The following post is part of WTWH Media Marketing Lab’s ongoing blog series from MozCon 2017. You can find the full presentation here.
Britney Muller, Head of SEO at Moz, took the stage and began talking about secrets. We all have them, even our websites. Stop and ask yourself – what secrets is your website hiding?
She uncovered that moz.com had 175,000 indexed pages and 800,000 organic users per month. That’s enough people to fill the Seattle Seahawks stadium 12 times! Her second discovery was that their website has 70,000 indexed pages of junk from spammy community profile pages trying to build links.
Hypothesis: Meta noindexing profiles less than 200 MozPoints will eliminate many thin/spammy pages and add value to primary pages.
She hypothesized that by meta noindexing pages with less than 200 mozpoints (this metric is used by Moz to determine the quality of the user) will eliminate many thin/spammy pages and add value to the primary pages of their website. The amount of indexed user pages went from 71,500 to 1,490.
Result: This eliminated many thin/spammy pages and added value
Organic users increased by 8.97% the following month, 13.70% year over year. The takeaway here is to find the low traffic/converting pages on your site. They’re not doing anything for you. Muller compared it to pruning trees or bushes. If you prune it, it will grow and become healthy. Those primary pages deserve the traffic without the thin pages weighing them down.
Muller’s second find was in the Google Search Console. She noticed their URL parameters weren’t set up properly.
Hypothesis: Configuring our URL parameters could help SEO.
Result: Organic traffic increased
After configuring a lot of URL parameters, organic traffic increased 13.7%, new users increased by 13.05% and sessions increased by 17.87%. Know your parameter settings! Watch the video below to check if your URL parameters are set up correctly.
Muller found that their content management system (CMS) was outdated.
Hypothesis: Updating the CMS will provide better accessibility and could help SEO
You might be missing out on rankings if you’re using an old CMS due to slow site speed, missing schema data or poor URL structure. These features come standard with modern CMS’ and it will be well worth it to upgrade.
Result: The new CMS provided better accessibility and helped SEO tremendously!
Update your CMS for better mobility and optimization features. Check out what it did for Moz!
She also found that Moz was not nurturing their readers. Their suggested articles were not relevant to the pages they were on.
Hypothesis: More relevant suggested articles will increase pages per sessions
By using keyword planner, she was able to make sure that the suggested articles were tailored to what the user would find helpful.
Result: Suggested posts were immediately improved
Pages per session increased by 4.79% vs. previous period and pages per session went up 11.07% year over year
As SEOs, you should always be breaking and testing stuff on your site. Muller played with meta descriptions, page titles, H2/H3 tags and more, to see what it would do to Moz’s featured snippets on Google.
Hypothesis: You can uncover more featured snippet secrets by trying to lose them
She added errors to the meta description to see if it would make the featured snippet go away.
Result: Typos in the meta description will remove your featured snippetAlways be testing SEO on your website to uncover more secrets Click To Tweet