On-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO are the three pillars of organic search engine optimization.
Technical SEO is the one that gets the least attention because it’s the most difficult to grasp. However, with the rise in competition in search results, marketers can’t afford to ignore technical SEO’s complexities—having a crawlable, fast, and secure website has never been more vital to ensure your site performs well and ranks high in search engines.
This article won’t go over everything required for a comprehensive technical SEO audit since it covers such a broad range of subjects (and is expanding). However, we will address five essential aspects of technical SEO that you should be looking at to improve your website’s performance and retain its effectiveness and health. Once you’ve addressed these six fundamentals, you may move on to more sophisticated technical SEO tactics.
What is a technical SEO audit?
Technical SEO entails modifications that improve your website’s crawl speed and indexation times. Technical search engine optimization may also allow Google to find your relevant content and provide it to users at the appropriate moment.
The following factors should be a part of your technical SEO evaluation:
- URL structure
- How your site is coded
- CDN / Images
- Site errors
Getting a Technical SEO Audit Started
These are the basics of technical SEO, any digital marketer worth their salt will have these fundamentals working for any website they manage. It is fascinating how much deeper you can go into technical SEO: It may seem daunting, but hopefully, once you’ve done your first audit, you’ll be keen to see what other improvements you can make to your website. These five steps are an excellent start for any digital marketer looking to ensure their website works effectively for search engines. Most importantly, they are all free, so get started!
#1. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO, sometimes called on-site SEO, is the art of optimizing your page’s content to be as discoverable for search engines as possible.
Due to the abundance of online information, on-page SEO is more important than ever. On-page SEO increases the probability that search engines will link your page’s relevance to a term you want to rank for.
There are several critical phases to consider when optimizing on-page SEO. Look for the following handful of typical issues as an excellent place to start.
#2. Overly-Long Title Tags
The title tag is the title of a webpage that appears in SERPs. Title tags tell searchers what the page’s subject is, but they also indicate how relevant it is to the query to search engines. You are taken to the corresponding page when you click on a title tag.
The average title tag length is around 60 characters, but it varies depending on the website. As a rule of thumb, a title tag should be at least 50 and no more than 60 characters long (since Google can only show 600 pixels of text on results pages). You may use any appropriate SEO writing assistance to double-check the length of your title tags (as well as other aspects of your content).
#3. Lacking an H1 Heading is a Common Issue
Headers, also known as page headers (H1, H2, and so on), are used to separate text sections. Headers help people scan and comprehend material since long stretches of text might be challenging to read. The most general heading is marked by the H1 tag, while descending headers aid in the structuring of more detailed information.
Missing H1 tags restrict Google’s understanding of your website and put holes in its topic knowledge. Always bear this in mind: there should only be one H1 tag on each page.
#4. You Shouldn’t Have Multiple Title or H1 Heading Tags
An H1 and identical title tags may make a site seem overly optimized, damaging your ranking. When composing an H1, consider a related yet distinctive header rather than repeating the word verbatim. Header tags can also be seen as new ways to rank for additional relevant keywords.
#5. Don’t Produce” Thin” Content
Similarly, superfluous or thin content — such as the sort of material that provides no value to users or search engines – can be detrimental to SEO.
After you’ve determined what pages qualify as “thin,” make them more robust by adding high-quality, unique material or instructing the crawler not to index a page (this may be done by adding a no-index attribute).
Content optimization is another equally important topic to get handled with your website. Check the rest of our blog for additional articles on improving other aspects of your SEO processes. Use our contact page to get in touch, or use our FREE SEO Evaluation to send us your details, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Want to read more on the topic of Technical SEO? Check out this guide from Ahrefs.
We want to take a moment to say thank you to all our valued customers that have helped us get to where we are today. Our local Spokane customer base is amazing and we wouldn’t trade our clients for anything.
This is a huge accomplishment for us and we’re very proud to have been recognized with this distinction. We’ve now been selected to this list for the last 3 years running. It might be because we work very hard to provide a high level of customer satisfaction alongside what we feel are the best optimizations you can possibly make to your business website.
The selection process is quite vigorous and it isn’t easy to come out on top of this particular list. We will now benefit from having our website prominently displayed to an audience of over half a million people looking for local service providers every month.
