When I look back at my career over the last 10 years, one thing has been a constant; a ruthless attention to the technical elements of search engine optimization.
This is increasingly sold as “technical SEO”, or “on-site SEO”.
While most SEOs are focused on external factors such as links to your website (which they do not control), a technical SEO consultant like myself is concerned with internal changes that are 100% within my control.
I look at technical SEO as your foundation. A website built on a poor foundation can have the greatest content, and a huge amount of links but still under perform.
At worst, your website’s pages and posts won’t rank in Google at all. At best, you will be leaving money on the table.
My attention to detail on client websites has not only allowed them to see a huge improvement in organic search traffic to their website, it’s greatly improved their eCommerce sales, event and accommodation bookings, and B2B sales leads.
It’s also given them peace of mind. By avoiding the sketchy things that my industry has been known to do, my clients know they are investing in an asset that will continue to produce results for them well into the future.
So What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO first involves fixing any existing issues with your website that may be causing problems for search engines.
You wouldn’t make it hard for customers to buy your product or services. So why is your website making it hard for search engines to crawl it?
Once these obvious problems are fixed, Technical SEO goes on to optimize the technical elements of your website, such as:
- The number of pages you are asking search engines to index (crawl efficiency)
- Your website’s structure (site architecture and internal linking)
- Making sure valuable links aren’t lost when making design or structure changes to your site (redirects and canonical tags)
- Improving your website’s speed (PageSpeed)
- Allowing all users and search engines to make sense of your site (mobile and other device usability, web accessibility, etc)
- Securing your website correctly (SSL and mixed content issues)
- Ensuring your website’s code is using the right tags in the right places
- Checking your website to make sure it is taking advantage of latest best practices, so you can get one-up on your competition
Common Use Cases for a Technical SEO Consultant
If it’s unclear how a technical SEO consultant can help you, take a look at these common use cases.
Great web agencies produce award-winning web designs then develop those into websites.
Where things often fall down is in the technical SEO aspect of a client’s new website. It’s not uncommon for the development site to be indexed in Google, or for a new website to go live without any redirects being set up (losing a lot of valuable links in the process).
This can make your agency look unprofessional and disappoint your clients when their investment in a brand new website actually hurts their business instead of helping it.
For web agencies I typically offer technical audit, code audit and my migration service. This ensures the new website goes online smoothly, and helps your client to get a bump in rankings after paying for their new site.
Often small businesses will contract website work out to freelance developers and designers.
What tends to work best here is getting your website work done up front, then when these parties are finished, handing it over to me to review the technical SEO components.
As budget is often a concern, I’ll usually recommend a technical audit where I outline some “low cost, high reward” changes. If you are replacing an existing website with a new one, the migration service will also help.
One of my favorite types of clients are medium-sized organizations. This is because they usually have plenty of untapped opportunity around.
If you have multiple business websites, we can discuss ways to improve each of them individually. In some cases it may also make strategic sense to merge them together to simultaneously increase revenue while reducing management costs.
Enterprises often have a hard time with SEO as they are often working with custom systems, where most SEO best practices aren’t included out of the box.
Couple this with multiple languages and things can become very complex.
I help large enterprises to make sense of their SEO, fix existing problems and give them a strong foundation for them to conquer the world with.
Systems I’ve Worked With
I love WordPress, but it doesn’t do everything well. I’ve spent plenty of time in Drupal, Joomla, DotNetNuke, Magento, Shopify and so on. Each has it’s benefits and limitations.
I began writing static HTML websites over 20 years ago, and have since maintained Unix and Windows based servers.
Prior to becoming a technical SEO consultant, I was a systems administrator and later systems engineer in a scientific research organization. The wide scope of my roles in this time and later and with SEO clients since has allowed me to confidently work with just about anything you can throw at me.
Need Help with Your SEO?
Please send me an email and give me a run down of your current situation, along with a link to your website or sites.
I’ll outline the services that are best suited to your situation and we can go from there.
If you’re interested in improving the technical side of your website but don’t want to pay a consultant like myself for detailed audits and the ensuing fixes, you may be interested in my new business, Rank Defender.
Rank Defender is a more affordable alternative that simultaneously audits and fixes issues on your site that can affect SEO, in real time.