Technical SEO Services Proven to Outrank the Competition
Google’s ranking algorithm has an expanding emphasis on usability, accessibility, and quality. To increase and secure high ranking keywords, this trend reinforces the importance of technical SEO services from AIS Media.
What Is a Technical SEO Audit?
A technical SEO audit is a summary of your site’s structural elements that affect organic search engine rankings. This summary identifies a wide range of technical aspects that are negatively impacting your SEO rank, along with which SEO tactic will improve the performance of your future rankings. Sites with technical SEO errors not only impede Google SEO rankings but also the user experience, which directly affects visitor conversion rates and revenue.
Why Audit My Site for Technical SEO?
Google’s ranking algorithm changes between 600-900 times per year, at minimum a few times every day. With an ever-evolving algorithm, you’ll need to make sure that your website is built on a solid foundation, is barrier-free and demonstrates value and integrity to the search engines.
Technical errors on your website may act as barriers, hindering search engines from effectively crawling, understanding, and indexing the pages and content of your website. Your website needs to be in line with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and equipped to facilitate growth in traffic, keyword rankings and user engagement.
For these reasons, successful SEO campaigns start with a technical SEO audit, but are maintained with routine check-ups on technical factors (especially to prepare for major algorithm updates).
What’s Included in a Technical SEO Audit?
There are many components of technical SEO to audit, all of which need to be cleared in order to succeed on organic search. Below are the must-have ranking factors for an optimized website.
1. H1/H2 Title Tags
These elements, enclosed in an <h1> title tag, should be used to introduce the subject of the page, as near to the top of page as possible. Subheadings should be enclosed in <h2> title tags, used to indicate a topic change. Search engines refer to these tags to determine the purpose, or mission, of the page. They should be used to reinforce the information a user can find in the page while incorporating the appropriate keywords.
The biggest technical SEO threat is pages that are missing <h1> tags, or pages that have multiple <h1> tags. These threats inhibit the search engine crawler’s ability to understand a page and index it for keywords.
2. Image Alt Tags
Users are very visual and site images often help the user’s experience. For many online businesses, images are a valuable asset, so you want them to be searchable. Image ALT tags allow search engines to understand images, because they cannot see the image to index.
Properly implemented ALT tags offer a brief description of the image. Often, images appear in search results when a user conducts a search, making ALT tags especially valuable for ecommerce/retail companies. When loyal and potential customers search for your product by name, this is what ensures that your images appear in search results.
3. Zero Broken Links
Sites that are poorly structured, haven’t updated in while, or just launched after a site design often contain broken links. Broken links stop search engine crawlers in their tracks, which damages your rankings by preventing Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. from indexing the page. This clearly also has a negative effect on the user experience, by redirecting visitors to error pages. A thorough and routine crawl of your site’s broken links is critical for a clear runway on organic search.
4. Avoid black hat SEO
Google’s Webmaster support offers basic guidelines for additional items to check during a technical SEO audit. This includes a summary of black hat tactics to cease, whether intentional or inherited. Your SEO audit should comb through SEO tactics that may be squandering your rankings.
5. Page Titles
Google crawlers initially understand a page’s content using the rich snippets enclosed in a <title> tag, otherwise known as a page title. If your site is missing a page title, the search engine will pick one for you, but it may not be how you want to present your company online.
In a Google search, page titles display as a blue link text to represent your listing. These tags must be relevant and accurately describe the page itself. Optimized page titles do not exceed 60 characters and should include your brand name at the end. Below is the optimal format for a page title:
Page Title | Optional 2nd Keyword | Brand Name
Page titles present an opportunity for keyword targeting. However, since they’re utilized by users and search engines, it’s important to accurately represent the content found on the page and avoid keyword stuffing. Search engines crack down on sites that stuff keywords into page titles if they don’t reflect the actual content of the page.
6. Meta Descriptions
These rich snippets are enclosed in a <meta name=”description”> tag on each of your site pages. Meta descriptions are similar to titles in that they appear on search engine results pages (SERPs), and should also describe the page they represent. Meta descriptions are slightly longer than page titles: You have about 150–160 characters to work with, otherwise your description will be cut off abruptly with a “…”
Page titles and meta descriptions should provide a compelling description so that the user will want to click on your page and no one else’s. Since these description appear in SERPs, your top competitors will also be on this page.
Pitfalls from Ignoring Technical SEO
Whether you’re aware of them or not, there might be significant barriers impeding your site’s ability to rank online. Knowing which technical SEO violations your site brings is the first step towards course correction.
Over the years, Google has even taken action to delist a few Fortune 500 businesses for not complying with their best practices, with disastrous results.
During the first iteration of Google Panda, JC Penney was delisted from Google for employing black hat SEO tactics. Google first caught the brand when JC Penney started ranking for suspicious terms for products they didn’t offer such as “bathroom tiles, online games, area rugs”.
What was JC Penney doing wrong?
The website was paying for backlinks from all sorts of spammy sites. The phrase “black dresses” and a JC Penney link were tacked to the bottom of a site called nuclear.engineeringaddict.com. “Evening dresses” appeared on a site called casino-focus.com. “Cocktail dresses” showed up on bulgariapropertyportal.com. ”Casual dresses” was on a site called elistofbanks.com. “Semi-formal dresses” was pasted, rather incongruously, on usclettermen.org. (Source: New York Times).
After discovering this, Google took immediate action in the Google Panda algorithm update, the first to delist websites based on their black hat SEO tactics. This was what happened: At 7 p.m. JC Penney was still the top result for “Samsonite carry on luggage.” Two hours later, it was at No. 71.
At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, JC Penney was number 1 in searches for “living room furniture.” By 9 p.m., it had sunk to No. 68. In other words, one moment JC Penney was the most visible online destination for living room furniture in the country. The next moment, the Fortune 500 company was essentially buried.
It took 90 days for the brand to recover rankings. That’s a lot of lost business! How much website traffic was lost from this catastrophe?
JC Penney’s Keyword Rankings Plummet
Considering the ranking and search volume for their keywords, JC Penney lost an estimated 12.33 million visits in the 90 days the site was delisted.
Our Technical SEO Services
Our SEO team works across hundreds of sites of all sizes and complexities. Our experience and knowledge empowers us to optimize website structures and frameworks from the ground up in order to deliver immense results based on analysis, recommendations, and ongoing support.
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