We get some of the same questions in the sales process pretty regularly. Whether you are a seasoned SEO vet, or were just fed a bunch of jargon you are having trouble unpacking, reviewing some of the most common questions related to technical SEO can improve your SEO knowledge overall.
Which Errors are the Most Important?
Our crawling software, Agency Analytics, prioritizes the technical errors it encounters for us into three categories. You have critical errors, warnings, and errors. Critical errors are by far the most important since they can constrict your rankings. Examples of critical errors would be any type of server error, or 5xx status, dead pages, or 4xx status codes returning. Another critical error would be having your site hidden from search engines, or set to no index. If you are looking to rank on Google, it is imperative to first tell them you want to rank. If you have your website hidden from search engines there is no way for those search engines to collect your information.
Why do I have so many Errors?
Once we run your technical audit and review with you, you may see a large amount of errors reported. This is not immediate cause for concern as all technical errors are not created equal, as noted above. With big sites comes increased odds for technical errors. As websites go through page changes and other URL updates, intentional SEO management is extremely important to keep things in ship shape. With all of this being said, we typically see very few critical errors and warnings. The lion’s share of the work (almost) always falls to the errors which can be viewed more like housekeeping chores around your home. These manifest as image alt text errors, minor HTML structure errors, and more. In most cases, we are able to execute fixes on the critical errors and warnings within the first month of service.
What is a Sitemap?
One important item to implement once we have the URL structure established and implemented is the submission of your sitemap to Google. This is something robots, like Google, use to understand what they should encounter as they crawl through the site. If Google is a giant filing cabinet, your sitemap serves as a preview of the contents found within your “folder”. Submitting these sitemaps to Google is intended to improve crawlability, resulting in higher rankings.
Is Site Speed Important?
This question may get you into some hot water depending on which provider you are in front of. There is much debate around site speed and its correlation to rankings with Google and beyond. Overall, our approach is to improve user experience on our client’s websites as well as our own. The faster a website loads, the more likely users are to stick around. So while the wonderful folks at Google rarely let a specific answer come out of their camp, we know they have placed a major priority on user experience, which, in turn, leads us to believe site speed is pretty important. If it is not, at least our client’s websites are screaming fast!
These are the questions we see quite often, but technical SEO is a rabbit hole no one should try to navigate on their own. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would like to see how we could fuel your results.