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Technical SEO

The Essential Strategy for every website
Could your Website & SEO be more effective? 
Do you want a greater impact on your business?
Technical SEO removes stumbling blocks that stop websites from moving up!
Want some help? Book a call back from our Brisbane based Technical SEO specialist.

Our Brisbane based SEO team provide first class Search Engine Optimisation services to small and medium sized businesses. We primarily work with businesses in Brisbane and South East Queensland but we also have a strong client presence in Sydney and other capital cities around Australia. Our team work methodically and customise campaigns to suit every client's needs. Have a Free Strategy Call (on video) with one of our Ranking Specialists to see what we recommend for you using your budget as if it were our website.

BRANDS WE WORK WITH USING SEO

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Is Technical SEO Important?

Yes. Technical SEO is key to unlocking your website’s full ranking potential.

This Technical SEO page provides an intermediate-level breakdown that can boost your visitors, and leads from organic search results. I'm Ben, the Director and SEO Strategist here at Matter Solutions. My goals for this page are:-
  1. Give you insights that you can use (DIY) to elevate your website’s performance in the eyes of search engines;
  2. Signal that we're happy to share knowledge, educate and help get you the right outcome(s);
  3. Share a logical framework for Technical SEO so you (or your website designer) have a point of reference when you want to work together.
BTW - In our view the right outcomes are... more visitors and more leads from those visitors, or sales (in the case of ecommerce, see the last FAQ at the bottom).

If you want to learn more about me, check my team page, or my LinkedIn or perhaps you're ready to get in touch, booking a call back with me is the best way, use this button.

Ben Maden
Ben Maden
Need someone technical?
Technical SEO (since 2010)
Web Developer (since 1998)
Master of Aeronautical Engineering (1998)
Master of Business Administration (2004)
Google Ads Qualified (since 2008)
Experienced with WordPress (since 2008)

Technical SEO Key Takeaways

  • Technical SEO lays the foundation for website visibility, involving site structure optimisation, correct use of XML sitemaps and robots directives, and enhancing on-page elements like URL clarity and structured data for rich snippets.

  • Page speed optimisation and mobile responsiveness are critical for ranking and user experience, necessitating content distribution networks, server response time reduction, and a mobile-first development approach.

  • Regular Technical SEO audits are essential to diagnose crawl errors, resolve duplicate content, maintain security, and tune International SEO where appropriate.

Our Technical SEO Services

Google Search Console - Set-up + Review

We work with a number of website designers to provide them with search engine optimisation expertise. This is the service many of them regularly purchase.

Pre Launch SEO Checks

Our technical SEO consultant will conduct a Technical SEO Audit to address the technical aspects of your website's Search Engine Optimisation. Goals:-

  1. Prevent any loss in rankings

  2. Maximise potential for upside

Steps
  • Scan websites

    • current existing website

    • staging website (work with developers to do this when URL structure is finalised)

  • Check site speed (of both) to identify any discrepancies

  • Identify website URL changes

    • Review and recommend any changes

    • Define 301 redirects

  • Top Pages on your site (multiple pages with the most organic search traffic)

    • Page Titles: H1s + Titletags

    • Content: meta descriptions

Post Launch SEO Checks

  • Comprehensive Scan of New Website (on the live domain)

  • Check it can rank well (base)

    • xml sitemap

    • robots.txt + robots meta tags

  • Check it carries link equity from old URL structure

    • Check 301 redirects work (scanned and manual checks)

    • internal linking structure

  • Check site quality

    • Check for 404, 410 or 4xx pages - seeing 400 errors correctly or not?

    • Batch check of titletags - in place and as expected?

    • Batch check and manual spot-check H1s

    • Ditto for meta descriptions (Content + Technical SEO)

  • Monitor Technical SEO

    • Organic search traffic for most core Top Pages closely over the next 1-3 weeks (time depends on how busy the site is)

    • (Optional) Follow up report on winners and losers at the 6-13 week mark, depends on how busy the website is.

  • With Universal Analytics, you had the ability to make annotations to mark when the new site went live. Unfortunately, this feature isn't currently available in GA4. Once it's enabled, annotations will be reintroduced. In the meantime, these events are being tracked internally.

NB. It is worth noting that other Technical SEO issues can arise in Search Engine Optimisation so this list may vary for your specific website.

Google Search Console - Set-up + Review

  • Connect your website to Google Search Console (GSC)

  • Provide you with a comprehensive report and assessment of your position and identify key opportunities.

