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Everything You Need To Know About Cloudflare For SEO

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Everything You Need To Know About Cloudflare For SEO


Maybe you’ve heard of Cloudflare in your SEO wanderings. But even among those familiar with the name, many don’t know know how it really works.

Some think that the platform is nothing more than another DNS management system.

However, I can confidently say that the platform offers exceptional features for:

  • SEO security.
  • DDoS protection.
  • Speed optimization.

If you haven’t had the time to learn how Cloudflare can improve your SEO, this guide covers multiple feature implementations that can supercharge your search engine optimization in the next few pages.

(Disclosure: I’m a Cloudflare certified partner. This article is based on my 20+ years of experience in enterprise SEO and familiarity with the platform; I’ve received no compensation for writing this.)

Wait. What Is Cloudflare If It’s Not A DNS Management System?

Cloudflare started as a DNS management tool but has since expanded into a tool for:

  • DNS management.
  • Security.
  • Caching.
  • Website optimization (more on that below).
  • Bot Management.
  • WAF.
  • So much more.

If you dig into the company, they call themselves a “web performance and security company.”

And through a global network, they’ve been able to offer fast, private, and secure features that can help you keep your site fast and secure.

Plus, the company has been rapidly adding features that show the power of running Cloudflare in the background of your website.

For example, one of the major announcements at the end of October 2021 was that IndexNow had become a thing. Microsoft and Yandex have both pushed IndexNow, an open-source protocol that allows you to tell search engines to instantly index your pages.

Cloudflare partnered with Microsoft, and the two announced that 60,000 websites have opted into the Crawler Hints feature.

Essentially, the feature, which is part of Cloudflare’s platform, tells Bing that you have new website assets that need to be crawled.

The protocol works so well that Google has said they’re going to test it to see whether it’s something they may integrate into their search engine.

As anyone in the SEO field will tell you, instant indexing is a complete game-changer for site owners.

With that context under your belt, let’s take a look at how Cloudflare can improve your SEO and how to use some of its features.

Cloudflare Features That Can Improve Your SEO

Security-Related Features

  • SSL/TLS.
  • Firewall.
  • Bot Management.
  • WAF.
  • Captcha.

Performance-Related Features

  • CDN.
  • Caching.
  • Code Minify.
  • Image Optimization.
  • Redirects.

Security-Related Features

Do you know any SEOs who are security experts? Of course, you take on many roles when working on a site’s optimization, but there are a lot of security aspects that are simply out of your wheelhouse.

Cloudflare can help you bridge the security gap to improve user experience and site security with the following features:

SSL/TLS

Screenshot from Cloudflare, December 2021

Data security is at the forefront of consumers’ minds. In 2019, over 15 billion records leaked due to eCommerce data theft.

Cloudflare offers SSL free of charge to encrypt a user’s web data and even boosts SEO through:

  • Faster page load times.
  • Google’s favor towards HTTPS sites.

A site needs to use SSL/TLS to be PCI compliant and trusted by users.

Cloudflare offers numerous configuration options, including custom certificates, modern TLS only, HSTS, automatic HTTPS rewrites, and much more.

See also  Mueller Touches on Google Sandbox and Honeymoon Ranking Effects

Firewall

Firewalls help you control web traffic and who can access your site.

Through HTML filtering and fine-grained controls, developers can use Cloudflare to manage rules, control bots, show captcha codes, create custom expressions for advanced rule setups, and much more.

Using firewalls makes it possible to keep your site safe and secure with precision rules.

Bot Management

Cloudflare bot managementScreenshot from Cloudflare, December 2021

Bots slow up a website and leave spam wherever they go.

Additionally, bots can steal information and damage your brand. Through real-time monitoring, it’s possible to keep bots from infesting your site through Cloudflare’s:

  • Behavioral analysis.
  • Machine learning.
  • Bot scoring.

Cloudflare can stop bots from DDoS-ing your site, scraping your content, and spamming content, too.

