BrightonSEO is a place that’s filled to the brim with digital ideas. This year’s online version held a wide range of talks featuring some amazing panelists, and here’s what we learned about what’s going to happen in the world of Tech SEO over the next year.
What is Technical SEO?
Put simply, technical (tech) SEO is anything that can be fixed on your website that makes it easier to use or be found on search engines. It also includes techniques that make it easier for Google to crawl, index and render your site.
How will it look in 2021?
The panel forecasted that there would be plenty of key takeaways to consider ahead of next year. They were keen to stress the point that grey hat SEO solutions for big index sites are absolutely not worth the risk, no matter their size. Sticking to clear internal linking, adding canonicals and creating a clear pathway for google to find your URLs is always the best solution.
The panellists came to this talk from a varied degree of expertises across the digital marketing landscape, so we’ve rounded up the core points that were made.
Web Core Vitals
Google is pushing for improvements in UX, so these are the metrics to follow that will be monitoring site speed. These include:
- LCP (largest contentful paint) - the time from clicking on a link to seeing the majority of the content on-screen.
- FID (first input delay) - the time it takes for a user to actually interact with your page.
- CLS (cumulative layout shift) - the visual stability of your site (does stuff move around on screen while loading?).
The two SEO panels disagreed over how these changes would affect the rankings, although they both admitted that they were in the dark. What they did know for certain is that Google is pushing to improve site UX. The panelists believed that these new metrics would help with client conversations on the importance of site speed. Although they weren’t sure whether this is going to be a fad or if it’ll have a lasting effect on tech SEO, they believed it wasn’t a done once and completed job type of task.
How important are XML sitemaps?
- If you have lots of images, you should have an image sitemap as standard
- Don’t worry about optimising, just make sure they’re clean
- Split the sitemaps by importance
- Smaller sitemaps yield better indexing
Image Search Optimisation
Reducing the image file size is still absolutely vital for SEO (you can do this on sites like Optimizilla), as is making sure each image has alt text. This means that Google will find your image easier, but also makes your site more accessible for visually impaired people.
The importance of responsive images was stressed, this means that images should follow the size of the screen - no big images on small devices. The more detail an image has, the more mobile allows extra features like Google lens and image schema.
Although they acknowledged its usefulness, some of the panellists believed that taking care of your whole site was more important than focussing on image search optimisation.
Automation for Tech SEO
The panel imagined what the future of tech SEO automation would look like, and briefly pondered over what they see as being vital programmes to facilitate this. The biggest thing they outlined was what would help in the future with redirects, and mentioned coding languages like Python, Note, Pearl, and PHP.
They were very excited about the potential for more machine learning opportunities as well, with programmes like Screaming Frog being at the forefront of this new technology.
No matter what sector or size of your business, Search Engine Optimisation is an essential practice for improving the visibility and digital performance of your website. Digital marketing is absolutely vital to your brand, and SEO is a huge part of that.
Google is constantly evolving and keeping up with its changing algorithm can be overwhelming. That’s where seventy7 can help. Let’s talk about SEO.