What Is Technical SEO?

What Is Technical SEO?

What is Technical SEO?

Home > SEO

Digital Marketing, technology & business insights, how to’s and explainer videos, released on a Wednesday. Make sure to subscribe to be notified and sign up to our mailing list! 🎥

See below, the transcript from this episode of Giant Wednesday if videos aren’t your preferred method to consume digital skills. See also the Giant Cheat Sheet from this episode.

If you want to know more, get in touch today 😎

When it comes to making the crawling spiders of Google happy, you’ve got to feed them the good stuff – the on-page, off-page and technical SEO.

But does the word ‘technical’ put you off? Does it sound, quite simply… ‘too technical’?

Don’t you worry, because I’m Holly and today we’re going to share the low down on technical SEO for another episode of Giant Wednesday.

Let’s kick it off with an explanation…

What is technical SEO?

So, technical SEO is pretty much what it says on the tin… it’s the technical side of optimising your website for search engines.

Like other parts of SEO, such as on-page SEO & off-page SEO, it’s all about making your website do what it needs to do for the likes of Google so it shows up to customers when they come a’lookin.

The main pillars of technical SEO are making your website faster, easier to crawl and understandable for search engines. And those are also, obviously, the benefits.

And all of that’s achieved by concentrating on the… yep, you guessed it… technical bits!

This, together with a focus on on-page and off-page SEO, will see your website flourish online.

So, what are the technical bits that make up technical SEO I hear you ask?

Well, let’s delve deeper.

What’s involved in technical SEO?

There are a LOT of elements involved with technical SEO, so today I’m going to focus on

  1. Loading Speed
  2. Functionality & Usability
  3. User-friendly-ness

Starting with number one,

Loading Speed

The loading speed refers to the time it takes for a website to download and display on a user’s browser. 

Naturally, you want this to be fast! 

Google knows we’ve got a limited attention span, so considers it a bad user experience if it’s slow.

As you can see below, a page speed of 1-3 seconds increases the bounce rate probability of 32%, whereas a 1-10 second speed has a bounce rate probability of 123%.

1-3 seconds load time increase the bounce rate probability by 32%

1-5 seconds load time increase the bounce rate probability by 90%

1-6 seconds load time increase the bounce rate probability by 106%

1-10 seconds load time increase the bounce rate probability by 123%

This falls under the technical SEO category because the elements that impact site speed are… technical! 

If you use tools like Google’s Page Speed Insights or Lighthouse, you can monitor a web pages site speed and see the areas for improvement. You’ll see why it’s called ‘technical SEO’ when you get into that…

Things that might impact site speed are the likes of:

  • Server Response Time
  • Web hosting
  • Caching
  • Javascript and CSS
  • Optimising image sizes
  • & File compression

 

Moving onto the second part,

Functionality & usability

MOBILE-FRIENDLINESS

First and foremost, you want to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly.

Google will prioritise mobile-friendly sites when it comes to indexing your website – meaning the order they display it in search engine results pages.

If your website doesn’t work well on smaller screen devices, then that’s one of your first actions. 

Ideally, you’d have a responsive design rather than making a fully separate mobile version, and most website builders nowadays come with this as a feature in their builders.

A responsive design essentially means your website will resize itself based on screen size.

You can also look to edit individual elements based on screen sizes, for example shortening titles, changing font sizes, removing imagery etc. when you move from desktop to mobile.

You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to see if your website is… friendly. Which will offer some great advice to improve it!

 

URL STRUCTURE

Other areas to improve functionality & usability for both the user and the robots… are things like URL structure.

You want to make sure your URL structure is optimised to avoid this:

This helps users and robots understand the context which, ultimately, is king!

To build friendly URLs:

  • Use dashes (-) instead of underscores
  • Make it short & concise 
  • Use your focus keywords

 

SECURE WEBSITE

Flying through these, our next focus is making sure your website is secure – I’m talking HTTPS – hypertext transfer protocol secure.

This is essentially a data layer to protect yourselves and website users, and is a ranking factor under technical SEO to help prove to Google you protect your users. 