If you’re running a major content marketing strategy, preventing bots from scraping your site can lead to better SEO rankings since bots won’t be reposting the content everywhere.

WAF

If you’re working on an enterprise site, there’s a good chance that they use APIs and applications. A WAF is a web application firewall that integrates into these growth tools to offer:

  • OWASP rule adherence.
  • Managed rules.
  • Monitoring of stolen and exposed data.
  • Custom response options.
  • Much more.

While a WAF may not offer direct SEO benefits, it will keep applications and APIs safe and secure.

Captcha

Do you hate captcha codes? Everyone does.

Cloudflare helps you reduce the time it takes to solve captchas down to five seconds with the introduction of Cryptographic Attestation of Personhood.

Instead of captcha codes, you can add a new layer of security to your website while also eliminating the concern of bots on your site.

Performance-Related Features

Speed and performance are integral to technical search engine optimization. This demands a speedy site, and Cloudflare helps you meet these performance needs through the following:

CDN

If you’re not already using a content delivery network (CDN), you need to start. Cloudflare has an extensive global edge delivery network that allows you to:

  • Reduce bandwidth costs.
  • Protect against DDoS attacks.
  • Reduce site load times.

Content is cached at a close data center, so when two visitors from the same region visit your site, the second user will enjoy rapid speeds thanks to the files being on the closest edge server.

Caching

Cloudflare caching and speed optimizationScreenshot from Cloudflare, December 2021

CDNs boost speeds for static files, but there’s more that you can do. For example, caching can help reduce load times further by controlling how long files remain on edge servers.

Furthermore, you can control which files are cached, for how long, and more.

Ultimately, caching will lead to even faster site load speeds.

Code Minify

Inside Cloudflare’s settings page, you should enable the auto-minify setting on your speed tab, which will further improve site speeds. When this setting is enabled, it will remove unnecessary characters in the following files:

When unnecessary characters are removed, the end-user will download the file faster.

Image Optimization

Cloudflare image optimizationScreenshot from Cloudflare, December 2021

Minify is just one of the ways to improve a site’s speed.

You should also consider your image sizing, especially with today’s high-resolution images that take longer to download.

Utilizing Cloudflare’s servers, you can take control of image optimization through a system that offers image:

  • Storage.
  • Resizing.
  • Optimization.
  • Delivery.
See also  2022 Local SEO Success: The Year of Everywhere

You can even use the polish feature to begin optimizing all of the images already on your site. Reducing image size is just another way to improve load speeds and boost site rankings.

Redirects

Redirects are a major consideration, especially on an enterprise site where you’re managing hundreds or thousands of pages.

You can find resources about redirect mistakes, but many of these mistakes can be eliminated with Cloudflare.

If you open up your dashboard, you’ll find that you can select Rules and then narrow these rules down to pages.

Through the dashboard, you can setup redirects easily by adjusting:

  • URL.
  • Setting.
  • Status code.
  • Destination URL.

You must allow your traffic to pass through Cloudflare for these settings to work for you.

Redirects will play an important role in your site’s success if you delete pages or are trying to trim down your pages without losing a lot of the optimization that you already have in place.

Manually adding redirects into a .htaccess file or something similar is always an option, but using a dashboard through Cloudflare helps:

  • Speed up redirect creation.
  • Reduce the risk of errors when creating redirects.
  • Reduce server functions and bandwidth by redirecting at the DNS level.

If you’re struggling to manage your site’s redirects, the platform can help ease the burden.

Cloudflare Pages

Frontend developers will want to dig deeper into Cloudflare Pages because they make it simple to deploy and collaborate on websites.

In addition, building sites that are fast is just a little easier thanks to the following:

  • No hosting solutions that help you connect to GitHub, so you can rapidly build and deploy a site.
  • Create previews and invite an unlimited number of collaborators for free.
  • Analytics are built into the pages, so you don’t even need to worry about adding additional coding.

