When it comes to digital marketing best practices, most marketers agree on the importance of topics like creating original content, building a strong social media following, setting CRO goals, and implementing an integrated marketing strategy. One of the more controversial marketing tactics out there is technical SEO. Some people swear by it. Others view it as nice, but not essential.
Whatever your stance, technical SEO has been proven to boost web traffic. Let’s take a look at technical SEO site analysis and how can you use it to help improve your digital marketing ROI.
What Is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO involves examining your site from the perspective of a search engine. The goal? To identify and implement website and server changes that help search engines crawl and index your site more effectively. Ultimately, this can improve your organic rankings. Every agency or marketer approaches technical SEO differently—Snap’s SEO strategists choose to break things down by investigating how easy it is for a search engine to understand the purpose of a webpage. Then, they look for ways to make things even easier for search engines.
Why Technical SEO Is Important
During a technical SEO site analysis, you’ll check indexing, crawlability, performance, and a number of other key factors. If any of those areas are running inefficiently, search engines could be passing over your site or content in favor of other websites with better technical SEO—costing you traffic. While rankings do fluctuate, optimizing your site with technical SEO in mind is a great way to ensure that you remain in good standing despite any changes.
The Mobile-Friendly Future
Major search engines like Google and Bing are now operating with a “mobile-first indexing” point of view. This means that they rely more heavily on the mobile version of original content for indexing and ranking. Sixty percent of searchers now access Google with a mobile device. Due to this, Googlebot’s smartphone agent has fast become the primary means for crawling and indexing pages. To address this shift, having a mobile-friendly (and voice search-friendly) website is no longer just an option. It’s the first step in being set up for technical SEO success.
To make sure your site is as mobile-friendly as possible, test your pages, run content and performance audits, and check mobile rankings to both preserve areas of strength and identify weaknesses. If your business or ecommerce site isn’t set up for technical SEO, this is the best place to start. Once that foundation is set, it’s time to optimize every aspect of your site for indexing, crawlability, and performance.
Building a Technical SEO Checklist
Here are just a few ways to bring your technical SEO up to speed. In reality, there are numerous other options for improving the technical side of your site. Unless you’re an SEO strategist, you might want to think about getting some help from a digital marketing agency.
Evaluate and Increase Site Speed
While we could drop some fancy graphs and complex data, the fundamental truth about speed is that speed is good, and more speed is better. A site that loads quickly helps create a more positive experience for the end-user. And since search engines favor websites that offer great user experiences, this benefits both your UX rating and technical SEO.
Google’s John Mueller thinks that page load times should be under three seconds. Can your pages hold up to this standard? If not, consider utilizing fast hosting or compressing your web pages and images to help them load more quickly.
Check Your Robots.Txt File
Improving crawlability is an essential goal of technical SEO, and you can accomplish it by ensuring that search engines have access to your data and know how to read it. Test your robots.txt file to make sure that it tells Google which pages it should crawl and which it should ignore. Google’s Search Console offers a robots.txt tester you can use to evaluate whether Google web crawlers are blocked from specific URLs.
Eliminate Duplicate Content
Not only is duplicate content confusing for readers, but many businesses once used it to try and boost keyword search rankings by fooling search engines. They’ve caught on to this trend, though, and major search engines now penalize duplicate content. Take some time to check your site and blog content for repeated content and either add new value to those pieces or delete them to avoid wasting your crawl budget. While you’re at it, make sure to redirect or replace broken links, and avoid stuffing your pieces with too many links.
Review Your Sitemap
A file that helps search engines understand your website while it’s being crawled, an XML sitemap is a valuable tool that shouldn’t be underestimated. It outlines where each page is, what its purpose is, and even when it was last changed. Review your sitemap for signs that might deter a search engine from ranking it favorably, and make strategic updates to increase your results and improve your existing rankings. Your sitemap should include only those pages that are important and contain original content, such as service pages and blog posts.
Get Technical With Snap
Technical SEO can seem intimidating, but it could be just what you need to take your SEO strategy to the next level. We can get you there. Our SEO strategists, content writers, designers, and developers are eager to get your website set up for future success. Reach out today to learn more about how our team can drive traffic to your site with the power of search.