Developing a website — one that generates business results — requires building a solid network of reputable backlinks and publishing a consistent program of user-oriented content. These are two of the most powerful drivers of search engine results page (SERP) rankings. But they depend for their stability and strength on a crucial third aspect of SEO. These two pillars of online visibility must have a solid foundation of technical SEO to stand on, or the website will disappear into oblivion, like a relic of a lost civilization beneath the ever-shifting sands of time.
Technical SEO is the science of search when viewed through a technological perspective. The user-experience is approached from the standpoint of web architecture and coding, machine learning, and automation algorithms. The emphasis tends to focus on the leading edge of search technology where the ability to evolve and innovate at the same pace as the main search engines (namely, Google) is key to ongoing success.
The Archeology of Technical SEO
If you conduct a little excavation work under the surface of most successful websites and online entities today, you will dig up certain features that they all share. These hidden elements include aspects of website design and structure that control page response and load times, systems interoperability, media handling capability, and responsiveness to device format.
In the emerging world of SaaS and stand-alone apps, the whole idea of websites can be seen changing into something less clearly defined than in the days of Web 1.0. However, this can be misleading, as most of the technical SEO work that most websites need done is based on well established, trailing edge practices and principles.
The example of Google’s planned shift to mobile-first index rankings shows that innovation sometimes runs too far ahead of implementation to be practical for most businesses. But it still shines a light on areas where the process of evolution is going to have the most impact. Making web content mobile-friendly is clearly one of the key initiatives that technical SEO is focused on, regardless of Google’s actual timing and policy specifics, in order to respond to the way consumers are behaving now.
Looking Back On SEO in 2017
Search Engine Watch recently reported on a nationwide survey of SEO specialists. The survey reflects back on 2017 across an in-depth and wide-ranging spectrum of SEO operations and metrics. The respondents come from a cross-section of industries, from small and medium enterprises to large companies, from all across the USA. The findings of the survey include data on:
- SEO spending totals for full year 2017, and projections for 2018.
- budget allocations for different phases of SEO, for this year and next.
- staffing, research and development, and use of in-house or agency resources.
- key issues and challenges in the SEO market and technology space.
Size Matters Little in SEO Resources
The survey finds that larger firms typically invest more money and people in SEO in total but not necessarily more as a ratio to earnings or revenues. 55 percent of all companies budget $5,000 a month or more. Only 19 percent spend less than $1,000 a month. These numbers indicate the high level of priority given to SEO execution right across the board, regardless of company size.
Current Top Priorities in SEO Operations
Among survey respondents for businesses of all sizes the top four priorities, now and in planning for the year ahead, are listed here in order of importance:
- technical SEO.
- content development.
- traffic analysis.
- link building.
The ranking of technical SEO at the top of this list reflects the importance of going below the surface and reinforcing the foundations that support the content and linking networks that organic search traffic is trying to find and follow.
With the increasing levels of video and audio content production, combined with the increasing dominance of mobile as the consumer platform of choice for online consumption of all forms of media, technical SEO consultants will be challenged to balance the competing pressures.
Take the Next Step in Technical SEO
Technical SEO looks both forward and backward in order to build the foundations of website visibility and authority. The first step in the process of getting up to speed in the fast lane is to run a site audit with an SEO expert who has a track record of getting results. Get in touch with Paul Teitelman today, and let’s get technical.