Why Technical SEO Matters - Best SEO Podcasts
What is technical SEO and why does it matter? Technical SEO is no more than laying down a strong foundation to give your businesses content the best chance it can have to rank for keywords and phrases. Join Matt and Chris for another thrilling episode of the Best SEO Podcast, featuring “Technical SEO: why it matters and seven tweaks to give you an edge” by John Stevens. TRANSCRIPT:

Chris: Hi and welcome to the SEO Podcast: Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing. My name is Chris Burres, owner of eWebResults.

Matt: My name is Matt Bertram, owner of eWebResults!

Chris: Also owner of eWebResults. Welcome back to another fun-filled edition of our podcast, this is podcast #24– oh good, it’s right #242.

Matt: Yeah. Person: #424.

Chris: Yes.

Matt: #424.

Chris: Yeah, I don’t why I said–

Matt: Why #242?

Chris: Yeah, #424. I just can’t believe it’s so many podcasts. As always we have a tip from our previous podcast and that tip is:

Matt: Make sure your website’s GDPR compliant.

Chris: Yeah. S— so GDPR is that rule that came out in the European Union where you need to allow your users to control their data, have impact on their data and to know exactly what you’re gonna do with their data. Make sure you’re compliant. Subscribe. Follow. Chris & Matt: Boom!

Chris: Alright, so please remember we are filmed live here in Houston, Texas, and Matt and I we are your– Chris & Matt: Results Rebels!

Chris: I got a review. I gotta jump into this. This one’s all about you, and it’s good.

Matt: It’s good? It’s good!

Chris: Did I say that really surprised? I’m just thinking ‘cause the bad reviews I seem to read are about me and the good reviews are about you!

Matt: No!

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: Oh, yeah.

Chris: It is actually, so far– don’t worry about it, I’ll get over it eventually. This one is from Peter Henchey and this is of course– Chris & Matt: 5 stars!

Chris: It says, “It’s hard to know who to trust when it comes to SEO these days, and as a small business owner who is not the expert in the field it’s only more difficult. I can say though, without a doubt, that the team at eWebResults is not only trustworthy but also cutting edge experts in their knowledge of the industry. They have over-delivered massive value to me even beyond the call of duty. I’ve greatly benefited specifically from the amount of attention Matt Bertram has given my business in helping craft a marketing plan that makes the most sense for me and my company. Thanks guys, and keep up the good work!” Punch in the face to you Peter, we know you went through some hard times. A lot of people out there have gone through some hard times. If you’ve got questions or concerns about your current internet marketing company, go ahead and give us a call. Click that free website analysis and we’ll give you an objective opinion. We have told people, “Hey, why’d you reach out to us? It looks like everything is really going good for you.” Unless you’re having communication problems, or you’re having some other problems, you should probably just stay where you–

Matt: Or you want to Geofence.

Chris: Or you want to Geofence, you want to do something new. Other than that–

Matt: Some Facebook bots.

Chris: Yeah, some new stuff. Alright, so if you’ve returned, you might be excited about more tips from us, and you might interested in our, “5 Online Marketing Mistakes That Can Tank Your Business & How to Avoid Them.” You can get that by going to eWebResults.com/

Matt: SEOTip

Chris: Yeah, that takes you right there. Alright, so we’ve got a teaser, we got a good article. We’re kind of going technical today.

Matt: Alright!

Chris: “Technical SEO: why it matters and seven tweaks to give you an edge.” Who wants an edge?

Matt: I want it.

Chris: You want an edge? Everyone out there? You? You? Okay, over there in Zimbabwe, you want an edge too? Well listen to this podcast ‘cause we’re gonna give you that edge in this podcast. If this is the first time you’ve listened to the podcast: howdy and welcome to the podcast. If you’ve listened to this podcast before, then you know what we are going to skip.

Matt: Yes!

Chris: Skip, yes!

Matt: Yes!

Chris: Each and every week we run a contest, and here’s how the contest works: if we get 10 shikos–

Matt: A share, a like, or a Follow You.

Chris: If we get 10 shikos on any one of our kind of profiles on the different platforms out there–

Matt: Not trademarked yet, but gonna be– no, just kidding.

Chris: And if we get 10 shikos and if we get a review then we move where we tell you how to like connect with us and shiko us, and actually give us a review to the end of the podcast. We are moving that to the end of the podcast. Thank you for shikoing us.

Matt: Yes.

Chris: And we ask you to do that some more, and we’ll tell you exactly how to do that at the end of the podcast.

