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Fast Five – Esteve Castells

Posted by VerboliaJuly 28, 2021

This week, for its Fast Five series, Verbolia welcomes Esteve Castells, Global SEO Manager for the Adevinta group. Having helped some of the biggest brands in the world to achieve their SEO potential, Esteve Castells is currently in charge of the organic growth channels at Adevinta, a leading marketplace in 16 countries with 30M daily active users. Esteve told us about his first SEO project and shared with us some insights on SEO and e-commerce. 


1) What was your first SEO project, and how did it go?


The first serious website I’ve built, myself, was a celebrity quotes website in Spanish. It was a competitive environment ! I didn’t manage to get a huge volume of visits which is required in this kind of industry to get traction and monetize decently.

My first SEO project, professionally, was when I was working at Havas Media, and that was several at once. Most were big public companies in Spain and we were working on improving their rankings for corporate websites. They generally went ok if we managed to get them to implement some stuff, which is hard in big companies 🙂


2) What are the main challenges of SEO in 2021 ?


Surviving Covid! Joking aside, the main SEO challenges are to keep your website small (less is more in terms of quantity of pages), fast (in terms of page speed) and delightful (in terms of user experience).

There are other site specific issues that need to be tackled such as mobile first index, which is still a big issue in some cases for the biggest websites on the internet.

Dealing with technical debt is probably the biggest nightmare for any established player, and SEO is usually in the middle of that, both because tech debt limits SEO implementations, and because we need to make sure that we do not lose traffic in the meanwhile.


3) What is your favourite SEO software ?


I cannot name just one, so I will name three:

Screaming Frog has been the main software I use since day 1. It’s by far the most affordable and complete SEO tool on the market, serving for mostly anything you want to do in terms of crawling and analysis of a website.

When you reach scale, Screaming Frog falls short. This is where Botify closes the gap. A cloud version that is even more powerful and with more features, without burning your computer.

And finally, a tool that I now have mixed feelings with because of their deteriorated quality of data over time, but Ahrefs continues to be a tool I use daily.


4) What is the most common SEO mistake you see people making?


Being too cautious with implementations and decisions. In general, if you think you are doing the right thing, you shouldn’t be afraid to move fast (and sometimes you will break things and it’s ok). This can mean different things in different contexts, like creating many pages at once, or deleting many pages, stopping an initiative that is not working or not prioritizing something that everyone thinks you need to. 

Over the years I learned to have a good sense of what I think will work and not being afraid of moving fast usually leads to great results – time is gold!


5) What is a typical low-hanging fruit optimization to make in SEO for e-commerce?


Internal linking tends to be something that is a quick win and tends to have great impact. Most people tend to overthink internal linking, but the reality is that the most important thing is that links actually exist on the page. 

Afterwards, you can think about making them semantical, based on certain advanced criterias or based on AI 🙂 But most importantly – have them there somehow so that everything is linked and crawlable!


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