This is a nice easy one to implement – you’ll need to buy an SSL certificate and implement it! Boom – easy. 

But if you were a HTTP site before, moving over to HTTPS, then make sure you set up 301 redirects so users aren’t presented by 404 pages when trying to find your site.

 

ROBOTS.TXT

An important part of technical SEO is having a robots.txt file – a file that contains information about how a SEARCH ENGINE should crawl the information around your site.

That’s right, this ones for the robots! It’s mainly used to avoid overloading your site with requests, but also just helps that all-important search engine crawl.

Whilst not necessary for search engines to crawl your site, what it does so is prevent duplicate content from appearing in search engine results pages, keep sections of your site private (like staging pages) and prevent the indexation of things like PDFs or images which you might not want out there.

All of this, benefiting your SEO.

 

Moving on to the third and final section,

User-friendliness

This is all about looking at how you can make the users experience on your website smoooooooooth and… friendly – there seems to be a theme today?

User-friendly websites are a crucial part of SEO now, and looking into the future of SEO with the evolution of machine learning technology, we expect it to continue, if not grow, to be more important. 

You’ve got to please the robots, but to do that… you’ve got to please the user first.

Elements of technical SEO you can do to make your site more user-friendly include the likes of adding breadcrumbs for better navigation – something we’ve covered in an episode before actually. 

But this is all about setting out clear paths and navigation for the user to find where they came from on your website, as well as painting the picture to the robots about your site structure.

On a similar subject, you just want to make sure the navigation of your site is permanently available or easy to access for users.

This could be the menu or the footer, but consider what you users want to see. Make sure it’s there.

For example, there’s nothing more annoying than not being able to find the menu on a restaurant site, the services on a B2B site or the delivery charges on a retail site… right?

Hopefully, all the elements I’ve mentioned today have removed the fear factor associated with the term ‘technical SEO’. 

It’s not scary, but it is important… 

As I said, these aren’t ALL the elements of technical SEO. There are so many, but these should give you enough to think about for now.

Put together with on-page & off-page SEO, you’ll have a search engine-friendly supersite and will dominate the likes of Google. 

You’ve just got to start!

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What is Local SEO?

What is Local SEO?

What is Local SEO?

What is Local SEO?

Home > SEO

Digital Marketing, technology & business insights, how to’s and explainer videos, released on a Wednesday. Make sure to subscribe to be notified and sign up to our mailing list! 🎥

See below, the transcript from this episode of Giant Wednesday if videos aren’t your preferred method to consume digital skills. See also the Giant Cheat Sheet from this episode.

If you want to know more, get in touch today 😎

When customers search for the best products and services near them, they want those answers FAST. 

Making sure your business shows up when customers are looking locally is super important and that’s why I, Lizzi, will be taking you through the wonders of Local SEO in this episode of Giant Wednesday.

So to kick us off, let’s define it… 

What does Local SEO mean?

Local SEO is a form of search engine optimisation that focuses on optimising a website to be found for local-themed search results.

For example, when someone searches for ‘hairdressers near me’ they’ll want to see ones within a few miles of their location – won’t they? Not at the other end of the country!

Google knows the location of the searcher through allowances they’ve made in their browser and search engine, and they’ll know the location of your business through a series of localised optimisation techniques.

 

Why is Local SEO important?

Many years ago, local SEO wasn’t so much at the forefront of our minds, because people could only search for stuff on their home computers. But the game completely changed when everyone started using their phones to search when out and about.

Data from Stat Counter shows that mobile users made up 6% of all web traffic in 2011, but this has shot up to 56% in 2022 – and it’s still rising!

Thanks to local SEO, people can go into any town, pull up a search for pretty much anything ‘near me’, and are guaranteed to find what they’re looking for.

But it’s then up to you, as a business, to make sure you’re appearing in those results.

So,

 

How do I optimise my site for Local SEO?

With Local SEO, it’s all about making sure the search engines and the users know where you are, the services you offer and the areas you service.

Ways you can do this include:

Setting up and optimising a Google Business Profile

This is something I’ve covered in a previous episode, but it’s really important to have a relevant, up-to-date listing like this through Google.

