Encourage content teams and SEO professionals to ask the right questions.
Many organizations continue to publish content without clear objectives or KPIs.
Organizations must have a new mindset to go beyond publishing content.
They should reflect on the past and think critically.
I can see what you are thinking. “Wait! Are you hinting at content departments asking for log file information?”
But I will do you a favor: I want content teams asking for real-time logfile insights.
I’m not going to tell you what traditional log file analysis is like.
The times have changed, and content teams can now tap into the valuable insights logs.
Let’sLet’s shift that mindset by following the four steps below.
Step 1 – Content teams start thinking critically.
Rarely will content teams say, “I want the content piece found by search engines on the same day, crawled in three days after publishing, the index within a week, driving 200 organic visits, and two leads per month for three weeks. Following publishing.”
Many organizations continue to publish X number of content pieces per month, either because they are “the way we have always done things” or because they need new content to maintain their SEO performance.
They quickly move on to the next piece after publishing. By the end of the month, they have published four content pieces and are now “done”.
They do not consider how long it took search engines to crawl the newly published content or how long it consider to get an index, nor how long it took for the article to rank and drive organic traffic.
It’sIt’s a horrible shame.
It’sIt’s unlikely that the old way of doing business is moving the needle.
While everyone is busy, I am sure that it will do some good. But the content will not live up to its potential. It’sIt’s a waste.
Don’tDon’t get me wrong. It’sIt’s not hard to understand why.
It is a combination of what has worked in the past and the lack of a central place where content teams can get all the information they need to evaluate their work’s performance.
Content teams need to think critically to be able to ask themselves these questions:
These people need to know where they can find the answers.
Step 2 – Log File Analysis Insights
Log files can be challenging to find. There are many challenges.
They may not be readily available. They may not be available anymore, but it is challenging to obtain them due to red tape about PII (personally identifiable information) concerns.
It’sIt’s slow and often painful in most cases. It’sIt’s why most companies only perform traditional log file analyses once or twice per year.
This is where content delivery networks (CDNs), such as Cloudflare and CloudFront, and Akamai, enter.
Many sites now use CDNs to offer fast-loading sites for crawlers and visitors.
CDNs are great because they offer log files in real-time. You can pull logs and verify that it does not contain any PII.
Step 3 – Provide Content Teams with Easily Digestible Information
Log files can also provide valuable insights that are not technical for content teams, even though they may have different information needs than technical SEO teams.
Content teams require easily digestible, content-focused insights. They need it immediately because they are constantly making changes and touching on a lot of content.
They should be able to answer the questions such as:
Understanding the crawling behavior search engines display to improve your SEO performance is essential. Having pages (re)crawled is the first step in Google’sGoogle’s crawling, indexing, and ranking pipeline.
If content teams can answer these questions, they will be able to start connecting the dots. They will also learn how their work has affected search engine behavior.
They can even improve and calculate:
Zooming out is a great way to get SEO traffic forecasts!
Step 4 – Mapping Insights to Content Inventory
The final piece is to map these valuable insights to your content inventory. This also tracks all your content changes.
We want to avoid putting it manually in spreadsheets. You want an always-up-to-date content inventory to which your log files insights are automatically tied.
All these options are available in ready-made solutions, or you can create your own.
Both are acceptable. It doesn’t matter which one you choose. What matters is that your content team has the tools to succeed!
Pro Tip: Integrate with Google Search Console’sConsole’s URL Inspection API and determine if the content has been indexed!
Wrapping things up
Content teams will be more successful if they ask the right questions, reflect on their work, and have all the tools and information they need to do so.
It will be easier for everyone to work on improving the site’s SEO performance. It will be more enjoyable, and management may buy in quicker.
You will be amazed at the contributions of your content team to SEO performance.