Matt: Thank you for you YouTube visitors out there, starting to give us some love, we know we’re a podcast but we’re a online–

Chris: YouTube broadcast, yeah.

Matt: Online broadcast.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: So thank you, YouTubers out there.

Chris: Yes, thank you very much. Let’s see. We skipped that to the end, and I mentioned a free website analysis. Wow, this is going fast. It’s good ‘cause we have appointments that we need to go to today. And by the way this is Thursday. Normally we do it on Friday. We’ve got somebody who’s going out to an exciting wedding. It’s going to be a nice cool pleasant wedding for you, right?

Matt: Yeah, in Fredericksburg. Outside: 92 degrees, the wedding and the reception. Fantastic.

Chris: Nice, it’s going to be fantastically cool and refreshing. This is where like everybody’s hovering on the inside.

Matt: There’s no inside!

Chris: Oh what, there’s no inside at all?

Matt: No, there’s no inside.

Chris: Wow, okay.

Matt: It’s like an outside venue.

Chris: Okay, so everybody will be hovering in the car, and they’re like–

Matt: I think they needed those big fans.

Chris: Okay.

Matt: Fingers crossed.

Chris: The ones that spit water at you?

Matt: Yeah, like the big fans. Like what are they called misters?

Chris: Yeah, yeah. Alright so here we got trending, yes. Trump met Kim Jong Un this week.

Matt: The video, look for the video out there. The video out there’s like just awesome.

Chris: Interesting, yeah.

Matt: Yeah, it’s really good.

Chris: Kim Kardashian is actually sitting down with the CEO of Twitter. She’s recommending that you be able to edit your tweets, potentially delete those tweets.

Matt: Thank you, thank you Kim. Thank you Kim.

Chris: Interesting, yeah.

Matt: Shout out to Kim. Yeah.

Chris: Yeah, she’s our tech advisor. LinkedIn adds carousel images to ads. So if you’re running LinkedIn ads–

Matt: Finally!

Chris: Yeah, you need to have that happen. And then Facebook will actually ban a business from running ads if they don’t have good reviews.

Matt: That’s never happened to me, so.

Chris: Yeah. Well our clients don’t have to worry about that ‘cause we only choose the best clients.

Matt: But they have been changing what you can run and what you can’t run based on industry.

Chris: Okay.

Matt: I have seen that. So ads that I’ve had running that have been going really well, they’ve decided, “No, we’re not going to let you run those anymore.” And I’ve had to petition, and have to change some words. So they’re changing stuff.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: Yeah, they’re changing stuff.

Chris: Alright, so that is the potatoes of the podcast. Let’s get into the meat. Again, “Technical SEO: why it matters and seven tweaks to give you an edge.” By the way if you’re near some electronic device and you have some way, maybe a computer, I don’t know maybe a phone with a Twitter account. What we’d like you to do is go ahead and tweet #SEOPodcast. This is #424, @BestSEOPodcast, @eWebResults, @MattBertramLive, and @SEWatch, Search Engine Watch is the–

Matt: What about you?

Chris: Oh, and @ChrisBurresEweb.

Matt: Boom!

Chris: Boom! It got it! Thank you. So this is an article from Search Engine Watch. It’s from John Stevens, punch in the face to you: both Search Engine Watch and John Stevens.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: And here we go. So the three important things– actually Google announced this. It’s an Andrey Lipattsev– so L-I-P-A-T-T-S-E-V. You know I don’t have to spell names very often, I usually can get something out. Lipattsev, Lipattsev, we’ll go with that. He says the three things that are important are content, links and RankBrain.

Matt: He’s from Google. So this is–

Chris: Yeah, he is from Google.

Matt: This is what Google’s telling that you want you to do.

Chris: He is the Google Search quality senior strategist.

Matt: Yes.

Chris: So important to listen to.

Matt: Important to these words.

Chris: And he’s saying the three things to focus on in terms of ranking well in Google: content, links and RankBrain. And then one of the factors– really what John Stevens in this article’s saying is: look if you’ve got great content, you got great links, and you got great RankBrain – and we’ve kind of optimized for RankBrain – but your technical SEO is in the dumps, you’re just not going to go anywhere. Poor technical SEO on your website could make your website uncrawlable, unidexable, and inaccessible. Kind of defeats the whole purpose of having great content, great links, and really go shuffling around for RankBrain. So he’s given us seven tweaks, right? Here we go, Tweak #1, “Enable HTTPS for your website.”

