PUBLISHED: Nov 9, 2023

Using Technical SEO as a Foundation for Content Marketing Success

blog-author
Author
Pratik Dholakiya
Using Technical SEO as a Foundation for Content Marketing Success

Technical SEO and content marketing are sometimes viewed as separate strategies. While each of them is different in terms of the ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’, the truth is that they are inherently interconnected. To achieve long-run success with content marketing, it is crucial to lay a strong foundation of technical SEO. That’s because technical SEO ensures that your SaaS website is optimized for search engines, making it easier for your audience to find your content.

In this article, let’s look at the relationship between technical SEO and content marketing, and the elements of technical SEO that we focus on for content marketing success.

TL;DR

  • Technical SEO is about optimizing your website for search engine crawlers to effectively index your site’s content and rank it appropriately on SERP.
  • Focusing on technical SEO first is important because it lays the groundwork for your content marketing’s effectiveness.
  • You must approach technical SEO with a structured process, starting with a comprehensive SEO audit to pinpoint issues that need fixing.

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO refers to the process of optimizing your SaaS website to help search engine crawlers (such as Googlebot) effectively crawl and index your content. It involves several facets such as website speed, mobile-friendliness, URL structure, site architecture, and more. Technical SEO is how you make your website technically sound so that it plays well with search engine guidelines.

One of the key benefits of technical SEO is that it helps search engines understand what your website is about and what your content covers. When search engines can easily crawl and index your content, your website is more likely to appear higher in the SERP for relevant search queries. The content that you publish (blog articles, guides, etc.) on your website is also more likely to rank faster.

While technical SEO is just one aspect of search engine optimization — which includes on-page and off-page optimization, too — it is a fundamental one. Without a solid technical foundation, even the best content will struggle to rank in search engine results. And when it does, the ranking would be suboptimal — proper technical SEO ensures your content creation efforts yield the best possible returns in terms of organic search visibility.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some common technical SEO mistakes that can impact your SaaS website’s long-term organic performance.

Why Focus on Technical SEO First?

How well your website is set up has a significant impact on its ability to rank and get indexed. That’s what technical SEO is all about.

It comprises three key areas:

  • Crawling and Indexing: Ensuring that your site’s pages can be crawled and indexed by search engines. This could include log file analysis to see the crawlers’ access patterns and structured data to enable better access to content.
  • Structure: Devising a site hierarchy and URL structure that helps both search engines and users to easily navigate to the most relevant content. This includes facilitating the flow of internal link equity across pages.
  • Performance: This refers to the speed and security aspects of your website, ensuring optimal page speed, Core Web Vitals, HTTPS, etc.

Shahid Abbasi, our Senior Technical SEO Lead with a vast SEO experience of 8+ years, shares his insights on a few mistakes brands make when starting out with their content marketing journey:

“People often make small yet crucial mistakes when it comes to technical SEO. For instance, they may forget to finalize a preferred version of their domain/URL, attempt to control duplicate pages with canonicals, and unintentionally create canonical loops, rendering all of them non-indexable.”

“Another common mistake is not having a proper robots.txt file in place, allowing Googlebot to crawl hundreds of pages (hurting your crawl budget), including sensitive ones. Updating old redirections on servers and websites is also often neglected, creating redirect loops that take extra hops for crawlers to reach the final URL. Furthermore, the absence of internal links, backlinks on canonicalized URLs, huge amounts of weak content, keyword cannibalization, and poorly-executed structured data can also hinder technical SEO efforts,” explains Shahid.

Such small mistakes hurt a website’s crawlability, indexability, rendering, and on-page and off-page ranking factors — which ultimately leads to poor organic traffic performance for any content published later on as a part of a well-thought-out content strategy.
Given the fact that on average, 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search, technical SEO is a pivotal ingredient in making the most out of your content marketing efforts. After all, what good is quality content if it can’t attract the attention of the right audience?

Technical SEO Elements We Focus on For Effective Content Marketing

Now, let’s look at the elements of technical SEO that help set the stage for content marketing success.

While the list is long as it depends on your website’s tech stack, information architecture, type of glitches, etc., we typically pass an enterprise website from some crucial checks, including:

  • Crawlability: Robots.txt, broken/internal redirections, internal links, etc.
  • Rendering: Render-blocking resource, raw HTML vs. rendered HTML discrepancies, JavaScript execution issues, etc.
  • Indexability: Meta robots, canonicalization, sitemap, website structure, etc.
  • On-page Factors: Duplicate pages, cannibalization, thin content, title, meta description, heading, images, schema markup, etc.
  • Off-page Factors: Backlink profile, anchor text analysis, link velocity, etc.

All these technical SEO checks (via multiple tools such as Screaming Frog, Google Search Console, and Ahrefs) are carefully and manually done as a part of our SEO audits.

Then, here’s an overview of the process our SEO team follows to implement the technical fixes:

  • We run a website crawl through multiple crawlers such as Sitebulb and Screaming Frog, and merge data points from Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
  • We start analyzing the data and insights gathered from different angles based on reports and SERP.
  • We prepare a consolidated report considering our client as a layperson, explaining the actual concept behind the issue, our findings, and proposed solutions along with an appendix for the client’s developer(s).
  • For think/weak content or tasks related to content improvements, we analyze data from GSC to assess content performance (in terms of organic traffic, keyword rankings, etc.). Then, we segregate the pieces as CONTENT TO BE DELETED, UPDATED, or MERGED.
  • After reporting all the issues in one document, we assign a priority score to each based on their impact.
  • We work on fixing all technical SEO issues that don’t require a developer’s support. Issues that require code fixes are done collaboratively with the client’s in-house development team.
  • In the end, we cross-verify whether the implementation is done correctly.

We conduct these tech SEO activities within the first month of engagement in order to lay the foundation for a successful months-long content marketing campaign. Doing this right sets the tone for optimal content performance and ROI.

Finally, let’s look at a few snippets of such a technical SEO audit from one of our recent client campaigns for a better understanding of how you can do the same for your SaaS.

For Zeda.io — an all-in-one product management SaaS platform — here’s the list of technical SEO issues we dug up and reported:

For each of these, we dove deeper to illustrate the concept, our findings, and solutions:

Based on the issues in this report, we prepared the full list of URLs that needed fixing inside a Resources and Summary spreadsheet. This sheet includes separate tabs for the various SEO issues along with their status, optimization impact, and priority score. Take a look:

In this way, based on the identified issues, our SEO and content teams get to work — making the website technically sound and ready to rank.

And that’s about it. We hope this helps you better tackle your technical SEO activities to lay the groundwork for effective content marketing.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, a lot goes into making sure your website’s technical SEO foundation is laid correctly. It may seem like a lot of upfront effort (and then ongoing maintenance as your website grows), but without it, your content marketing efforts will never yield the best possible ROI.

If you need help with setting your technical SEO right, you’re in the right place. We’re a SaaS SEO and content marketing agency passionate about helping software brands grow their organic search performance. Get in touch to take the pain out of technical SEO for your SaaS.

blog-author
Author
Pratik Dholakiya

Pratik Dholakiya is the Founder of Growfusely, a SaaS content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO.

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