Some of you might know, but we recently just upgraded our website (after FAR too long!)
Now that it’s live we begin the next phase of the process and that is painstakingly going through our most important pages in search of perfection.
So I want to give you some advice (this example is for Ahref users, but you can do this with SEMRush, Seach Console Etc) and also give you some insight into the more technical world of SEO
My advice to you is this - only chase perfection for your 80+ PR-ranked pages.
What are these pages? These are the pages with the most internal link equity relative to all pages on your site
In our case, we have thousands of pages. Many of these are historical and we do need to deal with them programmatically (which for the most part will mean audit, 301, fix links, etc)
But we really only have 1% of our pages at PR 80+
That makes the job of chasing perfection much more reasonable.
And means @AidanC @hatzopoulos @Phil and I won’t have to spend our entire lives auditing/adjusting historical content from the past 20 years. Just the pages we value most!
Here’s a screenshot example from Ahrefs
Now, what we’re going to do is use several tools (cause we’re REW and we’re like that) so it won’t just be Ahrefs, but if you use just this one tool and you can achieve perfection you’re golden!
What are some of the issues that have come up since the migration?
Links in content to broken pages! There are only 4. Phew! But there are 4!
Because there are only 4, given the choice of solving this programmatically vs manually, we’re just going to solve this manually (we’ll go fix the links). Thank goodness for the “Edit” button.
Just click through to the link and then click edit, find it, and squash it.
What else are we finding? There are a few pages without alt tags! (Ruh roh!) We can’t solve this programmatically either (since Alt tags should be handwritten and descriptive of the image they are labeling).
The reality is, since it’s a major site migration, we have to expect these things (they are very normal) and we can solve them VERY quickly.
Wanna know ALL our problems? Here’s a screenshot.
Most of these aren’t even problems. They are more alerts (Yellow is alert, red is bad)
So we have 4 pages that have broken links. We’re on it!
And there is one page getting traffic that no longer exists (it’s our REW Leads App page which was taken down since we’re deprecating that product) - what we missed doing is repurposing the page, or 301 redirecting it to the best landing spot for that traffic.
As for the rest? Why not go for perfect? 22 Meta descriptions are too short? That shoulds like a job for REWPert (with an @AidanC human assist)
Pages are linking to redirects? That is something we can actually solve programmatically. How you might ask? Well… we already know our redirects (since they are in the 301 tool) and so what I can do is have @hatzopoulos do a search in the CMS database and do a find and replace for all the redirected URL’s that are linked to and then replace those links with a more appropriate replacement link. I just have to pair up the old URL to the new one (but we already have both in the redirect tool, so that’s easy peasy) < will take some time though.
The reason I am recommending doing it programmatically (even though it’s only 21 pages) is we’re only looking at our top pages PR 80 and above. These issues likely exist on deeper level pages as well, so by doing a find and replace across all content, I can fix this issue everywhere, not just on PR 80 pages.
Open graph tags incomplete. Again, that is a programmatic error (likely a bug from the upgrade) we’ll fix that
Meta description too long? Not technically an issue, but Aidan and REWpert will get on that too!
Missing Alt Tags - THE SHAME!!! (Funny, I looked and it was some images I did when experimenting with pages. I’m fired! No excuses. I’ll go fix these myself.
Title too long - again, not technically an issue, but we’ll go for perfect anyways.
3xx redirect??? A what now? Oh yeah, that’s right. That’s the REW Leads page. I think I might repurpose that and optimize it for lead generation (thus removing the 301 issue and resolving the reporting).
So there we have it! We have limited our scope to a very manageable PR 80 group of pages (though we’ll be solving many problems sitewide programmatically).
We’ve done our audit. We have our list.
Time to get to work!