How do we do Technical SEO?
The complexity and time required to perform this element of SEO comes down the results of our initial audit, which will throw up all the onsite technical issues and red flags that need addressing.
The second element that can affect the time it takes to fix these issues and technically optimise your site is the content management system is using (eg WordPress, Shopify, etc). If your CMS is uncommon, bespoke or particularly outdated then enacting these changes may be more complex.
At Superb Digital we can do technical SEO using most of the common CMS’s but if you’re using a more bespoke CMS, our audits will include a comprehensive recommendations report for you or your web developer to put into action.
Why is Technical SEO Important to your website?
The internet is host to more than a billion websites. A search engine’s job is to trawl the entirety of that archive to find what you need–which it does in less than a second. Behind that process are complex algorithms and bots that use code to understand the data it’s looking at.
A technically optimised page is one that explains itself to bots in a language they understand. The easier your site is to parse, the better chances of it ranking higher in search results. And when the majority of users never go beyond the second page of search results, good technical SEO is often the line that separates conversions and languishing in obscurity.
Content is constantly evolving, and so are the algorithms engines like Google and Bing use in the pursuit of serving the most relevant, high-quality queries.
At Superb Digital, technical SEO plays a central part in optimising your website in order to grow your inbound traffic. With many years of experience in testing, coding and technical implementation, our team works to ensure your site remains ever-relevant and visible.
What does Technical SEO include?
Technical SEO is a wide area that covers many different aspects, usually involving making changes via the CMS, code or an external plugin. There’s always an element to tweak or optimise. But we can start with the basics. Below are some of the most common terms you’ll encounter as you familiarise yourself with the back end workings of your site.
Extensible markup language (XML) is a format for structuring and describing data. XML sitemaps are a list of relevant pages you want search engines to find. A good internal linking strategy will give you an interconnected web that’s easier for crawlers to parse. Sitemaps help keep content that may not be linked to from falling through the gaps.
Your site’s architecture is how your content is structured. It’s the framework that determines how a user and search engine bots move through your site–a system that includes navigation menus, URLs, and breadcrumbs.
If a URL is the physical address given to your content, then URL structure is how you write down the address. Yet instead of street numbers or post codes, URL structure involves the case used, characters like hyphens or dashes, and select keywords that tell readers what the linked content is all about.
Structured data are lines of code that tell crawlers which bits of information to include in your search snippet. That makes your content appear more comprehensive right off the bat compared to results that only serve up an excerpt within the site.
No indexing pages
Many website CMS’s automatically produce pages that add no value and may even be hampering your SEO. Examples could be pages with duplicate content because of the application of categories or tags in your CMS, as well as thin content (that is pages with very little content). No indexing these pages stops Google crawling them, making your website leaner and more crawlable to search bots.
Duplicate content is a type of thin content, and refers to content that exists in multiple locations on the internet. This isn’t simply content that copies the original word-for-word, but also includes duplicate pages created by multiple session IDs or categories or tags on blog posts (as mentioned above).
The speed of your website (that is how long a page takes to load) is an important ranking signal and one of the things that can slow your site down the most are images. Image optimisation is the practice of analysing your images and optimising them by either reducing file size or file type, so that they load quicker.
Hreflang tags tell search engines which countries certain pages are for. This is especially useful for sites with content in multiple languages, or for accounting for regional differences such as pricing or shipping options.
Canonical tags are elements used to delineate the primary version of a page. You can use these to signal search engines that a page is the most relevant out of all duplicate pages, and is therefore the one that crawlers should refer to to determine ranking.
A 404 page is what’s served to users when search engines can’t find a requested URL. We’ve all seen one. Typically thought of as a negative experience, 404 pages can actually serve as a net that keeps users from navigating away by offering a path to alternative, helpful content.
Moving content–whether that’s because you’re updating or overhauling your site–is inevitable. A 301 redirect talks to search engines and tells them where to find the content that was previously accessed through a now defunct URL, keeping the user from landing on a 404 page.