60 Tips from Tech SEO Tuesdays

Tips from Tech SEO Tuesday

Tech SEO Tuesdays started to share tips and advice with others in the industry. Posted weekly on LinkedIn, Twitter, and elsewhere, you can find the full list of technical SEO advice here! 

I’ve been working in SEO for more than 5 years and have dealt with countless website migrations and audits. I’ve certainly come across my fair share of technical SEO issues, which is why Tech SEO Tuesdays started. There are many tips here that I’d wish I’d known when I started, as well as others I’ve recently discovered. 

There’s always something new in SEO, that’s the beauty of it. 

2021 Tech SEO Tuesdays

Tip 1:

As part of a domain migration, if you’ve previously created a disavow file, this file will need to be added to the Google Search Console property for the new URL too!

Tip 2:

With massive websites it can be difficult to know which pages you should / shouldn’t index. As a rule, don’t try to get everything indexed. Instead, focus on indexing pages that have the potential to provide great search results.

Tip 3:

The htaccess file only affects the folder it’s placed in and the subsequent folders. Where your file is located matters, it is usually on the root but it is possible to have more than one htaccess file.

Tip 4:

SERPs are a great resource to learn what Google thinks our customers want.
Create landing pages that are aligned with the intent of a searcher.

Tip 5:

Effective internal linking is the key to unlocking the full potential of backlinks. Pages that are being linked to externally should have internal links to other valuable / money content.

Tip 6:

A good user experience should be part of your website design and overall strategy as standard, it is not just something to focus on because Google told you so in an impending algorithm update.

Tip 7:

If Lighthouse says you have unused JavaScript, Chrome Dev Tools will give you the % of used vs. unused JavaScript and you can then use this to find the exact lines of JavaScript that are not being used.

This can then be stripped back or removed as needed.

Tip 8:

Schema.org has released their replacement for the much loved Structured Data Testing Tool from Google, which as we all know is being shut down.
 
Check out the replacement here while it’s still in Beta testing: https://validator.schema.org/ 

Tip 9:

Use the new Schema Markup Validator for general structured data debugging and validation.
 
Remember to continue to use Google’s Rich Results Testing Tool to debug how your structured data will appear and validate https://search.google.com/test/rich-results.

Tip 10:

Do not redirect sitemaps and robots files.

Doing so will stop Google from accessing old versions and finding the redirects after the migration, and the old URLs will remain in the index.

Tip 11:

JavaScript websites go through an extra rendering stage as well as indexing. Google is much better at this now than it was in 2017-2018 but there is still often a delay vs rendering HTML sites.

Your page content needs to be present on page load and not hidden behind buttons.

Tip 12:

Google recommends redirecting old image URLs to new image URLs during a migration to help Google discover and index new images quicker.

This is especially true for eCommerce product images and fashion websites etc.

Tip 13:

What are log files?
  • They track HTTP requests and HTTPS responses.
  • They tell us what has happened on site, such as trends, and seasonality.
  • They present SEO metrics so we can make future predictions of SEO data. 
 

Tip 14:

Add appropriate internal linking within your website architecture between complimentary pages to transfer information and understanding and to create a better flowing user journey.

Tip 15:

Awesome content can’t make up for a bad product or a bad service. That will always undermine any authority building.

Tip 16:

Google just confirmed in their official documentation that they now treat 308 redirects in the same way that they treat 301 redirects.

They understand that both status codes mean that a page has “permanently moved to a new location”.

https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/crawling/301-redirects

Tip 17:

Just because something is ranking high now doesn’t mean it is the best answer to the keyword. It just means nothing better exists, yet.
 
Ask yourself what’s missing in the articles that currently rank, and fill in the gaps.
See what is and what isn’t being answered. 

Tip 18:

It is ok to not know how to fix something as a tech SEO.

Instead, try to focus on quality improvements and improve the page experience for both users and for Google.

Tip 19:

Intrusive interstitials impact ranking, not indexing. 

Your website will still be crawled and indexed if you have lots of interstitials, but it may not rank well. 

Tip 20:

Moving servers is like another migration.

Crawlers have to find the new location of the IP / domain, so it has to be managed carefully.

