This far into the Digital Age, most every business leader understands the importance of search engine optimization. SEO helps search engines recognize the importance of a business and accurately connect web users with that business’s products and services. Without SEO, a business could easily become buried online, inaccessible even to those customers and clients looking specifically for that brand.
There are many different types of SEO, and most businesses benefit from participating in all of them. While many business leaders can grasp the strategies for on-page and off-page SEO, which involve creating content that contains keywords and links pointing to online business assets, technical SEO can be a bit more difficult for leaders outside the marketing sphere to understand. Here is a guide to everything technical SEO to ensure that businesses achieve success through their SEO efforts.
The Goal of Technical SEO
SEO tends to have the general goal of making a company’s web assets more visible to web users within their target audience, and technical SEO contributes to this goal through the improvement of technical aspects of a business’s website. Search engines — namely, Google — evaluate myriad elements of a web page before determining at which rank that page should appear within search results. Certain technical components of a website make the site easier for the search engine to explore, which also indicates that it offers more value to the online audience. Therefore, websites engaging with technical SEO will almost always improve their search ranking, thereby accessing a larger portion of web traffic and enjoying more conversions as a result.
The Characteristics of Technical SEO
No two SEO strategies are exactly alike, but every business benefits from the same kind of technical SEO treatment. The characteristics of a website with excellent technical SEO are as follows:
Fast. More than half of mobile visitors will leave a webpage if it does not load within 3 seconds. Conversion rates drop by .3 percent for every extra second it takes for a page to load. Speed matters, so companies need to do everything they can to make their websites as fast as possible.
Crawlable. Search engines evaluate websites by crawling the web, which involves following included links to discover new web pages. Technical SEO services can improve a business’s internal linking strategy to ensure that search engines can explore every page on the site. Blocking crawling on purpose is possible, but it can be dangerous and lower a website’s ranking.
Alive. Users and search engines alike become frustrated when a link leads to a 404 error page. Businesses need to put effort into identifying and removing dead links across their website.
Unique. Because businesses usually pay for the content that appears on their website, many leaders are tempted to reuse that content on multiple pages. However, this can confuse search engines, resulting in a lower ranking. Businesses that need to use multiple URLs to point to the same content should take advantage of technical SEO expertise, which can prevent search engine confusion from duplicate content.
The Acquisition of Technical SEO
Few small businesses have the budget to build strong in-house marketing teams, let alone teams that include expensive SEO experts. Generally, business leaders outsource digital marketing to qualified agencies. However, not all digital marketing agencies offer high-quality technical SEO. In fact, not all digital marketing agencies offer SEO, period.
Some business leaders don’t mind coordinating multiple marketing vendors, especially if they do have a core team of marketers on staff to manage strategy. However, most small businesses benefit from simplifying the digital marketing process — and improving the effectiveness of digital marketing strategy — by utilizing services from a limited number of digital marketing firms. Fortunately, SEO resellers allow digital marketing agencies to incorporate high-quality SEO into their offerings. Resellers are companies that focus entirely on the product they provide, like SEO strategy and services; they partner with other firms in the same industry, which take responsibility for client acquisition and management. It might be prudent for business leaders to investigate the source of the technical SEO they acquire from their digital marketing vendors to ensure that they can trust the SEO experts behind the services.
Not every business needs to engage with every form of SEO, but technical SEO is incredibly important. With more knowledge about what technical SEO is, business leaders can make more informed decisions regarding their SEO strategy — and reap the rewards of a more technically perfect website.
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