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Straight talk about how to grow your business with Google Search
Straight talk about how to grow your business with Google Search

How I Will Get You More Business from Google Search with Technical SEO

David H. Boggs, MS David H. Boggs, MS Technical SEO is the art and science of enabling Google organic search to crawl and index the pages of your website, understand what your website is about, navigate to the content most relevant to each user query, convert users to buyers, and deliver an excellent user experience, especially on mobile devices - something that Google values very highly and rewards through its ranking algorithms.

I will use my engineering knowledge, 100% “white hat” advanced technical skills and all proven search engine optimization best practices to analyze, test, upgrade, and fine-tune your website to make it more easily spidered, indexed and comprehended by the Googlebot crawler. I will NOT use “black hat” techniques that could get your website penalized by Google.

Grow Your Business with Google FREE Guide:
Grow Your Business with Google: The Definitive Guide to Choosing the Best Google Search Agency for Your Business

My New FREE 2023 Guide explains in plain English how Google Ads and SEO work, why you need to work with a professional agency, and how to find the best Google Search agency by evaluating their Qualifications, Experience, Business Culture, Measurement & Reporting, Campaign Strategy & Management, and Pricing & Communication.

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Get a Professional Google SEO AuditSEO Audit: I will analyze your website and provide a comprehensive report with specific, actionable recommendations for website changes that will get more converting traffic, acquire new customers, generate higher-quality leads, make more and bigger sales, and enhance the legitimacy and reputation of your brand. Go here for more information about my SEO Audits.

Why I should be doing your SEO

  1. Most SEO companies and individual practitioners will make promises of unrealistically high rankings of your pages on very competitive keywords, using “insider knowledge” they claim to have about how Google works. Nobody outside Google has that knowledge. These people will take your money and run. Go here to find out why you should not buy SEO or Google Ads or any other Search Marketing service on price or because someone has promised to get you page one rankings in Google. Because cheap SEO has big hidden costs, and anyone guaranteeing Google Page One rankings is either a fool or a crook.
  2. I offer real-world, professional services at fair prices, with a Risk-Free 30-Day Trial and an Unconditional Money-Back Guarantee. I do not, cannot - because no one can - guarantee Google Page One rankings, but rather to get to know you and your business and increase traffic and conversions on your website purely by “White Hat” techniques that comply with all of Google's policies and guidelines.
  3. Hiring your own staff to do SEO is expensive. Even if you're able to hire capable people - not necessarily a given - by bringing SEO in-house you immediately begin to incur training and overhead expenses.
  4. SEO is harder than it looks. Doing SEO well requires specialized knowledge, skills and tools. I have an engineering master's degree and am a certified Google advertising pro. I will bring to your firm - without requiring a long-term commitment or adding to your overhead - a rare combination of expertise and experience at both the technical and sales aspects of online marketing.
  5. SEO is always evolving. Just keeping up 100% with Google's ranking algorithm changes is a big job (I would know), and there are technical and regulatory changes constantly ongoing that impact SEO as well.
  6. SEO takes a lot of time. Your time is better - and more profitably - spent doing what you do best: running your business. Leave SEO to me.
  7. Measurement and reporting of results is a key part of SEO. I know what key performance indicators determine the impact of SEO on your business goals, and will report those to you regularly.

The technical SEO analysis I will do for your website, and the changes I will recommend, followed by conscientious maintenance to keep up with Google’s ever-changing product features and ranking algorithms, will increase the number of qualified prospects finding and engaging with your site, as well as the number and value of transactions those new customers will complete with your business.

 Ready to start making more money now? Most Google Search Marketing campaigns need an investment of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a month, unconditionally guaranteed to satisfy you. Go here to tell me a bit about your business objectives and Get a Quote!

