BrandCraft Guide to Technical SEO in 2020
April 23, 2020
Search engine optimization (SEO) is like real estate. The more you invest in your website, the more visible it will become in search engine result pages (SERPs). This results in increased revenue opportunities to impact your bottom line.
To truly move up in the SERPs, you’ll need to optimize your website so that it can be properly crawled and indexed by search engine bots. This is called technical SEO. Understanding technical SEO can be challenging if you’re new to the concept of digital marketing.
However, in practice, it makes sense as technical SEO transforms any standard website into a lead manufacturer. This guide will outline all of the aspects of technical SEO so you can begin optimizing your website.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that Technical SEO does not exist in isolation. In other words technical SEO must work in harmony with your site User Interface Design, with your content team and with your digital marketing efforts.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is defined as the process of making a website ready to be ranked online. This usually involves all of the technical aspects of optimizing a website. Mainly, here are the core tenants of technical SEO.
- Site Speed
- Responsiveness and Compatibility
- Keyword Research
- On Page SEO Indicators
- Structured Data
To better explain what technical SEO, think about how a racecar works. Once the car is constructed, small tweaks must be made to achieve peak performance on the race track. This is how technical SEO works.
Small tweaks must be made on your website to ensure maximum efficiency, helping your website to rank above your competitors and generate online revenue for your business.
The speed of your website greatly affects how it will rank online. The goal of a search engine is to provide valuable search results that web users can utilize. Therefore, they are inclined to rank the fastest websites at the top of the SERPs.
A fast website ideally loads between 2 to 5 seconds. Though 47% of web visitors want a website to load within two seconds. Google and other search engines will not rank slow websites by this standard.
For this reason, you should take the necessary steps toward increasing the total speed of your website. Your site speed can be affected by a myriad of factors, including your hosting provider, content management system (CMS), and even the images on your website.
You can use Google’s site speed tool to check if your website is loading too slow. Depending on your results, you can work with a qualified web developer to optimize your website.
Compatibility and Responsiveness:
Successful websites have to be compatible with all devices. With a majority of internet traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s important to ensure that your web visitors can access your website on both desktop and mobile devices.
This is called making your website mobile-friendly or responsive. This is a golden standard of any website, as Google and other search engines only value mobile-friendly websites. In fact, Google can punish your website for not being mobile-friendly.
Similar to website speed, you’ll need to partner with an experienced web developer to make significant improvements to your site. However, the general purpose of having a mobile-friendly website is to create a high performing site for both Desktop and Mobile.
For example, a visitor should be able to perform any function on your site’s mobile version that they also can on the desktop version.
Keyword research is the impetus of SEO. It entails the process of identifying the keywords your target audience uses online and using those keywords in your website content in a strategic manner.
There are various keyword research tools at your disposal, such as Moz and SEMRush. These tools will help you identify popular keywords, understand the search volume and level of competition of each search term, and develop content creation strategies. A BrandCraft we prefer to use Moz for both keyword research and SERP ranking reporting.
Overall, keyword research will be the process you use to boost your website’s ranking. The most important aspect of keyword research is understanding the intent of each keyword.
For example, if you want to rank for the keyword, “tooth pain”, make sure you realize what people want when they search for this term. Do they want to execute some type of transaction, are they looking for a home remedy, do they want an over-the-counter product, or do they need a dentist?
Fortunately, by conducting an online search of every keyword you plan to use, you can uncover its intent by seeing what’s already ranking for that keyword. With that data you can decide wether longer tail keywords might be more appropriate so you don’t get the wrong traffic or never move up in rankings.
With the right research and with the correct data you will be able to craft purposeful content that will help your website rank for keywords your target audience uses.
On-Page SEO Indicators (HTML):
When Crawlers read your page it’s important to remember they can only read content – crawlers can’t see your images or your design. To leverage your paid content it’s important to structure your HTML to assist the crawlers in reading your page.
At a minimum each page should include a strong H1 Title, a custom meta description describing your content, and a relevant and thoughtful url. All of these should reinforce your top keywords. For longer content it’s important to use hierarchy in your headlines. H2 should always follow the H1 and you should only use one H1 per page in most cases.
Meta keywords are a thing of the past and search engines no longer use them to rank content. Solid indicators with great content is the only way to improve ranking.
In technical SEO, there are only two types of links you should focus on: internal and broken links. Internal links tie site pages to each other. If you’ve ever visited a Wikipedia page, then you have likely seen dozens of internal links to other relevant pages to aid your comprehension.
In the same way, Google leverages internal links to navigate your website quickly and see what it’s about. It also helps web visitors navigate through your website as well. In addition, scouting for broken links is also a vital part of technical SEO.
Broken links are not only tacky for your website, but it can negatively impact your web ranking and limit positive user experience. Receiving a website audit from a trusted web developer will identify broken links and modify them accordingly.
For those new to the digital marketing field, understanding what structured data is can be complicated. In the simplest terms, structured data is the language of search engines. Webmasters use structured data to present content to search engines.
Have you ever searched for the answer to an online question and had it appear at the top of the SERP in the form of a paragraph? This is called a rich snippet. To achieve a rich snippet, structured data must be used.
Using structured data will allow your website to receive these snippets to achieve enhanced ranking opportunities.
Optimize Your Website Today!
Everything you just read is all you need to know about technical SEO. The next phase is to put everything you learned into fruition. The best way to accomplish this is to hire a trusted web or digital agency to spearhead your technical SEO campaign. We offer plans that include technical SEO.
If you’re on the hunt for a qualified web partner, you can give us a call at (509) 581-1500 or click here to schedule a consultation with our team.