As an SEO specialist, you can automate a lot with Python, collect more powerful data and achieve better SEO results. Sounds good right? Find out how to achieve success with minimal programming knowledge.
Python still seems like a far-from-my-bed show for many SEO specialists. This is probably because most programming stories you hear about big data, machine learning on artificial intelligence to go. These are of course intense topics, which require a lot of programming knowledge. This makes it seem like Python is only for data analysts and programmers, but that is certainly not the case. You don’t necessarily need to be able to build smart machines to be successful. You can start on a small scale and immediately make improvements to your SEO work. How do you wonder? I’m going to give you a good idea of that in this article!
As an SEO specialist, why should you learn Python?
There are over 500 different programming languages and a new one is being developed every day. Although there are many programming languages, one is ‘on top of mind’ for almost everyone. That’s Python, of course. This programming language is used by well-known companies such as Google, Facebook and Spotify and is loved by various professional groups. Programmers, data analysts, data journalists and financials love Python. Marketers also fall for this language as soon as they have written their first lines of code. It is relatively easy to learn and a world will open up to you as you discover the endless possibilities.
To make it manageable for you, we first start with scripts that can help you with your daily work. Then I explain how you can automate an SEO audit. As a result, you are and always remain ‘on the bowl’. Finally, you will be introduced to a useful and relatively simple script that allows you to resize images. Ideal for getting acquainted with Python in an accessible way.
Python script for technical SEO
You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel yourself. Take for example the beautiful project Python SEO Analyzer that was uploaded on GitHub. With this ready-to-use Python script, you can check the structure of your website and check for technical SEO issues at the same time. The script analyzes your site on the following points:
- The number of words per page
- page titles
- Meta descriptions
- From keywords on pages
In addition to these useful analyses, the script warns you if a title, description or ALT text is missing. This script gives you a clear overview of weaknesses and/or possible problems on your website very quickly.
Python script for 404 errors
If a link no longer works, a 404 error will appear on your website. Of course you can use Screaming Frog SEO Spider Website Crawler where you can have up to 500 URLs checked for broken links for free. If you know how Python works, finding broken links in Python is just as easy and there is no limit to the number of URLs you can check. All you have to do is add your sitemap to the code of dit script. You can then run the script to immediately get a complete overview of all broken links. Success? Then you can start fixing them right away!
Automate your SEO audit with Slack and Python
Do you want to receive automatic notifications if, for example, a meta description is missing or if there are broken links on your website? Which can! follow these steps and link the above scripts to your Slack account. As a result, you will immediately receive notifications in Slack if, for example, a 404 error is found on your site. This way you never have to manually perform your SEO audit every so often. From now on, you work reactively instead of proactively, so you can focus on other important things. Or you have time to drink some more cups of coffee.
How do you ensure that your script continues to run 24/7? You could run your script in the cloud, via a virtual server, or via your own mini-server with a Raspberry Pi.
Google absolutely does not like slow websites. A slow website is the last thing you want as an SEO specialist. Images with a large file size will slow down your website considerably. So you should definitely avoid this. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce the file size of your images without degrading the quality of the images.
You could compress images with Photoshop. Our experience indicates that the ratio between file size and quality could be a lot better. In addition, in Photoshop you should compress each image one by one. A waste of your time!
Another option is to use an online tool. There are literally thousands of tools on the internet that allow you to compress images. For example, think of tinyjpg.com and compressjpg.com. The disadvantage of these tools is that there is often a limit to the file size to be uploaded. In addition, you are often only allowed to upload x number of files. It sometimes takes a long time to upload and the tool’s website is often smeared with persistent ads.
Do you want to have 100% control over the quality of the image and do you want to experience no more obstacles? Then definitely try this Python script from. Note: make sure you make a backup of the original images beforehand. If something goes wrong, at least you still have the original file and you can try again.
What is GitHub and what can you do with it?
I have mentioned several GitHub projects in this article. And I showed you that in many cases it is not even necessary to write scripts yourself. You can often use other people’s code in GitHub. This means you hardly have to program, but you do benefit from all the advantages.
With over 65 million users, GitHub is the go-to place for developers. Within GitHub you can collaborate on projects. If you upload a project, others can use it and improve the project where necessary. As a result, there is always a free up-to-date version of the project you started.
Due to its many users, GitHub has become a repository for all kinds of coding projects. What can you do with this as an SEO specialist? There are many Python SEO projects available on GitHub that you can put to work directly to your advantage. And it literally costs you nothing!
How do you install Python?
There are now dozens of different versions of Python available. But I recommend that you install Python 3.9.5, which is the latest version of Python at the moment. Follow the steps below to install the latest version of Python.
- Go to Python.org/downloads.
- Find the latest version of Python and click ‘download’.
- Scroll down and select the file that matches your OS under ‘files’.
An installation file will now appear on your computer. While going through the steps, make sure you choose to add Python to your computer PATH. You can check this option during the last installation step. This option ensures that Python is found better on your computer. This will prevent a lot of frustration in the future.
Hopefully, this article has given us a glimpse into the many Python scripts available. It is only a fraction of the many scripts that can take your SEO to the next level. When you get started learning how to write code in Python, you can even take it one step further. You can improve existing scripts and adapt them to your preferences.
Still have questions about Python? Or do you know other scripts that can be valuable to the marketer? Let us know in the comments.
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