If you’re using a CMS such as WordPress, you may be wondering why you would ever need to use Cloudflare Pages.

These static pages allow you to make lightning-fast landing pages that you can use when running ads or optimizing product pages.

As an SEO expert, you know that even a second can make a difference in conversion rates, bounce rates, and more.

Creating rapid static pages will empower your team and open the possibility of testing out new pages and designs faster than ever before.

Additionally, since these pages are static, there is no strain on your server or database.

Cloudflare Workers

If you have to create signup forms or write code, Cloudflare workers can make the process effortless. Serverless code can be deployed to users worldwide, and it’s a way to change how your team builds apps.

Plus, the platform offers automatic scaling and uses a global network to remain fast and efficient.

You also don’t need to maintain servers, pay as you go and also join other big sites that use Cloudflare Workers, including:

  • LendingTree.
  • DoorDash.
  • Discord.
  • 23andMe.

You can also leverage workers in several SEO-friendly ways, including:

  • Creating exit pop-ups to convert potentially lost sales or keep site users on your site just a little longer.
  • Add custom headers to your site instead of using coding. For example, you can add an x-robots-tag to the header to keep pages smaller and load times faster.
  • Alter headings to change caching rules for different file types.
See also  AMP: Is It a Google Ranking Factor?

If you have a multitude of redirects that you need to make, there are even examples that will show you how to create mass redirects.

Coding can be extremely powerful and leveraged to help you optimize your site more effectively.

Want To Dictate TLS Versions?

You can do that with Workers, too. It’s easy to check TLS versions and throw error codes to the end-user that tells them to use a higher version of TLS.

Workers is a very powerful tool that can be used to augment current applications without the need for infrastructure or advanced configuration. However, there is a learning curve that requires some understanding of coding to use Workers.

Start reading through the tutorials and examples to determine how to leverage workers properly.

How To Enable Crawler Hints

Remember at the beginning of the article when I mentioned Crawler Hints and the IndexNow protocol? If you want to enable this feature on your own site or a client’s site, you’ll want to:

  • Log into your Cloudflare platform.
  • Navigate to your Cache tab.
  • Go to the configuration section.
  • Click the switch to turn on Crawler Hints.

In just seconds, you can turn on IndexNow across any website using Cloudflare.

Leveraging the platform’s power makes it fast and easy to stay on top of the recommendations that search engines have to optimize your site.

How Cloudflare Integrates Into Your SEO Plan

We’ve learned about numerous features that Cloudflare offers (and there are more), but how they align with your SEO strategy may not be apparent at first.

Running Cloudflare won’t help you with all of Google’s signals, and it’s not going to help you acquire links or change on-page factors.

But it will eliminate much of the optimization for:

  • User experience.
  • Core Web Vitals.
  • Site speed.

Speed remains one of the most important factors for ranking an enterprise website in 2022.

You’re in complete control of your enterprise site’s speed, and Cloudflare puts even more control in your hands without needing to invest in infrastructure.

Cloudflare is smart, and the advanced features that make a world of difference include:

  • Smart routing, so traffic is routed to servers that aren’t congested and are running optimally.
  • Continual, automated monitoring keeps servers running smoothly and automatically adjusts routing based on node outages or issues.
  • An intelligent caching system that focuses heavily on latency and travel distance to allow for faster site load speeds.
  • Image optimization and CDN work together to improve user experience, reduce site speed and make search engines happier in the process.
  • Reliability is further improved so that your site remains online. When crawlers land on your site, you can be confident that your site will be available and run smoothly.

In terms of technical SEO, Cloudflare truly helps eliminate some of the most common pain points of optimization experts.

Cloudflare is a tool that, if used properly, can help you keep on top of new search engine trends while improving your site’s security, speed, and even user experience.

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Featured Image: Boo-Tique/Shutterstock





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Google’s Advice For Targeting Multiple Locations With One Website

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Google's Advice For Targeting Multiple Locations With One Website


Google provides detailed advice for websites that need to target multiple locations, such as a business with offices in different states.

