Nick Wilsdon talks about enterprise SEO and edge SEO in the following video:
Below you’ll find a summary of the video as well as an actual transcription if you need it.
About Nick Wilsdon
Nick Wilsdon is a consultant and founder at Torque. He is an SEO with 22 years of experience who can deploy high-performance programs across large organisations and global brands. Based in the UK. His area of expertise is enterprise SEO, edge SEO. Worked with such agencies as Rina Media, Havas, Dentsu. And with such brands as Vodafone, eBay, Lavabeam. Search awards judge, speaker at conferences and contributor to specialised media.
Contact Nick Wilsdon:
Mastodon – @email@example.com
Disclaimer and TOC
Please note that some of the content in this blog post has been summarized by a language model trained by OpenAI. The purpose is purely experimental for me, cannot say I loved how Chat GPT had done that. But I want to test. While every effort has been made to accurately reflect the original text, there may be slight variations in language and tone. And Chat GPT tried to add their own assumptions and data despite my prompts asking them not to do that. I think I’ve removed that all though.
Why Edge SEO Is Important
Edge SEO is becoming increasingly important as CDN networks like Cloudflare, Akamai, and Fastly continue to evolve. These networks have a distributed series of servers around the world, which improves responsiveness, performance, and the ability to handle traffic. As these networks have developed, they’ve gone from simple servers serving lightweight content to having increased processing and storage capabilities. This allows them to do more than just serve content, like running programming on the server, manipulating requests, and storing information on the edge. This opens up a huge realm of possibilities for the digital world, as we no longer need to rely on computation on origin servers. Edge SEO provides great opportunities for every part of digital, including website performance and user experience. It also allows for more complex logical processes on edge, like using KV store for dynamic storage which can greatly benefit the website and online presence.
Edge Application Example and Possible ROI
Edge SEO has a lot of practical applications that can greatly improve web performance and user experience. One of the most obvious examples is redirections. By redirecting users at the edge, the minute they interact with a CDN network like Akamai or Cloudflare, the journey becomes much more efficient and faster. In some real-world cases, this has reduced response time from 900 milliseconds to just 250 milliseconds. This benefits not only the user but also search engines like Google, who don’t want to crawl unnecessary journeys. Another application of edge SEO is managing redirects, especially one-to-one redirects. These redirects can be very difficult to manage on origin servers due to the potential performance impact. However, when you’re doing this on the edge, you can have millions of one-to-one redirects without any impact on performance. This is important for SEO as it helps to maintain user intent and specific product journeys. Additionally, managing inbound and internal URLs is incredibly important for SEO. Overall, Edge SEO has a lot of practical applications that can greatly benefit website performance, user experience and online presence.
Costs Involved When You Start with Edge SEO
The costs for developing and learning to work with Edge SEO is relatively low, especially when compared to other options. Cloudflare, for example, offers free access to some of its edge compute capabilities, making it a great starting point for developers and technical SEOs looking to learn more about this technology. In terms of actual costs for using Edge SEO, it can vary depending on the CDN you are using, but it is generally not as high as one might expect. In fact, it can be a very cost-efficient way of making large-scale changes to a website. Overall, the costs involved in starting with Edge SEO are manageable and can provide a lot of benefits in terms of web performance and SEO.
Tech stack required
Edge for enterprises
Edge SEO is a powerful tool for big enterprises as it allows for faster execution of tests and pilots, and the ability to make changes quickly with a single point of contact. This can be especially beneficial for large enterprise sites that have struggled to make changes in the past due to complex CMS systems, offshore teams, and other challenges. Edge SEO provides an opportunity for big enterprises to improve their website’s performance, page speed, and SEO in a shorter time frame compared to traditional development cycles. Additionally, even if Edge SEO is used to prove the concept, it can still provide a significant improvement in website performance and SEO, which can then be fed back into development cycles for permanent fixes.