It’s all free, and it’s the modern-day equivalent of the Yellow Pages – remember those days?!

 

Make local-themed content on your website

This is all about making sure you mention your location on your website. 

Location-based keywords, as well as ones that relate to your product or service.

For example… If you sell seashells on Folkestone sea shore then make sure you mention ‘Folkestone’ a fair few times.

These mentions of location and services should be in the metadata, such as page titles, meta descriptions and headings.

And they should also be included in the functional and creative copy, so the service pages you have for your products, and any blogs you write to boost visibility online.

 

Online Citations

A citation is, essentially, any mention of your business online.

This could be through online directories such as Yell, but also on partner websites, local council pages and more.

In order to use these to boost your Local SEO, you want to make sure your details: business name, address and phone number, are consistent across all listings.

This might involve a bit of communicating, but this consistency and continuity demonstrate to search engines that you’re the real deal and worth shouting about.

It’s also a great customer service touchpoint.

 

Localise your social media

Including your location in your social media accounts is another fantastic tick in the box for local SEO.

Consider it another type of citation, as well as a credible source for potential customers to check out who you are.

Just make sure you keep it up to date and are regular with your posting.

 

You get the gist, it’s all about quite literally letting the robots and the people know where you are, so when someone searches for something ‘near me’ or in a certain town or location, you’ll appear!

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What is Anchor Text?

What is Anchor Text?

What Is Anchor Text?

What Is Anchor Text?

Home > SEO

Digital Marketing, technology & business insights, how to’s and explainer videos, released on a Wednesday. Make sure to subscribe to be notified and sign up to our mailing list! 🎥

See below, the transcript from this episode of Giant Wednesday if videos aren’t your preferred method to consume digital skills. See also the Giant Cheat Sheet from this episode.

If you want to know more, get in touch today 😎

Anchors… they are typically around to hold you back or weigh you down. 

But not anchor TEXT – this is only going to help you boost your website, and allow for smooth sailing. 

Hey, I’m Ellen, today we’re going to explore anchor text so get your shipmates ready for this episode of Giant Wednesday.

We’re going to kick it off with the most important question…

What is Anchor Text?

Anchor text, quite simply, is the clickable bit of text you might see on a website that links you through to another page.

Not the link itself, but the way the link is displayed.

It helps transform this long string of URL into something much tidier (see video) which is a nice tidy up, as well as having benefits for your website’s visibility.

You’ll have seen them all over the place, and no doubt click on a few every day!

In most cases, you’ll recognise them as a blue, underlined bit of text.

But you can change your own on your website to match your colours and styles.

 

What’s the benefit of using Anchor Text?

As I’ve already mentioned, anchor text helps improve your website’s visibility and is part of SEO, search engine optimisation.

Anchor text provides both users and search engines a snippet of relevancy about the content of the link’s destination. 

For example, if you were a dog rescue business, and you wanted to share about the dogs you had up for adoption on your homepage… then you’d use an anchor link with the text ‘puppies for adoption’ which links through to your adoption pages.

See, context!

And that context is what helps search engines like Google and Bing (other search engines are available) understand what’s on, and how users might navigate the hierarchy of your site.

It’s one of the many aspects of optimising your website that the likes of Google consider a ‘ranking factor’ – more of that in other episodes though.

But ultimately, it helps a user navigate your site to get the information THEY want. A happy customer is the goal, right?

It’s important to note that search engines use external anchor text as a reflection of how people see your page – and whilst you can’t always control how other websites link to yours, you can make sure to follow Google’s own advice:

“Make sure that anchor text you use within your own site is useful, descriptive, and relevant.” – Google

Using non-descriptive, or irrelevant anchor text will only damage your bounce rate and harm your SEO in other ways.

Make sure to use it naturally and link to the right places! After all, we write for people, not robots.

On that note, did you know there’s…

 

Different Types of Anchor Text

Yep, as crazy as it sounds when we’re talking about a text-based link… there are different types!

