Ongoing support and maintenance for your site should be as regular and consistent as putting gas in your car. Granted, we might be able to push infrequent maintenance like an oil change back a little or let the car get a little dirtier before we wash it. But if you are really interested in making sure your website presence doesn’t begin to walk backward on you, then keeping up and maintaining your site with Technical SEO is a mush for any online website.
What is TECHNICAL SEO?
Technical SEO is a part of SEO, it’s just not the most glamorous part. People like to think of SEO only in terms of coming up #1 in Google for a specific term that defines a company’s niche. But, in order for your site to be visible, it must conform to a consistently changing wave of technical website factors. These technical factors usually entail server configurations, security audits, and other non front-end modifications. Which means your typical SEO guru, who is very well versed in long tail keyword selection, may not have the technical expertise necessary to safely edit your back end code efficiently and safely without affecting other aspects of your site.
Most SEO Specialists are On Page SEO Specialists. They tend to work with what is on your site and make modifications of what is there to improve ranking. Largely content related changes, but often when dealing with user experience, site functionality will need to be expanded. Technical SEO deals with largely what you can’t see on the page and where fewer and fewer people are spending focus.
Costly Impacts Should Be Mitigated
One of our maintenance clients decided to hire an On Page SEO Specialists in order to boost their rankings. When the client’s new hire began, the site had a gtmetrix score of 98%. (Gtmetrix scores site speed/performance and is a similar metric to Google Page Speed Insights) As part of a routine SEO modification, and unbeknownst to the Web Maintenance team, the SEO Specialist began adding code and plugins to the site for SEO reporting and new features. Within a week, the client’s site speed had slowed and gtmetrix score dropped to 72%. Once the issue became aware, we began a systematic audit of the site and found that several new issues also arose that compromised the security of the site.
In the end, the attempts at gaining ground with site SEO, lead generation, new content and more caused a very adverse side effect on the site and one that has just as much of an impact as the other work that was being done.
- The site was no longer 100% secure.
- Mixed content was being served on critical pages
- Content was added outside the site architecture
- Page load time began to slow.
- Inefficient plugins were installed that added loading time to the page
- Lossy images were used instead of lossless compression techniques
While we did have a maintenance contract with the client, these issues caused by a third party technician were not covered. The client ended up paying a good amount for these issues to be fixed and now all SEO modifications go through us before added to the site.
Site performance and site build consistency are consistent factors in favorable ranking gains.
SEO SPECIALISTS ARE OUR FRIENDS
This post is not about bashing On Page SEO Specialists or their abilities. But, simply, to raise a point that is becoming more and more prevalent with the desire to a) rank higher and b) find inexpensive help to do so. SEO is largely voodoo. Many aspects of your site are taken into account for your SEO score and it is hard to know, as a non technical website owner, where resources should be spent. Couple that with a low level technical website skill such as updating page titles and descriptions to improve SEO, and you get a recipe for low knowledge and low cost SEO “experts” coming in and doing more harm than good.
SEO firms are a much preferred to individual SEO specialists because of the depth of knowledge that a single person doesn’t have to retain in order to implement changes safely. Code audits and second sets of eyes looking at an issue help with well rounded. Quick and “free download” solutions always come with a hidden cost.
Technical SEO is the Water to the Boat.
SEO gains are slow. Changes to a site’s ranking for a new set of terms can take months before you’ll see the fruits of your content and keyword work. But all that work will be for naught if the ship isn’t even in the water. Technical SEO can help create a platform of efficient code rendering, site speed, security auditing, and more that your website needs in order to improve in page ranking faster.
As part of our expanding services, SDD is now offering Technical SEO monitoring that can bridge into SEO management for websites. We’ve recently expanded our set of development tools that allow us a microscopic view of a website to identify issues that can negatively affect site ranking.
With a daily, weekly or biweekly reporting plan coupled with a minimal maintenance plan for your site, you could be seeing your site visibility and ranking grow immediately before even spending a dime on On Page SEO. And if you have spent money on an SEO expert and not seen your ranking grow as much as you expected, it is quite possible that your site’s Technical SEO was overlooked and is costing your gains that you could be making right now.