How to Find Enterprise SEO Clients
It seems that finding enterprise SEO clients is a matter of building and maintaining a good reputation, as well as having a strong network of connections in the industry. It may be difficult to land these types of clients through platforms like Upwork, as they often require a high level of credibility and reputation in order to secure a contract. Additionally, the process of securing enterprise SEO work can be quite difficult and time-consuming, involving negotiations, legal work, and insurance requirements. It’s not an easy task for a freelancer or single person to handle. Once a contract is secured, it may take a while before payment is received. Overall, it requires a lot of effort, work and understanding of how to secure these kind of jobs.
What Investment Is Required to Start Working with Enterprises
It’s definitely a challenge when it comes to working with enterprises. One important thing to keep in mind is the payment terms. Often, payment can be offset up to 30-90 days, which means that you’ll need to have enough funding built up to cover the costs during this period. This is why it’s important to have some sort of financial cushion before diving into working with enterprise clients. Another important factor to consider is that a lot of this work comes through word of mouth and reputation. It’s important to have a strong network and a good reputation to be able to secure these types of projects. Additionally, securing a master services agreement and having the right insurances in place can also be a challenge. It’s definitely not easy for a single person or freelancer to secure these types of projects and there is a lot of negotiation and work that goes into it. But if you can navigate these challenges, working with enterprises can be a great opportunity for growth and success.
How Competitive Edge SEO for Enterprises Is
It’s still a relatively new field, and not many people have the combination of skills required to excel in edge SEO. Similar to when Apache first came out, where people were figuring out how to work with it and create solutions. The CDN providers have created a platform for developers and SEOs to work with, but there aren’t yet many experts in this area. As the field develops and more people gain the necessary skills, competition may increase, but for now it’s a unique blend of skills that sets apart those who are working in edge SEO. It requires a deep understanding of performance, networking, and CDN architecture, as well as the ability to code and think about the marketing opportunities that arise from edge optimization. It’s an interesting and dynamic field, but it’s not yet highly competitive.
How Long Does It Take from Idea to Implementation
Working on Agile scrum methodology, the overall timeline may be approximately two months. Work out a problem, create a solution and deploy. Altogether it should take two months.
Negotiating with enterprise clients can be a tricky process, especially when it comes to implementing changes on the edge. It’s important to come prepared with a clear plan and set of prerequisites, such as access to the CDN layer and a solid testing methodology. This can help reassure front end and edge ops teams that the changes you’re proposing won’t negatively impact the website. One effective way to convince clients is to have a track record of successful projects and case studies to back up your claims. Additionally, highlighting the benefits of implementing changes on the edge, such as improved performance and SEO, can help make your case. Overall, it’s important to approach negotiations with a clear plan, a strong understanding of the technology, and a proven track record of successful projects to help reassure clients and secure the contract.
Testing and Reporting Environment
Measuring the results of edge SEO can be done through various tools and methods. To measure performance improvements, tools such as RIGA and SpeedCurve can be used. Google Search Console can also be used to track Core Web Vitals. When it comes to SEO performance, visibility changes can be tracked using SEO tools. Additionally, analytics platforms such as Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics can be used to track the outcome of the work done on edge SEO. It’s important to have a good understanding of analytics as it is essential in proving the results of the work. This is why it’s important to have skilled analysts on the team who can use various platforms to get the data needed to prove the outcome of the work.
The results of implementing edge SEO can vary in terms of how quickly they are seen. Some performance improvements can be immediate and easily trackable through charts and analytics, while other changes, such as those that affect crawling on a large website, may take several months to fully take effect. It is important to set expectations with clients and to use analytics to track the impact of changes and understand whether they are due to the edge SEO work or other factors. It is difficult to bring commercial value and proof to what is done and to track the changes on large websites.
How Decisions on Changes Are Made
The decision on changes in edge SEO is a combination of both identifying performance problems that clients come to the team with, as well as recommendations from the SEO side based on audits and their own experience and knowledge of what changes can have an impact on SEO. The team assesses the potential value of the changes and balances that with the resources required to implement them. However, the team must keep in mind that the relationship between performance improvements and commercial gain is not always clear cut, as Google’s emphasis on performance improvements may not always lead to the expected commercial success.
