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This Week’s Guest:
We’ve all heard about mobile-first design, but it can be hard to internalize. For many of us, our first instinct is to create a traditional desktop website and then work on making it mobile-friendly. As you’ll learn in this episode, a true mobile-first approach is more important than it’s ever been — and will only keep growing in importance.
In this conversation, my guest and I are going to take a deep dive and geek out about technical SEO. It’s hard to imagine anyone better suited for such a conversation than Dawn Anderson, who is an internal SEO and digital marketing consultant for brands and startups alike. She’s also a lecturer and trainer in digital marketing and search marketing. She and I speak at many of the same conferences, so I already know she’s a fantastic expert and the perfect guest for the show.
Find Out More About Dawn Here:
In This Episode:
- [01:09] – Dawn starts off by discussing crawl budget, what it is, and why we care.
- [03:29] – Crawl budget feeds into things like page speed, Stephan points out. Dawn then expands on the idea.
- [05:46] – Dawn talks about the key areas in which you can emphasize importance in huge websites.
- [07:07] – Google pretty much ignores priority on XML Sitemaps because people lie, Dawn explains. Another problem is that they tend to get the “last updated” field wrong.
- [11:05] – Stephan steps in to clarify what Dawn has been saying by using the metaphor of a tree with sickly branches.
- [12:11] – Dawn discusses a canonical error that she sees frequently involving migrating sites and updating site maps. Stephan then offers his own related insight and advice.
- [16:25] – Dawn thinks that more education about search console parameters would be really useful for those in the search engine optimization field.
- [18:20] – What are some other technical SEO issues that a lot of people get wrong?
- [20:48] – For listeners who aren’t as familiar with technical SEO, Stephan clarifies and explains what Dawn has been talking about in simpler terms.
- [22:58] – Dawn offers an example involving an ecommerce site to illustrate what she and Stephan have been talking about.
- [26:15] – The older the site, the longer the process can take for all but the largest and most important sites, Dawn explains.
- [28:34] – What is hreflang, and why should we care? Dawn and Stephan discuss the challenges inherent in having different sites for Canada, Australia, England, and the United States, for example.
- [32:51] – These challenges apply in foreign languages too, Stephan points out, using the example of France and Quebec.
- [35:08] – Stephan and Dawn talk about the time that SEO takes.
- [36:56] – Dawn talks about a very recent Google release involving mobile-first indexing. Stephan then clarifies why it’s important to think about mobile first as your strategy, and desktop second.
- [40:01] – Dawn was recently watching a webinar, which she describes and discusses.
- [44:12] – On a desktop site, tabbed content is still in the HTML but not displayed by default. On mobile devices, Google isn’t discounting it in the same way.
- [45:25] – What is AMP? And do all Marketing Speak listeners need to implement it on their sites?
- [47:47] – Dawn explains that there have been issues with AMP’s proprietary code, but overall it increases performance and conversion rates.
- [49:26] – Speeding up a slow-loading website is the carrot, but there are sticks as well, Dawn points out.
- [51:36] – Does Dawn have a parting tidbit or bit of advice for technical SEO? She recommends making sure that you focus completely on mobile and make sure it’s a fast experience.
Links and Resources:
- Dawn Anderson on LinkedIn
- Dawn Anderson on Search Engine Land
- @dawnieando on Twitter
- Dawn Anderson on Facebook
- Crawl budget
- XML Sitemaps
- Gary Illyes
- Yoast AMP for WordPress
- Maile Ohye’s video on SEO taking four months to a year