Arrange a call back with an SEO specialist and we'll get back to you within one working day. This can usually be done within 2-3 days.

Regular Technical SEO Audit (Site Audit)

As mentioned above, it is important to keep improving the technical aspects of your website while any work is undertaken. Other work can include

  • Web Design changes

  • Internal links

  • Fixing errors with crawl or indexation

Our approach is pragmatic and borne of experience. A client with a retainer (or sprint campaign) with Matter Solutions we'll usually include a full Technical SEO Audit, and Technical SEO Strategy at the inception of the campaign.

The goal of this technical optimisation is to get every website we work with to a good "health status", and then put an automated technical audit in place.

Regular monitoring of Technical SEO Health free us up to work on other aspects and keep the Technical SEO fundamentals strong. It means we allocate Technical SEO experts if or when anything changes.

Other (Ad-hoc) Technical SEO Services

You might need help from a Technical SEO consultant to investigate an issue you've identified or a warning that you've received from Google Search Console (GSC).

We're happy to have a talk about ad-hoc Technical SEO assistance (large or small).

Drop us a line using the button below.

What Next?

Are you ready for a conversation with our team and a meeting with Ben? Use the button below, complete the form and we'll send you a link to book a call back in Ben's Google Calendar.

Client Testimonials

WELL KNOWN PRINTER BRAND FROM JAPAN

Thanks for all your consulting and guidance, our team know what to work on now.

GENIUS LEVEL WEB CODER

Thanks for walking us through the International SEO implications of the client's requests and desires, and...
working methodically to resolve the canonical and hreflang issues that resulted.

Unlocking the Fundamentals of Technical SEO

A robust Technical SEO strategy is the foundation on which your content search engine rankings sit.

Technical SEO - On Page Component Parts

The content itself does the heavy lifting of relevance and earning link equity but without a foundation of Technical SEO work your site's search performance will be lacking.

Website Architecture impact on Technical SEO

The website architecture is like a mind map, it tells search engines what topic links to what, and what doesn't link to what. An well organised site does more than appeal visually, it guides crawlers (aka Bots) to the key pages of your content and to aid indexation.

Technical SEO Services like a Site Audit can reveal many pitfalls in this architecture. Key among these are

  • orphan pages - a page that doesn't get links pointing into it
  • index pages (or category pages) - these are often neglected as hubs that link to many spokes. When handle correctly they can add tremendous value
  • web accessibility - can the website meet minimum expected standards?
  • broken page - a link to a removed page is a waste of crawl effort by visiting search engine bots

The Role of XML Sitemaps in Content Discovery

Consider an XML sitemap to be a Technical SEO map that leads search engines, like treasure hunters, directly to your valuable content. It acts as a signpost that directs Google’s crawlers toward the most important pages on your site. By submitting a sitemap via Google Search Console, you are extending an invitation for search engines to come and index your offerings.

Caution is needed, though. Your aim should be for the xml sitemap to accurately represent all current pages of your website. Be careful not to send them orphan pages, or pages that block search engines.

Leveraging Robots Meta Tag and Robots.txt

Enter the world of robots.txt like a Technical SEO pro. This file is a gatekeeper that directs search engines to the important pages and signals what shouldn't be crawled, followed and indexed.

It’s essential to frequently update (and check) this file to prevent blocking access for search engine bots to key pages. This is a classic mistake when web designers make websites live.

Picture a big tough doorman at an exclusive venue, making choices about who’s allowed entry and who’s not based on "the list", a Technical SEO ruleset about who can see what.

Robots meta tags serve as discrete influencers on a per-page basis, guiding the actions of search engines—indicating whether they should pay attention or disregard certain content.

If you mistakenly restrict access to vital resources like CSS and JS files, you might harm how well search engines understand your website’s functionality. In Technical SEO terms, it would be equivalent to shooting yourself in the foot!

Enhancing On-Page SEO Elements for Technical SEO Precision

On-page elements are your chance to make a strong first impression for both users and search engines — a chance that shouldn’t be missed.

OSO - On Site Optimisation

Technical SEO - On Page Component Care

OSO - We use the acronym "OSO" for On Site Optimisation. Clients like it, so we're using it here too.

Some basics of Technical SEO with respect to OSO.

OSO - Title Tags

Your title tags must immediately draw attention to your keywords, providing a preview of the content that follows.

