How to Set SEO Alerts to Keep Updated on the Go – #CrawlingMondays 1st Episode
In the 1st Crawling Mondays Episode, Aleyda shares how to keep updated on the go by using SEO tools to track technical and content updates besides rankings changes, featuring:
Honestly, your location shouldn’t matter much nowadays, and we should be able to keep on top of things, even if we are on the go, and I am going to show you how.
Realistically, we are far luckier today than we were a few years ago in SEO, because we have far more tools with features alerting us about the changes in configurations, right? And I have found that many SEOs use them, but use them usually for rank tracking alerts or changes, and drops in ranking especially, right? And traffic alerts also, when something goes really, really wrong, like there’s a drop in traffic.
However, I would like to be alerted when something changes before that, right? What has caused that traffic drop or ranking drop, that configuration, technical or content configuration, especially, that causes drop, and I would like to highlight those and feature those today, to show you a few of those tools and features that will allow us to be rather happier on the go, and not thinking all the time if someone has mis-installed something, or changed the canonicalization on the site, or blocked completely the production environment instead of the stage one. Things like that. Right? Let’s take a look.
Let’s start seeing those tools that you likely already have, like your SEO crawlers. Most of them nowadays have some sort of scheduling option, like for example, DeepCrawl here. They allow me to set hourly, daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly crawls, and of course, I can compare them with the previous crawls that I have done with this tool, too.
And the best of it is that I, one, only get an event alert when the crawl is done, but I will also able to connect the crawl with Zapier to receive alerts over my product management system, like for example, JIRA tickets for broken pages discovered in my last crawl, or create Trello cards for broken pages for example, or with errors found in the crawl, and I can receive Slack notifications for them, and not only me, but my team members, too, the people who work with me, so we are all updated of issues that have been found.
I usually set crawls weekly, but of course, there may be a few things that can happen in the meantime, and I am also going to show you how to track those, too.
One of the tools that I would like to highlight to you today is Little Warden. As you can see, Little Warden has a slogan, it says, “Monitoring the tedious,” which is correct. You can include a very simple forward way here, the most important pages, the most important URLs of your site, top category pages, top product pages besides your home page, of course, to monitor.
And you then are able to enable some checks. You can check the HTTP status, if there are any redirects happening, canonicalization, if the Google Analytics code has changed or not, Robots.txt blockage, X-Robots, meta robots configuration, title tag, meta description configuration, even custom text that you can set here to check if it exists or not on those particular pages that you track, if there are any redirects happening, which is also very useful for international type of configurations.
Then you can also obtain these alerts over email, but again, you can set some Zaps through Zapier or even IFTTT alerts to receive them through your project management system, too.
You can see here how I am tracking some of the most important pages, in Remoters. For example, I can see all of the configurations that are good, the configurations that I haven’t enabled yet for it, and I can also check the site history, which is actually something very useful because if at some point, something goes wrong, I can point when it started, right? Maybe even if I am alerted, I cannot do any change because there are some resource restrictions or delays or problems, and I can’t point out specifically when it started.
All these changes are notified via email to you. That again, as I mentioned before, you can connect with alert services such as Zapier or IFTTT to receive, through Slack or your project management system, so you can easily check on the go, if you want.
For example, I am here notified that this website changed the Robots.txt on December 25th. Surprise, surprise. Very handy, and then the meta description of this other page also changed. If a resource is something particularly important for me, I will go ahead and be able to take an action, particular action or delegate that to someone to my team, and make sure that I can fix it accordingly. Right? Easily. Hopefully. Soon.
Another similar tool is ContentKing. ContentKing allows you to crawl your website initially. For example, if you want to crawl the top 1,000 pages or 5,000 pages or 10,000 pages that you want to monitor, or you can also include those particular pages that you want to also track. It will actually crawl and notify you of changes in those particular pages included in your writing daily. This is a specific particular difference that these tools have with the crawlers, I have to say.
In the case of Little Warden, you need to include the URLs manually. They don’t crawl them for you. In the case of ContentKing, they do crawl them for you if you want, and then you will get these notifications, the status of these pages like this. Then, of course, you will be notified of issues if there are any issues with these pages, and you will be able to receive the notifications, the alerts via email again that you can set again and connect with your project management system to obtain and to get on the go.
For any of those changes, of the headings, canonicalization, Robots.txt, the links changes, hreflang annotations, too, is something particularly useful, as you can see here, that we have at the bottom. hrefang annotations changes here.
As you can see, there are many different tools that we can use nowadays. You can see here the changes on my website, I hope, and they notify me specifically how many of these features have changed during this time, and which of these have remained the same, et cetera, if I notice them.
Just so many different changes, or there is something that is definitely not happening as I expected. I can go and take an appropriate measure accordingly.
Besides these tools that are focused on notifying us of the changes of our websites, that are focused on content and technical configurations, we have also rank trackers. Right? And there has been a really good evolution in the last years, making rank trackers more friendly, I have to say, and many of them have also apps also nowadays.
It is particularly handy to be able to keep on top of things, ranks, specifically those rankings for our most important pages for our most important websites while on the go. However, I have to say that some of the tools have given the extra mile, particularly not only highlighting the most important ranking changes, but also notifying us of additional opportunities to allow us, to enable us to not only monitor what is going on from a narrative perspective, but also to identify opportunities, and also being able to actually be much more useful while on the go, too, right? To be able to actually manage our accounts and our websites while on the go.
SEOmonitor has done that with their Signals report here. As you can see, they not only notify us with a summary of how it has been going with your most important track key words here, but also, they have these cards notifying you of victories, opportunities, market trends, condition trends, losses and issues. For example, canonicalization issues, SERP features loss, conversion rate increase, decrease, best rankings achieved, etcetera, etcetera.
And all this, for all of this, they also have this app that I have found particularly useful to be able to keep on top and share many of this type of alerts and updates with the people working with me, too, so I have to say that we are able like this, not only to be updated of technical changes, content changes, but also ranking changes and opportunities found in our SERPs visibility, in order to make the best possible decisions, even if we are not in the office nowadays.
Hopefully, these tools will facilitate a lot of your work, as they have done for me in the past, and you are also more open to work remotely or on the go in 2019. Have a wonderful year. Thank you very much for the opportunity to share with you in the first Crawling Mondays, and see you next Monday.