30th October 2021, I and my friend, Hafiz, started a Data and Tech Journalism platform. We named it Tech With Africa. Our aim was to write about Tech Startups and their interception with every life vertical such as health, finance, education, and emerging concepts.
We made plans, put money together, and built the website from the ground up. Then we dedicated the first two months to writing content for the website. It was easy for us since we both studied Engineering but our interest lay in content writing. Plus, I had a peculiar experience working in journalism.
In the third month, we did a campaign to call for tech journalism interns. It was a rigorous process but we selected 6 interns as a start. These awesome folks worked with us to build the Tech With Africa platform to over 500 content pieces.
Then the traction began to drop. Our interns were leaving for better jobs – we were glad that we contributed to their fast growth.
We were already running out of cash, and the last intern standing lost a loved one, so she was out too. Now, we’ve got to work freelance to raise more funds to drive Tech With Africa forward. Our daily content became weekly, then seasonal.
My hustling led me to Tech SEO.
Of all the suggested websites, Tech With Africa was the only perfect one for audit.
Aleyda did the audit and made lots of recommendations which I had to go back to the website to effect right away.
Afterward, I started auditing the website to fix technical and content faults. At least, to practice my SEO learnings.
Here’s my experience auditing An Editorial Website
In this post, I will share my technical SEO experience on an editorial website – Tech With Africa.
Screaming Frog is my all-time go-to tool for website auditing. I’m yet to find out why. Most SEOs use it. However, Sitebulb strengthens beginners like me to better understand crawling and guides in clients’ recommendations.
Below is the screenshot of the Tech With Africa crawling process.
After the crawl. I began checking for technical gaps to fix while I constantly confirm actions on Google Search Console, Google Mobile Friendly tool, Page Speed Insights, etc.
Then I exported the data on Microsoft Excel. But because Google Sheet allows me to work whenever I choose even in the absence of my personal computer. I import all the exported data on Sheets. Here’s a screenshot of the response code “not found” 404.
Google search console confirmed it couldn’t find the link. I told my partner that I was going to include the link on a sitemap to inform Google to crawl the website. After further consultations with Aleyda, she showed me how an unloading image has been preventing Google bots from crawling those pages. I’m taking out those images anyway.
Google loves uniqueness
It’s like why do you want to be like them when you can be better. Google hates it when links and content are very similar on your website. When you must feature similar or duplicate content, it warns you to canonicalize, else, your website will lose the EAT (Expertise, Authority, and Trust).
On Tech With Africa, we have hundreds of content similar to other tech news platforms. Why?
News is news.
Our approach to creating content is that we source news online. Then we match with three other higher authority news platforms. After that, we would re-write the news entirely then we publish.
However, for the job, opportunities, and events sections, there is not much to rewrite, so we publish similar content as found on our trusted sites, then we link to the master copy via canonical.
Using Screaming Frog, I found that some meta descriptions are the same. Meanwhile, their links and verticals are different. Somehow, this will be bad for the user experience because it’s awesome for users to find themselves on a page and know what the page is about.
Also, this is so the links do not at some point begin to fight over link juice.
With that in mind, I went ahead to change the description of all the website pages. This is so that humans and spiders can find it as descriptive as possible.
Will I continue to do editorial SEO?
Well, that I can’t say for now. However, Tech With Africa is my baby, and I’ll keep fixing it to achieve our goals for it. And if I get to work on editorial websites, I will do so because my mandate is to fix faults on websites to help companies achieve their goals. Either editorial or not, it doesn’t matter.