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What Really Matters in Technical SEO

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Technical SEO can be very overwhelming and intimating, but it doesn’t have to be. This presentation will walk through the core areas of technical SEO and present the data at a level of the average user. You won’t need a degree in coding to have some solid takeaways for improving your website and search ranking with a few technical tweaks.

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What Really Matters in Technical SEO

  1. 1. What Really Matters in Technical SEO Web Savvy Marke,ng & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  2. 2. Basics of Technical SEO q  It simply refers to “things” that are related to code, se7ngs, and servers. q  It includes things you can see and things you can’t see. Today we’re going to primarily focus on those things you can discover and fix. q  It focuses on discovering issues and fixing these problems. q  The goal is to make it easy for search engines to crawl, digest, understand and index your website or blog’s content. q  It doesn’t always require programming skills as there are lots of tools available to assist in audits, noCficaCons, and ulCmate resoluCon of the issue. Technical SEO can sound really intimidating. But don’t worry, because it doesn’t have to be scary at all! Highlights of Technical SEO Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  3. 3. Strong SEO is only possible when it is combines good content with high quality WordPress themes, plugins, developers, and hosting. ! Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  4. 4. H1 Tags The header tag, or the <h1> tag in HTML, will usually be the title of a page or post. It should be the largest text and towards the top of the content. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved Problem: Missing H1 tags MulCple H1 tags Why It’s an Issue: Missing or mulCple H1’s makes it difficult for search engines to understand the content’s subject maIer Root Cause: Poorly coded WordPress theme User override through WordPress editor Way to Discover: Review source code or editor Use third party tools like Mozbar Resolu,on Op,ons: Change to a new WordPress theme Fix the code within the exisCng WordPress theme Remove manual overrides within content
  5. 5. Meta Titles and Descriptions Meta titles and descriptions give Google and other search engines an idea of what the page is about and what they should expect to see as they digest the content. These data points appears in search engines result pages. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved Problem: Missing meta or mulCple meta Same meta across enCre website Too short or overly long meta Why It’s an Issue: Makes it difficult for search engines to understand the content’s subject maIer Root Cause: Lack of SEO plugin or incorrect plugin se7ngs User override through plugin se7ngs in editor Way to Discover: Review source code Mozbar, Google Search Console Resolu,on Op,ons: Install and properly configure All in One SEO or Yoast User educaCon on best pracCces and proper usage
  6. 6. SEO Friendly URLs SEO friendly URLs help search engines understand a website’s architecture and the structure of the content. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved Problem: Set to numbers and not words Funky characters Lack of hierarchy Why It’s an Issue: Makes it difficult for search engines to understand the hierarchy and nature of content, difficult to crawl Root Cause: Outdated technology or bad plugins Incorrect se7ngs in WordPress Way to Discover: Review website in browser Check WordPress se7ngs Use Dynomapper or Screaming Frog to crawl website Resolu,on Op,ons: Set permalinks to post name in WordPress Use SEO plugins to further clean and opCmize
  7. 7. Robot.txt Files The robots exclusion protocol (REP), or robots.txt is a text file webmasters create to instruct robots (from search engines) how to crawl and index website content. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved Problem: Missing enCrely Incorrect usage and errors Why It’s an Issue: Causes sensiCve content to be indexed Incorrectly blocks search engines from searchable content Root Cause: Lack of educaCon Outdated configuraCons Way to Discover: Google Search Console Resolu,on Op,ons: Review periodically Monitor Google Search Console
  8. 8. XML Sitemaps A sitemap is a file where you can list the content within your site to tell Google and other search engines about the organization of your content. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved Problem: Missing Wrong version (HTML) submiIed to search engines Unstructured and without hierarchy or segmentaCon Errors Why It’s an Issue: Makes it difficult for search engines to locate all content and/or understand the hierarchy of a website Root Cause: No plugins Unknowledgeable users Way to Discover: Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools Resolu,on Op,ons: Install and properly configure All in One SEO or Yoast Upload to GSC and BWT Review for errors in GSC and BWT
  9. 9. Duplicate Content Duplicate content (in this case) refers to the same content displayed under different URLs. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved Problem: www vs. non-www hIp vs. hIps Session IDs Online pages + printer friendly pages Why It’s an Issue: Confuses search engines and forces them to select one version while also being messy for human visitors Root Cause: ConfiguraCon issues, low quality website so`ware, plugins Way to Discover: Dynomapper, Google AnalyCcs, Google Search Console Resolu,on Op,ons: WordPress All in One SEO or Yoast SEO plugins Canonical URLs
