This is the second part of a multi-part series that explains the major factors of a successful SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. In this article, we will explain why your website’s overall health is important when starting an SEO campaign.
EDITOR’S NOTE: SEE PART 1 BELOW ⤵︎
Does Your Website Have a Cold Or the Flu?
Laying down the foundation for a successful SEO campaign requires your website to be in tip-top shape for search engines to read and evaluate its content. Fixing readability issues is known as Technical SEO. It absolutely makes no sense to start an SEO campaign unless the problems with the website are addressed and fixed.
Why is this important? Two reasons:
- Search engines have a finite amount of time to look at any website. If the website is difficult to read from a search engine standpoint after the time is up it will move on to the next website.
- Search engines score how easy it is for them to read the website and this has a factor when ranking your website from others.
- Search engines want to know what your website is all about. If the content is not clear and structured then the search engine will have problems indexing your website versus other websites for relevancy.
The Website Audit
The website audit will show all of the technical issues that need to be fixed to improve your website’s health. A comprehensive audit will also look into your website’s hosting server to identify changes that might need to be completed. Excellent SEO website audits will cover over 150 technical and SEO issues:
Some of the issues might include:
- Missing or corrupt sitemap file(s)
- Broken or missing navigation links
- Missing or incorrect important descriptive information
- Incorrect content structure
- Improper installation of website security certificate(s) or other hosting issues interfering with search engines
Website Performance Tune-up
Another important factor in technical SEO is website performance or speed. Mentioned earlier search engines have a limited amount of time to read your website.
If a page on your website is slow to load this cuts down the number of pages and opportunities a search engine has to read and will affect your search engine rankings.
Why? Search engines are now factoring user experience. If a page takes too long to load most likely the viewer will hit the back button and leave the website never to return. An SEO website performance audit will point out any areas of improvement that are needed to get your website’s speed up and running.
Dot the I’s and Cross the T’s.
When search engines crawl your website’s content they look for a certain structure that helps them read content easier. Search engines not only read the content in hand they also index the content to the relevance of other pieces of content on the site and other sites. Much like an outline in an essay, your website’s content structure is an important part of search engines to read to your content effectively. The proper content structure also gives points when ranking your site over poorly structured sites. A comprehensive technical SEO audit will point out what changes are needed on content structure.
Performing a comprehensive technical SEO audit and fixing the issues that result is in itself can be a considerable amount of work to get your website is in top shape for an SEO campaign. During this phase of the SEO campaign, many SEO agencies have to deploy additional resources to fix website issues while keeping the main SEO campaign on track.
While your website is getting a health check and a performance tune-up another aspect of the SEO campaign is underway: The Keyword Research. In the next article, we will explain the importance of keyword research and how it is used in a comprehensive content strategy.