Obviously this is a very welcome advertising opportunity for us and you would do well to track down opportunities like this for your own business!
More on the Expertise.com Selection Process:
“We start by identifying a broad pool of active professionals within a given business category and geographical area. Using our custom tools and resources, we analyze only publicly available data.
Next, we verify contact and license information to assure selection candidates are actively doing business and are in good standing in their communities.
Then, we use our in-house software to grade each business across the following selection criteria:”
- Reputation: A history of satisfied customers giving excellent recommendations
- Credibility: Established in their industry with licensing, accreditations, and awards
- Experience: Masters of their craft, based on years of practical experience and education
- Engagement: Approachable and responsive to clients and available for new business
- Professionalism: Dedicated to providing consistently quality work and impeccable customer service
What Is Keyword Analysis?
A keyword analysis evaluates and analyzes keywords and search phrases to determine which ones are likely to bring people to your website.
To determine which keywords are appropriate for your business, conduct comprehensive keyword research and evaluation.
Nowadays, many software programs allow users to perform keyword analysis. The most well-known is Google’s Keyword Planner tool, which does not provide complete information for search phrases.
Why Is Keyword Analysis Important?
Performing a keyword analysis is necessary to determine which keyword will most benefit your content. The selection of keywords is an essential component of SEO strategy, and examining these terms might assist you in gauging the efficacy of your campaigns. You may wing it by making educated guesses about a few of those words and phrases, but there’s no need to risk it.
It would be best to research the keyword and its synonyms, including any relevant keywords that better complement your material. It would help if you learned more about the term’s primary intent and general search volume.
After that, you can often sort your keyword list by the top 3, top 10, top 20, or top 50 to indicate where you’re succeeding and where there’s room for improvement.
Keyword intent examples
For example, you may find during your study that there is a potential to create informative content about a product or service you provide. This might be the case if you already have a page where users can buy.
Knowing a keyword’s difficulty is also helpful in determining if a term is worth pursuing. The ranking problem for a key phrase in organic results is resolved by its keyword difficulty. The percentage indicates how difficult the word is, 0 being the easiest and 100 being the most complex.
If your website eventually becomes an enormous success, you might be able to go for more complex terms in the future. If your website is relatively new, you don’t want to go for an 80 to 100-difficulty keyword. It’s more feasible to target a term with a difficulty of 10 to 30.
Knowing metrics like these will help you make more informed decisions regarding your money on organic search campaign promotion.
Perform a Competitor Analysis to Expand Your Keyword List
Another helpful technique to supplement your keyword analysis process is to study your competitors.
- The number of common keywords you share with rivals.
- The total number of organic keywords they have.
- The organic traffic of each competitor is typically estimated.
- View your competitors’ average organic traffic costs.
- For each domain, how many paid keywords are there?
Search for More Keyword Ideas
You may also use keyword analysis to increase the size of your keyword list in a variety of other ways. You can type a seed keyword related to your business in most SEO software tools. Then you’ll be able to view variations of that keyword and which ones have the highest search volume (the most crucial metric in many cases).
Here are some pointers to assist you when browsing through the most appropriate keywords:
- Gauge Difficulty: Analyze the percentage of keyword density to see whether it’s worth pursuing a term. Even if a phrase has a high search volume, attaining a good position in the SERPs might be difficult if the percent of keyword density is also high.
- Consider Relevance: Consider how valuable and relevant the traffic from specific keywords would be for your company. For instance, you might come across a keyword with a lot of search activity or discover that a rival gets a lot of traffic for a particular term. However, visitors to your site may not produce income just because they are coming from these new queries – it takes work doing conversion optimization to make that happen.
- Utilize Long-Tail Keywords: Long-tail keywords are less competitive, but they are more purposeful and often have commercial intent. This means that people who search for information using these terms are more likely to buy a specific product or service.
As you begin your search to find a Spokane SEO consultant, you’ll find that some of these providers are not great at obtaining rankings for themselves. Which then begs the question, how many of these guys can get the job done for you? Hmmm…
Here’s an example of a search we just ran today for “spokane search engine consultant” (a term we hold the #1 ranking for at the time of writing this). You’ll see in the image above that three companies are trying to get your attention using PAID PPC ads, but they hold inferior organic search engine ranking positions (SERPs) themselves. We don’t use PPC ads in our marketing strategy (we don’t need to because we have more than enough top 10 Google ranking positions!).