Matt: If you’re not doing this already, just do it.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: Like I mean I don’t– he explains why, but all websites need to have this.

Chris: HTTPS.

Matt: I mean if you’re still back in the day where you didn’t need it, change it.

Chris: Yeah, update it.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: And I know it can be technically daunting if you’re managing your own website and things like that, but spend the time– like this is an exaggeration, but you can definitely knock it out in a day. And that’s going to pay dividends over the long run, so you want to make sure that you take care of that. Know that currently when people pull up your website if it’s not secure, then they’re not getting that warm and fuzzy from the secure Padlock and the green bar in the browser.

Matt: Well a lot of times that box will pop up and it looks like you got a virus or something, it freaks you out, right?

Chris: It scares you, yeah.

Matt: So if you’re e-commerce, right? And you have this box popping up. Like one, “You’re information’s being transmitted to,” is scaring potential customers, so yeah.

Chris: Yup. Google itself has come out to admit that they do use HTTPS as a ranking signal. Right? And then there’s some examples that they’re showing that there’s some prominence for those sites that have HTTPS. Now I got to have a little caveat to this, right? Because the reality is those people who are already on the HTTPS bandwagon, are probably the ones, you know–

Matt: Doing other stuff.

Chris: Doing other stuff.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Right?

Matt: Yup.

Chris: So he even mentions this one particular case. There’s a case study tracking performance and search rankings after enabling HTTPS, and this was from SEO Hacker. They reported a 480% increase in keyword rankings compared to it’s closest competitor during the same period. Again though, it’s possible–

Matt: If their competitors could not be mobile friendly, if they’re not HTTPS– yeah.

Chris: If they weren’t doing anything else, right?

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: If you’re tracking it, then is that the only change you made? You know you got to always kind of wonder what the criteria was in it.

Matt: Yup.

Chris: Suffice it to say whether that’s exactly accurate and exactly due to HTTPS, go ahead and get HTTPS.

Matt: Just do it.

Chris: Just do it.

Matt: Nike.

Chris: Alright #2, “Pay special attention to your web host.” Where are you hosting your website, right? So we’ve got clients– most of our clients are actually hosting with us. It’s part of what we do. Then we have more control, we make sure that we don’t get– that our webserver’s not hacked, we make sure that it’s running at optimal speeds, we make sure we update it every couple of years. When you’re just hosting with somebody out there on your own, the reality is you can have problems, and when you have those problems you got to pay someone to fix, right? We also know that sometimes from a website performance perspective you get in this tit-for-tat. You get in this situation where, “Hey, we fix this on the website,” and you’re having a problem with the hosting, and then hosting’s like, “No, no. The coding on WordPress is wrong.” And you’re like, “But it’s WordPress, and no, the coding’s not wrong.” Yeah, that goes away when you actually have the company, your internet marketing company, host your website.

Matt: It’s true, less moving parts.

Chris: Absolutely. For one, web speed is a technical ranking factor, and that– you know if you’re on a slow server, you’re on a server with too little memory, you can have some significant slowness and server downtime. So if you have this occasional outage where the server goes down for a day, and then you come back. That’s not going to affect your rankings, but if it happens that Google’s coming from time to time and they’re able to crawl half of your site and not the other half ‘cause your server’s going down, and that happens regularly, that is going to dramatically impact your ranking.

Matt: So this is not in the article but I think it’s worth talking about: shared hosting– like if you’re sharing with whoever–

Chris: So you’re talking about the neighborhood issue? Yeah.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: So the other challenge with shared hosting, is Google is aware– if you’ve got one IP address and typically shared hosting does have one IP address, then you have all of these other sites. So imagine if everybody on your particular IP address was you know– I don’t know, we’ll say a website that–

Matt: Of ill repute.

Chris: Of ill repute. That’s the perfect phrase. A website of ill repute. And then you’re in some sense– actually in some parts of the algorithm you actually get lumped in with those websites of ill repute. So it’s good to have a lot more control of your website and of your hosting.

Matt: Single instances is really the way to go based on when you get above a certain traffic level.

Chris: Yup. Alright, so Number #3. Again, this is “Technical SEO: why it matters and seven tweaks to give you an edge.” Number #3 is, “Prepare for mobile-first indexing.”

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Right? And so Google’s been talking about this for a long time. There are more mobile internet users than desktop users, right? Fact. Google says that the majority of web searches on their platform are mobile users. Fact: mobile, mobile, you see the trend here?

