Creating great content is key to an SEO strategy.
But if you neglect the technical side of how your content is delivered, then you are putting up unnecessary barriers for yourself.
Technical SEO encompasses the “behind the scenes” elements of an SEO strategy that speaks directly to search algorithms.
But there are quite a few things to optimize for when building out a technical SEO strategy. For many business owners, it may be beneficial to hire a technical SEO consultant who can handle the nuances for you.
6 Ways a Technical SEO Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business
Regardless of which type of service you hire for, your end goal is to grow your business.
Hiring a technical SEO consultant is no different, and you should go into the relationship with an expectation of results.
A technical SEO consultant will optimize both your website and content so that you are providing the best experience for users, communicating effectively with search algorithms, and ultimately ranking better for your target keywords.
At a high level, the services they provide should lead to:
To achieve these business outcomes, technical SEO consultants will dive deep into your SEO strategy and uncover elements of your strategy that are currently holding you back.’
Here are some of the elements that they will optimize:
1) Page Load Time
How fast your website loads is a key element in your SEO strategy – both from a user’s perspective and from the search algorithms.
If your page is taking 4 seconds or more to load, for instance, the majority of users will click away, leading to higher bounce rates.
This signifies to the search engines that your website offers a poor user experience, which will make you rank less in the SERPS (search engine results pages).
A technical SEO consultant will check for things such as image size, broken code, and other elements on the page that could cause a slow page load time.
2) Design Optimization
Images and layout are important to make a website more user friendly and attractive. Imagine coming to a website that’s just a wall of text – you will probably click off.
Dwell time – the amount of time a user spends on your site – is a key metric that search algorithms look for. A better, more attractive design increases the likelihood that people will stay and navigate your site.
A technical SEO consultant will make sure that your site can easily be navigated and has an attractive design. They will also ensure that your images are optimized with appropriate names and alt attributes for the search engine.
3) Mobile Responsiveness
As web traffic becomes increasingly mobile-first, having a responsive website has become a major element of how search algorithms rank websites.
This means that your website will need to be responsive in the sense that regardless of which device the user is using, they will be able to see your website in an appropriate way.
A technical SEO consultant won’t likely be able to make your website responsive, as this is a job for your developers and designers.
However, they will be able to point out any pages that aren’t so mobile friendly.
4) Meta Tag Information
Every website has information that sums up what the site is about to both the user and search engines. This information is contained in the meta tag of the website (usually at the top of a website’s code). It contains elements such as:
5) Link Optimization
Your technical SEO consultant will advise you on how links can make or break your SEO strategy. There are 4 main aspects of your linking strategy that you will affect your results:
6) Page Structure
How your page is structured is another factor technical SEO consultants will keep in mind – particularly for longer-form content. Factors they will evaluate include:
How to Get Started With a Technical SEO Consultant
If you decide that you need to work with a technical SEO consultant, there are 4 phases of how your working relationship should look like.
In the preparation stage, you will need to make sure that your house is in order so that the technical SEO consultant can do their job. This includes:
2) Technical SEO Audit
Once you have chosen a consultant, the first thing they should do is conduct an audit of your current SEO implementation. Here are some aspects of a technical SEO audit:
3) Optimizing Technical SEO
Next, your technical SEO consultant will get to work to fix the technical issues on your website. Depending on what needs to be optimized, there are a few things you may need to do also:
Measuring the ROI of Technical SEO Consulting Services
As a business owner or marketing leader, you need to be able to quantify the ROI of a technical SEO consultant.
This can be tricky, as technical SEO consulting can be similar to services like design or development in the sense that there is value created, but it can be hard to measure.
There are however some things that you should keep an eye on that are directly tied to marketing performance:
Keep in mind that technical SEO isn’t a pure marketing activity like performance advertising, so you should see it more of a catalyst than a marketing channel itself.
4 Point Checklist For Finding the Right Technical SEO Consultant
If you decide that you need to hire a technical SEO consultant, here are the 4 things you should screen for before signing any contract.
1) Client list – Take a look at the type of clients that the SEO consultant has worked with in the past. Are there any notable brand names? What type of websites do these clients have? Is there any evidence of demonstrable results? Think also about the type of SEO strategy that their clients use and whether it’s relatable to your situation. For instance, do you need to rank for high competition keywords or just compete in your local city?
2) Additional services – A technical SEO consultant should be able to offer you additional services such as content marketing, analytics and other forms of SEO. A consultant who has experience with other forms of digital marketing will be able to help you create and execute a holistic strategy that drives results in tandem with technical SEO.
3) Strong team – Look for a consultant that has a strong team behind them or check that they themselves have an exceptional track record. Years of experience is important, but with SEO it’s important that the consultant you work with keeps track of the new changes that are happening everyday. Search engines like Google are constantly evolving, so you need to work with somebody who has their finger on the pulse.
4) Technology – A good thing to screen for is whether your technical SEO consultant has built out their own tech platform that they use with their clients. Examples of this include Ubersuggest, SEMRush and Moz. Not only will you get to benefit from their technology, but the fact that they have built their own technology provides further credibility and shows that they have real skin in the game.
Technical SEO has a lot of variables to it, so it can be quite tricky for somebody to do it themselves. This is particularly true given the fact that search engines such as Google are constantly evolving.
In many cases, you would be better off hiring a technical SEO consultant who keeps on top of the latest trends so that you can optimize your site more effectively.
Keep in mind also that technical SEO should be done as part of a holistic SEO strategy.
As important as it is to optimize your site, great content and positive social feedback to your site are still king.