Test on Your Own Websites
Testing and experimenting are crucial in understanding the impact of changes on a website. It is important to test on one’s own websites as well as on clients’ websites, as it allows for the gathering of a diverse range of data and the ability to build up experience from different projects. The process of testing and learning is a continuous cycle, and it allows for the identification of problems and the implementation of solutions to steer a website in the right direction. For enterprise clients, testing and experimenting is especially important as it allows for the identification of solutions that can be rolled out to fix issues for the entire site, rather than just individual small issues. This approach helps to avoid the accumulation of tech issues in the future.
Salaries for Edge SEOs
The pay can vary depending on factors such as location and job type. Entry-level positions in SEO in the UK reportedly start at around £22,000-£24,000. However, individuals can quickly move up in pay by jumping jobs every year or so, potentially gaining a £2,000-£4,000 increase each time. The head of SEO in an agency in the UK typically earns around £70,000-£80,000 per year. However, salaries can be higher in in-house positions and for consultants, with edge SEO being a particularly in-demand and scarce skill that can command higher pay. But Nick also knows affiliate guys who make lots of money.
How to Start Your Career in Edge SEO
The best way to start in edge SEO is through self-teaching and being willing to learn and experiment on your own. It doesn’t matter whether you start in an agency, freelance, or in-house, but you should be prepared to teach yourself and run your own tests to understand how to run edge workers, for example in Cloudflare. It is important to note that finding an environment where you can be taught about edge SEO might be difficult and the best way is to be self-taught to a degree and reach out to people with experience in the field for guidance and opportunities.
Deliverables and KPIs for Contract
In terms of deliverables in edge SEO, it’s important to define the activity carefully and clearly to the client. This could include solutions to handle redirects, adding schema onto requests in a specific format, or other specific technical solutions. While it’s easy to define the deliverables in an edge project, it’s more difficult to guarantee a specific commercial outcome. It’s important to let the client know that you can forecast what’s likely to happen based on previous experience, but making a guarantee of a specific outcome is not a sensible approach. It’s important to be transparent and realistic about the expected outcomes of the project.
How to Make a Forecast without Prior Experience
Forecasting results of SEO can be challenging if you don’t have prior experience with a particular issue. However, it is possible to make educated guesses based on your knowledge of SEO best practices and the specific issues present on a website. One approach is to conduct a technical SEO audit, where you identify and prioritize issues that need to be fixed in order to improve the website’s technical SEO. By fixing these issues, you can expect a positive outcome, especially on large enterprise websites that already have strong link equity and authority. However, it is important to keep in mind that other factors, such as content and links, may also play a role in the website’s performance. Ultimately, it is difficult to guarantee specific outcomes, but by following best practices and using your knowledge of SEO to identify and prioritize issues, you can make educated guesses about the potential results.
Keeping Mental Health When Working with Enterprise
It’s important to have a solid team in place when working on big enterprise websites, and risk mitigation techniques can help reduce stress. It’s also important to have a clear understanding of the risks involved and to pick a small market to test things before scaling up. Additionally, taking time off to recharge and disconnect from work can help alleviate stress. However, it’s important to note that working on large enterprise websites can be stressful and it’s crucial to be comfortable working in such an environment.
What Is the Future of Edge SEO
The future of edge SEO is looking bright as it is becoming a fundamental architecture for the web. The ability to do computation on the origin server and create lightweight web services through the edge is powerful and allows for agile development. The capacity and ability to do logic on the edge is increasing rapidly, with CDNs increasing the capacity and storage for databases and data attachments. Edge SEO is not a trend that will go away soon, it is becoming a major part of internet development. Overall, it allows for more efficient and effective SEO strategies that are adaptable to the ever-changing digital landscape.