Technical SEO for big agencies
WITH MARTA ROMERA AND LAURA LÓPEZ
On Wednesday, November 24, our colleagues Marta Romera and Laura López, SEO consultants at Internet República, participated in an online event organized by Dean Romero, from DinoRANK.
They shared their experience while working as consultants in the digital marketing-agencies world and answered many interesting questions that can be useful to understand how agencies with big clients work.
Here are some of the questions that Marta and Laura answered, followed by the video of the event for those of you who want to take an extra look at the event and learn more about our colleague’s experience.
What is SEO like when you manage clients with hundreds, thousands or millions of URLs? What do you give more importance to as an SEO consultant? Do you have any specific work strategy or system for each client?
“Well, the first thing to do before starting any project of this kind, is to audit. What’s the situation of this project? How are we on SERPs? Where do you start “cutting off” stuff? Not always having so much volume of URL is fine, generating a lot of traffic from rankings is difficult. The first thing is the planning, we analyze well “on page” level.
On websites of this type, of this size, the first thing is to optimize the SEO on page, and try to direct the bots (Google bots), through an optimal route through the webpage to locate the content we want. In the end, “on page” SEO optimization and fundamentally going through the internal link, is going to consist of having a good link architecture so that our content, which we want to generate traffic to, is well linked and that Google bots always have the option to track them.”
With such huge websites it can be a real challenge managing everything, right? I imagine that you’ve ordered everything by clusters, by mega-folders … How do you make the Googlebot flow throughout the web? Do you prioritize URLs that are good for business? Do you analyze levels of clicks? How does it work?
“Following what I said earlier, you go about it depending on each project and what it needs. Depending on the situation of the brand, what the client wants, what the brand wants to prioritize, then we will have to draw up a strategy to see what we enhance. This really is like a funnel, right? We have first all the crawlable websites, all those that are indexable, or those that have the potential to position themselves in Google. Based on that, you can start deleting stuff out, you can start with robots.txt, block content that is of no interest to the user or any search engines, or maybe even enhance the internal link or the interlinking between links.”
Speaking of pagination, what do you think about the famous “Infinite Scroll”?
How is the technical SEO training? Why do you (Laura) like technical SEO? And how would you recommend learning about technical SEO ? Where would you tell anybody to start?
“I think, more than learning for pleasure, or because it catches your attention, you have to think that it is something that is always necessary nowadays. Especially if you work in agencies with medium clients, in the end the technical knowledge is very important, and nowadays, I would even tell you that with the advancement of Core Web Vitals and all the parts about performance, you have to know all of this more technical part. I always say that “Knowing how to do something is in fact not as important as understanding what to do.”
“I do find important that a person who wants to start learning in the SEO technical world and wants to grow in it, should begin by understanding most of its technical aspects. All that counts when helping the web page position itself properly.
For example, when I started working in SEO, i had small pages, smaller clients, I edited HTML, all that, even if it’s silly, it actually gives you a vision and understanding about why something you are doing works in such a way, why does Google track it this way if you put it like that…”
“So I think that today it is essential to have that technical training to begin with. How do we get there? In my case and in Marta’s it is very similar, we have learned by working every day, it is true that we are lucky enough to work in a company like Internet Republic, we have many SEOs with different profiles, but in my case and in Marta’s, we did not come from the technical branch, and it is a matter of having an interest in learning. Everything digital is available, that’s an advantage we have nowadays. The training itself is not so developed in a Master’s degree, but there are specific specialized courses that can help you have a technical vision that can help you in your day-to-day life, and then obviously you have to put it into practice with experience. There are no more tricks or tips. You make mistakes and you learn … This is how your profile is developed.”
For anyone who would want work inside Internet República, what are the requirements?
“We do value it if you have a complete vision of SEO. When we recruit people, for example Marta and I, for me the essential thing is that that candidate has a good vision of what SEO is. It does make very much sense to me when someone talks to me about SEO and is only limited to talking about content and more content, because yes, content is important, but if you do not know that tracking and indexing are relevant too, that the internal linking is very important too, that the structure within a projec tis very relevant both in the initial part and in improvements that can be made … If all that knowledge is not studied and worked, they are not profiles that could fit us, because we have know about all this stuff, that’s how we work. Marta was telling you that sometimes there are pages with a very large number of URLs in them, therefore, changing the content will not change your SEO. They are brands that position themselves on the Internet without actually attending to their content, because they have a very high domain relevance… Therefore, the technical part is important.