We’ve got:

‘Generic’ or ‘Random’

You’ve no doubt seen this one everywhere. ‘Click here’ is a perfect example.

This is where a generic word is used as the anchor. It’s non-descriptive and doesn’t really provide any context for the link.

It’s generally advised to not use generic anchor text as this is considered a poor SEO practice and isn’t exactly inspirational…

 

Exact-match

If your link includes a keyword that matches the page it links to, then this anchor text is considered ‘exact-match.’

For example, ‘creative marketing’ links to a page about creative marketing.

 

Partial-match

This is similar to exact-match, only the text includes a variation of the keyword on the page you’re linking to.

For example: ‘creative marketing strategy’ links to a page about creative marketing.

 

Branded

Typically, a brand name is the only text in the link. For us, it’d be ‘Sleeping Giant Media’ linking to a page somewhere on our site.

If you look in Search Console at the links you have from external sites, you generally find these are the most common!

 

Naked link

Don’t be shy, this just refers to an URL that is used as an anchor. For example, www.sleepinggiantmedia.co.uk

 

And lastly, Images

When you have an image that links to another page, Google will use the image’s alt text as the anchor text.

 

So now you know the types, let’s look at…

 

How to add Anchor Text to your site

Not to scare you, but in some cases, it’s all about a bit of HTML that looks like this:

<a href=”https://www.sleepinggiantmedia.co.uk”>Awesome Digital Marketing</a>

But fortunately, most website builders will have this little ‘link’ icon that you can click to add a hyperlink to a highlighted bit of text (your anchor).

Easy peasy.

So as you can see, anchor text certainly doesn’t weigh you down, and can help your site reach the crystal clear waters within search engines.

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How To Boost A Post On LinkedIn

How To Boost A Post On LinkedIn

How To Boost Posts On LinkedIn

How To Boost Posts On LinkedIn

Home > SEO

Digital Marketing, technology & business insights, how to’s and explainer videos, released on a Wednesday. Make sure to subscribe to be notified and sign up to our mailing list! 🎥

See below, the transcript from this episode of Giant Wednesday if videos aren’t your preferred method to consume digital skills. See also the Giant Cheat Sheet from this episode.

If you want to know more, get in touch today 😎

LinkedIn is SO popular nowadays that even Ryan Reynolds is on it! Cool, right?

It’s no longer just the ‘online CV’ people once thought it was, it’s a big ol’network of people you could be getting your business and message in front of.

Today I’m going to share with you the why’s and how’s of boosting posts on LinkedIn so your message gets seen.

When it comes to the topic we’re discussing today, we are talking about the act of boosting posts on business pages on LinkedIn – so bear that in mind.

So, let’s kick off with the big questions in life…

What does it mean to boost a post on LinkedIn?

Boosting a post on LinkedIn is exactly what it says on the tin… well, maybe in the small print.

It’s all about boosting the visibility of your post, helping it to be seen by a wider, targeted audience to help you achieve your objectives.

It helps as well, to make sure people outside of your LinkedIn page followers see your post – isn’t that useful?

It takes that organic glory and turns it into a boosted masterpiece.

 

What’s the difference between boosting a post & running an ad on LinkedIn?

When it comes to the difference between posting and ad-setting-up-ing, the biggest difference is the simplicity of it all.

It’s easier, in theory, to boost a post because there are limited options to select. It’s quicker in this way too, but as implied, this simplicity also comes with restrictions.

Boosting a post only gives you a limited amount of targeting options, objective setting and placement types – unlike running an ad that would give you the whole host of options.

This isn’t a bad thing though – because depending on your goal, one may work better than the other.

The decision is up to you, but today I’m talking boosting so how about we look at…

 

How to boost a post on LinkedIn

So first up it’s important to note that at the time of recording, you can only boost events, videos and posts with text or a single image. This might change over time, who knows!