Tip 21:

Faster sites mean more pages crawled by Google in the same amount of time. Improving load speed has greater benefits than just improving user experience.

Tip 22:

The recent (and still unconfirmed) change to title tags and H1s on Google is causing a lot of fluctuation. The best advice is not to make any drastic changes right now. Google is listening to feedback and an update is likely coming soon.

Check out this brilliant article from Lily Ray for extra reading and insights: https://www.amsivedigital.com/insights/seo/is-google-showing-different-organic-titles-in-august-2021/.

Tip 23:

With all the title tag changes right now, some people are pasting title tags into the H1 – this may only be a temporary fix. Best practice would be to ensure your top keyword is used in H1s for your top-performing pages. Bonus points for including a CTA in the H1 too.

Tip 24:

Word counts aren’t important for SEO and won’t help you to rank, but thoroughly covering a given topic and fulfilling the search intent will.

Tip 25:

The main functionality of your site, such as important pages, should be accessible without javascript. Test this by disabling javascript and click around. If things are broken or parts are missing, this can cause problems for Googlebot!

Tip 26:

Ensure the most important pages are indexed on your website. Use canonical and no-index to guide Google in the right direction and use internal links to provide signals of importance. Don’t mix rel=canonical and no-index together, as this sends conflicting signals to search engines.

Tip 27:

Google is rolling out a new SERP feature called “Things To Know” which is a variation of PPA. Google believe that it will “make it easier than ever to explore new topics”.

🤔 This very much appears to keep the user in the SERP rather than on our websites.

📊 Ultimately all we can do is continue to write helpful and engaging content to encourage people to visit our websites.

Tip 28:

John Mu shared a timely reminder that “having a dedicated page for some seasonal sales events is a good idea for eCommerce sites.” https://twitter.com/JohnMu/status/1435853015936811008

Tip 29:

The content on your website should be as unique as possible. While you may not necessarily receive a Google penalty for having duplicate content, it will not help you gain organic traffic.

Tip 30:

Google has published a new document detailing how to control what is displayed in SERPs and introduced a new term for the title of a search result, a “title link”. See here: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/appearance/title-link

Tip 31:

Cheap hosting isn’t the best hosting. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. For larger sites and eCommerce stores, a dedicated server is typically recommended over a shared server. Cheap hosting also leaves your website more at risk of hacking.

Tip 32:

Remember to noindex (or password protect) your dev and staging environments so they aren’t indexed in SERPs which can affect your live site rankings. Also, remember to make it indexable when the site goes live, it’s just embarrassing otherwise!

Tip 33:

When including an important fact, statistic, or statement as part of a paragraph, Google’s John Mueller has confirmed that bolding it does help Google know that it’s important and does help your SEO. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-bolded-text-can-help-your-seo/427044/

Tip 34:

UI and UX is the most effective way to make your SERPs better. Don’t try to be Google, just focus on what you do best.

Tip 35:

If you moved servers, there is a chance this could harm your site speed. Some first steps to check could be:

  • ✅  Check that your CDN was migrated too and works as expected,
  • ✅  Ensure that your caching system is running,
  • ✅  Use Page Speed Insights to find any issues that you can resolve.

Tip 36:

Google wants consistently available resources to display on SERPs. If your results tend to disappear (404 or website downtime), then Google is less likely to serve them.

Tip 37:

When bulk writing meta titles in a spreadsheet, use: =concatenate(H1 + ” | Brand Name”) to help save time. 

You can also use: =proper(concatenate(H1 + ” | Brand Name”) to capitalise your title.

2022 Tech SEO Tuesdays

Tip 38:

Boost your local SEO rankings by adding sub-locations on location pages e.g. If your location is targeting Manchester, add that you also service Salford, Openshaw, Miles Platting etc.

Bonus: Take this further and use localised content clusters for more localised relevancy.

Tip 39:

As SEO best practice, the above the fold area of a webpage should have at least some content that is unique to that page.

Tip 40:

Ideally, you just want just one h1 on the page and it should be descriptive of the page content for the user. Naturally, your page title and h1 will normally be similar, but not identical.

Tip 41:

By conducting a log file analysis you can understand exactly how Google crawls and interacts with your website.