Matt: I mean they say mobile first– when they say mobile-first they mean they’re going to index over other websites mobile. Mobile’s going to outrank–

Chris: Your workstation version.

Matt: Yes.

Chris: Yup.

Matt: So you gotta understand that. And also from the keyword standpoint, a lot of mobile versions they get rid of keywords, that affects how Google’s crawling your site and it will affect your rankings. So if you can keep the words in a way that make sense where you kind of have those boxes that kind of hide a little bit of the words, but they’re still on the page.

Chris: Accordion.

Matt: Yeah, so there’s a number of different things you can do, but don’t get rid of all the words because it will affect your rankings on mobile.

Chris: Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah and I mentioned Google’s announced their intention to do mobile-first. Here’s what can become a problem for you, “If you’re site isn’t optimized for mobile readers your rankings will suffer.” So that’s just a fact of you know, if it just doesn’t read well, right? People are going to bounce out of it and go to the next site, and Google’s sitting there on that search result page going, “Hey, that guy bounced from that page and went to this page and never bounced. I’m going to move that second page up higher in the rankings,”right?

Matt: So when you’re designing a website look at it from the mobile user version first.

Chris: Yup.

Matt: Also there’s a little Chrome extension that you can see how everything looks on mobile. You need to be utilizing that when you’re building your sites and you’re looking at optimizing them, because it’s going to make and it already is making huge difference.

Chris: And one caveat to that. So we see this consistently across our clients, where there’s more traffic on mobile and tablet, and significantly more conversions on workstations.

Matt: Pro Tip.

Chris: Yeah, go ahead.

Matt: I got another one.

Chris: Go for it.

Matt: So when you’re running campaigns on Facebook or AdWords or whatever, break it apart – your mobile traffic, and your desktop traffic – and you can see where the conversions are.

Chris: And you will probably notice that the conversions are in workstations and so–

Matt: It depends.

Chris: Depends on the industry.

Matt: It depends on the industry.

Chris: And the best solution is to make sure that you have a fully responsive website.

Matt: Yes.

Chris: Number #4, “Confirm that your content is being indexed,” right? So search engines can only rank, and you can only show up in the search engine result page if you have been indexed. If you are not indexed then like, why are we here? You’re only option is paid and even that’s confusing, right? Hey Chris, how do I know if I’ve been indexed? It’s actually really simple, there’s a command in the search bar. So go the Google search bar, type in site S-I-T-E: and then put your Domain Name without a space (site:DomainName). And Google will show you all of the pages on your site that it has indexed, right? And it’ll show up in the search engine result page.

Matt: So when you’re doing like local SEO and you’re doing some local citations, check and make sure all the different platforms you’re putting it on are getting indexed. One of the tips to help you get indexed is don’t just copy and paste the same description over and over again, ‘cause Google doesn’t like duplicate content.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: So change it up. The more you get indexed, the more those indexed sites are linking back to your site, the better your SEO is going to be.

Chris: Yup, absolutely. The other thing is the Search Console, it’s a way to confirm what’s being indexed, but that’s actually tip #7, so I don’t want to jump into that.

Matt: Yeah, submit–

Chris: We’ll get there. We’ll get there. Alright Number #5, “Pay attention to your sitemap.” Alright, so one of our policy is any time we’re making some pretty significant adjustments to a page, we’re actually submitting that page directly to Google through the Search Console. But also one way to do it is just to easily resubmit the sitemap, right? So you should have a sitemap for it. You know, you may have really good navigation, but sometimes the spider doesn’t get down far enough to the crevices of your website, and having a good sitemap is a way to make sure that it does index those pages.

Matt: That was a really good visual–

Chris: Crevices of your–

Matt: Yeah, I liked that.

Chris: Hello… Hello… Hello… That’s the one page that want’s to be indexed and actually has a lot of value for your business but has not been indexed yet ‘cause you don’t have a sitemap. If you don’t have a sitemap, create one, submit it to the search engines. And you can do that again, from Google Search Console – formally known as Google Webmaster Tools.

Matt: So there was a word here that I had to look up.

Chris: Oh tantamount, yeah yeah.

Matt: I was like, “I think I know what it means,” but I actually researched it to find out. Equivalent in seriousness.

Chris: Equivalent, tantamount.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Equivalent in seriousness.

