: 51:24 Yeah. I think if there’s one issue, thing that I will say that really box decision makers, even if they don’t understand the technical side of it. Its show your competitor you’re doing it right. Show if you can go to a tool like SEMrush or Systrix or whatever tool, even if you don’t have of course, their data and you show how your competitor is a ranking you for this very important keyword that you know that will beat, and they also kept provide a reference of the traffic data that they are getting with it. Show how they are ranking the first, position and how you are in position 20 something or 30 something and you have zero traffic and they have the 200,000 visits per month, that makes all this change. Then show of course, how they have to three times as much content as you are, how they have been with the metadata correctly, the method you have. Try to connect that with the point that you’re trying to make and show how they are making much more money and traffic and conversions and you are missing out just because of this.
Erin Sparks: 52:28 Just basically, scare them to death somehow, and then you’ll get your way. I get it. I get it. All right. All right. If you want to follow Aleyda Solis, Twitter handle is Aleyda, A-L-E-Y-D-A, over Facebook its Aleyda SEO tips, on LinkedIn its Aleyda and on Instagram… Do you have an Instagram?
Aleyda Solis: 52:48 I have an Instagram but it’s more my personality private, but then I have the Crawling Mondays’ one.
Erin Sparks: 53:01 Got it.
Erin Sparks: 53:02 Check over there. Thanks so much for being a second time guest and certainly appreciate unpacking this information. It was a deep dive into SEO audits of how to not only to create that content, those action items, but also ensure that they actually get done. There’s a heck of a lot to actually getting the entire SEO audit embraced and we really appreciate you taking time with us to go down that Mary wave. Thank you so much for your time today.
Aleyda Solis: 53:30 Thank you for the opportunity. It was very fun.
Erin Sparks: 53:32 You’re more than welcome. All right. Hey, please don’t forget to like and subscribe to EDGE of the Web on YouTube. If you really feeling up to it, drop us a quick review on iTunes as well. We certainly appreciate the feedback. Be sure to check out all the must-see videos over at edgeofthewebradio.com, that’s edgeofthewebradio.com. We’ll talk to you next week. Do not be a piece of cyber driftwood. Bye-bye.