The uninitiated might assume these guys are at the “top” of the search results, so they must be the best. Those who use Google regularly often try to sidestep and avoid these ads because they’re usually not the most relevant match for our initial search query. After all, these advertisements did not appear there on merit; they secured the highest bid per click!
This kind of confusion can lead to heartaches later on in the optimization process. After all, many folks nowadays are getting duped into believing these PPC providers are good at what they do (SEO) based on these ads. Again some folks who search regularly will understand that these are paid advertisements, but others will mistake these PPC ads for organic search results, which is the intention of these advertisers.
However, the field of SEO (search engine optimization) does not include PPC ads. Paid advertising can help augment an existing organic keyword strategy, but it should never be your main focus unless you’d like to pay for every visit you get.
Selecting a Spokane SEO Consultant
We highly recommend you perform 10-15 different searches of your own to get a better sense of the overall search landscape for your industry. After doing so, you’ll have a much better understanding of who plays the game correctly and who is “paying to play.” There’s nothing to stop you from solely running PPC ads. You don’t HAVE to optimize your website to bring in more organic search traffic. However, what people often fail to realize is that you will begin bringing in completely FREE traffic that will continue to feed your business new customers once you have an organic SEO strategy in place.
If you’re dependent on PPC ads for the entirety of your website traffic, as soon as you stop paying into the Google Ads system, your traffic will come to a complete halt. Those who invest in their organic SEO would reap benefits for several months, if not years, even if they were to stop creating new content and optimizing their website. Organic traffic performs better than PPC ads do on average, and it’s often easier to convert your organic website visitors into paying customers (after all, these customers found you on their own).
Do not simply go with the first company you find; that’s a great way to get burned or let down in the long run. Instead, start by selecting an SEO provider who has verified search ranking positions of their own who can help you in the same ways they do for themselves.
So you just launched your new Weebly, Wix, or SquareSpace website using one of the many FREE website builders. A few months go by and you start to become suspicious about why you aren’t getting any website traffic or sales to your newly launched online store. Sadly, this is a very common situation.
Free Website Builders are NOT the way to go! (at least not long term)
These free website products are very basic by nature. You will quite likely not be obtaining any high-ranking keywords from a setup like this unless you shell out more money to pay for some kind of “Premium” SEO add-on to your service plan – and even then, we’ve found that many of the most important controls pertaining to your SEO presence will be restricted and/or limited.
That or you will require assistance from a support team to make the slightest changes. Yes, you heard that right. You’re going to have to PAY to access the controls necessary to fine-tune your SEO efforts even if you get your website for FREE. This is the main reason that we recommend you avoid almost ever free website builder currently in existence. There are a few notable systems that show promise as of late, particularly those such as Webflow – where you can start with a free plan and upgrade later.
We simply have not found even one that we would seriously recommend when it comes to Search Engine Optimization, so if you do intend to seek help with your own company’s SEO efforts – at least from us, please expect a migration to a platform which we can optimize for – if you’re currently stuck with a free website builder.
Our website is built on the WordPress platform, which is also our primary recommendation for a CMS when we work with other businesses.
We like to use what we support, so that when you have a problem – we’ll be well prepared to handle it. Contact us today to learn how we can migrate you away from these free website builders and onto a platform that powers 39.5% of the entire internet!
While we can understand that everyone needs to start somewhere, the only thing we would recommend the use of one of these systems for might be to do your initial prototype to create a layout, theme, font choices, etc.
That way, when you do move into a system like WordPress or another CMS system where you’re in control of both your website and your server, you can still make use of a Visual Builder / Editor – there are several available and most work great. Heck, we’re using them ourselves for many different situations even though we know how to code because they make life easy.
Most people just need a guide to the world of WordPress, and the good news is that it can be setup to operate in a very similar fashion to any of the freemium systems you may have already gotten used to. The best SEO systems / frameworks we’ve found are available for WordPress and the platform makes it easy to make significant progress with your SEO strategy.
