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Technical SEO

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Making your website easily crawlable and indexable

Technical SEO is about making your website easily crawlable and indexable. There are a lot of different technical SEO elements. Some of the most important ones are:

  • Site speed
  • HTTP status codes
  • Geo-targeting
  • Site structure and internal linking
  • Duplicate content and canonicalization
  • Content structure
  • Structured data
  • XML sitemaps

To asses a website’s technical SEO, we usually emulate a Google crawl of the website. We can use a variety of different tools for that. These tools will generate reports on what went well in the crawl, and what went wrong. We can then use that data to determine how well optimized the website’s technical SEO is, and what needs to be done to improve it further.

SEO tools: Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a great tool to start with. This is a free tool that Google will give you access to once you’ve proven that you own a website. Usually, if you’re an administrator on a website’s Google Analytics account, that is sufficient for Google.

In Search Console, which was formally known as Webmaster Tools, you can find a variety of different reports that give an indication of a website’s technical health. The Crawl Errors report is one of the most valuable reports, as it tells you what Google found wrong with your website when it tried to crawl it.

SEO tools: Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Another great tool is Screaming Frog SEO Spider. This tool will emulate a Google crawl of your website and generates reports of everything that it finds. It’s a very flexible tool that can be used for all kinds of technical analysis. The free version can crawl up to 500 pages, and there is a paid version that unlocks unlimited crawl capabilities.

The downside of Screaming Frog is that you will need to interpret the data yourself. So it does require a certain amount of basic SEO knowledge and technical understanding.

SEO tools: DeepCrawl

DeepCrawl is another technical SEO tool that, like Screaming Frog, will crawl your website and generate reports. Contrary to Screaming Frog, which you need to download and install on your PC, DeepCrawl is a cloud platform that you use on a subscription basis.

While not as flexible as Screaming Frog, DeepCrawl does generate useful reports that give you a clear indication of what might be going wrong on your website. This makes it a bit more useful for beginner SEOs who might not necessarily have the technical understanding to interpret the data that Screaming Frog generates.

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Barry Adams

Barry Adams is the founder of Polemic Digital, which won Best Small SEO Agency at the 2016 UK Search Awards. He has been an active practitioner since 1998 and is co-chief editor for State of Digital. His clients include national brands like EMO Oil and The Sun, multinationals and local businesses.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

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    Barry Adams
    Skills Expert

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