Each webpage must have a unique title tag to avoid duplicate content issues and ensure it stands out.

OSO - Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions must be persuasive calls to action, alluring enough for users to want to click through. In some instances we ask our Google Ads specialists to help write these... because they're like Ads.

Short and to the point, between 150 and 160 characters. Check them in a tool like Yoast SEO (in WordPress) this ensures the full message is conveyed without being truncated in search results.

Optimising URL Structure for Clarity and Relevance

Not so much technical SEO, but good SEO Copywriting, this is an essential step as URLs serve as navigational markers on the web. They benefit visitors and search engines when they're clear and descriptive, especially when they incorporate keywords.

Implementing Structured Data for Rich Snippets

Structured data translates the content of your webpage into schema markup, this is a format that search engines can digest easily.

For e-commerce websites this translation can transform a simple listing into an eye-catching rich snippet that displays prices and star ratings, offering users visual cues of quality right there in the search results.

There is a myriad of Rich Snippets available. First step is to attain a page one ranking, second step is to monitor the results and see what snippets Google is generating, and then your Technical SEO consultant can make a play for it, based on keyword and page.

Speed Optimisation: A Pillar of Technical SEO

In the online world site speed is paramount, pages that load sluggishly tumble down in the search engine rankings.

Technical SEO - Speed Testing

This factor is crucial for holding on to visitors who would otherwise abandon a lagging webpage. Google has made its position clear—page loading speed significantly influences rankings, and their PageSpeed Insights tool acts as your guide, delivering both scores and advice to boost your website’s velocity.

By focusing on Core Web Vitals (a metric suite from Google Search Console - GSC) and stripping away unnecessary weight you don’t just expedite content delivery but also roll out a warm welcome to search engine crawlers (like GoogleBot).

Optimising speed can be one-off but is often most effective as an ongoing process with routine evaluations and tweaks. A dedication to improving performance yields rich rewards not only in terms of enhanced user experience (UX) but in turn also contributes positively toward Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Accelerating Page Load with a Content Distribution Network

Consider your website’s content to be a worldwide envoy, connecting with users around the world through the support of Content Distribution Networks (CDNs). These networks act like a local expert or fixer for the internet.

CDNs operate out of sight to ensure that no matter where your viewers are located, your web pages continue to load at rapid speeds because they're serving assets (images and files) from a nearby computer.

Minimising Server Response Time

Every millisecond is critical when it comes to web server response time, this plays a significant role in the realm of website usability.

By optimising images and minimising redirects, you are removing valuable milliseconds from your site’s load time every time and forever, this provides users with the speed they demand and therefore improve the ranking potential of your pages.

Enhancing On-Page SEO Elements for Technical SEO Precision

It is imperative that your website adapts to accommodate the transition to mobile usage.

Technical SEO - Mobile User - Mobile First IndexingThe introduction of Google’s mobile-first indexing puts your web page’s mobile version in the limelight.

A website not optimised for mobile can deter potential customers akin to a store with an unreadable sign—preventing entry before they have had a chance to experience what you offer.

Optimising your site for mobile devices isn’t merely about following rules. It’s central to engaging the ever-increasing number of users who use their smartphones and tablets as primary portals.

Mobile optimisation goes beyond being just another trend. It serves as a crucial bridge linking your website with the half of the internet traffic worldwide that originates from handheld gadgets.

Responsive Design and Mobile Usability

Responsive design means your website will act like a versatile digital entity, conforming to the myriad of display sizes that users encounter throughout their day. It ensures every element — whether it’s buttons, text, or images — resizes and repositions smoothly so as to provide a user experience equally polished on both mobile devices and desktops.

Performance optimisation works alongside responsive elements, seeking out any surplus content that might slow down a website’s performance on portable gadgets.

Adopting a mobile-first approach places priority on meeting the needs of users by designing websites that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also inherently simple to use when viewed on smaller screens.

This strategy often includes implementing features such as resizable text and menus designed for touch input which enhance usability for those accessing sites via smartphones.

Such thoughtful improvements in mobile user-friendliness make your site easier to digest by visitors and resulting in longer stays or at least more satisfying stays. Google will notice their dwell time will increase (because they track it) and the user's likelihood that they o keep searching for answers will decrease (also tracked by Google)... these factors will result in better rankings for your website.

Mobile Page Speed and User Experience

The pace of mobile pages dictates the tempo for contemporary users who insist on instant access to information.

