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Welcome to the GetNetSet SEO video series for tax and accounting professionals where we talk about search engine optimization and marketing your business online. This is part two of our technical optimizations for SEO. In part one, we spoke about certain on-page technical optimizations you can make on each page and we encourage you to check that out first if you haven’t already.
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In this video, part two, we’ll be talking about site wide updates that can be made across your site as a whole, including site speed, security, XML sitemaps, 404s and mobile optimization, as well as why these optimizations are important. First, let’s talk about site speed. The faster your site loads, the better the user experience, and that’s very important when it comes to ranking.
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If your site presents a poor user experience by loading slowly or having broken elements like images that don’t display, or if it’s difficult to read, search engines may penalize you, causing the site to rank lower. Now, site speed can be a difficult thing to control since how fast a site loads can depend on both your website itself and the visitors technology. If the visitor has slow internet, they’ll run into longer load times.
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As a general rule, if you can load your own website within two to 3 seconds, you’re good to go with site speed. Now, exploring every aspect of site speed is beyond the scope of this video, but we can say in brief that all GetNetSet websites are optimized for speed. Another site-wide optimization is security. An SSL certificate is a security certificate that makes your website HTTPS secure.
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Making your website HTTPS secure means that any data submitted through your website, like personal information in a contact form, is encrypted before being sent. Even if you do not have forms where that data is sent, visitors are accustomed to seeing a notification that their connection is secure. Without SSL, some people may look at your website and see the not secure warning and think that the site is a scam or otherwise untrustworthy, which may result in less traffic and fewer conversions
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to actual clients. Presently, SSL is considered a tie-breaking ranking factor, meaning if all other relevancy and value factors are equal between two sites, the site with SSL will rank higher. Search engines have been actively pushing for a more secure Internet, so it is expected that in the coming years, SSL will become a more heavily weighted ranking factor. Generally, SSL certificates must be purchased and GetNetSet
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clients can purchase an SSL certificate for an annual cost. Certificates require regular monitoring and renewal, which we can handle for you. Next, let’s talk about XML sitemaps. We covered these in our How Search Rankings Work video, but essentially this is a map of your website and every page listed on it. It is specifically meant for search engines, so they can more easily find each page on your site and index it.
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Search engines find and explore websites the same way that people do– through links. By including a site map, search engines can use that to easily find every link to every page on your website, making it easier for them to index every page. All GetNetSet sites come with an XML site map. Next, let’s talk about 404 errors.
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A 404 error is a broken link on your site. 404s present a poor user experience because if a visitor wants to click on a link to find more information and that link doesn’t go anywhere, then they’re stuck. Some visitors may leave your site in frustration because they can’t find that information, and if they find it on another website, they’re more likely to trust that website instead of your own.
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Fixing broken links is a big part of making sure that your website remains functional. All GetNetSet sites are built from the ground up to be mobile optimized using responsive design, and we have another video on what responsive design is. But within the context of SEO, it’s especially important. Search engines follow a mobile first practice since more than half of all Internet searchers are on mobile devices and there are over 250 different sized screens.
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Ensuring your site looks great on all of them is necessary to provide a good user experience. If your website doesn’t look good on smartphones or tablets, it becomes almost impossible to rank highly because search engines don’t want to display a website that provides a poor experience to users. This is one of the most important parts of building your website.
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Now, while these site wide technical optimizations may seem complicated and time consuming, most of them generally only need to be performed at the time of your website’s initial build. Certain optimizations like site speed and resolving 404 errors may need to be revisited occasionally or kept in mind as you add new content. But other things like SSL and mobile optimization only come into play during the initial build.
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Once your site is built, these site-wide optimizations can generally be left alone. So why are technical optimizations important? If you’ve watched our other videos or know anything about SEO, then you know that the most important part of SEO is making your website valuable to people, not search engines. So why are these technical optimizations important? As stated in part one, some of these optimizations are actually incredibly helpful for potential clients.
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Using H tags and making your site responsive to different screen sizes presents a better user experience, making it more valuable for people. Technical optimizations like these make it easier for people to use your website and know what your website is about. By doing that, you also show search engines that your goal is to provide for your website visitors.
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Generally, there isn’t one quote unquote magic bullet factor that drastically improves your rankings. Instead, each and every ranking factor contributes to an overall score that search engines assign to your website. This score ultimately determines how high or low you rank, as well as where geographically your site will be most likely served to searchers. Hypothetically speaking, if a well-written, valuable and relevant FAQ page is worth ten points, then adding a title tag might only be worth two points.
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If having your site mobile optimized is another five points, properly used H tags is another two, and having SSL is another one point, then you get a total of 20 points. If a competitor did everything that you did but didn’t have SSL, they’d only have 19 points so they would rank lower than you. Now, this scoring system isn’t exactly how search engines work.
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It’s only meant to highlight how each optimization you implement can marginally improve your rankings. So to wrap up part two of our technical optimizations for SEO, we discussed site-wide optimizations. First, we talked about site speed, which is about making sure that your website loads quickly to prevent users from getting frustrated and leaving your website before they actually see it.
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There’s security, which is making your website HTTPS secure with an SSL certificate. Next was an XML site map, which is a list of pages on your site and links to each of them so search engines can find every page on your site easily. Then you have 404 errors which are broken links. Broken links provide a poor user experience and can confuse visitors,
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so it’s best to make sure none of the links on your site are broken. Finally, we talked about mobile optimization and responsiveness which is probably the most important site wide optimization because search engines follow a mobile first approach, meaning if your website doesn’t adapt or respond to smaller screen sizes, it is extremely unlikely to rank very highly. Our last topic today was why these optimizations are important.
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Each of these technical optimizations contributes to the overall relevancy and value of your websites. Several of these technical optimizations actually help people better understand what’s on your site and how it’s relevant to their search. They also help present a more positive user experience, which is one of the most important factors of SEO. If users can’t use your website easily, they’re more likely to get frustrated and leave to find another website that better addresses their needs.
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While no single factor will magically improve your rankings, each of these little things can all add up to create significant bonuses. Just keep in mind that, like on-page optimizations, the site-wide optimizations can typically be implemented once and may only require minor tweaks or updates as you continue to update your content. If you haven’t seen part one of these technical optimizations for SEO regarding on-page optimizations, we highly recommend checking that out as well.
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If you’d like to learn more about how getting that set can help with your SEO, we encourage you to reach out to us here at GetNetSet.com. Thank you so much for watching and we look forward to seeing you in the next video.