This topic is discussed during the Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout recorded on January 14.

An SEO professional named Gail (last name not provided) asks Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller about an idea her client has to optimize their website for several US states.

Their idea is to create landing pages for each state they operate in, and automatically send visitors from the homepage to the appropriate landing page via dynamic geo IP redirection.

On top of that, they also plan to add a noindex tag to each of the separate landing pages.

If you hear alarm bells ringing, your instincts are correct. This is not a good strategy.

Mueller explains the SEO implications of following through with this plan, and explains various ways it can be done better.

See his advice in the sections below.

First Consideration: Google Crawls From One Location

The first thing to consider when targeting multiple cities or states with the same website is Google only crawls from one location.

That means dynamic geo IP redirects, as Gail’s client proposes, would not help Googlebot find the different landing pages.

Mueller says:

“I think there are a few things to keep in mind there. On the one hand… we generally just crawl from one location. And probably for most systems, that would map back to California.

And essentially what that would mean is that the content that we can look at would be the content for California, and we would not have access to the content for the other states, which depending on what kind of content you have there, for the other states, that might be okay but it might be problematic.

So that’s kind of the first thing to keep in mind is when you search for your company it’ll look like this is purely in California, or maybe even in San Francisco, I don’t know how the IP addresses would map there.

So I think that’s something that often throws people off, especially with geo IP redirects or dynamically swapping the content.”

While redirecting visitors based on their IP address may work in practice, it’s not optimal when it comes to Googlebot crawling.

See also  AMP: Is It a Google Ranking Factor?

Second Consideration: Do Not Redirect To A Noindexed Page

The second, and more serious, consideration of the plan proposed by Gail’s client is what happens when redirecting to a noindexed page.

Mueller explains this would cause the site’s homepage to drop out of search results:

“The other thing is if you noindex the individual state landing pages, then, of course, the state landing page that someone from California would go to would also be noindexed, which would basically mean that your homepage would drop out of search results. So that would be a pretty bad thing.”

Again, this plan might’ve worked for human visitors, but would cause major problems as far as SEO is concerned.

Here’s what Mueller recommends doing instead.

Mueller’s Recommendations For Targeting Multiple Locations

Instead of redirecting visitors to pages based on where they’re located, Mueller says it’s better to offer visitors links to relevant pages with a dynamic banner.

“My general recommendation for these kinds of situations, instead of redirecting automatically to a specific location, is to make it so that the user can find that content much easier.

So something like a dynamic banner on a page when the user goes to the homepage, there’s a banner on top that says: ‘oh, it looks like you’re in Texas, and we have an office in Texas, and here’s the information, and click this link to find out more.’

And that way the user has the ability to go to these individual pages. And ideally those individual pages would also be indexable, because that way if someone looks for your company name plus the state name they would be able to find that landing page, which would be essentially ideal.”

Another way of handling this situation, Mueller says, is to dynamically swap out some of the copy on the homepage based on visitor location.

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Instead of multiple landing pages for different states, you could set the homepage to display different text for visitors that pertains to where they’re located.

Mueller explains:

“The other approach that you could take is to swap out some of the content dynamically on the homepage. So instead of having separate state landing pages, you have your general homepage and you have that state specific information dynamically swapped out.

The important part here is to make sure that overall that homepage still has enough generic content so that it doesn’t come across as like everything is for California, but rather it’s like this is lots of information about your business, and since it looks like you’re in California here’s specific information for California, or whatever state that you’re in.

So those are generally the two directions that we recommend there.”

Mueller clarifies that there’s nothing wrong with creating individual state landing pages if Gail’s client chose to go that route instead.

It’s not a great idea to create landing pages for every city in every state, but having landing pages for each state where a business is located is okay.

“With regards to the individual state landing pages for a handful of versions, we wouldn’t really see that as being problematic. If you had landing pages for every city in every state, then that would start looking a bit iffy for our web spam algorithms.

