There is a lot we can be doing to help our performance and visibility in the search results, but it’s not ALL about keywords and content. There is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes on to help the performance of the site, and many technical SEO factors that come to play, for example, Google’s core web vitals, spam score and site structure. In this quick fire post, we are going to take a look at some of these factors!
These technical factors, often known as off page factors are important as Google works by crawling your website and then indexing your information in order to feature your website. That’s why most agencies are made up of specialists, with SEO being a joint effort between marketing and development teams.
#1 Site speed
Have you ever been on a website that took ages to load? How did that make you feel? I’m sure we can agree that it is frustrating – and that is exactly what Google thinks too. Page speed is definitely a measure considered by Google. If your pages take too long to load, you are more than likely going to experience a drop in traffic, sales and higher bounce rates. You can use free sites like Google’s PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to look at how long your content takes to load, and what exactly you need to do to improve it. The user journey, from the content loading to interacting with the site part of Google web core vitals, more important than ever for rankings!
#2 Mobile usability
Mobile first indexing was recently introduced as a way of search engines evaluating the mobile version of your website when crawling. This means all your pages need to be well optimised for mobile users, not just desktop. This includes the time it takes to load, the time in which users can interact with your website, as well as the stability of the elements on the page as it loads!
#3 Internal links
Google will crawl your website and while doing so, will follow the internal links on your page. Internal links are important not only for crawling and ensuring pages are easily found and properly indexed, but also to show Google that you have a structure in place. This structure shows the hierarchy of important pages. It also helps users navigate around the site in a way that is relevant to their journey. Win win!
Meta titles and descriptions are SO important and often overlooked. The meta title is the title showing on the snippet in Google. You have a certain word limit that is not often utilised. Here, you have the chance to input your keywords to help increase visibility. Is your page labelled in a way that your target audience is searching? The same goes for the meta description, the html code that does not appear on the page itself, only in the search results. You have a short space, so use it well. Include keywords and a call to action. This space provides you with the opportunity to give more information about the page and why users should click on your page, over others, therefore, increasing click through rates.
#5 Alt tags
Alt tags or alt text is a short description you can add to your images on your page. Simply head to the image, click edit and you should see the option to add you alt text. This not only helps visually impaired readers to access more on the web, but it also helps search engines understand what your image is, adding to the relevance of the page, and increasing the chances of your images coming up in the search results.
Have you implemented these factors yet? Please note, this list is not exhaustive! There are many other factors that come to play on the technical side of things, but these 5 are a great starting point!