The BIGGEST SEO Fail Revealed (Hint: It’s not Duplicate Content)
Sarah: Hi everyone, thanks for tuning in again. I am back with Callum again today, say hi Callum.
Callum: Hello everyone.
Sarah: So Callum, you live and breathe SEO, am I right?
Callum: Oh yes, big time.
Sarah: So for the benefit of those who don’t actually know, SEO actually stands for Search Engine Optimization. And I guess for someone who really understands the ins and outs of SEO and has designed numerous SEO campaigns for our ever growing community of clients, I’m pretty sure you have dealt with websites that are full of technical issues that could interfere with their Google ranking and of all the technical issues you’ve encountered, is there one particular website issue that you have been seeing pretty often?
Callum: So when we usually look at a prospect or an existing client, there’s always a few things that stick out to me. The ones that are most popular definitely relate to site speed. So something I want to explain to users is that a lot of small businesses especially, they go for hosting providers like GoDaddy, BlueHost, all of these US-based hosting companies. And it’s like for all of the gamers in the audience, when you play a game and if you’re playing on an American server, naturally you get ping or you get latency. The same goes with the website. So it’s gonna take time from a web request to go from the server to the end user in Singapore and naturally that’s gonna cause a really, really slow loading time. So it’s actually pretty, I wouldn’t say easy but it can be a fast fix. So for all of you guys who need some advice, use a CDN and like CloudFlare, very, very easy to set up. If you do wanna take it to the next level, look at moving your hosting to the cloud. Cloud hosting is always the fastest way to go about it and make sure that the server your website’s hosted in is in Singapore and that’s the biggest thing. And it’s even more important now that Google is looking at recently, they rolled out a new part of Google Search console called core web vitals where they do dig into the specifics of a site’s performance a lot more closely. And they have said that in 2021, it can be potentially built into the algorithm and how they rank websites. So it’s gonna be super important. Everyone knows that site speed does impact conversions, engagement metrics, all of that type of stuff that Google does look at. So that would probably be the most common thing. There is one other thing I want to mention Sarah, is that a lot of clients think that when it comes to website, it’s like you build it once and you sit and forget type of thing. You have to maintain a website. It’s like a car, you have to actually take it to the mechanic, get it essentially looked over every now and again to make sure it doesn’t break. So we deal with lots of clients who’ve got really outdated content management systems that sometimes break, they’re vulnerable to being hacked. And then that can lead to a lot of nightmares basically.
Sarah: I understand, I mean I’m totally on board with you. For someone who doesn’t actually design websites, I would be pretty pissed if I have to wait more than three seconds for our website to finish loading. And I will also be a bit panicky if I find out that our website has been hacked and I have entered my personal details, for an example – on an eCommerce website. I just actually subscribed to one new eCommerce website that I found on Instagram. So, well, I would be really worried if I find out that they’ve been hacked and this hacker actually has my personal details.
Callum: It’s interesting when it comes to websites being hacked. ‘Cause I’ve seen, say for example if we get a lead in for a school and then I do a site crawl and then actually view the index pages and I start to see URLs that have been indexed that advertise Chinese brides and things like that. I think that that’s, it’s really, really bad because the site’s been hacked, it’s been compromised. What happens if a potential client sees that? On the client side, if you actually see that type of content on a school’s website, that’s not gonna look good.
Sarah: Exactly, so obviously our agency does provide SEO services but just being real, do you feel like an in-house developer could rectify these kind of issues on their own?
Callum: Definitely, so if your client has an in-house dev, they’re the ones that should be responsible for fixing it and they should be the ones who actually identify the hack. There are tools that you can use where you can monitor this stuff pretty quickly and you can pick it up. But I’ve seen clients who have, they haven’t really cared, they’ve left their site hacked for a very, very long time. And then when, say for example, the SEO tech team and we pick up on it, we will actually fix it for the client because it does impact the site’s performance. So it is in our best interest to do it. But yeah, it’s really, really common and again, that’s why it’s very important to keep your website updated so that these dodgy people aren’t there and they can’t actually find vulnerabilities within the CMS itself and then I guess penetrate the website and do lots of dodgy stuff.
Sarah: Okay, well, thanks for being real about it Callum but I think people actually undermine how complex SEO really is because I feel like, correct me if I’m wrong but do you guys have to do constant monitoring just to make sure nothing is wrong?
Callum: Yeah, so we do I mean, with a lot of our clients, we will have a monthly hygiene check. So the hygiene check would consist of making sure that all of that onsite SEO is in place, monitoring Google Search Console, which is usually where you can see a lot of spikes and things like hacked URLs, broken links and things like that. So when you have an SEO agency, they do look at this type of stuff for you. We tend to do it on monthly basis and with all of our CRM, and all the different tools that we use to track keywords and things like that. Within the matter of, say for example 12 hours, we can see if a website’s actually taking a big dip. And usually once it happens, we will actually investigate and try to find out what the reason is.
Sarah: Seems like a lot of hard work for you guys.
Callum: It is, but that’s what the clients pay for it and so they deserve it.
Sarah: Yeah, I get it, well, I mean, as I said earlier, I feel like SEO is a lot more complex than it actually is. I feel like it’s not just about correcting technical faults but there’s a lot of things that goes on behind the scenes as well because you have to think about how optimised your content is, whether you have external links, whether there’s a malicious person trying to hack into your website. So I think in that sense, even though a business might have someone who might be familiar with HTML and web development and all of it, sometimes getting a third party like a SEO agency like ourselves to look through these kinds of things can be a lot less time consuming. And also because I guess we have been doing this for multiple clients, so we know what we’re doing. So thanks for sharing this though Callum, I think you will definitely be insightful for any business that might be wondering why they’re not ranking on Google. So yes, this brings us to the end of our video. Hopefully it was beneficial in shedding some light about SEO. So thanks for joining me Callum.
Callum: No worries Sarah.
Sarah: Okay, till next time, bye.
Callum: All right, see you guys.