3 Reasons SEOs Should Learn How to Code

Learning how to code or even just the logic behind programing can make you a better CEO and marketer, it opens up an entirely new world to efficiency data analysis and can eliminate human error for things like data entry. When you combine the creativity of marketing with the logic of programing, it gives you the ability to do some really cool stuff. So today I’m going to break down how programing and SEO intersect and what you can do with it, even with just the basics. Stay tuned. What’s up before we get started, there are two things you need to know. First, this tutorial isn’t meant for beginners. If you’re just starting out with focus on the fundamentals, first, we have a ton of videos to help you out with that. So I’ll leave links for you in the description. And second, just because you don’t know how to code it doesn’t mean you can’t be an excellent CEO. But I’m a strong believer that the learning curve to programing is well worth the effort because of the way it benefits your efficiency, wallet and career. So with that said, let’s jump into our first use case of how you can use programing in your arsenal.

Number one, by learning a service side language, you can automate redundant tasks. SEO is full of redundant tasks. For example, imagine you have an e-commerce store with one hundred thousand product pages and you need to change all title tags and one sentence to the bottom of every product description. You could ask someone to manually do this over the next three months, but it’s going to cost a lot of time and money. Plus, you’re putting your site at risk to human error. But this can be done programmatically in a fraction of the time. Plus, the code you create can easily be repurposed or reused. Now, where things get really powerful for CEOs is when you start working with other companies data through APIs. API stands for application programing interface. They allow you to programmatically send request to a system and receive a response based on your request. The best analogy I’ve heard is to think of an API as a messenger. For example, when you go to a restaurant, you need to order food so the kitchen can prepare. And in order for the kitchen to receive your request, a waiter acts as a messenger to deliver that response. When the food is ready, the waiter will return your food, a.k.a. the response. So what does that look like in SEO Automation’s? Well, there are virtually an infinite number of things you can do, but one of the tools that I’ve built recently automate search and tank classification. I started by using Keywords Explorer and came up with a list of thousands of keyword ideas. Now, if I were to manually review scripts to classify whether queries were informational navigational, commercial investigation or transactional, it would have taken a long time, especially at scale. So using a search API, I was able to get thousands of scripts for all of these keywords. Within minutes, I stored the information in a local database and programmatically analyze search features along with page titles and new URLs. And the result thousands of keywords that were automatically classified within ninety five percent accuracy rate.

The best part was that I didn’t have to write the code from scratch. Benjamin Burkholder shared his code in a medium article which I modified and rewrote to a language I’m more comfortable using. I’ll leave a link to his article in the description. It’s definitely worth a read. There are tons of great APIs you can use for SEO like HFS API, Google’s APIs punter never bounce and mail shake. And this isn’t even scratching the surface in terms of what you do with them and how you combine the data. Well, the sky’s the limit now. You don’t need to be fluent in any programing language to create automation’s with APIs. There are tools like Zap here which give you an easy to use interface for non coders. But in order to use them effectively, you should have a basic understanding of how programing logic works. So understanding conditional functions like if and else booleans like for and and and loops like for for each and while can go a long way. So let’s build a hypothetical automation and saphir that can automate part of your email outreach using Google Sheets and milkshake. I’ve already selected Google Sheets as my app selected the sheet I want to work with and then I set up a trigger. In this case, something should happen if a value is added to the email column in my Google sheet.

Now we need to tell the program what to do. So in this example, I’ve set it to add the user to my H.F. sample campaign email shake. After the trigger executes, the email should get added to shake system and send my first touch email and any follow ups I’ve configured. As you can see, there’s some pretty powerful stuff you can do just by understanding the basics of programming logic. Another reason you should learn at least the basics of programming is to communicate more effectively with your dev team. Marketers and developers tend to think differently. Marketers often think of the final result, while developers think of all the steps that are required to get to that result. Now, while it might sound like a match made in heaven, the synergy between the two departments often falters. The most common reason I hear is because marketers can sometimes request developers to build things without really knowing what’s involved. For example, let’s say, John, the marketer works in a boutique car insurance company as he’s doing his research and realizes that all big insurance companies have calculators which are driving a ton of qualified search traffic. So he reaches out to Slack, one of the developers, and says, hey, I like this calculator from State Farm. It looks pretty basic. So can you build me one by the end of the day or. Actually, I’ll give you a week. But John doesn’t realize is how the systems and processes work within the company. Sadly, we probably need to work with some internal APIs, build it tested, have designers and other devs step in and have to check the work before it’s pushed production. It’s basically the equivalent of selling the developer, telling John the marketer to go in and rank for car insurance quotes by the end of the week, since it’s a low hanging three word query. By understanding programming logic in how your company builds apps, you can respectfully improve communication with your developers. These are two of the main reasons why I think learning code can help you become a better CEO, whether you work alone or in a big company. Another reason worth mentioning is that understanding how code works can make you a better technical CEO. Being able to read through source code efficiently can help you identify technical issues that most calling tools wouldn’t discover. You can also identify page speed related issues by understanding how a browser renders the page and prioritizes resources. And if yours or your clients websites use JS frameworks like Angular Object, you can help identify issues related to crawling. Now, it doesn’t really matter which language you learn. The main difference usually lies in syntax, while logic remains the same, or at least very similar. For most languages, programming is a fun way to pick up a new skill, sharpen your brain and to combine the creative aspects that come with marketing. So my recommendation is to learn what you need to learn.

For example, if your main objective is to create automation’s, then learn a service side language like PHP, Python, R, Ruby or No Digest’s, or if you simply want to communicate more effectively with your developers, learn logic, programming and how systems are built. Now, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences related to learning code.

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