At Monarch we have always stressed building your online presence on a stable foundation. What do we mean by this? In a nutshell, we are talking about technical SEO (in addition to some other important jazz). As it relates to the digital world, every website, landing page, social account, and campaign needs a stable backbone. This stable backbone (foundation) is known as the technical SEO element of your online presence.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is often times broken down into three (3) key components known as technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO. As business owners, marketers, and managers it is crucial that we also look at SEO in this order: technical, on-page, and off-page. Without the proper deployment of technical SEO everything else falls apart. Why? Let us answer!
Technical SEO is defined as optimizing your site for crawling and indexing, but can also include any technical process meant to improve search visibility. Some of the key components include but are not limited too: crawl budget, indexation, site speed, site architecture, redirects (301, 302, 303, 307, and 308), user experience (UX), accessibility, and structured markup. We will put it simply, think of it as the “dirty stuff under the hood”.
What is crawl budget?
Crawl budget is the amount of website pages that a bot (Google) crawls in order to properly index your pages on the respected search engine. This is important because if bots can’t crawl your website, your website will not rank or show up in search queries. In order to improve crawl budget focus on load optimization, internal linking, building out “flat” pages, avoid orphaned pages, and limit duplicate content.
What is indexation?
Indexation is the process of adding website pages into search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.). Depending on what meta tag you use (check for index vs NO-index), the search engine will crawl and index your website into the search query. Put short, if your meta tags are incorrect or your website has duplicate content issues don’t expect to show up, online.
What is site speed and why is it important?
Site speed is simply how fast the content on your website shows up. Don’t confuse this with “page speed”. Site speed is crucial to the technical SEO process for multiple reasons. Not only does a fast site speed help search engines in crawling your website, it also provides an improved user experience. In a recent publication, Google stated that site speed is a main signal in how it’s ranking websites. So what can you do?
- Enable Java, CSS, and HTML compression
- Reduce the amount of redirects on your website
- Improve server capacity / response
- Use an authoritative CDN (Content Delivery Network)
- Optimize all on-page content (verbiage, images, videos, etc.)
What is site architecture?
Site architecture is simply the way your website is structured and/or built. When designing your website, site architecture is crucial to keep in mind as it directly impacts how search engine will rank you and how users can find you. There is a popular saying in the SEO world, “Google only loves you when everyone else does first.” What does this mean? Put simply, Google’s algorithm uses information from search queries to rank your website. Therefore, if your website experiences poor click-through rates (CTRs), high bounce rates, and low time on site, it is likely that your website will not rank. If you are designing or developing a website, feel free to reach out and we will send over our top tips for creating a stable site structure.
What are redirects?
Website redirects (URL redirects) is a technique used to redirect your visitors to a different page or URL. Here is a list of the different redirects:
- 301 Permanent Redirect – this is a permanently moved URL / domain
- 302 Found – temporary move / redirect
- 303 See Other – found under another URL using the GET method
- 307 Temporary Redirect – same as 303 with a different technique
- 308 Permanent Experimental Redirect – like 307 with a permanent status
Why are redirects so important to technical SEO?
If executed incorrectly, redirects can seriously harm your search rankings. This is because redirects can slow your website down, harm user experience, and signal that there might be an issue with your website.
What is user experience?
In regards to SEO, user experience is all about how people are navigating and interacting with your website. From the lens of SEO there is a lot that goes into this. So, where should the priority be put? At Monarch, we stress having the foundation of your website intact before moving forward with any long-term digital marketing initiatives. Once the foundation is complete, we then focus heavily on providing users with an interactive and responsive experience across all devices and channels of digital.
Not only is user experience (UX) important from the standpoint of accessibility, it also plays a crucial role in how search engines rank your website in search queries. Put simply, this is referring to how users perceive your website. If users actively engage and convert on your website, this is a sign that you have a strong UX. Some metrics that help with UX include: Time on site, bounce rate, click-through rate, and conversion monitoring.
Why is website accessibility important?
Website accessibility is important because it actively has to do with how people view your content. Similar to UX, search engines put higher priority on websites that have clean and concise accessibility for users. When thinking of accessibility here are some things to keep in mind:
- Make your website keyboard-friendly
- Make sure on-page content is easily accessible
- Add alt text to all images
- Choose your style guide carefully
- Use headers and structure content correctly
- Create your website with accessibility and responsiveness in mind
In a nutshell, make sure that your website is welcoming to the vast majority of people. Not only will your users be happy but so will your search rankings, traffic, and conversions! 🚀
What is structured markup?
Structured markup is simply the way you organize your website. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing encourage webmasters to use structured markup by offering various benefits to search rank. As mentioned in our previous blog, organic search is becoming more and more consolidated with the increase in search ads, featured snippets, answer boxes, and business listings. Therefore, capturing organic placement is crucial to the online success of your business. Here is a list of the most popular data markup opportunities: Articles, Local Businesses, Restaurants, TV episodes and ratings, Book Reviews, Movies, Software Applications, Events, and Products.
Let’s CRUSH the 2020 SEO game together!