Twitter poll on SEO recommendations that get implemented.

How to Win Buy-in for Technical SEO Initiatives with User Stories

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Once you work in SEO lengthy sufficient, you begin noticing that the success of your SEO technique doesn’t solely rely upon how good this technique is. It’s solely a part of the entire image.

What issues most is correct implementation.

The truth is, in accordance to the ballot I not too long ago did, most SEO professionals say that lower than 40% of their SEO suggestions are applied:

Twitter poll on SEO recommendations that get implemented.Issues get even more durable once you’re not the one who controls and does the implementation.

Many duties, particularly technical ones are reliable on builders. And that’s the place many nice suggestions meet harsh actuality and keep buried someplace on a Google Drive or JIRA.

SEO Is Not Solely About Suggestions – It’s About Individuals, Too

One motive why many SEO suggestions should not applied (or not applied correctly) is as a result of there’s a misunderstanding between folks.

When you phrase your suggestions utilizing the language builders don’t resonate with, it will likely be onerous to persuade them and likewise give detailed and simple necessities.

That’s the place SEO consumer tales are available in.

Talk SEO Suggestions with User Stories

The primary time I heard about consumer tales was greater than 2 years in the past. I used to be working as a part of an company staff serving to a giant shopper with a posh migration undertaking.

There have been many groups concerned – together with a number of builders that we didn’t have direct entry to. However every thing labored out nicely.

That entire expertise confirmed me the facility of consumer tales so I’ve been utilizing them with my purchasers since then. It has considerably improved the communication with builders, too.

Why is a consumer story a very good software for speaking technical SEO suggestions or necessities?

As a result of consumer tales:

  • Are concise.
  • Are actionable.
  • Are clear and simple.
  • Are straightforward to observe.
  • Account for consumer testing.

What Is an SEO User Story Precisely?

Within the improvement world, a consumer story is a casual description of some characteristic within the software program. It’s a part of an agile course of.

An SEO consumer story is a small advice that has a transparent motion and end result and helps to break down huge methods into smaller steps.

A consumer story consists of three elements:

  • A consumer kind (“As a {user}”)
  • An motion (“I want, {action}”)
  • An end result (“so that {an outcome}”)

When put collectively, a consumer story template appears to be like like this:

As a {consumer kind}, I need {an motion}, in order that {an end result}.

Right here’s an instance of an SEO consumer story:

As an SEO supervisor, I need the robots.txt file to be added to the web site in order that Google and different serps can crawl the pages that want to be ranked.

Acceptance Standards? Sure, Please

What’s subsequent after you’ve a consumer story?

Additionally, you will want a approach to clarify when the consumer story may be marked as “Done” – the acceptance standards.

Acceptance standards present how issues ought to look when the consumer story is applied appropriately.

Let’s get again to the instance SEO consumer story above:

As an SEO supervisor, I need the robots.txt file to be added to the web site in order that Google and different serps can crawl the pages that want to be ranked.

It says that you simply want the robots.txt file. However you additionally want a approach to clarify the place it ought to be positioned and what directives it ought to have. It’s what acceptance standards do.

Right here is an instance of acceptance standards for this customers story:

  • The robots.txt file exists at {URL HERE}.
  • The robots.txt file URL returns a 200 HTTP standing code.
  • The robots.txt file permits the crawling of all essential web site pages and matches the directives:
User-agent: *


It helps to talk to a developer what you need to obtain in your SEO advice. And it’s up to a developer how they’re going to implement it because it’s their space of experience.

How to Write SEO User Stories & Acceptance Standards

There are a couple of steps that you simply’ll want to do to write a very good SEO consumer story and acceptance standards for it.

Step 1: Determine a Small A part of the Suggestions You’re Going to Write a User Story For.

You don’t need to use an enormous advice like “I want to fix all canonicalization issues on the website.”

As a substitute, you break down the advice into smaller items. For instance:

  • All URL variations ought to be redirected to the canonical URLs.
  • All canonical URLs ought to have self-referencing canonicals.
  • All inside hyperlinks ought to level to canonical URLs.

Step 2: Then You Take One of many Items and Reply the Following Query:

“Why is this important?”

You want to be concise right here, reply in a single phrase.

Lets’s use the third piece for example:

“All internal links should point to canonical URLs.”

Why is that this necessary?

In order that we’re sending the proper alerts to Google.

Step 3: Write a User Story Primarily based on Step 1 and Step 2

You want to begin with a consumer kind, and it’s going to be you.

So ultimately now we have this consumer story:

As an SEO supervisor, I need all inside hyperlinks to level to the canonical URLs, in order that we’re sending the proper alerts to Google.

Step 4: Describe an Ideally suited World The place Your User Story Is Applied

The outline could be your acceptance standards.

On this instance consumer story:

As an SEO supervisor, I need all inside hyperlinks to level to the canonical URLs, in order that that we’re sending the proper alerts to Google.

What are the canonical URLs? Ought to they be adopted?

Listed below are the acceptance standards that will reply these questions and describe a perfect state of affairs:

Acceptance Standards:

  • The HREF attribute of all inside hyperlinks ought to be formatted utilizing the next guidelines:
    • It makes use of HTTPS*.
    • It makes use of the “www” subdomain**.
    • It doesn’t embody a question string, a hash fragment or monitoring parameters (together with UTM tags).
    • It’s completely decrease case.
  • Inside hyperlinks are adopted (i.e. don’t embody a rel=nofollow attribute).

* if the web site makes use of HTTPS
** If the web site makes use of www. If it doesn’t, then you definitely would say ‘It doesn’t use the “www” subdomain’

Your objective is to present as a lot context as potential however maintain it related on the similar time.

The perfect factor about Acceptance Standards is that they’ll later be used for testing the implementation.

Let’s create one other instance of a consumer story.

It’s going to be not for SEO however you’ll prefer it and it’ll assist to summarize all of the steps.

As a Search Engine Journal writer, I need you to learn this complete submit so that you simply perceive the facility of SEO consumer tales and may use them in your every day job.

Acceptance standards:

  • You learn every phrase, not solely subheadings.
  • You shared the submit on Twitter and added “Done” to your tweet.
  • You adopted me on Twitter.
  • You subscribed to @sejournal.
  • You wrote your individual SEO consumer story for your subsequent advice.

The place Can You Use SEO User Stories

User tales will aid you in varied conditions the place you want to write SEO documentation or suggestions for builders.

You’ll be able to alter your consumer tales for particular eventualities, too.

For instance, after I create a narrative in a technical audit, I additionally want to clarify what’s at the moment not working correctly. So as well as to the consumer story and acceptance standards, I add extra context of the problem the web site is experiencing and why it’s a difficulty.

So you should use SEO consumer tales:

  • In technical audits.
  • Area migrations.
  • Content material Administration System migrations.
  • Any documentation (for instance, if a brand new CMS is being constructed).

Ultimate Bricks

When used correctly, SEO consumer tales are a robust software that helps get extra suggestions applied by speaking with builders extra effectively.

So begin experimenting with this method and share your outcomes.

Extra Sources:

  • The Nice Google/SEO Communications Conundrum
  • 10 Different Methods to Stage Up Your SEO Expertise
  • How to Do an SEO Audit: The Final Guidelines


#Win #Buyin #Technical #SEO #Initiatives #User #Stories

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