Guest post by Mathew Jade.
Organic search drives, on average, 64% of all B2B website traffic, and 60% of visits to technology sites in general. So needless to say, search engine optimization (SEO) plays a vital part in improving online presence and traffic for B2B sites.
SEO impacts the ranking of your content in the search engine results pages (SERPs). The more effective your SEO efforts are, the more visible your website will be to potential customers—and the more organic search traffic you site will earn.
Ranking highly in search results is vital to digital marketing success. According to research, the top three search results on Google get 50% of all clicks. Only 5% of searchers will look beyond the first page of results.
While search engines look at more than 200 factors in determining rankings, of the seven ranking signals that matter most:
- One is authority-related (strength of backlink profile);
- Two are content-related (content quality and on-page SEO factors); and
- Four are technical factors (mobile-friendliness, user experience, security, and loading speed).
The behind-the-scenes effort to improve those last four factors, which are affected by the website crawling and indexing experience, is called technical SEO. The most visible websites in the SERPs are not only relevant and authoritative, but also optimized on technical elements.
An effective technical SEO strategy starts with a comprehensive audit. In addition to on-page factors (like content length and meta tags) and backlinks, this will help identify any technical issues which may be impacting your search rankings. Here are 10 key technical SEO steps that can improve the user experience and search visibility for your website.
Check Mobile site compatibility:
Post-2015, Google updated its algorithm and included mobile-friendliness as a necessary feature for SERP ranking. Since 70% of total traffic comes from mobile devices, you must have a mobile-friendly website.
Begin by analyzing your current site design to find any weaknesses. Check your website traffic to get a clear picture of your site’s mobile traffic. You can also check the mobile-friendliness of your website using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Just enter the URL of the website to get a detailed analysis.
If you have a low mobile traffic score, then you have two options. You can either create a mobile-friendly website or invest in a responsive design. Responsive designs are preferable since they make your website compatible with all devices. Furthermore, responsive websites don’t limit your content.
Optimize page load speed:
Quite simply, faster websites are better, for both search ranking and user experience. According to research, 83% of users expect websites to load within three seconds or less. Slow-loading websites attract Google penalties, and your content will rank lower in SERPs.
You can use GTMetrix, Pingdom, or Google Page Speed Insights to test your website’s response and load times. If your website is slow, there are steps you can take to accelerate load time. Using a compressed image format can considerably reduce response times. Furthermore, enabling browser caches can also optimize page speed by reducing page loading operations.
Resolve all Site Errors:
Site errors can be frustrating for your visitors. They can also hamper the technical SEO performance of your website. Website errors are like broken windows in a building; they make it look shoddy, neglected, and unsecure.
So, it’s vital to identify and resolve site errors. There are many free tools you can use to identify broken links, missing pages, and other site errors. It helps to analyze links on a page-by-page basis.
Improve internal links:
Internal links redirect users to related content on other pages on your website. They not only help crawlers discover your digital content but also give Google’s algorithm clues about your target keywords. Moreover, they clarify the focus of your content and keep visitors on your site longer.
Furthermore, internal linking establishes an information hierarchy for your domain. Therefore, it’s helpful to include internal links whenever you publish new content. Use descriptive keywords as anchor text to describe the source page you are targeting.
Use alternative descriptions (alt-text) for your images:
Google can’t read photos, so you must tag them with the most descriptive phrases. First, always use compressed jpg images. Then add alt text to your photos.
In addition to helping with SEO, adding image alt tags assure that visitors won’t see a cross sign or other error symbol if one of your images fails to load. Instead, the visitor will see text that describes the missing image.
Avoid or manage duplicate content:
If you p0ublish the same content on more than one website (e.g., a guest post for another site you later republish on your own domain), or have the same copy on two or more pages on your site (as can often happen with product descriptions on ecommerce sites), Google may penalize one or both pages with a lower rank.
That means your page visibility will decrease, and fewer people will click on your link(s). You can use free tools or premium SEO tool suites like Serpstat or SEMrush to identify duplicate content pages.
If you can’t avoid duplicate content, use canonical URLs to point Google to the primary or master page. Set these up using the rel+canonical tag. Alternatively, you can use the Yoast plugin to set up canonical URLs.
Get rid of toxic backlinks:
Not all backlinks are equally valuable, and some can even harm your SEO ranking. Backlinks from spammy sites can incur a Google penalty for violating Google’s guidelines. That’s why it’s vital to monitor your backlink profile and keep it free of toxic backlinks.
Any backlink from websites with low domain authority may be harmful. Identify all such harmful backlinks and get in touch with the website owners to disclaim (ask them to remove) the links. If this doesn’t work, let Google know that you want to disavow the links.
Get an SSL certificate:
Honestly, if you still have an unsecure site (i.e., one that uses http rather than https) at this point, you are already losing significant potential traffic. Secure Sockets Layer or SSL is a security protocol that establishes encrypted links between browsers and servers.
Google started treating security seriously back in January 2017. Any website without SSL will get a “Not Secure” notice in Chrome, and now most other browsers, when redirecting. Since online safety is a big concern, people avoid visiting risky websites. Secure sites ranking higher and attract more visitors, making SSL imperative for technical SEO.
Optimize your page URLs:
Technical SEO is all about improving your site’s browsing experience and visibility, so it’s important to optimize your page URLs as well. The best URLs are short, have lowercase letters, and separate words with a hyphen. Moreover, URLs with symbols and dates are not SEO friendly. So, for example, site.com/top-seo-tips is better than site.com/12-15-20/page-6.html.
Let Google know you’ve improved your site:
After you’ve improved your website’s technical SEO, inform Google about the updates. Create an updated XML sitemap and submit it to Google console.
Just keep in mind that Google might take some time to index your sitemap, so do not expect immediate results (which is why, as the title of this post indicates, these are technical SEO tips to improve your traffic almost instantly).
A solid technical SEO strategy can be extremely helpful in getting higher search ranking, generating more traffic, and producing returns on your SEO investments. Your game plan must focus on both the quality of your website content and the user experience.
Not only should your content be relevant and link-worthy, you should also make it as easy as possible for Google to index your website. You can eliminate toxic backlinks, increase internal linking, and optimize URLs to improve technical SEO.
Mathew Jade is a business, finance and technology blogger who spends his entire day writing quality blogs. He is a passionate reader and loves to share quality content prevalent on the web with his friends and followers and keeping a keen eye on latest trends and news in those industries. For more updates, follow him on Twitter @Mathew_Jade.