Implementing AMP technology effectively constructs a rapid conduit for your content, delivering it swiftly to users and maintaining their engagement.

Securing a notable position in search engine rankings is akin to being in a competition where having a mobile page that loads quickly is not merely beneficial—it’s imperative.

Tools we use when diagnosing Crawl Errors and Broken Links

Errors from crawling and broken links are akin to hidden wholes in the spider-web that represents your website—they're easy to overlook but they detract from the visitor experience. These (and issues like them) are the Stumbling Blocks I referred to at the top of this page.

Technical SEO Tools we use include:

  • Screaming Frog - SEO Spider - This is an awesome general purpose SEO tool, and if you're just getting started learning SEO it can be used on up to 100 urls for free.

  • Ayima Redirect Path extension - This is a niche tool for finding redirect chains, a common problem on old websites that have had multiple versions over the years.

  • Ahrefs - the SiteAudit crawler is an essential part of our Technical SEO audit service (see below). Aside: They also provide useful Keyword Research tools, and their Backlink Audits are first class.

  • Google Search Console (GSC) - The data GSC show you about your own website, i.e. it can only be used if you can prove you're a webmaster of a website. It is excellent for understanding indexation, speed (via Core Web Vitals, mentioned above), keyword research and rankings. It is especially good at revealing (in charts) how these values have changed over time.

  • GTMetrix - This is like Google's PageSpeed Insights, but we prefer it. When it comes to finding why a website's speed is lagging the "waterfall" tab here is exceptionally clear.

  • Sitebulb - This is a great secondary tool. It reveals many of the same issues that ScreamingFrog SEO Spider and the Ahrefs SiteAudit tool identify, but it goes a little further.

    • Sitebulb prioritises issues well, certainly in-line with our views and experience in fixing Technical SEO issues, and

    • it has some great looking visualisations so you can see how the crawler gets around your website, or not!

We use these tools to review the Technical SEO issues of target websites and sweep through the architecture of the whole website right down to the structure of each individual web page so that every hyperlink connects to a relevant destination.

Semantic SEO overlap - "Relevant Destination" isn't quite Technical SEO in the sense of being programming based, it is related to semantics, an understanding of the keyword research, and the topical relevance of what is being said on each page, and the related pages, that are, or should-be, linked to (wow that was a complicated sentence, but necessary). Internal links pointing from page to page is a huge driver of what a crawling search engine can infer (understand) about each web page and its place within the internal linking structure or semantic architecture.

A thorough analysis of search queries from a Technical SEO standpoint, these SEO tools accurately identify online cul-de-sacs, thereby enabling you to repair those disruptions and preserve a flawless route for both visitors and search engine crawlers around your website.

Tending to broken internal links is comparable to fixing a roadway network—assuring seamless and continuous navigation for anyone exploring your web pages. By keeping unobstructed pathways, you signal to search engines that your domain/website is well looked after and worthy of earning visitors from search rankings.

Resolving Duplicate Content and Canonicalisation Issues

Duplicate content can confuse search engines by presenting multiple, similar pages.

Canonical tags serve as a hint for search engines. They indicate which page is the primary source of content.

The goal is to maintain one definitive version of your material for search engines, but it is easy for this to confuse, especially when a subordinate version seems like the best and (perhaps) most "linked to" version.

When implementing hreflang and canonical tags in tandem precise coordination is imperative so that they support rather than conflict with each other.

Securing Your Website and Enhancing Trust

Security is a fundamental expectation.

Technical SEO - Speed Testing

The Impact of HTTPS on Rankings (2024)

As a minimum websites are expected to have an SSL, i.e. use HTTPS. Without it browsers will signal "not secure". You don't want to invest in a website, Technical SEO work and then see that!

ASIDE: If you're using WordPress it is wise to use a tool (or ideally a maintenance service) to scan and update your website regularly.

Addressing Security Concerns for Improved SEO

By adopting strong security protocols such as web application firewalls and implementing security headers, you can gain various advantages for your site. These include:

  • Hardening your website against attackers. Be stronger than most and the next website they find will be an easier target.
  • Reduce the likelihood of a security event, which would see your SEO performance take a tumble, even if it is only temporary.
  • Ensuring safety of your users - especially important for ecommerce.
  • Keep robust human centred security processes and policies, i.e. email security, password security etc.

International SEO - Multilingual and Multi-Regional SEO

Is your website trying to reach users around the world? Are you giving them, and the search engines what they need?