Matt: Yes, and I read a lot and I–

Chris: He does, I can confirm that he reads an amazing amount of content daily and weekly, and comes and shares it. And it’s actually pretty awesome ‘cause then I don’t have to read as much. Alright Number #6, “Audit links from your site.” Right, so you really do need to audit the links that are going out from your site. So it used to be in SEO– we used to think, “Hey, don’t link out away from your website because that’s taking link juice and giving it somebody else.” And then it turns out that actually it’s a good experience, right? If you’re having references for the content of your website, then it’s actually well-thought out content that’s pulling concepts from other places and then referencing where those concepts came from. That’s just good writing.

Matt: Yeah, yeah. And I mean really look for high quality content. I love to like link out to like Google.com.

Chris: Right, right.

Matt: Wikipedia.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: You know really high domain authority sites ‘cause you know, Google likes it.

Chris: Yeah, and so here are a couple things about auditing the links. So, regularly check for removed dead links or broken links from your sites. So those are the links that are on your site that are linking to something that’s dead. Nice thing is that WordPress will let you know about those. “Regularly check to ensure that internal links to other pages on your site are properly done.” Ditto for WordPress in that situation. When you redirect a page on your site, you should make sure that the redirection has a proper 301. Duh! 302 for temporary redirects. I literally, I’ve only used one temporary redirect in my whole career. Like it’s always– like the page is there now. Like that’s usually what it is.

Matt: Yeah, I really don’t use that many of those.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: I can’t think of one.

Chris: Can’t think of 301. Alright, “Perform regular audits to identify orphan pages on your site.” So again, that’s that page. Even worse than that page that yes, there’s a link path to get down to– all the way down in bowels of your website. But what about that one last link to it gets changed, right? And so now it’s just an orphan site.

Matt: Aww! That’s sad.

Chris: Yeah, you want to make sure that doesn’t happen. Poor sad link.

Matt: Think about your link structure, on-page, off-page, what it looks like. You know, it’s important.

Chris: When we talk about linking being important for SEO, the thing that you have the most control over is the links on your website.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: And how they interlink within your website.

Matt: Super powerful, you don’t need to go crazy off-page until you really optimize on-page. And you can build out your on-page strategy, and you control it, and the referee Google is good with it.

Chris: Yup.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Alright, so final, final. This is “Technical SEO: why it matters and seven tweaks to give you an edge.” “Enable Google Search Console,” again formerly Google Webmaster Tools. It’s easy to enable Google Search Console. It allows you to monitor the health of your website. And then I love this, his last little tip. If you’re going to take one of the seven tips, what you should do is you should install Google Search Console and then regularly follow the advice of that site and make sure it’s technically compliant.

Matt: Yes.

Chris: That’s really a no-brainer.

Matt: That’s what a lot of SEO is or SEO fixes are. Here are the problems and you go down the list and you fix them, the most important first. And just keep working on it, and then magically great things happen.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: It’s pretty straight forward.

Chris: It’s all magic. So what we do is it’s magic. Alright, so if you liked this podcast we ask you to share it with three friends. Please, we really appreciate it. Remember we are not only the most popular SEO podcast on iTunes, we’re also the most popular SEO podcast on Ahrefs.

Matt: Oh I heard we were the most popular podcast on Podomatic too.

Chris: On Podomatic too, that’s true. Actually yeah, Matt wasn’t sure and he was like, “Let’s pull up the Podomatic homepage,” and you scroll down there to Talk Podcast on Podomatic and boom, we were in position #1.

Matt: Number #1!

Chris: He was happy to see us. If you are looking to grow your business with the largest, simplest marketing tool on the planet.

Matt: The internet, the internet, the internet…

Chris: Go ahead and call us for increased revenue in your business, our phone number is 713-592-6724. Please remember we have a referral program, and the way the referral program works: if you know anybody who needs some aspect of internet marketing, maybe it’s a landing page, maybe it’s a whole website redo, maybe it’s optimizing a PPC campaign. So sometimes people are like, “I just don’t want to turn it over to anyone, but let me hire some experts to really give me the right pointers, and do a little structural change so that it actually works better, and maybe give me some points so that then I can manage it myself.” We can do that for you. We absolutely do consulting and we actually do PPC consulting, SEO consulting, graphical user interface consulting, conversion consulting. If you know somebody who needs one of those services you send them to us, when they pay their bill, we pay you or a charity of your choice. That’s just how that works. Please remember we were filmed live at 5999, West 34th Street, Suite 106, Houston, Texas, 77092. If you would like a transcript, audio or video of this podcast you can find it on our website eWebResults.com. Until the next podcast, my name is Chris Burres.

Matt: My name is Matt Bertram. Chris & Matt: Bye bye for now.