Once you realize that your website is not getting found online, at least not as often as you’d like it to, what is the right course of action? Many folks might try to handle the situation themselves, leading to even more problems if the optimizations you make are performed incorrectly. Instead, why not select an expert SEO provider to help you determine the best course of action for your specific business and corresponding website?
As one of the leading SEO companies in Spokane, WA (by a measure of search ranking positions), we would be happy to help you compete with any of your own local competitors – reach out for a simple consultation – and we’ll do our best to have your website obtaining more leads in no time.
Getting Found Online – Do Your Homework
Always remember that the best accurate measure that an SEO can help you is whether they can help themselves! We regularly hold a variety of search ranking positions for our own business (August SEO), such as “SEO Spokane valley” & “Spokane SEO consultant,” which is likely how you found us today. We would list several more as a show of strength, but some SERPs change daily – and we don’t have enough time in the day to keep this post updated with ranking positions! We have software for that.
However, we implore you to perform some area-specific “Spokane SEO expert” searches on your own (if you haven’t already) to see where your current SEO company shows up in their actual search rankings. Your “web guy” (or girl) might not be as proficient at SEO as you’d have hoped!
As trusted local leaders of our field, we would be happy to meet with a representative from your company to discuss your SEO issues. Contact us at 509-485-8898 to set up a virtual Zoom meeting.
We’re proud to be near the “top of the pack” on many external review sites:
- Expertise.com – #1 in Spokane SEO Experts List (not sponsored)
Unique Content is the cornerstone of any great website. If you want to rank your website well in Google Search Results, focus on your content first. I think most people imagine Search Engine Optimization to be a difficult puzzle of some kind. It’s mostly a combination of being a decent writer, and knowing how to provide a good experience when a visitor lands on your web page. The main factors Google pays attention to are things like: How many people are linking to this page/domain? Is this article well written? Does it provide value in the form of good information?
In the course of doing business as a Spokane SEO consultant, one of the points I find myself repeating most is that it’s the quality of your unique content that’s going to get you more business. Although many don’t see the direct correlation between offering a personalized piece of content and more leads, it does actually make some sense.
You see, Google wants people using it’s services to find great content each and every time.
Why? Because Google wants people to trust its brand and rely on its search functions when it matters most. If Google started serving you irrelevant websites to you tomorrow, you would start to view it in the same light as Bing or Yahoo.
Really, if you think about it from Google’s point of view, what reason have you given them to put your site on the first page of the greatest search tool ever created if all you’ve managed to do is copy and paste your content from somewhere else? Some people are so dead set on not writing anything themselves that they stoop as low as stealing others’ content – which is quite obviously plagiarism. Other people try to “scrape” relevant content using available harvesting software, but either of these “methods” will end up harming your online presence more than if you posted nothing at all! So the bottom line here is if you aren’t willing to bring something new to the table, well, Google would rather you just avoid posting anything at all! Don’t clutter up the internet with more garbage!
Unique Content Is an Easy Way to Bring in Quality Web Traffic
Google also naturally wants to point their searchers towards websites that do things “the right way”, as well as sites that provide the most relevant content to their searchers. Any deviation from the aforementioned agenda will result in your sites getting ranked below your competitors. Any black-hat tricks you may feel are beneficial now, won’t be for too much longer.
The real reason you’d want to avoid any kind of “black hat” activities in 2018 and beyond – has to do with Google’s awesome Machine Learning Algorithms. Everyday magical calculations are taking place to identify the differences between computer generated content (spam) and human-written text (the good stuff).
By writing real, unique content, you’re about 50% there. Once your content has been created is when the real fun begins and folks like us get to work (SEO’s that is). Someone like myself would start to check and manipulate your keyword densities and determine the best option for the title tags, and so on. Though the process of SEO is never truly complete (you can always find a new link partner!), that’s a very basic look at how the process begins.
Search Engine Optimization doesn’t have to be difficult, but many people regard it as a science (which it can be I suppose) and end up overdoing something in one area or another. The basics are extremely important to your overall search presence. If you’ve been led to believe it’s all about backlinks and owning popular domains, that’s not the whole picture.
Here’s some additional reading from Google’s own support pages on why you shouldn’t be using duplicate content: Unique Content.