How Google Organic Search works:

  • Since 2004, when Google introduced Personalized Search, websites and pages no longer have a universal rank across all users for any given query. Search results that Google serves to a specific user today are based on (1) the relevance of each web page on the internet to the user's query, (2) that user's previous search history including queries used and sites visited and (3) that user's profile of personal behavior and interests as revealed by their Google account.
  • Google's ranking of your web pages in response to a specific query from a specific user is determined by how well its ever-changing ranking algorithm finds one of your pages will answer the user's question, or meet their need, based on the profile of that user which Google has on file.
Google Search Return Page
Screencap showing top part of a Google search return page (SERP). Google's ranking algorithm has placed a link to a page of Olinger Architects in the #1 position because of its relevance to the user's query.
  • The page - yours or a competitor's - that the Google ranking algorithm finds most likely to provide the information the user is seeking will be linked to from the #1 listing at the top of page #1 of search returns.
  • If your pages are ranked higher, Google will show links to them before those to competitors' pages.

Why Technical SEO?

Technical SEO

The very most fundamental purpose of any business's website is to attract traffic that converts.

For organic search traffic - traffic that doesn't come from paid ads, and makes up 53% of all website traffic - SEO is what makes that happen.

And your pages need to be optimized for the search engine most used by your best potential customers. That's Google. Because 86% of all web browsing sessions worldwide begin with a Google search.

The critical factors in getting converting organic traffic to your website are:
  1. How accurately Google indexes your pages, and
  2. How highly it ranks them
for the queries that your most valuable potential customers are using in their searches.

Technical search engine optimization (SEO) contributes to enhanced website performance by making pages:

Faster loading, easier to navigate and more usable, for better user experience

Mobile-friendly, because under Google's policy of mobile-first indexing, the version of a website's content seen by the smartphone Googlebot crawler is used for indexing and ranking.

More easily understood and more accurately indexed and ranked against queries by Google’s BERT, MUM and other algorithms

Unique as to content, to avoid competition among pages that results in lower rankings for all

Up to date, by redirecting the URLs of retired pages to current alternatives and avoiding 404 (Not Found) errors

Safe for users, through use of TLS (Transport Layer Security, successor to now deprecated Secure Socket Layer) - a protocol for encrypting internet traffic and verifying server identity

In turn, that enhanced website performance will:

Differentiate Yourself from the Competition

Differentiate you from your competition

Increase your return on advertising spend, since an SEO campaign involves no media buy, only our modest agency fee

Produce more prequalified website traffic from people who are using Google organic search to look for products or services like yours

Used in conjunction with Google Ads, increase the number of links to your website on a Google search return page, producing more website exposure to potential customers and enhancing the legitimacy of your brand

Reach your entire customer base with website pages optimized for each of your target demographics and for each level of your conversion funnel from introductory content to create awareness for new prospects to conversion-directed content for those ready to buy

Produce higher-quality leads with which you can begin to engage for future business

Convert lookers to buyers at a much greater rate and lower cost than outbound strategies like cold-calling or e-mail blasting

Give you powerful insights and hard data about your target demographics

Keep prospects on your website longer, viewing more content, maximizing lead-gathering and selling opportunities

Improve the experience users get from your website, getting you repeat visits

Create and increase awareness, authority and trust for your brand, through its enhanced visibility in search


Get a Professional Google SEO AuditSEO Audit: I will analyze your website and provide a comprehensive report with specific, actionable recommendations for website changes that will get more converting traffic, acquire new customers, generate higher-quality leads, make more and bigger sales, and enhance the legitimacy and reputation of your brand. Go here for more information about my SEO Audits.

An incomplete list of issues that technical SEO can fix includes:

Issues Technical SEO can fix
  • Failed Google Core Web Vitals assessments
  • Broken links and 404 errors
  • Excessive HTTP requests
  • Uncompressed HTML
  • HTML errors
  • Slow-loading image, audio and video files
  • Duplicate content
  • Unindexed pages
  • Orphan pages
  • Non-critical CSS and Javascript files that slow down page rendering
  • Duplicate titles and meta description tags that cause ranking competition between pages
  • Unused stylesheet code that slows page loading
  • Missing Google Analytics tracking code
  • White space and HTML comments that slow page loading
  • Images that could delay loading until after critical resources have been rendered
  • Static assets not cached
  • Page titles and meta descriptions too long or too short
  • Pages blocked by robots.txt file
  • Use of Flash
  • Mobile unfriendliness: too-small text, clickable elements too close together
  • No custom 404 error page
  • Illusion of completeness leaving critical content unread

An example of the results that technical SEO analysis and on-page improvements can produce:

Results of Technical SEO and On-page Improvements

Google PageSpeed Insights Mobile Analysis of our site
following Technical SEO analysis and on-page improvements

In case you're wondering: “If SEO is so great, why don't all businesses use it?”

