I am so pleased that Barry Adams will be speaking at Search Elite. He is a specialist in technical SEO and I wanted to find out more about his experience and his upcoming workshops. Barry shared his tips as well as some photos of him and his wife, Alison when their company Polemic Digital won two awards at the UK Search Awards.
How did you get into Technical SEO and how would you recommend someone to get more experience in this area (for example this person is making a career move or they were more strategic and want to do more technical work now)
“I started out my career in IT so I’ve always had an affinity for the technical side of things. When my career progressed to become web-focused, I had a choice to become a developer or a technical marketer. It turned out to be the latter, more by chance than anything else, due to the job I was in at that time and the kind of skills that were needed there.
If you don’t come from a technical background, it can be hard to come to grips with technical SEO. I’d recommend taking a course and learning things like HTML, basic web client-server technology, and generally playing around with website configurations and server settings. You learn the most when you break things and then try to fix them. Of course always make sure you only break stuff that can afford to be broken!
What is the difference between basic technical SEO and advanced? For example is log file analysis advanced?
It’s a sliding scale really, there’s no hard border between what is basic and what is advanced. I think it really depends on the level of experience and knowledge that is needed to solve a particular issue. The difficulty of any given technical SEO challenge depends a lot on the person who tackles it. Some things that are basic to me could be considered advanced by someone else, and vice versa.
Log file analysis is, in my book, not particularly complex, but getting access to server logs can be! Though that tends to be more for organisational reasons than any technical barriers.
When are you next teaching your technical SEO course and who is this aimed at?
The dates for my next technical SEO course days with Learn Inbound have been finalised: 26 April, 30 August, and 6 December – all in Dublin.
The course is very much aimed at non-technical digital marketers who want to come to grips with the basics of technical SEO and how to apply this to their own circumstances. It’s also very useful for web developers who want to learn more about the technical side of SEO.
So far the course attendees have come from very varied backgrounds and skill levels, and the feedback has been great. I reckon there’s something in the course for everyone.
More information about the course and booking details are on the Learn Inbound site here: https://learninbound.com/
What 3 areas of Technical SEO should we be focusing on in 2019? and what tools would you recommend?
Performance is also a key aspect of technical SEO that remains crucial, especially with the majority of users globally using the web primarily on mobile devices – and often on sub-optimal network connections.
And structured data is only going to become more valuable, so I’d urge all SEOs to learn all that they can about structured data markup and how to best implement it.
Regarding tools, my advice is always to use whatever tool you need to get the job done. My current tool stack for technical SEO consists of DeepCrawl, Screaming Frog SEO Spider & Log File Analyser, Chrome DevTools, Google Search Console, LittleWarden, Sistrix, GTmetrix, and a whole lot of Excel spreadsheets. I’ll use other tools for specific purposes as and when needed.”
Thank you Barry for your time and all your tips. Looking forward to seeing you at a Search Event soon and of course at Digital Elite !