Technical SEO

If you want to perform better in the search results, your website needs to give Google a deeper understanding of what you offer.

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Over the years, we have had the privilege of helping some of Edinburgh’s most beloved brands grow their search presence. Here are some of those brands.

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is the invisible component of search engine optimisation. Technical aspects of your website can make or break you when it comes to rankings with Google and we are aiming to work from the backend of your site to make it as Google-friendly as possible. Many technical factors need consideration for a site with a successful and solid foundation, including, for example, page load time considerations on sites with JavaScript enabled.

Technical SEO goes beyond just improving keyword density across an entire site’s pages – and once your foundation is laid, you can scale up with the likes of on-page SEO, link building and content marketing.

How can Technical SEO help you dominate your niche?

To get a higher ranking in the Google search results, you need an optimised site that Google can understand. The technical aspects of the page are imperative for this as it gives your content credibility when being judged by algorithms that have seen it all before and impact whether something is worth Google paying attention to it or not.

Regardless of how good your content is, if it has been submitted to Google in poor form, it will not be able to be examined, let alone appreciated.

Our Technical SEO Process

Technical SEO is the most black-and-white aspect of the SEO processes. Google is constantly updating their algorithms, and we look at the latest updates when considering the factors below and assessing how well your site performs technically within Google’s guidelines.

Encryption

Encryption is a security factor that Google considers necessary for any website. If your site doesn’t employ encryption, it will receive lower rankings from search engines like Google due to their high-security standards and users will be less inclined to visit, too. It includes online safety precautions such as ensuring your website is HTTPS, protection of customers’ private information, and encrypted domains to avoid mixed content issues. 

Mobile Friendliness

Google and other search engines have become more stringent about user experience since 2018. 

Since most searches now happen on a mobile device, having an easily navigable website is key to ranking competitively on the search engine results page (SERP). Our team will review text size; widths relative to screen sizes; and click-through proximity to ensure that all three tests that Google uses when judging websites for “Mobile-friendliness” are passed.

Duplicate Pages

While duplicated pages may not directly result in any penalties, if Google indexes and shows the wrong page, it will weaken your site’s ability to rank competitively as more than one page will contain keywords related to each other (i.e. “a keyword cluster). Duplicate content can, therefore, be a big problem for SEO.

Care must be taken to create a good link profile, use canonical tags appropriately and avoid cannibalisation.

Sitemaps

A site map is a great way to ensure that you and Google are on the same page and its bots can find your content on the web.

With good internal linking and sound navigation, creating a sitemap may not top the priority list when it comes to designing or building a website, but it is an easy and valuable addition to any site. A sitemap gives search engines like Google a simple and efficient way to crawl your website and all its pages – without needing to look through every page individually.

Robots.txt

Using robots.txt to block certain areas of your website may seem like a good idea, but it is crucial that you know the drawbacks and how Google’s guidelines apply to this. Google’s recent announcements indicate that a no-index directive should be used for this instead, making a robot.txt file not relevant for the reasons was previously used. 

We ensure that nothing that Google needs is getting blocked within your site administrative folders so that they are not rendered inaccessible and do not cause errors while browsing pages.

Structured Data

Structured data plays an integral part in ranking your website higher in search engine results.

Structured data allows Google to create featured snippets additional extensions for organic listings.

It tells Google what information on the page should be more relevant, like reviews or FAQs that help visitors with their questions quickly and easily without having to click through elsewhere for those answers.

International SEO

International SEO is an amazing way to scale your website, tap new markets and ultimately drive revenue. But it can be complex, and mistakes will make engines misunderstand the pages, which could confuse them or put you at risk for penalties. 

We help our clients avoid these pitfalls with language mismatch issues, incorrect links, and conflicts within page source code (hreflang, etc.).

WWW Resolve

Does your website have an automatic redirect from the non-www version to www? You’ll want that in place because if not, link juice will be spread between these two versions of a page. Doing this properly can result in more traffic for your sites while the opposite can cause confusion. We make sure all of our clients have this feature sorted.

Broken CSS & Scripts

Broken scripts and CSS can mean that your website isn’t displaying how it should, which ruins the user experience. This, in turn, might result in lower rankings for your website’s organic page’s position on SERPs. Broken codes are bad news when they affect how well our sites work. This could hurt future site traffic by sending poor signals about quality content through broken design elements. We provide proper coding solutions to fix and prevent these issues.

Crawlability

For a page to rank on Google and other search engines, it must first be available for websites.

The correct way to ensure this is by using the no-index directive, which stops certain pages from being accidentally blocked from crawling. 

We review whether your website is indexed appropriately or not to prevent any potential problems with Google’s ability to crawl your site properly.

STATUS CODES

STATUS CODE

Status codes are in control of pages retrievable from a server with the aim of ensuring each page receives a 200 status code, meaning that Google and other search engines will crawl your site without error. Codes with 3xx, 4xx or 5xx are errors indicating that pages have either been moved, are not found, or are blocked by the server – so they will most likely not load correctly for users. 

URL PATHS

url paths

URLs are what make up the URL structure of your page addresses. We give these a look-over to ensure they are logical and identify whether amending them will be worth any related risks. Changing these URLs and redirecting the page may have more negative implications than sticking with pre-existing paths. We also look for opportunities to create more dynamic URL structures as Google can read these. 