Here are the most common objections I've heard to using SEO:

“It takes too long to get results.”
Good technical SEO can improve rankings of your pages quickly. How quickly depends on how much potential for improvement there is in your existing pages. But SEO isn't a get-rich-quick panacea. It lends itself to developing and executing a long-term plan that will grow your customer base organically. It takes time for any website to build sustainable credibility without resorting to unethical black-hat techniques that risk getting you banned. Honest, skillful SEO will increasingly over time grow converting traffic to your website while building your company's reputation in your markets. SEO is an investment, not a one-time expense. Invest in SEO if you want steady growth that compounds over time and builds your website's authority within your business sector.

“Organic traffic doesn't convert well enough.”
Web pages that don't convert well are not sufficiently optimized for search queries that reveal user intent to buy. Work with me, and I'll fix that.

“The return on investment in SEO isn't measurable.”
Using Google Analytics (GA4) I can establish baselines for the traffic and conversions of your website, and track against them the measurable results of improvements that my SEO work delivers.

“SEO will never be able to get us onto Page 1 of Google.”
That may be true if you're trying to compete head-to-head with a deep-pocketed competitor for broad queries like “personal injury lawyer”. But SEO can achieve superior rankings for longer-tail queries like “maine spine injury lawyer” or “24 hour towing portland”.

“Our in-house marketing staff can get the same results as SEO cheaper.”
No, sorry, they cannot. SEO is hard. It's not something someone can get good at overnight. And it's not something a consultant can swoop in for a week, get started and pass to your staff with an expectation of sustainable results. SEO requires specialized knowledge, experience and complicated, expensive tools. Also it takes a lot of time - more time than any staffer has who has other priorities. I will do SEO for you better, and for less money - and not add to your overhead burden.


 Ready to start making more money now? Most Google Search Marketing campaigns need an investment of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars a month, unconditionally guaranteed to satisfy you. Go here to tell me a bit about your business objectives and Get a Quote!

Some of My Blog Posts About Technical SEO

Page Experience RankingGoogle Page Experience Ranking is coming to desktop in February 2022
That means: You must have passing scores on Core Web Vitals, HTTPS not HTTP, no intrusive interstitials.

Google MUM
Google MUM has the potential to be a game-changer in search and SEO

MUM is multilingual (75 languages) and multi-modal (both text and images) and has 1000X the question-answering power of BERT.

Content Quality
To assess content quality, Google doesn't just look at text [VIDEO]

John Mueller: "[I]t's not the case that we would look at just purely the text...we really want to look at the website overall."

Fast Pages Convert
New research finds a one-second reduction in page load time lifts conversion 5.7% on mobile, 3.3% on desktop

58% of bounces are from pages that take longer than 4 seconds to load.

Search Console Insights
Google introduces Search Console Insights (BETA)

New tool is intended to help content creators and publishers understand what resonates with their audiences.

New Structured Data Tool
More comprehensive markup validator to replace Google Structured Data Testing Tool

The new validator is intended to be a 'general-purpose' tool you can use to debug many more structured data types than those supported by Google.

Content Above the Fold
Google wants to see at least some content 'above the fold'

"A part of your page should be visible when a user goes there" - not just images, and without scrolling."

Search Console Performance Report
How to use the Google Search Console Performance Report

If you're managing a website, you need to be using Google Search Console reports.

Questions About SEO Answered

Q: How important it is to have a sitemap for a website?