But if you’re talking about a handful of states, or maybe even all states, it’s something where you have 50 different versions of the homepage with your local address with phone numbers, opening hours, kind of that additional local information on them. From our point of view that’s generally fine.”

Hear the full discussion in the video below:

See also  Why GoogleBot Doesn’t Crawl Enough Pages on Some Sites via @sejournal, @martinibuster


Featured Image: Screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, January 2022.





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Searchmetrics’ CMO Talks Enterprise Volatility, SEO Careers & CWVs

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Searchmetrics' CMO Talks Enterprise Volatility, SEO Careers & CWVs


Are there upsides to the volatility inherent to SEO with all of its Google updates, changing consumer behaviors, and constantly evolving technology?

And just how important are Core Web Vitals, anyway?

I had a chance to catch up with Lillian Haase, CMO at Searchmetrics, recently to get her take on a few enterprise SEO hot topics and advice for beginners in SEO looking to grow into leadership roles.

If you’re in the market for employment with a leading search data, software, and consulting solution, you’ll want to check out her tips as to what Searchmetrics looks for in new hires, as well.

1. Core Web Vitals (CWV) has been a hot topic this past year.

What do enterprise marketers need to know about CWVs now that the dust has settled?

Lillian Haase: “For marketers in any business, focusing on reducing friction for users when they arrive at your website is the name of the game — with or without CWVs.

Before the official announcement that CWV’s page speed signals would become ranking factors, fast-loading and easy-to-navigate websites saw better results in the search engines. The CWV rollout just made it official.

I will say, too, that the dust has only settled in terms of Google talking about CWV.

The work for many brands is still colossal.

Our team sees many large companies still experiencing major problems with site speed and shifting layouts. Until domains can fix those issues, they’ll struggle to excel in competitive SERPs.

Having a decent CWV will be the price for entry onto the playing field.

If your CWV is far worse than your competitors, you’ll struggle for rankings – but CWV goes beyond SEO. The gains are much more concrete when it comes to revenue and conversions.”

Related: Analyzing 2 Million URLs: What We Learned About Core Web Vitals

2. We’ve seen you write before on volatility as an opportunity in SEO.

Can you share a few ways these volatile times may translate to opportunities for enterprise SEO?

See also  Google Confirms May 2020 Core Algorithm Update Rolling Out Today

Lillian Haase: “At the start of the pandemic, we had major shifts going on in marketing. This necessitated a pivoting of methods to adapt to a new, uncertain environment.

When it came to SEO, we had clients with unprecedented traffic drops and increases. The world had changed and so had their web traffic.

My advice remains the same as then.

When you’ve experienced a sudden drop in traffic, analysis of where the drop occurred is the first step towards recovery – but it’s not the last.

It’s crucial to understand why it happened.

Was it a change made to your website?

A Google algorithm update?

A loss of keyword rankings for a specific page or group of pages — or something else?

Take steps to improve, or reverse an earlier change, depending on what you find.

The opposite happens, too, and you may experience a sudden influx of traffic and better rankings.

While celebrating is certainly not to be neglected (after all, teams work for years to see increases in traffic, so be sure to enjoy it when it happens!), it’s still important to ensure it’s the right kind of traffic, and that visitors are engaging with your web content.

Look at ways you can optimize your top-traffic pages to keep visitors engaged and moving through your website. Take advantage of that extra traffic with conversion rate optimization.

In addition, update your keyword research around topics that are ranking well to determine if you missed anything.

There might be something new uncovered through research that you haven’t optimized for.

Cover all your bases and see how much more extra traffic you can get on top of those already good results. Good can always get better.”

See also  A Major Hollywood Studio Turns to SEO to Boost Ticket Sales

3. What do you think is the most underrated optimization or tactic in enterprise SEO today?

Lillian Haase: “The basics, such as optimized headers and user experience, are still the same.

But the bar for great content and high-performing websites is much higher.

