SEO Architecture – Let’s Talk About The Nitty Gritty
If you are developing websites, or you are making multiple pages on a website from an SEO perspective, then it is always worth knowing more about your SEO architecture.
I am Luke Davidson, the Digital Marketing Apprentice here at Daneswood and I assist on all SEO work for our clients. This is the first in a series of blogs I will be doing on specialist areas of optimization, as increasing your knowledge, and understanding best practice, can lead to success with both search engines and searchers.
SEO for me is a strong subject.
Ac (crawl) Can search engines easily ‘crawl’ pages on site?
Let’s start with Google’s crawlers (also known as web crawlers) which look at all your web pages and follow links on those pages. They browse all content on your website, and within seconds they send data about their findings back to Google. They look for keywords about website freshness – here’s what I mean by website freshness. Websites can either be brochure websites with lot of static pages and very little text updated after the site goes live. Or they can be dynamic websites with lots of regular fresh content such as blogs, new case studies, seasonal banners, updated plugins etc. The latter is what Google likes to see, as it likes a site to be about communication and engagement with your users and not a static stand alone brochure that just sits there on the internet gathering dust.
The Google search index is very intrusive – here is an interesting fact I read:
“The Google Search index contains hundreds of billions of webpages and is well over 100,000,000 gigabytes in size. It’s like the index in the back of a book — with an entry for every word seen on every web page we index”.
It stores content into different sections, which goes well beyond simply matching keywords, as it is there to understand your audience better. So, sit down and think about a content strategy for your site.
Am (mobile) Is your device working well with mobile devices?
My next point is all about mobile speed, size and quality, which can all be affected when designing websites. You might not know all the logistics about how and why your mobile site might have a slow load response, so use helpful websites such as ‘Test My Site’: https://testmysite.withgoogle.com/intl/en-gb
The expression ‘most sites lose half their visitors while loading’ is true, and might not come as a big surprise, but also remember the important saying ‘Google will rank you lower, if your site isn’t running well with mobile devices’.
Google is really focusing on mobile optimization now and it will rank your website on mobile speed, and mobile performance. So test your site to see if it is compatible with mobile devices.
Ad (duplicate) Duplicate content and the issues of having duplicate content
Google loves seeing content. It will happily rank good content sites up to the top. So that more people can click on your site and you start to see organic reach. What it’s not a big fan of is content that is duped all over the website – anything from having invisible text, to very similar pages (with the same content) and the same keywords getting used in each paragraph.
Google’s algorithm is smart and if it identifies duped content within your site, and too much of it will lead to a penalty of some sort. It could mean ranking you down in the search listings, which decreases all the hard work you’ve put into SEO development. I think the main message Google conveys to its users is ‘try to minimise your duplicate content, not block it’.
For example if Google sees the same content too much, which hasn’t been updated and has duped content, it will start to ignore your website. You’re not going to be taken off the search listings, but as Google is confused on which bits of content to rank, it doesn’t do anything and therefore you lose that content reach.
So the content you put together needs to be unique, which is the opposite to duplicate. It has to have a keyword goal, and once you know that, your meta titles and your meta descriptions, all need to be written with that in mind. Then Google will start to see that content and rank you well.
As (speed) Does your site work quickly?
Lastly is site speed. It’s important to SEO performance and might not hit you as a surprise, but you should know the knowledge of why it affects SEO.
This is because Google only wants to give the search engine users the best website possible!
Check your site speed by using the following websites:
Also host your site on good server and make sure the pages are optimized to load faster – ask your web developer to check this and help you with following:
- Check that your graphics files are not too big.
- Ensure that there is no unnecessary shopping/analytics/market scripts running, they should run last when loading.
- Make sure the site is using caches techniques, so that browsers can store bits of information locally instead of making multiple requests to the server.
- Make sure your CSS is minified, so that your browser doesn’t have to keep downloading the CSS every time.
- Have a highly optimized site for mobile devices.
So that’s the end of my first specialist SEO blog, but check back again soon when I will be discussing other important SEO ranking factors, such as:
- Technical (meta, URL structure and navigation)
- Content (pages and blogs)
- Off site (backlinks)
For SEO assistance and keeping your site Google happy please contact Luke on 01392 248 365 or [email protected]