If you were to describe Technical SEO in a nutshell, it would be best described as the foundation of a house. Every house needs a foundation and would crumble without it. Tech SEO can be a daunting task, however, once you realize its purpose, it is easier to implement and execute.
MOBILE-FRIENDLY AND FAST
Gone are the days of “dial-up” internet. In the infancy of the internet, it was acceptable to wait a long time for your page to load. You had no choice but to be patient. Having powerhouse mobile devices at our disposal and bandwidth exponentially better than the old days, you can access almost anything anywhere. To put things perspective; in 2012 the average web page size was just over a megabyte. That would have taken more than 2 minutes and 30 seconds to load over dial-up.
Now in 2020, Google has placed a much larger importance in ranking websites depending on if they’re mobile friendly and have fast. It makes sense though, in 2018, 52.6% of all website traffic was on a mobile device. On top of being mobile-friendly, site speed has shown importance with rankings as well.
- Mobile-Friendly – Back in 2015, Google launched a mobile algorithm change that would change the direction on how websites are indexed. What is mobile-first indexing in layman’s terms? On a surface level, when Google crawls your website to index it, it will start with the mobile version to make sure your site performs well on a mobile platform. It will then run through the desktop version and, to a degree, treat it completely differently.
- Fast, Fast, Fast! – Multiple studies over the years have proven that faster sites reflect higher rankings. Most can agree that we live in a time where how fast you can get something can directly reflect your satisfaction rate. In simpler terms, faster sites have higher conversions.
404 ERRORS DON’T FIX THEMSELVES
A 404 error in its simplest definition, is when pages have been moved or deleted. 404 errors are an inevitable situation that will happen on a server level of your website at some time. The important thing to remember is to make sure you are regularly checking for them and know how to correctly deal with them. Google is well aware of this and will make sure your rankings suffer because of it. There are a few ways to deal with 404 errors. The most effective for SEO is a 301 redirect, which serves as a permanent redirect and will pass all of your trust with Google to the new page.
Although a 404 error and broken link seem the same, they do have 1 fundamental difference. A 404 error is not permanent and a broken link is permanently unavailable. A broken link can easily increase your bounce rate and hurt your user experience for your viewers. Although it seems very daunting, they can be fixed relatively easily, here is a step by step guide to fixing broken links.
Probably one of the most overlooked parts of technical SEO is title tags. Your title tags tell search engines what that specific page on your website is all about. For instance, your services page should read something like, “Service you offer (Where you offer it) | Company Name.” Putting just your company name in the title tag tells search engines that is what you want to rank for. I can agree that it is important to rank for your company name, but that means people will not be able to find you organically, which is the whole point of SEO.
TECH SEO TAKEAWAYS
It may seem overwhelming to stay on top of all of these errors. Truth is, these are only a few of the errors that can happen on your website. My suggestion is that you use some software tools that will crawl your site for you to find all these errors and give you some direction on how to correct them. All of our clients at Firestarter have access to their own site crawl reports. Google can crawl your site at any time. It is important to make sure your technical errors are in check or they could hurt your rankings.
This post was selected as one of the top digital marketing articles of the week by UpCity, a B2B ratings and review company for digital marketing agencies and other marketing service providers.