Navigating the World of SEO: Crucial Insights for Web Development Agencies
So you have hired this SEO guy from the Internet. So he is an expert in Copy and while your team had done some SEO keyword research, none of the keywords are showing up. You are getting upset and decide to hire someone that came recommended to fix your SEO issues.
Recent Transformations in SEO: Parrolabs' Perspective
Yes, the world of SEO is definitely getting more complicated and for a Web Development Agency like Parrolabs, it is something that we have to Monitor Closely. The most important changes that were announced in the period 2017 until the middle of 2020 are:
Page Loading Speed: A New Ranking Metric
I am convinced (although any evidence is missing) that Google will rank your site higher if you are showing to them your page is able to handle more traffic. Nothing frustrates Google more than to link to pages that will crash under traffic. If you rewind the clock 15-20 years, it was not uncommon for servers to crash. While Autoscaling Cloud Environments have changed all off that, not everybody is using it. The fact that Google is now ranking pages by Loading Speed and Page Speed are described on their Blog here: Speed is now a landing page factor for Google Search and Ads | Web
Structured Data: To Use or Not to Use?
The jury is still not out if Structured Data or Schema.org is a ranking factor. Some blogs suggest that it is not (Is Schema Markup a Ranking Factor for SEO or Not? - RankWatch Blog), while others are suggesting it is (How Schema Affects SEO). Overall, we feel there are some positive aspects of using it. So, we would recommend it as an extra push, but not as an absolute requirement. So while there are many ranking factors, the most important is Speed. Also, we think that there are many others that are more important than the exact phrase that you need to use. That being said, keyword research is definitely not something to ignore.
Website Loading Speed: What's Slowing You Down?
The actual loading speed of a website is very important. Many websites run on servers that are single VPS. While, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Chances are that your site is also running a number of Plugin Processes and the bad thing about that is that your server might be under heavy load cause of these processes. This will affect your SEO heavily. We are recommending every.
URL Issues: The Devil is in the Details
We see a lot of small issues with URLs including redirects. You need to pay attention to the fact that sometimes URLs are duplicated and this is bad for SEO. Luckily the free Google Webmasters - Resources to Track Website & Search Performance has a nifty tool to see if this is the case. Pay attention to your Coverage Report in the Google Search Console.
HTML Visibility and Single Page Applications (SPAs)
This is an important Aspect and Oftentimes overlooked. If your HTML is not showing, it is not necessarily bad, but if you are using React or Gatsby or any other Single Page App (SPA), we would recommend having a look at predendering. See also here Vue.js SEO-Friendly SPAs: Tips, Tools & Prerender Example - Snipcart.
The Importance of robots.txt
Admitting, this does not happen a lot, but we’ve seen it in the past. This one is like very basic, as every site needs to have a document called “robots.txt”. As we are working with a system called Git, it can happen that we want to have the Robots.txt in our Staging Environment to block all crawlers, so it does not show up in Google. However, in a clumsy moment and not QA-ing well the production it can happen that Google will not index it, like ever…whatever you do.
So if you are struggling with your SEO. Do not hesitate to give us a call and see what we can do for you!
Written by Niels Siskens