You’re going to want to know which post you want to boost and then follow along:

  1. Access the admin view of your LinkedIn page and find the post in your feed
  2. Click the ‘boost’ button above the post to open up the next window
  3. Select an objective from either:
    Increase awareness of your post
    OR Get engagement on your post
  4. You’ll then select your audience type from either:
    Profile-based (things like job function, industry and seniority)
    Interest-based (which looks at the type of groups they’re involved with)
    A LinkedIn audience template (one they made earlier in true Bluepeter style)
    OR a saved audience (one you made earlier!)
  5. You’ll then continue to refine your audience based on the audience type you selected, for example; looking at location and exclusions
  6. Confirm the advanced options of automatic audience expansion (which will help show your ads to audiences similar to the one you just created) and LinkedIn audience network (a network that will help you reach 25% more people by running your ads on partner apps and websites)
  7. Set a start and end date for your campaign
  8. Set a lifetime budget
  9. Select an ad account to bill – it’ll either give you existing options of your ad accounts or will create one for you
  10. Take a look at the forecasted results, check you’re happy with the preview and then hit BOOST

 

Easy peasy LinkedIn squeezy. 

Once boosted, you’ll be able to track the post’s success in your ads account in Campaign Manager, as well as check out the post analytics itself.

And that’s it – go forth and boost your posts to achieve your objectives and do Giant things.

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A Guide To Website & SEO Redirects

A Guide To Website & SEO Redirects

A Guide To Website Redirects

A Guide To Website Redirects

Home > SEO

Digital Marketing, technology & business insights, how to’s and explainer videos, released on a Wednesday. Make sure to subscribe to be notified and sign up to our mailing list! 🎥

See below, the transcript from this episode of Giant Wednesday if videos aren’t your preferred method to consume digital skills. See also the Giant Cheat Sheet from this episode.

If you want to know more, get in touch today 😎

Direction, we all need one in life. And we all need to know what direction we’re pointing people in when it comes to our website. 

And you know what, you’re in luck, because this week we’re breaking down the why, what, how and when of redirects!

 

Whether you’re looking to send users to a whole new page on your site, or create a temporary holding page whilst you work on a redesign, redirects can help you to make sure your users always enjoy the same great experience when they engage with your website.

What is a redirect?

In the SEO world, a redirect is a process of forwarding traffic and users from one URL to another. Simple.

Whether they’ve clicked through from a search engine, a social media post or are a direct user, the redirect sends them to a URL of your choosing instead of the one they intended to land on automatically.

This isn’t in an attempt to trick them, no no no. 

When to use redirects

Well, you could use redirects for a few different reasons! For example;

  • You’ve updated your URL structure
  • You’ve moved or consolidated pages
  • You’ve deleted a page that has backlinks pointing to it
  • You’ve changed your website name and don’t want to lose your SEO value
  • You migrate from HTTP to HTTPS

     

And you might just want to do it temporarily, such as sending users to a ‘holding’ page or a different one whilst you update or fix the other.

Different reasons mean different redirect types.

Using the wrong type of redirect could result in a loss of search engine rankings in rare cases, as can not actually implement any redirects at all. 

It can also affect the user experience if they can’t find the page they were looking for. 

So let’s take a look at…

The types of redirects

There are a few types of redirects you’ll need to know about on a day-to-day basis, and a few that are probably a bit rarer.

301 Permanent Redirects

A 301 redirect is one of the most common types and should be used if you want to permanently redirect either; a deleted page, a page that’s moved or a page that’s permalink structure has changed.

This redirect code tells search engines that the page is;

  • No longer at this location
  • Should no longer be indexed

Because of this, make sure you don’t intend on using that URL again as it will transfer all link value over to the new URL.

If you don’t put this redirect in, and someone clicks a link to your old page, then the user and crawl bots will be presented with a 404 error message.

 

302 Found Redirects

A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect and directs users (and those pesky search engines) to the desired page for a limited amount of time.

These should be used for things such as:

  • A/B testing a webpage for the likes of functionality or design
  • When a webpage is broken but you want to keep up appearances

For clarity, if it’s a permanent change to your website, then a 301 redirect is necessary. If it’s temporary then it’s a 302 redirect. Using the right one is essential so as not to have a negative impact on your SEO.