Earlier this week, myself and many other SEO’s started to witness the beginning of a major Google update. Every so often Google makes “quality” updates to enhance their search platform – & these changes can have a dramatic impact on search engine ranking positions.
As you can see from the photo above, things are pretty crazy right now. The red area on the chart denotes that the Google rankings are experiencing some major “waves”. Now, there’s no need to worry if you’ve been doing everything “above board” with your website. However, if you’ve been trying to cheat or otherwise “game the system”, get ready to feel the pain.
This last Google update is a HUGE one, and I’m already witnessing many industries being affected for better or worse. If you find that your own website has lost a large portion of your ranking positions, don’t hesitate to touch base to see if we can help.
Our own website is currently riding the wave / trend upwards, meaning we’ve benefited from this last shift in the algorithm, but others may not be so lucky. Use this form to request a review of your website. We’ve even posted on this subject before back in 2018.
John Mueller of Google recently stated via Twitter, that “Links are definitely not the most important SEO factor”. He adds, “I’d forget everything you read about link juice. It’s very likely all obsolete, wrong, and/or misleading. Instead, build a website that works well for your users.”
Within our own SEO company, we’ve always known this to be the case. We’re also very aware that many other SEO companies have made the acquisition of backlinks their primary focus – this is a major mistake.
In fact, our own research suggests that placing too strong on an emphasis on obtaining backlinks – over creating fresh content, will lead to very negative results in the long term.
It’s important that your company select an experienced / veteran SEO. Many of our clients come to us from situations where they’ve been misled, often because the SEO leading them – is confused, or has been misled themselves.
You’ll quickly realize during interviews with many prospective SEO companies that not everyone knows what they are doing in this field. Part of my job as an SEO is talking people down from the cliffs that they’ve been steadily climbing with other providers – often for years on end.
Backlinks Won’t Answer Your SEO Prayers
Most people are so confused about which SEO factors matter by the time they reach us, that we’re usually finding ourselves bending over backwards trying to set the record straight – like we’re doing here explaining how backlinks aren’t the most important thing to focus on.
What you should keep your focus on, is organic, human written content from fluent English writers, and your business will begin heading in the right direction. From there you should still seek guidance from an expert, as there are simply too many places to get caught up without years of experience navigating these roads.
Backlinks do not have the same value they once did, and we expect this to continue. Instead, make sure you are either writing yourself, or hiring skilled SEO content creators to do the job for you. There are no true shortcuts in the search engine optimization world anymore, and when these “holes” in the system do exist – they don’t stick around for long.
We use many different tools to perform Search Engine Optimization, but if you need to check your “backlink profile”, we recommend you use the backlink discovery tool offered by AHREFS. You may need some help understanding these advanced systems, if you would like guidance on your own backlink strategy, please use this form.
This month has been a tumultuous one for many website owners. I’ve been reading about the most recent Google algorithm changes and how large numbers of sites have been affected for the worse. Some web properties have likely been penalized in one way or another for not adhering to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. These are straightforward, easy-to-follow directives, but some people either decide that these rules don’t matter or don’t do enough research to understand them.
I always say that in most cases, as long as you are doing everything you’re supposed to be doing, you shouldn’t need to worry too much about these regular fluctuations. When Google changes its ranking algorithms, site owners need to learn how to respond by potentially adjusting their SEO efforts to mitigate the loss of valuable ranking positions.
Whether people understand them or not, it’s essential to follow the rules and dial in your SEO with as much “white hat” SEO as you possibly can and avoid anything even remotely “spammy” or manipulative to game or influence search results with nefarious intentions. Even if you get away with it for a while, eventually you get discovered, and losing access to Google’s search results does not sound fun. Google serves over 86% of all search traffic, so missing out on such a large “piece of the pie” can and will be devastating to any small business.
When you consider that it’s not that hard to create your content or pay a few bucks for an SEO to do that job for you – it’s difficult to understand why anyone would try to game the system based on the possible negative consequences alone. You could end up seriously affecting Google’s opinion for an extended length of time, and they will do their best to keep your business website far, far away from the 1st page of their valuable result pages.
Even if you are genuinely on hard times and cannot afford to hire someone long-term, it is an absolute waste of time to try to trick the search engines when help is just an email away!