I see loads of profiles focused mainly on creating content, very journalistic-like profiles, and I think they should expand their training to a more technical side, leaving fear aside. It is not really that complicated, it’s like everything, you need to train and practice.”
As SEO consultants, what is your opinion on niche profiles?
“For me, the good thing about the niche profile is that they have to work hard and learn at the same time, each day. In SEO, that is very important, because regardless of whether you work with a very large or very small client, creativity within the SEO optimization strategy is super important. Why? The way I see it, many people do not know that when we work with very large clients, sometimes it is taken for granted that, since they are large websites, SEO work is always easy to do. But the difficulty that we have to go though in these projects, compared to a niche SEO, is different, because the technical part is needed a lot, a global vision of millions of products, services and strategies are needed, all in short time, because there are a thousand factors to be taken into account …”
“But above all, you need a very strategic vision of business. I think that is the biggest difference between SEOs from large client agencies and SEOs from niche ones. We have to plan everything, there is little room for improvisation, but on the contrary, your profiles need creativity, speed, a specific profile for me that is very interesting too. In the end, however, sometimes it becomes difficult to do the “business part”, where you have to prepare jobs with clear processes, and at very specific times. You don’t have that much margin of freedom, people don’t usually know this. To change a “Title” sometimes you have to go through many processes before being able to do it. Days, sometimes weeks… But this is not always the case, of course.
The SEO strategy is based on deadlines, long-term planning, and big companies usually take that into account.”
“I think about this like Laura, it seems to me that a very interesting point is that niche SEOs, generally, carry out a project, they work on it, they fight it…You are there throughout the whole process. I really admire that part. On the other hand, in a SEO agency, in the end I think we also have a kind of advantage: we usually have a reference within the department. In our case, for example, Carlos Estévez is our director, and you can learn a lot from him. I switched from SEO for SMBs, to SEO for brands, and for me it was a very different change. Having a reference within the world, in the department, can help you a lot. You are learning to move within the agency.
It is essential to have all the knowledge for technical SEO, of course, which is most demanded in large websites, but also to be able to bring SEO and the SEO strategy closer to the business, to achieve results that the digital marketing department expects, the business… Research first what strategies are going to attract business, and define the strategy to see if they buy it from us later.”
(Laura López to Marta Romera) What profile do you think will develop more in the coming years? Not only in SEO, but on a digital level, looking at your experience with clients, what profile do you think will develop more in the future?
“I believe we will be seeing more Digital Strategists. In the end, I think that digital profiles, by demand, have grown very fast, we have specialized in many fields, and every time I believe that more is demanded both from the agency (to unify the strategy), and from the clients, a strategic profile with a complete digital vision.
Why? I also believe that in the marketing or digital marketing departments, in many cases, those who have used their leadership, have given direction of marketing management. Perhaps that specialist person who unifies the criteria in all areas may sometimes be absent. There may be already, but I think it is one of the profiles that can be greatly enhanced in the coming years.”
Is a Digital Strategist similar to a Project Manager, with 360 marketing skills?
“Yes. Something that happens in all jobs is that we say that you have to know about everything there is, but it’s impossible of course. When you know about everything, I really think you really don’t know anything concrete.
A SEO profile is one of the most complete jobs in the digital world, at least for agencies. We have to know about analytics, because it is the basis for decision-making, and then generally, we have notions of Paid Media or SEM. In the end, we’ve gone through other areas as well, we know a little more about digital in general as well.”
(Marta Romera to Laura López) What do you like least about SEO consulting?
“Just one? Ok… Well, I think doing monthly reports is horrible, although it’s something that we’re already used to doing all the time, each month. But of course, the most complex thing for me is answering to a series of results and objectives when you do not have all the power to carry out the actions that you think should be taken care of. I think that lacking knowledge about what SEO needs and how it should be worked on, is the most complicated thing that I have to face in my everyday life. We really notice when our clients are interested in SEO, they let us do and work properly, and help us start taking action, they put our ideas in their backload of tasks. So, those are the clients that we best work for, the ones interested on a SEO level. With niche SEO, we usually do not have that immediacy in the actions we carry out …
That is the hardest part. Having to meet expectations without being allowed to do what you would like to do if it all were in your hand.”
IF YOU WANT TO LISTEN TO THE REST OF THE EVENT, YOU CAN DO SO IN THE NEXT YOUTUBE LINK! ⬇
AND WHAT ABOUT YOU, READER?
DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR OUR SUPER SEO CONSULTANTS? 🤓
iF YOU DO, YOU CAN TELL US ⬇
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