We are delighted to invite Alexander Rus on our blog. He is the CEO at Evergreen Media and daily uses OnCrawl for auditing his clients’ websites. How does he use OnCrawl? Which SEO issues is he facing with his clients? How does OnCrawl have helped him? Please discover his use case. We already thank you Alexander for your feedbacks !
Presentation of the SEO expert
My name is Alexander Rus and I am the CEO of Evergreen Media, a search engine marketing company from Innsbruck, Austria. I also love coffee, reading search engine patents, and making fun of online marketing gurus. I started as an affiliate marketer during college in 2009. Until the first Google Penguin Update hit, I was purely focusing on black hat SEO tactics with some incredible results in the typical niches like weight loss, pharma and teeth whitening.
After getting completely crushed by Penguin I started applying my skills the grey hat way. In 2013 I founded Evergreen Media. We specialize in mid to large SEO projects and run our own affiliate websites. We have a no b.s. approach to SEO with less talk and more results.
The SEO problems
Being a SEO agency, we manage quite a few clients although we try to keep the number small to keep the quality up. However, we have more than 40 important projects to optimize and monitor.
Keeping track of on-page optimization progress and changes to the websites can be a daunting task, especially because we are not the only ones working on the projects. Therefore, one of our biggest problems is keeping a watchful eye on existing issues and new issues created by other parties.
For potential new clients, we always perform a complete onsite analysis so we know exactly what we are dealing with and which SEO measures have the highest priority based on time invested and impact on rankings. From our experience most on-page SEO tools deliver “messy” results. They focus on the wrong data and do not allow a high level of custom filtering. Their focus is on the average user who knows nothing about SEO and just needs some recommendations and nice graphs.
Quickly discover less than optimal SERP-snippets to increase CTR and improve rankings
Since the click-through-rate from Google search results is becoming more and more important because of its massive impact on rankings, one of the first things we do is to set up our own custom filters in OnCrawl so that we discover every inadequate SERP snippet.
For the title tag, we recommend staying below 55 characters which results in less than 95% of titles being cut by Google. With meta descriptions, things get a little more complicated as anything between 7 and 317 might work. Internally we work with the approved character limit of 155-160, which has worked well for us in the past.
For more information on this topic I recommend this article by Larry Kim.
Set up your own quickfilters based on your personal best practices
Find recurring text fragments
Most larger companies know about duplicate content and are pretty decent at avoiding it. But what we see a lot are text fragments that are reused repeatedly and thus the relevance of the page is being reduced. We call this noise. OnCrawl is very good in spotting near duplicates and makes finding them a simple and fast process.
OnCrawl not only finds duplicate content but also similar content
Monitor on-page optimization progress
As mentioned above, monitoring is an important part of our work. Therefore, we run a monthly crawl for every client and affiliate project. OnCrawl shows us if we have more or less 404s, thin content pages, duplicate content issues compared to the last month. Especially with large projects this is very helpful, as most of the time it is not realistic that all problems are fixed and success is more about improvement than perfection.
Are the main landing pages getting enough internal link love?
With OnCrawl I can quickly check how much internal link love my main landing pages are getting. Internal links are an easy way to strengthen a page and one of those quick wins we love for new clients.
Also, often times due to bad internal linking and other factors, the wrong page is ranking for particular keywords. In this case, it is important to reduce the number of internal links to the “wrong page” and instead point those links to the chosen landing page. For more information on this issue we recommend this Whiteboard Friday by Moz.
Does Google like certain parts of the site more than others and what can we do about that?
With the introduction of log and traffic analysis OnCrawl completely blew my mind. Especially with large sites you always have folders or rather site segments that are performing better in Google search results than others. In combination with a link analysis tool like Ahrefs, it is very easy to spot issues. OnCrawl helps me discover link flow problems due to depth and internal linking within a few minutes.
Monthly client checks to prevent SEO dramas
The scheduled monthly crawls are reviewed as part of our monthly client checks. For our monthly checks, we look at:
- On-page and technical problems (which we use OnCrawl for) ;
- Rankings gains, losses and anomalies ;
- Traffic gains, losses and anomalies ;
- Google Search Console warnings and messages.
As the OnCrawl backend is very clear and shows progress, it saves us a lot of time. We have a few custom filters called quickfilters on OnCrawl that help us find issues that otherwise would slip through the cracks. This means we never have to handle huge SEO dramas with existing clients as we deal with them before they get us in trouble with Google.
Set up regular crawls to easily monitor your on-page progress and discover issues before they harm your rankings
SEO quick wins to make new clients happy
Especially for new clients that already have traffic to their site and are not completely new to the game, OnCrawl helps us finding the SEO quick wins. Again, we have a nice set of quickfilters to discover typical SEO mistakes which have a massive positive impact on rankings within a small amount of time if we fix them. This makes the first couple of months’ way easier as the client already has seen that we are not only talk.
Examples for SEO quick wins:
- Google Featured Snippets ;
- Optimize snippets with the help of Search Console data ;
- Improve rankings for converting pages ;
- Fix 404 errors.
Especially getting a new client Google Featured Snippets can increase traffic within an incredible small amount of time.
Feedbacks about OnCrawl
Our main tool for on-page optimization is OnCrawl. We have been using it pretty much from the beginning and love the progress the tool has made and is still making. Just today I sent in a feature request and it will be in the next release. Amazing!
My favorite feature definitely is the data explorer in combination with the quickfilters which allows you to dig deep due to an amazing set of possible filter attributes.