Quit Building Links and Fix Your Freaking Site

Links have always been the backbone of SEO, but what happens when your website sucks? Distilled's John Doherty presented on technical SEO tonight at the MnSearch quarterly marquee event, and be brought the heat on why technical SEO still matters.

Technical SEO isn't just about tags and titles. The hardest work is in gaining approval. John's presentation covered a great process for identifying and executing against your opportunities.

1. Discover

Look for duplicate content, architecture issues, indexation, pagination,bad redirects, and more. Do your diligence to find the issues and understand what's really going on with the site.

Next up, take your data and start to look at your site's content. What's going well? What isn't? Here's where you want to measure issues against your key performance indicators to rank the opportunities that you've identified. Rank your opportunities based both on effort and return. Formulate a strategy. Your boss loves strategy. Guaranteed.

2. Pitch

Use simple ROI modeling to show the potential impact could affect your business.

Tip: if you want $100,000 for content, ask for $2,000 for a test. Prove your idea, and keep pitching additional tests.

3. Strategy

Centralize your project tasks and hold your team accountable. John (and I) recommend Trello as an effective and free project management tool. Yes, you the SEO may need to wield your project manager skills. Either that or become BFFs with your team's PM.

4. Report

First you have to find all the issues of a site. John recommends using asmuch data as you can from tools such as Screaming Frog, Excel, MajesticSEO, AdWords, and SEO Gadget. Find the discrepancies and dig in deep todiscover the lay of the land.The first thing you need to understand is know who you're pitching to.

Then pitch why you're proposing the project and what you're doing, but spend every little time on the how. Simon Sineck will applaud you (stop here and Google him if you don't get the reference).Who is going to do the work? Do they know what to do? Is your project organized?

Now that the work is done, it's time to report on your results. Consider reporting on the amount of work done and how the work has affected the bottom line. Charts that go up and to the right are particularly effective.

Ultimately you want a process to identify opportunity, prioritize and pitch it, execute a strategy, report on results, and rinse and repeat. What's your technical SEO process look like?