On-Page Optimisation

Certain Technical SEO factors are a part of on-page SEO. This covers aspects such as broken links and images, and internal linking issues. Our team will make sure you’re up to date on all these technicalities – read more about it on our On-Page SEO page.

Speed Optimisation

Google uses two factors to rank a website’s speed: time until the first byte, and crawl budget. A slow website wastes Google’s resources which means less of your content will be seen by their users. Therefore, they consider how quickly those pages can respond when determining ranking positions on SERPs for a site or an individual page.

Since Google wants to give searchers the best experience possible, they rank websites based on speed. If your site takes too long or isn’t fast enough according to their standards, it could affect how high on the search results page it appears.

Our team knows how to make your sites faster, correcting slow-loading images and videos, reducing server requests, optimising CSS, and more.

RENDER BLOCKING RESOURCES

When a website has scripts that need to load for the page to fully display, they can be slowed by render-blocking resources. These files have been linked with other pages on your site and will not show up until all links have successfully loaded, which might take longer than desired if many external elements are being used, including images or videos from third-party domains.

Core Web Vitals

Many factors determine the quality of a website’s page speed. One big factor is called Core Web Vitals. These metrics measure how quickly your content can load on a user’s screen without having any delays between requests. 

Large gaps between loading periods can result in poor user experience signals being sent out to Google about the site’s performance, which could result in lower rankings.

CSS OPTIMISATION

One of the best ways to achieve a good loading speed is to see what information you can get on-page before users even visit your site – and this includes CSS. This helps in sequencing the order of the items being loaded. For 9 out of 10 sites, these simple fixes will be enough, while more complex solutions may need to remedy this on more complex websites.

FILE COMPRESSION

There are many different types of files to keep organised on your site – and some are bigger than others. 

If not addressed appropriately, they might take up more space than necessary on your server – which could slow down the web speed. 

This is a complex topic and we can help teach you about file compression and how it works with websites today.

CSS MINIFICATION

CSS files are the backbone of your website, controlling what you see on the page – but they can also have thousands upon tens-of-thousands of lines of code that isn’t necessary for design or function. This creates unnecessary strain on page load time. 

A1 SEO Edinburgh will optimise CSS to ensure there are no unnecessary lines of code without negatively affecting readability.

IMAGE OPTIMISATIONS (SIZE AND NEXT GENERATION FORMATS)

Images are critical for an engaging website, but if they are too large, your site will take too long to load and visitors may leave before ever seeing what you have in store. Today, there are a number of next generation image file formats that reduce the size without compromising on quality, such as WebP images instead of JPEG or PNG format files. We are adept at implementing these.

REDIRECT CHAINS

When restructuring your website you will move pages around and send old ones to new ones via a redirect. This is a good practice for retaining SEO value obtained from link building, yet it can also slow down traffic flow as both pages still have to load, regardless of the one not having any content. With this, browser users are still communicating with servers although they’re seeing nothing. Optimising these chains helps adjust page speed for users navigating through your website.

Site Migrations

During a site’s migration, Google can often lose your old page without knowing about the new pages. 

Migrating websites requires patience as there are major changes made during this period, especially if there was redundant content being uploaded without considering how search engine algorithms view web pages.

When those pages disappear or are not in their usual address, Google drops them and shows the next best page. 

A1 SEO Edinburgh specialises in salvaging site migrations gone bad. We can also consult on how to avoid a disaster when looking at restricting your website by recreating previous structures or redirecting old web pages accordingly – all with expert knowledge that will rank your website where it should be.

Search Engine Tools

Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools are two of our most popular SEO tools. We use these programs to make sure your website is fully indexed by Google and to find any errors on the page that may have gone unnoticed.

We also use other tools like Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, SEMrush and Deep Crawl to ensure your website remains technically sound.

Maintaining a strong technical foundation will help ensure long-term success for your website in addition to rankings growth over time.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console makes it easy to submit your website’s sitemap directly to Google. By pointing them in the right direction, they’ll start picking up pages quicker and more efficiently, thus speeding up this process for your website.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing Webmaster Tools is a tool just like Google Search Console, but made specifically for the Bing search engine. It diagnoses your website’s issues and has features such as diagnostics data, collection insights, reporting error tracking, robot crawl monitoring, and more.

How long before you can see results?

Technical SEO is the best way to see tangible results. With A1 Technical Seo Edinburgh, it’s just a matter of when we can get started and you can have your website ranked higher in no time!

Google usually reassesses sites after a few months of work, so the major increases may not be immediate, but you will see and feel a difference as soon as the technical SEO changes have been made.

Testimonials

Why Choose Us

Hi, I’m Graham Grieve, the lead SEO consultant at A1 SEO Edinburgh! A1 SEO Edinburgh is a small but efficient team of 11 search engine optimisation specialists. We offer full transparency on our SEO campaigns so that you can see exactly what works for you at any time – no surprises or hidden costs. We have over 7 years of experience in ranking sites higher up on the Google search results pages, so we are more than qualified (and so excited) about giving your company the best chance at standing out from competitors online. 

We also go the extra mile to educate our clients about how search engines really work to rank websites by explaining things in a simple, no-nonsense way, and I’ll be right there on the other end of the line whenever you have any questions! It usually takes only one phone call for us to solve a problem, so give us a shout today – we’d love nothing more than to help put your website and business on the top.

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