  10. 10. Unreadable Content On-page content is not readable by search engine spiders. This happens much more then people realize or care to admit. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved Problem: Search engines cannot access and/or read content within a page or website as a whole Why It’s an Issue: If search engines cannot read the page, they cannot ascertain the submit maIer and will simply ignore Root Cause: iFrames Flash Poor coding (i.e. JavaScript, mobile responsiveness) Robot.txt file issues Way to Discover: Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools Resolu,on Op,ons: Monitor GSC and BWT Modern code base and quality developers
  11. 11. 301 Redirects A 301 redirect is a status code that instructs search engines that a page/post has permanently moved to a new location. It transfers SEO history to the new piece of content and at the same time it routes website traffic to this new location. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved Problem: Deleted content without 301 redirects Website redesign without 301 redirects Why It’s an Issue: Loss of SEO ranking and history Loss of human website traffic ReducCons in indexed content Root Cause: Lack of educaCon on part of website owner Lack of educaCon on part of digital agency Way to Discover: Google Search Console, Google AnalyCcs Resolu,on Op,ons: User educaCon Quality digital agency with basic knowledge of SEO WordPress plugins like RedirecCon
  12. 12. Mobile Responsive Google now sees more search traffic from mobile devices than it does for desktop computers. It is becoming more and more focused on mobile, while also adjusting the algorithms to handle mobile differently then desktop. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved Problem: Fixed width website that doesn’t adapt to mobile devices Responsive themes that display poorly on mobile devices Why It’s an Issue: Reduced search ranking in search engines Poor experience for human visitors Root Cause: Outdated website code or theme Poorly coded responsive themes Way to Discover: Browse your website on a smartphone or tablet hIp://ami.responsivedesign.is Resolu,on Op,ons: Switch WordPress themes Update exisCng theme code to be responsive
  13. 13. Schema and Rich Snippets Structured data helps Google understand the content on your site, which can be used to display rich snippets in search results. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved Problem: Lack of schema Incorrectly used schema Why It’s an Issue: Fails to showcase your content to search engines Confuses search engines Root Cause: Outdated themes Poorly coded plugins Way to Discover: Google’s Structured Data TesCng Tool Resolu,on Op,ons: Update theme or framework Add schema rich plugins User educaCon
  14. 14. Code Bloat Code bloat is a term describing a HTML page that is mostly markup and not much content. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved Problem: Page’s code is greater than the actual content Why It’s an Issue: Slows search engine crawling Limited amount of content digested and indexed Could degrade ranking Root Cause: Lack of user educaCon Copy and past from Word or outside websites Old content and websites Poor coding by developer Way to Discover: WordPress editor review Pingdom Tools Resolu,on Op,ons: User educaCon Quality themes and developers Code reviews
  15. 15. Speed and Performance Site speed is part of Google’s algorithm. While site speed is not a high ranking factor, this is changing and the importance of fast websites is a growing concern to Google and other search engines. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved Problem: Slow and sluggish websites and/or content Why It’s an Issue: Makes it difficult for search engines to crawl content Creates a poor user experience for human visitors Root Cause: Themes, hosCng, user entry errors Way to Discover: Google PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom Tools Resolu,on Op,ons: Reduce image sizes OpCmize MySQL database OpCmize theme code Use a cache plugin Switch themes Switch hosCng companies or upgrade hosCng plan
  16. 16. Malware The term “malware” covers all sorts of malicious software designed to harm a computer, website, or network. While there are lots of different kinds of malware, the common ones include: viruses, worms, spyware, or trojan horses. Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved Problem: Content modificaCons, content addiCons, phishing, loss of administraCve control, redirects Why It’s an Issue: Loss of traffic from human visitors, loss of ranking in search, loss of credibility Root Cause: Poor passwords Outdated so`ware Low grade hosCng Way to Discover: Google Search Console, web-based scans, onsite plugins Resolu,on Op,ons: WordPress plugins (i.e. iThemes Security) High quality hosCng
  17. 17. Strong SEO is only possible when it is combines good content with high quality WordPress themes, plugins, developers, and hosting. ! Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  18. 18. QUESTIONS & ANSWERS? Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved
  19. 19. Rebecca Gill RebeccaGill.com Web-Savvy-Marketing.com diySEOcourses.com SEObootcamp.com @rebeccagill Thanks for Attending Today’s Webinar! Web Savvy Marketing & iThemes Media LLC Copyright © 2016, All Rights Reserved

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