It allows you to quickly identify crawling and indexation issues and to reveal massive wins e.g. optimising site architecture, improving internal linking etc.

Tip 42:

As confirmed by John Mueller, the site: operator doesn’t just return URLs that Google has indexed.

It also includes URLs that Google just knows about. If indexed pages are what you’re after, the GSC coverage report will be better.

Tip 43:

The Total Blocking Time (TBT) metric measures the total amount of time between First Contentful Paint (FCP) and Time to Interactive (TTI), where the main thread was blocked for long enough to prevent input responsiveness.

Tip 44:

Robots.ttfb  = Compare the TTFB for your robots.txt file vs the website homepage in the Waterfall in Chrome Dev Tools.

  1. If the robots.txt file is slow = you have hosting issues.
  2. If the homepage is slow, and the robots.txt is good = there are more issues that you need to dig deeper into.

Tip 45:

If you need to exclude URLs with certain parameters such as ‘?price’ within Screaming Frog, you can use: .*\?price.*

Use this in the Exclusion section when setting up your crawl.

Tip 46:

Google ranks pages, not websites.

For your page to be indexed, it should have a separate URL that Google can find and crawl.

Use the HREF attribute to help discover and follow links. Also, use HTML links rather than JavaScript links where possible.

If you must use a JS link, ensure that it does use a HREF attribute.

Tip 47:

Benchmark your competition and find the areas where you are above or below average at. Focusing on these areas is where you will see results.

Tip 48:

x-default is a HREFLANG attribute that signals to algorithms that this page doesn’t have any specific language or locale and this is the default page when no other page is better suited.

Tip 49:

The best way to build trust is to show genuine understanding and concern for your website audience and focus on how you can solve their problems.

Tip 50:

With Google announcing the removal of the URL Parameters Tool in GSC it could be time to check what URLs you have blocked in there and consider adding them to robots.txt.

After all, it is better to have all your rules in one place.

See here for more information: https://searchengineland.com/googles-url-parameters-tool-is-going-away-383220 

Tip 51:

There is a time and a place for pop-ups, and if you are displaying pop-ups to visitors on product pages then you’re likely losing a ton of sales.

Don’t add a barrier in front of customers that are ready to convert.

Tip 52:

Small differences across thousands of pages between your website and that of competitors can make a massive difference in how your website is perceived and how valuable it might be to your audience.

Look for key topics or pages that could be missing, or if you have thin pages that have been indexed.

Tip 53:

Google commonly rewrites titles that are too long and too short, have repeated use of the same keyword, are missing the brand/site name, have a mismatch between titles and H1, use boilerplate titles, or have inaccurate or obsolete titles.

Check out this study from Zyppy for more details: https://zyppy.com/seo/google-title-rewrite-study/

Tip 54:

When working with a new client, it is always helpful to get a list of all subdomains and protocols they use.

This way, you can run checks to ensure there aren’t many unnecessary URLs being indexed, e.g. HTTP, non-www, www etc.

Tip 55:

As SEOs, our goal is to protect our website’s visibility by delivering content in Google’s index. Remember that if Google can’t render content, it can’t be indexed.

Crawling and rendering are two different things that are done separately.;’

Tip 56:

The most common web accessibility issues are:

  • Low contrast text,
  • Missing alt text,
  • Empty links,
  • Missing form input labels,
  • Empty buttons.

Ensure your website addresses these issues to meet accessibility guidelines.

Tip 57:

A lot of people still talk about bounce rate, so here are some facts to consider:

  1. It varies in GA based on the channel and the selected date range,
  2. Just because someone only visited one page doesn’t automatically equal a bad experience,
  3. Users can convert on a landing page and it could still be considered a bounce.
  4. It is not available in GA4.

Tip 58:

The only salesperson that works 24/7 is your website. This is why high-quality copy and content matters and should not be undervalued. It is also why exceptional content is a must-have for your niche website!

Tip 59:

Demonstrate E-A-T by showcasing expertise with robust biographies and links to relevant content, you can also show your authority through awards and accreditations.

Tip 60:

If you care about the security of your website, add a security.txt file.

Here is Google’s version https://www.google.com/.well-known/security.txt.

Read more about the file and how it assists with security vulnerabilities here: https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc9116.

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