How do you prevent technical SEO issues from reoccurring?
Have you ever thought about this?
SEOs can identify issues and provide recommendations to fix the issues.
But is there a way to prevent the issues from occurring in the first place…?
Let’s get into this. Let’s get into this.
Now, what you would typically receive when you request a tech audit is a list of all the issues found, perhaps an explanation of why they’re important issues, and solutions to the issues.
The solutions would essentially be to fix the identified issues.
And this is great! This would be a sound recommendation based on the ask.
However, what you’ll notice – if you’ve been involved with SEO for any longer than a year – is that the issues keep recurring.
So, for example, if internal linking issues are uncovered in a tech audit that you commission – let’s say in January. And you spend the next 2 months updating all the links so the issues are all fixed, when you commission a new audit – let’s say in the following January – you’re likely to find the same type of issue in the new audit.
Why is this…?
If you’ve spent a quarter fixing internal linking issues, why is it you’ll still have this issue after a length of time of having just fixed the issues…?
Why does this happen?
It happens because the solution was to fix the identified issues and not to prevent the issues from occurring again.
In order to prevent this tech issue from being a recurring one, another solution has to be applied.
A more preventative solution.
A solution that goes right at the root of the problem.
So, with this internal linking issue example, what do you think causes it…?
It’s caused by a lack of awareness of SEO.
A lack of awareness of SEO, not by SEOs, but by non-SEOs who inadvertently, create the problem.
Here’s how a problem like this occurs.
Someone who has ownership of your CMS creates a page.
On the page, they link internally to other pages on the site, let’s say 2-3 other pages on the site – great for SEO, right?
Only, when they link to the 2-3 pages, they do so with the old URLs of the pages.
Now, granted, the old URLs redirect fine and because they redirect fine, the person creating the links is unaware that the links are, indeed, redirecting.
They have just created 3 internal 3xxs on the site.
This is an action that they are unaware of.
This is an action that they are completely oblivious to.
This is an action that will not be realised until an audit of the site is carried out.
Now, imagine, instead of this being an internal 3xx linking issue, it’s an internal 4xx issue. A more important linking issue, right?
Now, this is something that happened on the build of just one page.
Multiply this by the amount of pages that will be built throughout the entire year.
Imagine an issue like this being created right after you’ve finished fixing these issues uncovered in an audit.
What you essentially have, in your business, is one team creating this issue, and another identifying and recommending to the first team that they should fix this issue.
Rather than having this continuous problem, why not seek a more permanent solution, a solution that, dare I say, is even better than the create-and-fix merry-go-round that many-a-businesses find themselves in…?
Having a permanent solution is rather simple. It’s just a case of having an open line of communication between the two teams, the two departments.
One department (SEO) is aware of the technical issues that will affect the site’s ranking ability, and the other department (whether it be Content, Editors or Website Managers) are unaware of how what they do impact organic search.
A meeting of minds solves this problem.
Now, granted, the issues, specifically, will need to be resolved. But that shouldn’t be the end of it.
There should be a follow-up, additional work, that looks to tackle the root of what’s causing the issues in the first place.
In many cases, the root of what’s causing the issues in the first place – is what…?
It’s a lack of awareness of SEO outside of the SEO department.
The majority of SEO issues are created by non-SEOs.
SEOs aren’t going to create problems for SEO because they know SEO.
But, you see, here’s the thing…
SEO requires the cooperation of other departments if it’s to be a success for you.
It takes more than SEOs to make SEO work.
This is the bold truth about the channel.
The better you’re able to integrate SEO with other departments, the better the chances that you’ll be giving the channel to bring in traffic. In this case, you’re the odds maker.
What tends to happen, instead…?
The complete opposite, right?
SEO is siloed. SEO is mishandled. SEO is not understood.
As a result, what do you get…?
You get to be in this situation where you have a cycle of: uncover an issue, fix the issue.
How do you expect to make progress when this is the state of play in your business?
This isn’t progress. This isn’t forward momentum. This isn’t optimisation.
This is you struggling to not regress in your SEO.
You wanna grow your organic traffic? You wanna increase revenue?
Focus your attention on addressing your SEO liabilities by way of preventing them rather than continuously fixing them.