Companies wanting to benefit from the online market have loads of questions and loads of things to take into consideration. Just one part of that, albeit a really important part, is their website content. Understanding technical SEO (search engine optimization) and content marketing and their roles in your success, will help get you what you want and where you want to be.
Your technical SEO will bring you your visitors by providing Google with the insight it needs to understand your business. Your expertly written website content will keep your visitors there, this makes it worthwhile for Google to send them to you. Working as a team, technical SEO and content marketing will give you the organic growth you’re after.
In this two-part series, we’ll go over the benefits of technical SEO and content marketing, taking on technical SEO first.
Implementing Technical SEO and Why It’s So Important
Because all of us in the website industry, or who have a website, are catering to Google, we need to know, understand, and work within their parameters in order to be a success. Google is emphasizing many things now, that they weren’t previously; including, but not limited to: site performance, page speeds, security, and easily understandable sites. And let’s not forget the importance of your mobile site. It’s because of these factors, you don’t want to skip out on your technical SEO.
Too many companies are spending too much time and money on their quality content (the only kind of content you want is quality content- or why bother at all?). But having exceptional copy on your site, doesn’t necessarily land the customer. If you put all your efforts into your copy, but your site functions poorly or has underperforming technical SEO, what’s the point?
Get It Going With An SEO Audit
An audit of your current technical SEO setup is a smart way to utilize the information at hand and make it better. After you’ve gained the understanding necessary to improve your technical SEO, you can prioritize your strategy. Maybe you’ll find that it’s not so bad and you need to improve elsewhere, or perhaps you’ll find a mess. In either case, understanding what you’re dealing with is half the battle.
Here are the things you want to look for in your technical audit:
Robots.txt, NoIndex, NoFollow
Driving user engagement is what you want, so let Google know what pages to crawl. If used properly, you’ll avoid spending crawl budget on no indexing admin pages, internal search results, low-value pages, and fixing duplicate content errors.
Site Structure/XML Sitemap
Tell the search engine the structure of your site and its page priority for indexing content. If you plan the hierarchy of your site correctly, you’re only adding to the benefits of your keyword and content strategy.
Your URL should be easy to read, use optimized URLs that go along with your site structure for content and work well with user engagement and search engine understanding.
Duplicate content is a great big no-no in the Google World. Not only will you get penalized for it, but you’ll confuse Google- and no one wants that. Audit your duplicate content, implement canonicalization, or combining pages to avoid cannibalization in SERPs will give the content you do prioritize a leg up.
Your page loading time is wicked-important for UX and SEO, if your page loads quickly, you’ll see a reduction in bounce rate. You want your users to see that your page was worth the click. Use Google PageSpeed Insights or GTMetrix to optimize load speed. Keep in mind you may need to update this with the addition of new content.
Our phones are mini-computers- you know this, so saying you need to be mobile-friendly is the understatement of the year. Using Google’s Mobile Friendliness test will tell you if you’re doing a good job in this mobile-first world we live in. You may need to consider new site design if your mobile site is sub-par, or optimizing image content and implementing AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages, to serve a faster, simpler version of your page on mobile devices) are a couple ways to insure you pass the test.
Google will be happier with you if you add structured data and Schema markup to your content. This gives you the control (and, honestly, who doesn’t want that?) of the info the search engines pull into their results, instead of leaving it to the algorithms. AND, you get to make Google happy, which in turn, makes you happy.
Your copy could win the pulitzer, but if your URL says your site is ‘Not Secure’ because of an HTTPS/SSL issue, no one is staying to read it.
Technical SEO Doesn’t Stop
Yes, all of the aforementioned items are critical to your audit or when starting a new site, but don’t forget to set aside the time to keep it up. You want to avoid internal cannibalization (when your own pages end up competing against each other in search results), maximize your crawl budget by staying on top of your site structure, checking for 404 errors, and page speeds. This is an ongoing quest for site optimization.
Understanding your technical SEO and what it can do for your business isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. If you have any questions regarding this, make sure to reach out to someone who has the answers- The Great Online is here to help.
In Part 2 of this series, we’ll discuss creating a compelling and smart content strategy that thrives with your technical SEO.