Technical SEO - Mobile User - Mobile First Indexing

As your digital presence extends beyond borders into multilingual and multi-regional audiences, technical SEO services switch up to incorporate International SEO.

A core feature of International SEO are hreflang tags.

These hreflang tags aim to ensure that users around the world are presented with a version of your site that resonates with their language and location. The goal is to provide visitors with a localised experience, e.g. greet your global audience in their mother tongue and with country specific content.

Integrating these practices is not just about being inclusive; it’s about maximising your reach and ensuring that every user, no matter where they are, get what they need from your website.

Hreflang Tags - Managing Language Targeting

Hreflang tags act like multilingual business cards for your website, informing search engines about the linguistic and geographic orientation of every page, and where it should find alternative versions.

When you place these tags in the head section of your web pages, it steers visitors towards the correct version of your content in their language. Google treats these tags as "hints" like canonical tags so it can take time for it to work as desired and if anything is confusing to GoogleBot it can go awry.

Securing Your Website and Enhancing Trust

We've covered a lot of ground, here's a quick wrap-up.

Technical SEO - Speed Testing

We’ve navigated the intricate landscape of technical SEO, uncovering the pillars that hold up a vast digital edifice: from the foundations of site architecture to the nuances of mobile optimisation.

Embrace these strategies, and you’ll not only speak the language of search engines, but also craft a user experience (UX) that resonates across borders and devices.

We hope these insights help you refine your website, enhance your rankings, earn organic traffic and captivate your audience in the ever-evolving world of search via Technical SEO.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is technical SEO, and why is it important?

Optimising website structure, coding aspects, semantics, and user experience is crucial for technical SEO as it enables search engines to comprehend and index the website’s content more effectively.

This optimisation leads to better positioning in search engine results and an increase in organic search traffic by aligning with the prerequisites of search engines.

How does site architecture impact SEO performance?

The design and organisation of your website’s structure are crucial for SEO as they provide a clear hierarchy of pages, simplifying the navigation for both search engines and users to quickly locate content.

By implementing an effective site architecture, you enhance the process by which search engines crawl and index your webpages, which can result in higher positions on search engine rankings.

Why are XML sitemaps important for SEO?

XML sitemaps play an essential role in SEO by cataloging a website’s URLs, which aids search engines in grasping the structure and configuration of the site. This can lead to more effective indexing and a possible enhancement in search engine rankings.

How does mobile optimisation affect search engine rankings?

Having a mobile-friendly design is essential for improving SEO since Google prioritises the mobile version of a webpage when it comes to indexing and ranking, underscoring the importance of mobile optimisation in search results.

What are hreflang tags, and how do they help with international SEO?

Hreflang tags play a vital role in defining the language and geographic targeting of a webpage, enabling search engines to present the appropriate version according to users’ geographical locations and language settings.

Their implementation is key for improving user experience on websites with multiple languages and for engaging prospective customers across various regions.

What are some other key issues that aren't included in Technical SEO?

Off page SEO! Technical SEO work centres on the entire performance of individual pages, and a website's Search Engine Optimisation as a whole. It is therefore "on page SEO" through-and-through. It is not "Off Page" at all.

Learn more about Off Page SEO? Look up citations, co-citations and link building. Our blog posts about SEO, at the bottom of this linked page, are a good place to start - Search Engine Optimisation.

What about other search engines?

Google is where it is at. At the time of writing (June 2024) Google is losing some traffic to AI and Google's own implementation of AI in their search results has been hit and miss, mostly miss (IMHO)... but Google is still at or about 90% of the search market.

Search Engine Optimisation can be extremely valuable for other search engines, e.g. a top ranking in Bing's search results, but until you rank really well and looking for small tweaks it is better to focus on Google first and foremost.

Should I do anything different for an ecommerce site?

No. In general earning organic traffic for an ecommerce website is more complicated than most business websites because a technical audit will have to cover many more pages, many product category pages and there may be multiple versions of the same info on the same site, e.g. related product.

A Technical SEO consultant needs to use good judgement and test and measure to find the right improvements to earn organic traffic from your target visitors. This challenge is the same no matter the size of the website, but more pages in the website does mean the number of interconnections (links) exponentially scale with size so more work needs to be done as more pages, products or categories are added.

Talking to a few SEO agencies? 
Awesome, we encourage that!

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SEO Strategic Basics - Concepts And Ideas