Here at Bloom, we’re celebrating our second annual SEO month by taking a deep dive into some nitty-gritty topics of search engine optimization.
This week, we’re peeling back the curtain a little bit on the state of technical SEO in an agency setting.
What Makes Tech SEO so Special?
Technical SEO is commonly seen as 1 of the 3 main pillars of SEO; sharing the stage with content and backlinks.
One distinctive quality of the technical SEO pillar — in stark contrast to backlinks, and to some extent, content — is the high degree of control we have over its optimization.
Take content, for instance. Decisions on this front are shaped around market demand for information. This demand is constantly shifting, and while keyword trend analyses help smooth the uncertainty, we’re still forced to cross our fingers and hope for good fortune.
This characteristic is even more strongly exhibited by Backlink SEO. Backlinks are one of, if not the most influential SEO factor. It’s no coincidence either, that Google places the most importance on the thing that site owners have the least control over.
Google has been playing cat and mouse with the link building tactics of SEO for the better part of 2 decades now. Long term, us content marketers will have to depend primarily on the inherent “shareability” of our content — a quality that is often tricky to quantify — as Google continues to catch on to a broader array of unnatural backlink signals.
Just to be perfectly clear, we’re not saying that content and backlink optimization is hopeless. In fact, this is far from the truth. There are many non-specific, clever techniques an SEO agency wishing to protect its competitive advantage can take to mitigate the issues caused by the aforementioned control shortage.
But even in this light, it’s hard not to notice that Technical SEO stands out from its peers in this regard. Admittedly, we’re not surprised when we see near-monthly Google algorithm changes. However, for the most part, the vast majority of fundamental technical SEO best-practices are unmoving targets.
Canonicalize your duplicates. Make your meta tags more concise. Submit your sitemaps. These, and so many other optimization measures are like slam dunks for SEOs.
Furthermore, we have a strong influence, if not direct control over the allocation of web-development resources. This means that research & corrective strategies turn into site-implementations and ultimately organic growth with a high degree of constancy.
Hold On, What’s the Catch?
The TL;DR so far is that, more often than not, Technical SEO is a relatively low hanging fruit for many site owners. That being said, not everything is rainbows and butterflies. From an agency perspective, performing technical SEO for our clients still poses some complications.
Manipulating the technical elements of a website requires airtight project management, the coordination of a handful of moving parts, and 2 Tylenol for the headache, as needed.
This proves difficult when the focus of these efforts is technical SEO, a concept around which our clients rarely have more than a narrow degree of familiarity or comfort.
There’s an argument to be made that, were our process more educative, clients would be more engaged in the process of implementing our recommended site changes.
But alas, this proved to be one of those “in a perfect world” situations. In practice, we often found that our clients felt overwhelmed by the knowledge we were trying to impart. Our clients’ decision to employ outsourced SEO services was precisely due to their lack of bandwidth for learning it themselves.
It was learnings like this that led us to rethink our approach, and and usher in a more streamlined technical SEO process; One that speaks directly to developers, while providing a 10,000-foot view for client-side marketing coordinators.
So, What’s Next for Bloom SEO?
Since the shift, we’ve seen technical implementation rates skyrocket, with organic performance following suit. Plus, this new approach gives us greater flexibility to address emerging technical SEO trends, like structured data, AMP, and PWAs.
Stripping the educative emphasis also liberated some bandwidth to tackle a more rigorous and in-depth technical analysis of our client’s sites with the help of OnCrawl.
In November 2018, Bloom became the first agency in North America to earn certifications in Oncrawl’s cloud-based crawling software. We use Oncrawl’s custom segmentation and data integration capabilities to pinpoint the problematic sections of a site’s SEO, and layer on insights from 3rd party tools respectively.
We’re still learning here at Bloom. Adapting to the market, and flexing our service according to our client’s needs & preferences. We feel that, in the time since last year’s SEO month, we made a lot of progress towards reaching our goal of a more effective approach to SEO; technical and beyond.
Here is what our client, Kinésanté had to say on the subject: “I took a long time to choose a web marketing company to do business with and so far I am very happy. I like your transparency and your openness to work as a team with me. I am confident that the process will provide feedback that will allow us to develop more ambitious and interesting projects.”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SEO Analyst @ Bloom