A lot happens to a website over the course of a year – particularly on a site like FOX.com. And even more particularly, when that year includes the Covid-19 pandemic, cancelled sporting events, delays in TV show premier dates, and marketing budget changes across all industries.
But of course, I didn’t know that any of these factors were going to happen yet when I first started at FOX Networks back in November 2019. (I had actually traveled to China in December ’19 on holiday). My strategy was – as it remained to be throughout 2020 – getting Fox.com’s SEO strategy back on track.
Technical SEO Improvements Were Top Priority for FOX.com
While there were many creative/content-centric opportunities available to FOX.com, the highest impact items we prioritized throughout the course of the last year were technical initiatives, such as:
- Fixing a long-standing, site wide issue with 404 errors (the majority +50% of pages on the site – including series detail pages, credit pages, and watch pages – were serving false 404 errors to Google.
- Tens of thousands of pages with “poor” core web vitals
- Tens of thousands of broken links, redirect chains, missing canonical tags, missing schema markup
- XML sitemap errors
- Hundreds of thousands of broken backlinks from external websites
Despite being able to easily identify the opportunities (via a comprehensive web audit), Making actual progress across all of these fronts wasn’t easy. As is the case for many SEOs at every type of company, we are competing against a big product backlog of tickets from all web teams – and SEO isn’t always considered ‘top priority’. But through hard work, building strong relationships with team members, and excellent mentorship from my boss – we were able to make significant headway on these technical initiatives.(Shout out to the FOX product managers/developers/my boss for helping make it all happen!)
In reviewing the last three months YoY, there has been a:
- +240 improvement in SEO contribution to web content starts, YoY (15.7% > 53.2%)
- +61 improvement in SEO contribution to web visits, YoY (23.5% >37.9%)
- +20% increase in site wide SEO clicks to the site in November 2020 – January 2021, YoY
- +56% increase in ‘Rich Result’ clicks, YoY
- +105% increase in ‘Media Actions’ clicks, YoY
Details on Contribution Improvements
Content start contribution
Details on Clicks Improvements
- This year, November – January = dark blue
- Last year, November – January = dotted blue
The SEO improvements made to FOX.com was a combination of several SEO initiatives. They were primarily technical in nature – especially as it related to incorrect response code errors affecting the site. By setting up efficient processes with the product team, the SEO team was able to overcome initial barriers to success, and drive a +240 lift in SEO contribution to web content starts, a 61% improvement in SEO contribution to web visits, and a 20% improvement in total SEO clicks to the site.
SEO Lead at FOX Networks Group. Founder of TEKKI.digital blog. Contributing author at SearchEngineJournal.com.