Technical SEO Services
A company website must be properly optimized for its SEO campaign to succeed. Certain on-site optimization factors are highly technical and must be evaluated by Web developers and systems administrators.
These are the most important technical SEO performance factors to consider in an on-site review:
In most cases, 301 redirects is the best method for permanently directing Google from an old URL to its replacement page. It is not uncommon for companies to forget to set up 301 redirects, or to set them up incorrectly.
404 Error Page
When website visitors enter a URL incorrectly or click on a broken link, they are taken to a standard and not very helpful Web page displaying a 404 "Page Not Found" message. For a vast improvement in user experience (UX), a custom 404 page should be implemented, to help visitors get where they want to go on the company website.
Having duplicate content confuses Google about which version to index and rank. Certain types of duplicate content are accidental, whereas others are intentional due to the nature of the website or associated domains; for instance, an e-commerce website might have multiple pages devoted to a particular product in different sections of its online store, or on different store domains. Depending on the nature of the problem, one of several solutions will be applicable.
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Setting up canonical pages is one solution to duplicate website content. A canonical tag tells Google which version of content to index and rank. Proper setup of canonical URLs is complex and should be undertaken by an experienced Web developer.
URL structure affects Google's ability to interpret page content, as well as a visitor's user experience. Best practices for URL structure include using hyphens between words rather than underscores or other symbols, using descriptive words rather than incomprehensible symbols and numbers, and using all lowercase letters.
Internal Link Structure
How website pages are interlinked helps Google determine which pages are most important and deserving of high ranking. An internal link review checks for broken links, evaluates naming conventions, evaluates link value flow (Are the most important pages being linked to most often?), and evaluates the use of body content links, which usually carry more weight than standard footer links.
Site speed is a very important Google ranking factor, since people are always aggravated by slow-loading Web pages. Items affecting page-loading time include hosting issues, image size, design complexity and other technical factors.
Google is putting more emphasis on mobile friendliness all the time. In most cases, the best way to address this issue is by creating a responsive website — one that automatically adjusts for optimum display on smartphones, tablets and desktops.
Structured data (schema markup) is HTML code that helps Google understand the meaning of a particular Web page, and present the structured content in a more meaningful way — as a "rich snippet" — to search engine users. For example, a Web page presenting research would appear in organic results with a display of the title, author, and table of contents. Very few companies use structured data, and as a result, your company will gain a competitive edge by doing so.
The robots.txt file tells Google which pages of a website to ignore. These pages may include a terms and conditions page, special content designed for limited viewing, pages under construction, and auto-generated search results pages.
XML Site Maps
An XML site map lists all the pages of a website that a company wants a search engine to index and rank; it is designed for search engines like Google and Bing, and is not the same as a sitemap displayed on a website for visitor use. The XML site map should always be up-to-date, as it helps ensure Google is crawling all of the current, appropriate pages of the website.
A structurally sound website provides a strong foundation for an SEO campaign. When companies launch campaigns for a website with serious on-site flaws, they are unlikely to get results — and could even inflict damage on themselves. For instance, organic traffic coming to a website with infuriatingly slow page loading will lose far more sales opportunities than it gains. Bottom line: Be thorough in pre-launch on-site research.
Let Straight North help with your technical SEO needs, give us a call today at 855-779-7675 or request a quote now.