Your content needs to be heads and shoulders above the rest.

For example, the Google Product Reviews Update impacted many affiliate sites.

With these and other Google Updates, the days where you could write basic copy about a product and hoping to rank are gone.

Now, you make your expertise on the topic very clear by providing a truly informed opinion about the product’s performance.”

Related: 3 Ways SEO Has Changed This Year & What It Means for You with Jordan Koene

4. What advice or recommendations do you have for junior SEO professionals who might aspire to a leadership role?

“My advice would be to learn to tell the story of SEO’s impact on the business in terms of revenue.

In other words, if you can communicate the value of organic traffic framed in business terms, you will be heard by leaders in other teams who do not understand the ins and outs of SEO.

They’re looking for the value (often, in financial terms) the channel is bringing the company.

One of the most difficult things I see SEOs struggle with is that they go into unnecessary detail about search engines.

As SEOs, we’re so interested in the many moving pieces of the work, and we get overly excited with the minutiae.

But if no one understands what we’re talking about or they think it’s boring, the message is lost.

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Try to focus on business results in your presentations, reports, and in meetings with your superiors, instead.

In most organizations, organic search is undervalued when compared with other channels such as paid search.

If you can find a way to elevate the conversation to business metrics and stay out of the technical details, you’re well on your way towards future opportunities in SEO leadership.

If you can also consistently increase organic traffic, leads, and sales for your organization, you’re also setting yourself up for success.”

5. What does it take to succeed in a role at Searchmetrics?

And are you currently looking for any specific types of talent?

Lillian Haase: “We’re growing our services teams globally, so thanks for asking this and giving me a chance to share a little more.

While we have a variety of roles open, we’re actively recruiting SEO consultants and account executives.

One of the benefits of working for a company of our size is having the opportunity to have your voice heard.

We understand the next great idea can come from anyone at any level.

Successful team members adopt the mindset of builders and innovators and seek out opportunities for growth. Then they present those opportunities with a clear focus on the bottom line.

In general, we look for people that are not just looking to “do the job.”

Yes, we want people skilled in a particular area. However, we want people that are looking to push the envelope by asking, “How can we be better in our function?”

When it comes to culture, we’re looking for a culture add, not a fit.

We understand having a true diverse Searchmetrics family not only includes diversity in gender and ethnic background but also experience and thought.”

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Featured Image: Courtesy of Searchmetrics





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What To Focus On This Year

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What To Focus On This Year


As the ball dropped in Times Square at midnight on January 1, 2022, many search engine marketers were tempted to check their analytics and rankings.

It appears that Google has replaced Santa as the purveyor of the “Naughty or Nice” list in the online world.

Some sites receive the gift of better rankings before the New Year.

Others are cleaning the coal dust out of their stockings, running frantic analyses on why they were put on the naughty list.

Holiday core algorithm updates from Google are nothing new to veteran search engine marketers.

And I don’t know who needs to hear this, but next year the update will be there after Christmas.

Don’t feel guilty about taking a few days off.

Take some time to think about how you can be even better in the New Year.

That’s what I did.

Below is my list of SEO resolutions for the New Year.

1. Remember To Have Empathy

In my experience, most search engine marketers are very “left-brained.”

Sure, there’s a ton of creativity in the search engine marketing world – but most search engine marketers would rather figure out why a piece of code isn’t loading as fast as it should versus trying to understand the intricacies of a searcher’s mind.

Don’t get me wrong, the technical aspects of SEO and paid search are essential – and without technical savvy, what we do doesn’t work.

But technical fixes are not enough to show continued improvement in your search engine marketing results.

I believe that the best tool any marketer can have is empathy, the ability to understand the feelings of others.

If we as marketers can understand the feelings, motivations, intent, and actions of search engine users, we can create webpages and content that not only provides value to visitors but also increases our site’s bottom line.

See also  Google Confirms May 2020 Core Algorithm Update Rolling Out Today

I have always prided myself on my ability to empathize with searchers.

