Your time as a marketer is limited. There is almost a limitless stream of advice on the next shiny tactic you should implement to help your brand get found in the sea of 6 Billion live web pages. I’m going to review our journey on Technical SEO and why it became a “must-do item” for our clients.
You learn the most from your mistakes, which started for me with hosting the NFL Superbowl website in 1998 at Lycos to seeing/making hundreds of mistakes over eight years, helping retailers to do $1 Billion+ in eCommerce transactions each year. Making website changes can get political, and often the person with the highest title wins the argument despite the data.
But three things have happened to make these conversations easier:
- Books like The Lean Startup and Running Lean started to change the conversation on testing so that it was “cool” to do.
- Tools like VWO, Optimizely, and Google’s Optimize became easy and ubiquitous as clients.
- We moved to cloud-based infrastructures, so no longer did you need to buy expensive hardware and have a small army to get your A/B/n testing done.
All three of these things made it easier to test removing the dancing cartoon characters (that the VP of Marketing loved) off the page and see what happens when it loads 3 seconds faster. Conversion rate goes up, bounce rate goes down, and we have happier customers 🙂
The problem was that we often got permission for a rather short Technical to-do list for SEO because we had a harder time proving the ROI. That all changed with Google’s adoption of Quality Score, which told marketers you could pay less for your Ads if you had more relevant ads/landing pages for your customer. That was a big signal that Google cared. As their Ad dollars flowed, so did the conversations about how do I get a better Score? Google followed on in 2018 with a set of basic SEO guidelines in Lighthouse, making it more apparent to marketers they cared for you to fix these technical issues.
Now in 2019, we do a Technical SEO audit of every prospect/client whether they like it or not. Why? When a client says they are not going to implement having a secure website, we can say, “well, there is going to be an impact, and you will typically rank lower.”
We have seen a clear ROI impact, but we wanted to make it easier to understand, so we built our own website audit tool using Google's Lighthouse so you can show your boss what Google thinks of your site.
Ok, I’m on board with the need for a solid technical website foundation, but my boss is not. What can I do to help convince them?
- Type into Google site: and your website (site:scaledon.com), which will return the number of pages that Google shows from your website. If there is a large gap between the Google number and the number of pages on your site, it suggests that you have issues you want to look at.
- Run an SEO audit using one of the many free tools: ScaledOn Audit Tool, Niel Patel, and WooRank.
- Then compare your site to 3-5 competitors' scores. Where do you stand? Drop it in a dot chart, and it makes a great graph to give to your boss.
My boss is now on board, but we don’t have any budget to fix these issues. Knowing you have a technical gap is half the battle. Getting funds reprioritized is the other half. I would start with the 10% plan if our website loaded 10% faster.
- It would result in X more leads or Y more sales. You can use this tool to calculate that impact.
- If we got 10% more organic traffic, we could save X dollars from the media budget.
- If our site converted 10% better, we would get X more business each month.