Product Bullet — April 11, 2020

3 SEO tips; Create your own FullStory; Remote experiment

Hi there!

Here is a dose of “Product Bullet” - bits of what I’m enjoying or pondering.

SEO 101 tips

  1. Use subfolder domains (x.com/blog) and not subdomains (blog.x.com). Google considers them as separate domains and SEO benefits are not shared.

  2. Tech stack with SSR (server side rendering) for landing pages are not SEO friendly. Search engines love vanilla HTML, hate waiting (they need faster first content paint) and don’t understand JavaScript. If you have to use tech stack like React for your core app, pair it with a vanilla HTML rendering tech stack like Django/ Play for your landing pages.

  3. Content creation is not always the answer to get impressions. Non-unique content harms SEO and there are case studies where content pruning helped improve the numbers by 30-40% (trick though is to figure out what to no-index, redirect or re-purpose)

Product

  • Use Fullstory for session replay of visitors to your web app. It gives a good head-rush when you see how user's interact with your site, helps understand what portions of the site users are actually using and how.

  • Tip: Fullstory and many other tracking snippets ask you to place their installation code in <head> tag of HTML, place them at end of <body> instead. You wont lose much data but it improves page speed (and helps in SEO)

  • Fullstory and other session replay providers work by taking DOM snapshots while listening to DOM change events using MutionObservers. You can build one yourself or build upon open source libraries like rrweb to create your own custom session replay solution. The only problem is with the size of a generic webpage (DOM uncompressed would be ~2MB). So an efficient production solution will require clever/ custom ways to compress DOM (on top of gzip) and optimizations like - downloading heavy resources like images/fonts on server side.

Remote work

What didn’t work:

  • Always-on video tools like Sneek, Jamm. Why - The tools helped but not at the cost of mental overhead that someone is watching (or pseudo watching). The moment we saw a flaw with any of these products, we used that as a reason to move away from these.

What worked:

  • Daily standup at fixed time (10AM)

  • Extensive shared documents about weekly/ monthly strategy and execution.

  • Taking breaks to play short simple games - Haxball

UX

Interesting way to visualize calendar and todos - https://lightpad.ai/w/timeflow


That’s it for the first one! If you have any feedback/ questions, would love to take it up.

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Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!

Cheers,
Sid