A: An XML sitemap facilitates and speeds up crawling of your pages by Googlebot. For a large website, that could make the difference between full and partial crawl and indexing vs. partial getting done within Google's crawl budget. And regardless of website size, it's an easy thing to create, and couldn't hurt.

Q: What is Schema markup and how does it impact search engine optimization?

A: Schema markup is a systematized semantic vocabulary that is understood by search engines. It facilitates categorizing content so as to optimize the match of content to user queries.

Q: How can I monitor changes in search volume for my target keywords over time?

A: The Google Ads Keyword Planner will show you plots and tables of keyword search volumes by month. To get all the data you want you may need to create a Google Ads account - if you don't want to buy Ads, just don't give Google any click budget.

Q: How can I optimize internal links on my website for better search engine rankings?

A: If your website has 2 or more sub-themes - like if the site is about baseball equipment and you have a section about balls and another section about bats - link the various ball pages from the home page and to each other, and link the various bat pages from the home page and to each other. Don't cross-link between balls and bats as that will confuse search engines. In link text, use terms that are closely related to your most important keywords - terms that are used in queries - rather than using 2-3 top keywords in all your links. When linking to images, use descriptive ALT and ID tags that contain variants of your top keywords.

Q: How to get on the first page of Google in 24 hours?

A: Buy Google Ads.

Q: When should you use canonical tags on your website?

A: To avoid any ambiguities for Googlebot as to which content it should be indexing, put a canonical tag on every page, including self-directed tags on unique pages. You are smarter than Google. Take charge, don't let Google guess.

Q: What is a "bounce rate"?

A: In Google Analytics, the bounce rate is the ratio of single-page user sessions to total sessions. Session = visit to website by a user. Single-page session = visit in which user lands on a page, then leaves the site without clicking through to any other page. If 100 users visit your website and 10 of them exit from the landing page, then bounce rate is 10/100=10%.

Q: Is using too many keywords bad for a website?

A: Trying to OPTIMIZE your website for a large number of keywords is not a good idea. Trying to optimize a PAGE for a large number of keywords is a worse idea. Clearly define a theme for your website and select a reasonable number of important keywords accordingly. And don't make different pages compete for rank on the same keyword.

Q: Is Aggressive Search Engine optimization Immoral?

A: “Aggressive white hat seo” vs. “black hat seo” is a comparison analogous to “tax avoidance” vs. “tax evasion”. One is morally acceptable, the other is not.

Q: Is it better for SEO purposes to block images from spiders by robots.txt?

A: It would be better to integrate images into page content in such a way as to provide additional useful information to users, than to block them by robots.txt.

Q: How do I add a backlink to my website in another website? Or where would I put a backlink?

A: To get a link to your website from another website you don't own, you will have to somehow induce the owner of the other site to create it - e.g., by creating content you think the other site owner will want to link to, and requesting a link to it.

Q: Is Google still the only Search Engine that matters when it comes to SEO?

A: Yes. With 90+% share of all searches in both North America and Europe, and with its ranking algorithm changing on a daily basis, Google is the only search engine worth spending time optimizing for. And as a by-product, any optimization done for Google also works well for any other general search engine.

Q: Can Google ban a website from ever showing on their search engine?

A: Yes. Most famously, in 2006 Google banned BMW Deutschland for cloaking. The site showed Google a keyword-stuffed page of text, while showing users photo car ads.

Q: Is Google search engine still upgrading?

A: Yes, on a daily, hourly or minute-by-minute basis.

Q: Does Google penalize sites that use more than one H1 tag per page for SEO?

A: Google has more important ranking signals to deal with than hierarchy of headline tags - but if you have multiple H1's the fix is easy, why take chances?

Q: How does Google determine a website has new content and thereby update search results?

A: You can influence this by referring in your robots.txt file to an XML sitemap in which you have specified an update frequency (daily, weekly, etc.) telling Google how often your site changes. Absent that, google will by trial and error establish a re-crawl frequency for your site. What Google finds on the latest crawl replaces earlier data. Search results will reflect the most recent crawl, but not necessarily instantaneously.

