Technical SEO can often be a confusing and misunderstood topic to digest for business owners. We have gathered a list of frequently asked questions pertaining to technical SEO. Our informative answers strip away the mystery behind what an SEO company does to optimize a site.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the process of optimizing the back end of a website for search engines. This process can include items such as URL optimization, creating efficient navigation options, improving site speed, and resolving crawl errors. Having a company actively monitoring a website for crawl errors is vital to maintaining the technical health of a site.
How Long Does Technical SEO Take?
The amount of time it takes to complete technical optimization varies for each website. The order of operations Firestarter SEO takes for completing this phase begins with the most critical crawl errors, and works its way down to the less impactful errors found. While this phase can span months depending on the number of errors to fix, in most cases the majority of important errors are resolved within the first 1-2 months.
What are the Most Important Elements in Tech SEO?
While there are a wide variety of issues to address with technical SEO, there are some fundamental elements to focus initial efforts on. First, your website should be secure. An SSL certificate and https status code for your site is given high weight in today’s online visibility. SSL certificates encrypt your information, keeping it protected and safe. Another key factor is site speed. With Google’s prioritization of mobile performance, site speed has increased as a ranking factor. Today’s consumers know what they want, and they want it right now. If they can’t find it because a site is loading slowly, they will leave. Finally, ensure page titles are optimized. For more information on how to do so, check out our guide to optimizing title tags. These are crucial elements for an optimized site.
How Does Site Speed Impact Optimization?
Site speed has become increasingly important for your visibility, and it all revolves around providing a quality user experience. In a neuroscience study, a key insight was found into the human psyche related to mobile speed – the levels of stress caused by slow load times were comparable to watching a horror movie, and significantly more stressful than waiting in line at a store. While your website will likely never have perfect speed scores, if you can provide quick load times across devices, your rankings will benefit.
What are Meta Tags?
Meta tags are descriptors found on the back end code of a website. The purpose of these tags is to help search engines understand what a page is about. The most relevant meta tags in today’s SEO world are title tags, index/follow attributes, and meta descriptions. Titles are the most impactful when it comes to rankings. They tell search engines what keywords a certain page should rank for. Index/Follow attributes tell search engines whether to index pages on your site and how to behave when interacting with links within the page. Descriptions have no direct impact on rankings, but they do help improve click-through rates by describing what a page is about in the SERPs.
Can I Rank for Image Searches?
Absolutely. Image searches can be a powerful component of SEO for certain businesses. Key factors include the file name for the image and the alt attribute describing the image on the back end. Other factors include the optimization done on the page where the image is hosted – such as titles, proximity text, and the URL of the page. Here’s more in-depth information on image optimization.
How Do You Know What to Fix?
At the beginning of an SEO campaign, Firestarter SEO uses a few software tools to crawl the website we’re working on. The purpose of these crawls is to provide clear data as to what errors are found on specific pages. Our job is to try and remove as many of these as possible and monitor for new errors. This information is regularly reported to clients through multiple channels.
Why Do Errors Occur?
The reason for crawl errors occurring varies widely. In some cases, website builders focus too much on looks, and not enough on operations of a website, causing red flags to show up in a crawl report. In other cases, people may work on their own websites and unintentionally break something, remove a page without proper redirects, etc. Sometimes the natural course of a website’s life can lead to crawl errors. It is important to constantly monitor and audit your website’s technical health. Without constant monitoring, you run the risk of technical errors stacking up and negatively impacting your SEO efforts as a whole.