What’s the first word that pops into your mind when you think of PR? Publicity, right? I always believe that solid PR is necessary for any brand that relies on public interactions for promotions. Now picture technical SEO in your mind. If you’ve worked in digital marketing, you know that SEO work is mostly behind the scenes.
What if I told you that the two fields mentioned above are more interlinked than you may think? Though they may seem poles apart, you actually need to combine both to get an effective PR strategy. I myself have witnessed many PR campaigns getting a significant boost thanks to well-executed SEO strategies. It’s a tried-and-tested formula that can guarantee consistent success for you too. But before we get into the specifics of it, I want to shed some light on the central concepts of technical SEO first. Let’s dig in!
Why Technical SEO?
So what exactly is this concept all about? Put simply; technical SEO is the branch of SEO that deals with the optimization of website elements besides the content. Naturally, this means keywords are out of the picture. Though this may seem counter-intuitive, this branch of SEO is just as crucial as its conventional cousin. Here’s why.
- This SEO branch really focuses on understanding and leveraging Google’s algorithms to put your site on top.
- It is a comprehensive way of rooting out issues in your site that could be holding it back.
- Overall, a website with a strong technical SEO checklist can present a thoroughly professional image to your target audience.
Do you see that last point? That’s the bridge that links to the PR strategies of today. The first step to any successful PR campaign is to be excellent in your presentation. I’m sure no one would be bothered with a PR campaign that doesn’t have a good foundation (in this case, the website) to present! Technical SEO guidelines can close that gap for you and make your website truly flawless.
At this juncture, I’d like to clear something up. You may be having the misconception that the technical side of SEO has nothing to do with the content on the page. In a way, this is true, but it’s not as simple as that. The best way to look at it is that tech SEO is a means to support your content and work around it to bring the website to its maximum potential. With that out of the way, we’re going to take a look at Google’s end of things.
What Matters To Google
Google is constantly updating their search engine algorithms, switching things up in the world of SEO. In fact, a major part of getting your website to the top involves knowing these algorithms like the back of your hand. In recent times, Google has been very particular about certain website parameters, cracking down hard on those who stray away from them.
- Of late, Google has started to assign an increasing amount of weightage to the quality of the content as opposed to the quantity. Gone are the days when you could just impress Google by having huge webpages. Google wants you to have an all-round UX (content included) that is of value to your audience. Naturally, this means low-effort content and site structure is out the door.
- The other thing that Google really wants sites to focus on is their security, among other things. Google will no longer recommend websites with compromised security among its top search results. This is an aspect that should be an integral part of your technical SEO checklist.
- An honourable mention goes out to the digital footprint factor of each website. Google pays close attention to this, especially things like how well the audience reacts to your website, the kind of links you have to and from your site, so on and so forth.
As these are pretty solid guidelines in the Google algorithm, these factors are not things you should compromise on in any way. If you want to get your website to the top, then I can guarantee you that cutting corners here is not going to solve your problems. Google proposes Google disposes of!
To sum up, Google’s algorithm values:
- Seamless UI/UX
Now that we have gone over Google’s take on this, it’s time to dive deeper into the differences between tech and conventional SEO, and their connection to PR strategies.
Two Sides Of The SEO Coin
As we established before, technical SEO involves website parameters such as security layers, website structure, UI/UX and so on. On the other hand, conventional SEO revolves around keyword placement, links and the overall schema. What’s important to understand here is that both play an equally significant role in boosting your rankings on Google’s SERP.
A good SEO executive views both of these as two sides of the same coin. The SEO practices of today have evolved to become a fusion of quality content and solid website elements. Ergo, you should combine both elements to form a seamless browsing experience for your audience.
There’s no denying that your content and keywords need to be solid as well. One field cannot compensate for the other’s shortcomings. What technical SEO can do, however, is complement your content with the right elements and presentation. This can be accomplished by focusing on aspects of the website like:
- The specific links located within the pages
- The SSL certificates associated with the websites
- Your XML sitemap and structure
- Your website loading time
- The degree of mobile optimization on your site
These are a handful of things you will have to account for when optimizing your website from a technical standpoint. At this point, you may be wondering, how does this help my content? By contributing to the experience that leads up to your content. I’m not going to get to read your content if your website takes forever to load, right? Having a trusty website is essential to spreading good word-of-mouth about your brand, which is a form of subtle PR in and of itself. See how the SEO checklist and public relations strategies are intricately linked? Ignoring this crucial connection is a misstep most people make in their digital marketing strategies. I’m now going to give you an overview of the general process that goes behind incorporating technical SEO as part of your website PR.
