Get the eye glaze ready — we’re going to get technical!
I get that stuff like technical SEO is the last thing most marketers want to talk about, but I promise we won’t dive too deeply into the geek-speak. Consider this a primer, with the goal of helping you to recognize the factors at play so you can discuss them intelligently with your technology staff. (Who, I’m sure, will be all too happy to go into the details I’m leaving out!)
Google and other search engines have made it clear that site performance is an important consideration in their ranking algorithms. Site visitors are frustrated when content won’t load and the search engines want to provide the best possible experience.
Of course, a slow site isn’t helpful for you either. No matter how great your content, if your visitors are already headed back to the search results page for the next-most enticing link before your content loads, you’ve lost an opportunity. Here are a few things you can do to get your website’s technology and technical SEO in order and improve your chances for content marketing success.
I rarely see anyone focus on this, but if you’re not sure where your website is hosted or how that hosting provider is connected to the internet, you have your first homework assignment. The largest corporate entities among us most certainly have their own server farms and smaller firms who have very high traffic web properties will, too. But many of the rest of us hire this out to one of the many commercial hosting outfits. There are a great many options both in terms of the services you can contract for and the kinds of providers offering them.
There are generalists whose services include everything from shared hosting to VPS (virtual private server) hosting to dedicated hosting where an entire hosting machine is yours and yours alone.
There are also specialists who offer hosting focused on the needs of one particular CMS, or the needs of one type of website (whether regulatory or transactional needs), or other criteria.
Choosing amongst them can be overwhelming if you don’t speak the language, so you need to bring in your web development team to help you navigate the options. Do not turn the decision over to them, though. Instead, work with them and set your ego aside. Be willing to ask the “dumb” questions to make sure that they’re helping you make a decision that factors in your marketing needs and not just their technology needs.
This is another area that is getting more scrutiny. You may not know what an SSL certificate is, but you’ve seen them in action. Any time you see “https” in a web address rather than “http,” you know there is an SSL certificate under the hood.