 

How to implement a redirect

When it comes to chucking about your 301s and 302s, you’ll be happy to know that most modern CMS platforms offer their own solution or plugins to easily deal with these types of redirects.

Take a look at what’s built within your CMS, or have a Google for the best plugins for the likes of WordPress.

 

And that’s probably all you need to know about your day-to-day redirects but do get in touch if we can help!

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What Is Outreach Marketing?

What Is Outreach Marketing?

What Is Outreach Marketing?

What Is Outreach Marketing?

Home > SEO

Digital Marketing, technology & business insights, how to’s and explainer videos, released on a Wednesday. Make sure to subscribe to be notified and sign up to our mailing list! 🎥

See below, the transcript from this episode of Giant Wednesday if videos aren’t your preferred method to consume digital skills. See also the Giant Cheat Sheet from this episode.

If you want to know more, get in touch today 😎

Do you want to boost your brand? 

Do you want to achieve your objectives?

Do you want to get in front of more, but relevant audiences?

Well, teamwork makes the dream work, right?

And for today’s teamwork, we’re talking about outreach marketing. How you can use outreach strategies to do Giant things.

Let’s kick off with what we mean by outreach marketing…

What is Outreach Marketing?

Outreach marketing is quite literally… reaching out to people.

Not just any people, I’m talking about companies, businesses, brands, influencers and individuals that have a shared interest or relevance in what it is you’re offering.

The act of outreach marketing can help you to build awareness and momentum for either a campaign, a product or your brand overall.

For example, if you are marketing a travel company and looking to get the word out about a super awesome deal you’re doing for trips to Spain right now, then you might consider:

  • Reaching out to travel journalists, or travel-based TikTokers to ask if they’d like to go on the trip for free, or a reduced price, and write a review or make content for their platforms
  • Or, write a blog about the top 5 things you can do in Spain and send this out to newspapers, bloggers and more to put on their website – linking to your offer

You see? This way you’re using the extended reach of another related business or organisation to benefit your own.

It’s important though to remember that outreach marketing tends to be tit for tat – people will rarely just promote your business or content for the fun of it.

If they can benefit from it too, then they’re more likely to work with you – and for them, that could be website sessions or a free trip on your aeroplane…

 

Why is Outreach Marketing important?

Growing a business or a brand can be tricky, and that’s ok – the act of outreach marketing, however, gives you the chance to boost the number of relevant people who might see your efforts.

It also gives you great opportunities to work with other brands, extending your professional networks.

Overall though, outreach marketing is important because it helps you to gain more audience, boost your visibility and gain more credibility.

So, what are the benefits of outreach marketing?

The benefits of outreach marketing are things such as;

And you can’t deny, you don’t want to be in on that action…

Ok but,

Where do I begin with outreach marketing?

When it comes to kicking off outreach marketing activity, you first need to identify your ‘influencers’ – and no, this doesn’t have to be the likes of Kim K.

If you were a bakery, for example, then you might look to identify the likes of BBC’s Good Good website or magazine as a publication to reach out to, or local food-based influencers and publications.

When identifying these outlets, look for the likes of:

  • Activity (how active they are across their platforms)
  • Relevancy (do they relate to your business?)
  • Popularity (and remember, big isn’t always best!)
  • Engagement (are they just for show, or have they got an engaged audience?)

Once you’ve identified who your influencers might be, you’ve got to build the relationships necessary to work with them!

The most obvious way to do this is a good ol’ email. In fact, we’ve covered how to write effective emails in an episode before.

There are also methods like Tweets, direct messaging, and, crazily enough… picking up the phone! 

To get their attention, you’ve got to craft a pitch, something that sells your idea or how you want to work with them, being concise and detailing the benefits for the influencer if they choose to work with you.

Remember to stand out, and to offer genuine benefits in return (such as free cookies if you’re a bakery…).

If you’re not sure where to start when looking for businesses to outreach to, then use some of the analytics tools in social media platforms, or Google Analytics to see what your current customers and audience are into. Use this as some inspiration.

So yeah, outreach marketing, it’s as simple as reaching out to other businesses to work with them to reach out to their audience too – cool, right?

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