Steps For SEO-Public Relations Strategies
Like anything and everything in the SEO field, you’ll need a technical SEO checklist before you get started on anything. First things first, we need to think along two lines for the website strategy to be effective.
One line involves accounting for all the website’s technical parameters, and how feasible it would be in the long run to optimize them further, e.g. you may consider upgrading your web hosting plan if it would help boost your domain authority.
The other line is the aesthetic factor. This is the most significant aspect from a PR perspective. What can you do to make your website that much more streamlined and compelling to a person who chances upon it? How can you guarantee a strong first impression for your reader? Remember, investing in website presentation can set up long-term benefits for your website’s online reputation!
So we’ve established the bases that you have to cover when crafting your checklist. What next? Now we have to get down to cracking the actual elements of your website. Let’s start with a fundamental requirement for any site.
The Security Layers
If a website wants to live up to its reputation, then it needs to offer a secure browsing experience that keeps browsers safe from malware. At the core of the website, security is what the Internet knows as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). If your website has elements that require user information input such as email addresses, then SSL is an absolute deal-breaker for you. Browsers are also very transparent about website security nowadays, duly alerting the user about compromised safety on a webpage. What can you do? As part of technical SEO, you can ensure that the links in your site are adequately encrypted with security protocols that are up-to-date. This is an integral step towards building upon the trustworthiness of your website as a whole. Run a complete check on your site once you’re done making changes, just to be sure.
Mandatory Content Check
We know that having outdated content and copied paragraphs is not a good look for your authenticity. On the technical side of things, however, the issue stems from how Google’s algorithms see it. According to Google, having pages with similar content (even on your own site) creates a discrepancy as to which page is to be considered for the ranking. Ultimately, you’ll end up getting the short end of the stick, with neither page ranking high and grabbing your target audience’s eyeballs. In the long run, this could put a huge dent in your website’s traffic, which could subsequently hit your domain authority. I call that bad PR! To run a thorough content check when you are ready to take your website live. Not only that but also make sure that your content is updated every now and then according to the latest developments, as Google hates outdated content.
The Backlink Background
Before you dismiss backlinks as leading to something, not from your site, think about it for a minute. Do you want your public relations strategy to revolve around a website that is known for clickbaity links and low-effort plugins? Having low-quality backlinks really hinders audience perception of your website and robs them of their browsing experience. How can you improve the quality of your backlinks? Network with reputed websites and connect with them through diligent backlink building. Google Search Console is your best friend when it comes to zeroing in on websites that could be a great fit for your website and brand.
The Crawler Calculations
As you know, the crawler is a base element of any search engine. It’s the component that scouts your site and enables the browsing experience. In order to do that, your website must have a seamless structure that makes for an easy navigation experience. The benefits of this are both cosmetic and technical. A neat website is always a delight to browse. To make it that way, you’ll have to tidy up all the fragmented links and endless redirection loops within your website. This may seem like a daunting task, but with a little effort, you’ll crack it in no time. Besides, there are always tools like OnCrawl that can help you out.
The Markup Language Factor
Yes, I’m talking about your sitemaps. These may seem like under the hood things that no one cares about, but there’s one kingmaker who values this. If you guessed Google, you’re absolutely right! Having your XML sitemap put up for Google’s consideration helps them understand your site and its elements better. It also shows them that you mean business. The schematic of your website should focus less on the fluff and more on the core aspects of your site. Keep it crisp and simple!
That just about covers everything you can account for in your technical SEO checklist. What if you wanted to go a step ahead, though? We live in changing times, and this statement echoes true, especially for digital marketing. So what can you do for your website’s PR to kick it up a notch higher in terms of performance and logistics?
The Pinnacle Of Technical SEO
Optimize your site for smartphone access
Nowadays, smartphones are able to pull off almost anything a standard computer can. Therefore, more people are accessing sites through their mobile browsers, currently just over half of all websurfers. Think of the positive PR you can get if you guarantee a smooth browsing experience for them!
The Power Of Voice
With Siri and Alexa getting a whole lot smarter, people are searching the easy way through them. Optimizing your website for voice search is a whole different ball game. The SEO world is still adapting around voice-based search keywords. You would benefit greatly from being ahead of the curve!
The field of technical SEO offers vast depth in terms of what it can do for a website’s public image. A smart SEO analyst knows the significance of this field of SEO and plays his cards smartly.
Are you ready to step up your SEO game the technical way?