Q: What do you do if your content doesn't get crawled regularly by Google?

A: Start with the basics: create an XML sitemap that specifies your change frequency, link to the sitemap from your robots.txt file, take ownership of your site in Search Console and submit your sitemap for crawling.

Q: Does Google index mobile versions of a website in addition to standard format websites?

A: Short answer is “yes” but there's more to it than that. Currently, Google's primary crawler for indexing and ranking purposes is the smartphone version of the Googlebot user agent. Since 1 July 2019, NEW sites are crawled ONLY with the smartphone user agent. Older sites that don't index easily using the smartphone version of Googlebot may continue to be crawled for some period of time with the desktop Googlebot. But the handwriting is on the wall: for good ranking, your site needs to be smartphone-Googlebot-friendly - right now.

Q: To effectively track my website with Google analytics, do I have to add their script on every pages that I create or can I just leave it on the index page only?

A: GA code must be on every page on which you want GA data. A relatively easy way to accomplish that is to find some piece of HTML code that appears consistently in the HEAD section of every page and use an HTML editor with search/replace function to replace globally that existing line of code with the [same line of code]
[your GA code].

Q: Would submitting my websites to directories help Google ranking?

A: Being listed in high-quality directories should help. Best bets are usually directories of local businesses, and industry-specific directories. Worst bets are directories that will list anyone in the world for money, or for reciprocal links. Example: A company calling itself “The Ultimate Directory Submission Service” (search for it on Google) will list you on “the top 491 free directories” for $0.20 a pop. Don't waste you time and money on deals like that.

Q: If I'm someone who wants to rank his blogs at will, will it be possible for me to achieve that if I know all 250 or more factors that Google search codes are about?

A: Along with knowing what all the ranking factors are, you'd have to be able to CONTROL them unilaterally from your end in order to rank your blogs “at will” - and that's going to be difficult because of (1) off-page factors that you can't control (like the actions of competitors) and (2) Google's ongoing (secret) tweaks to their ranking algorithm.

Q: How do you make your Google mobile search results more clickable?

A: Run Google's Mobile Friendliness Test on your home page. Google will tell you what needs fixing and how to do it. Implement all the recommendations and when Google is happy with your home page, repeat for your other important pages. Repeat until you get all the clicks you want.

Q: How do I get more visitors from Google for free to my local business website?

A: Create the best possible Google Business Profile, and keep it updated. Google is constantly adding features to its products, and GBP is no exception. Post photos. Encourage customers to leave reviews. Make sure your map pin is located correctly. Monitor GBP insights and improve your listing accordingly. On your website, cover all the SEO basics: TITLE and Description tags, no broken links, mobile friendliness, fast page loading. Doing all those things will, over time, attract high-quality links, which Google likes. Don't buy or exchange links, which Google DOESN'T like.

Q: Is there any public information available on how Google's algorithms work?

A: Speculation yes, “information” no - at least none that I would trust.

Q: How does Google generate the short descriptions below searches?

A: Usually from the META Description tag in the code at the head of the page.
Example:  If a site has a META Description tag like ‘Expert digital tourism advertising and marketing | Boston and Maine - customized research based campaigns’
Google will likely use part or all of ‘Expert digital tourism advertising and marketing | Boston and Maine - customized research based campaigns’ in the SERP. If the page has no META Description tag (bad idea) or one that Google doesn't think is descriptive of the content, Google will pick/choose from available content - maybe the H1 tag or something in B tags.

Q: How many times does Google Spider need to visit a new page before it decides to rank it in the results?

A: Remember there's a distinction between indexing and ranking. The Googlebot is a dumb creature, just finds what's there and reports back. Ranking happens on a search-by-search basis. An unindexed page won't ever appear in a Google SERP, but the fact of indexing doesn't guarantee anything in the way of ranking.

Q: In the Google Search Console, what is the difference between an error and valid with warnings for schema markup? Also, does a warning prevent the content from being indexed?

