As a technical SEO agency, we can offer you a wide range of solutions to improve your website to give you the best chance of ranking highly in search engines.
What is technical SEO is a question we get asked a lot. Truth is, it’s a term self-coined within the industry, so it doesn’t have a fixed definition. However, in broad terms, it covers the ‘under the hood’ optimisation of your site to help Google et al crawl it and understand the topics being covered on your website.
Looking at elements such as sitemaps, site speed, the state of the code of the website and more, the discipline helps the foundation on which your all-important content is built, to enable the site to perform at its best.
As with any discipline where you are looking to make improvements, the first step is always to take a look at the level at which you’re currently performing. To do this, we undertake a technical SEO audit on your site to find out where things are going right, and where there may be opportunities to improve.
We use a range of specialised SEO services to carry out our audits, as well as the tools provided by the search engines themselves to create a comprehensive picture of your site’s technical performance.
Typically, Google et al use bots to ‘crawl’ over your site to gather as much information as it can. This is how search engines get the information from your site, as they take in all the code, images and content to piece together a picture of what the site is about.
We work on your site to make sure that the bots can crawl everything that needs to be crawled, therefore maximising your ranking potential. From ensuring bots can reach every important page of the site (a problem more common than you may think) to fixing crawl errors in Google Search Console and more.
Given that over 50% of all searches performed on Google are now performed on mobile, the way Google looks at websites has changed. They have now moved to mobile-first indexing, which means they look at the mobile version of your site to decide on a lot of the ranking factors for it.
This means your website needs to be mobile responsive. Sadly it’s not something of a ‘nice extra’ any more, its a flat out requirement if you want to stand any chance of being competitive. Our web design service provides you with a mobile friendly site as standard. However, if you’ve already got a site, we can also help you to look at ways in which you can perform better on mobile.
For indexation, we look at areas such as canonical links, robots.txt and meta tags. These are all technical aspects which have an effect on things such as which version of a page Google tries to index, which pages Google and other search engines can actually index, and what additional information your site is offering up to help with indexing.
Whilst the processes behind examining and fixing such issues are relatively straight forward, it is quite easy to make some mistakes in this area. You’d be surprised at the number of sites we’ve worked with that had stopped search engines from indexing some of their most important pages and articles!
It’s no secret that modern browsers are now flagging websites if they aren’t using https as non-secure. You’ll see this in the address bar if you’re using the latest version of Chrome etc. Why is this the case? It’s a good thing, and mainly because Google is pushing towards a more secure web. When a site is not using an SSL certificate, any information sent back and forth is not encrypted, and therefore potentially interceptable. Whilst it’s been a given for many years that online shops should have an SSL certificate for the capturing of sensitive data such as credit card details, it’s now filtered out to include all websites as what should be standard.
Having SSL in place is considered to be a small ranking factor, it won’t make a huge difference but when comparing two similar sites, if one is using https and the other isn’t, the one with SSL will be at an advantage. For the relatively small cost of implementation and maintenance, it should be considered essential (especially as you don’t want your visitors being put off by security warnings).
As part of our Technical SEO service, we can help to implement SSL for you, as well as make sure its all working correctly and that Google et al recognises the secure version of your site.
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As well as optimising the wording on your pages to communicate your understanding of a topic, there are also other ways to mark up your content to help search engines know what your site is about.
One of the main ways of doing this is through Structured Markup, which includes a few standardised ways to highlight parts of your site to the search engine. There are also some Google-specific markups which give you the chance to add extra info to your search engine result to make it stand out. These include things like reviews, recipes, product markup and business info and when implemented correctly can help to improve your click-through rate (the amount of times your website is clicked when displayed in the SERPs).
Again, with the advent of mobile, page speed is becoming an ever more important metric for SEO. With many website pages being loaded over less-than-convincing cellular data, its become paramount for website owners to reduce the footprint of their website to provide a good experience to visitors, even when out and about on 3G, etc.
Depending on what type of site yours is (static html, WordPress, other CMS, etc), there will be several ways to increase your page speed. This can include compressing images to reduce their size and working on the code of your site to make sure it is being delivered in the most efficient way possible.
At the moment Google only seems to be penalising very slow sites, but it’s reasonable to expect this bar to raise over time, so its best to get ahead of the game now. Not only that, but providing a fast experience for users will yield a higher chance of them being more engaged with your site and therefore likelihood to convert.
When working on your site structure, we look at two main areas, URL structure and internal linking. These are two areas which are constantly in development, but there are some generally follow best practices to work on.
With URL structure, this is about ensuring that each of your pages sits in a relevant place within the hierarchy of your site. It’s a practise that we look at the site holistically and at an individual page level. No important page should ever be too many clicks away from the user, and relevant pages should be grouped together so that they make sense (think of a spider diagram where similar ideas are clustered together).
Internal linking refers to the way your own pages link to each other. Your most important pages should be linked to the most, and things such as anchor text (the text that makes up the bit you actually click on) and frequency are considered to give search engines the best impression of what you think your most valuable content is.
Looking to get started with your technical SEO? Get in touch today!
Designers Down South
30 Tamar Close
T: 01579 389142
Designers Down South is a web design and SEO company based in Callington, Cornwall. We love pushing and pulling ideas around in order to create fantastic projects that match up with your business goals.
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