Technical SEO - The New King

WornJacket Technical SEO - The New King

The phrase “Content is King”  since it was first coined in 1996 by Bill Gates  referring to the Internet as a “marketplace for content” is not an uncommon phrase these days. Content may in fact be the most important aspect in the minds of many who provide SEO services. Typically that is because they are not technical in the aspects of coding websites or even the html language to realize the optimization of their foundations are just as important.

Thankfully the web has grown up quiet a bit since 1996. Anyone can be a publisher of content, writing blogs, articles, essays and we can even share or regurgitate key phrases all day long and have the best percentages on our SEOProfiler - all without having to know any code!—- but that won’t get us very far if our foundation is off.

The most common problem I encounter with website optimization is not that of keyword density and/or content developed for the user personas. No, its not the keyword spamming of your meta descriptions, title and alt tags. The issue lies with the very foundation your site’s content is framed within, the very thing that makes your awesome content accessible- the technical seo.

Take Wordpress for example. A lot of people use Wordpress as their publishing platform and because many of you have heard how awesome and free it is from major bloggers who use it- you also assume that it is great for you. This is true to a certain extent,  the theme however may look great with lots of eye candy, but underneath, where it really counts in the technical seo world they are a horrible nightmare.  The plugins calling external resources into the website and loading sometimes multiple copies of them! Your site is beginning to drag and load slowly. You’re not ranking as well as you should and why is google search results showing my copyright where a keyword description should be! The html, css, and js will not validate. Its really enough to bring Jeffrey Zeldman to the point of throwing off his toboggan and burning it.

The problem isn’t just with Wordpress though. Any website can have these issues if not built and designed properly. A developer should build a website with SEO in mind and while building it build it with minimized, fast loading images and code. Most web architects these days are not skilled enough in various web technologies to know how best to approach a design from a web standards point of view, let alone understanding why the code needs to follow standards. This is no place to be a web rebel unless you don’t care about how you place in the search engines.

With that in mind here are some technical seo principles you be aware of and should incorporate or fix with your website:

1) Availability - Its important to have a good hosting environment where the website can handle requests in a timely fashion. If your website isn’t loading in about 2 seconds, you may want to take a look at your host setup.

2) Responsive - It’s important that your website be available and accessible on multiple devices such as tablets and phones as well as desktops and large monitors. If it isn’t your visitors are most likely turning away. Check your analytics to learn about your users and how they are interacting with your site.

3) Validated - How’s the underlying code does it comply with web standards? You should validate every page within your site starting with the main section pages. You can do this by visiting: [The W3C Markup Validation Service](https://validator.w3.org/)

4) Combined and Minified - Another optimization technique is to combine and minify your cascading style sheets and javascript files to make them compact and reduce queries to the web server (which in turn impact your load time).

5) Caching - Another great technical seo tool to improve your optimization is to utilize caching. Caching makes a copy of your website and servers it until an expiration date and time occurs. This is important especially if you’re running a CMS such as Wordpress or Expression Engine that utilizes dynamic content pulled from a database. Caching would then server static files instead of having to run the queries of the programming language every time to display content.