But with every core algorithm update or IT person screwing up a site, I find it very easy to put my empathetic impulses on the back burner to chase technical fixes.

Those technical fixes are for Google, not the searchers.

I need to remember to spend as much – or more – time understanding those who make a query as I do looking at ways to improve a site’s performance.

The dividends that come from empathetic marketing practices are usually greater than those gleaned from technical fixes.

All of us in search would be wise to remember this.

2. Automate All The Things

In the last few years, many prominent SEO professionals have touted the advantages of using the Python programming language to automate rote search engine optimization tasks.

Python, in the hands of a competent programmer, is a powerful tool that can cut the amount of time required for search engine optimization significantly.

Python can help you scrape data to come up with content ideas, analyze common on-page SEO issues, track and analyze issues in your backlink profile and much more.

Those interested in some of the possibilities with Python should read this article: How To Use Python To Analyze SEO Data: A Reference Guide.

As I’ve stated in the past, by definition I am not a coder.

However, I’ve been around code for so long I know what to look for when I’m analyzing how the code will react with the search engines.

For those like me, I encourage you to dig in and learn the basics of the Python language.

No one is going to care if you master the intricacies of the code.

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In fact, I would argue that spending too much learning the language is a waste of time.

For me, the end goal of learning about any new technology is to learn its full capabilities and limitations.

If you understand what a piece of software can do, you can then plan what you need and either figure out how to program just what you need or hire someone to program it for you.

It’s almost impossible to hire someone to automate your SEO tactics if you don’t understand how Python (or any other software) can help you achieve your goal.

My goal in 2022 is to learn everything python can do.

If you are a freelance python developer, feel free to hit me up around May, as I suspect I’ll have some projects by then.

3. Get Your Tracking Right

The introduction of Google Analytics 4 has thrown a wrench in a lot of sites’ tracking codes.

Many went from somewhat high confidence that their analytics data was correct to uncertainty.

When you don’t trust your analytics numbers, you can’t make proper decisions.

You can’t plan properly.

We often have prospects that show up with poorly executed tracking.

This has become so much of an issue that we recently implemented a policy where we don’t move on to any other work until the tracking is set up.

And it needs to be set up so everyone in your organization trusts the data.

If you increase traffic by 140% but the boss doesn’t believe the numbers are accurate, no one will get credit. There is a good chance that the tactics used to achieve the increased traffic won’t be approved again in the future.

Why would anyone approve activity that, based upon their worldview, isn’t effective?

See also  Title Tags are a Tiny Ranking Factor

On the other hand, if traffic falls and no one trusts the data, it will be almost impossible to accurately diagnose what is causing the traffic decrease – at least in a way where the whole team is on board with the diagnosis and action items to fix the issues.

4. Embrace The Grind

Good SEO is a grind.

In many cases, we are implementing tactics and must wait several weeks before we know if our efforts worked or not.

We’re a lot like farmers – planting our seeds in the code of our sites, watering and caring for the code while knowing that storms from Google or drought from lack of consumer interest may mean a disastrous harvest.

Successful SEO pros embrace the daily grind.

We work on content to bolster our authority.

We check the code daily to make sure nothing is broken.

And when Google announces an upcoming update, the net looks like a town that just heard a storm is coming – SEO professionals work to batten down the hatches, even if we aren’t exactly sure what to do to prepare for the storm.

All-in-all, SEO becomes a list of daily chores.

Those SEO pros that embrace this daily grind are successful.

Those that look for magic bullets and quick fixes end up chasing their tail.

Embrace the grind.

It’s how you show long-term, sustainable SEO success.

In Conclusion

If you’ve read this far, I’d love to hear your search engine marketing resolution.

Feel free to post your SEO New Year’s resolution on Twitter using the hashtag #seo2022.

I am looking forward to reading all the new year’s resolution inspiration I’m sure the readers of Search Engine Journal can provide.

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Featured image: LanaSweet/Shutterstock





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