A: Basic difference is that a structured-data warning should affect neither indexing nor ranking - not necessarily true of errors.

Q: Does Google consider no-follow links for search rankings?

A: Google has stopped ignoring nofollow links altogether, and now considers “nofollow” to be a clue as to the value of the link. Also Google now encourages the addition of ‘sponsored” or “ugc” attributes to nofollow links to make it easier for AI to understand the reason for the nofollow. Short answer: sometimes (maybe).

Q: Can you trust someone who claims the ability to predict Google ranking algorithms?

A: No, absolutely not. Anyone with the ability to do that would have too much money to be spending time trying to sell you SEO or whatever.

Q: Have the recent Google updates put sites that sell links out of business or are there still naive people who purchase them?

A: Unfortunately, Google has been slack in penalizing the use of paid backlinks. By doing a Google search on “buy links” you can see that the link-selling industry continues to be alive and well. Right now from that search, on Page 1 I'm seeing 7 paid Google Ads selling links along with a full slate of organic listings.

Q: What is Google optimization?

A: If your question is of a general nature - like “how do I optimize for Google search”: you begin by studying Google's policies and recommendations - all fully laid out in great detail at Google - then learn to use the various Google tools like Keyword Planner, PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse. Create and test your website using those tools, follow all Google's recommendations for improvement. Repeat until you have the rankings you want. Or, alternatively, hire a Google search pro to do the optimizing - faster immediately, and cheaper in the long run.

Q: Which backlinks do more harm than good to a website's search engine rankings?

A: Backlinks you pay for. Backlinks with reciprocal linking. Links from sites with content unrelated to yours.

Q: There are some pages that I have deleted from my website, but are still showing up in Google search. What will be better for seo, remove the page or redirect the page?

A: A 301 (permanent) redirect will be instant-on and will prevent links from Google and whoever else may be linking to that page from going to 404 "File Not Found" page (always a bad user experience). Then at your leisure you can find any existing links from external sites and ask webmasters to switch to a relevant existing URL.

Q: What is the least expensive Google keyword?

A: The least expensive keywords are those that never match a search query.

Q: Do SEO companies really help? Is it worth it?

A: SEO done well helps most businesses that are selling something for which people search online (and there are few exceptions to that today). But not all SEO companies are created equal. Avoid any that promise specific results like “page 1 of Google in 30 days” etc. - if you get an offer like that, ask ’page 1 on what keywords?” and be prepared for waffling. Extensive experience and specialization in your industry or a related group of industries are both useful qualifications for a company doing SEO. Also, to do SEO well requires a certain minimum threshold of up-front spend that's pretty much independent of the size of the client's business. So the minimum investment in effective SEO for a 3-room B&B might be about the same as that for a 100-room hotel, so may be out of reach for the smaller business. Google Ads is a useful alternative in that situation.

Q: What can SEO services do that WordPress plugins like Yoast can't?

A: Yoast is OK for basic on-page optimization but it doesn't know what's going on in your competitive space. And anyone doing SEO professionally will find that out, track, and adjust optimization accordingly.

Q: What do we need to set up Google Analytics on our site?

A: You need a Google account from which to create a Google Analytics tag, FTP (or otherwise) access to the website so you can download/upload HTML files, an HTML editor or other means to put the GA tags onto the pages.

Q: Should we look beyond Google for our SEO strategy and optimize for other search engines?

A: I once for several months tried optimizing for Bing alongside optimizations for Google, and found (1) it was a distraction, Google was enough to deal with without Bing, and (2) pages optimized for Google performed, on average, as well or better than those optimized for Bing. So once again, I optimize for Google only - which after all has 90%+ search share across the Western world vs. around 3% for Bing.

Technical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Resources

Google Webmaster Central Blog
Updates on crawling, indexing and ranking - direct from Google

Search Engine Journal
News, analysis, insights and guides

Search Engine Land
Industry experts share tips, tactics, and strategies.

SEM Post
Spots new Google features being tested, provides comprehensive analyses of algorithm updates.


Contact me:

 David H. Boggs, MS
Technical SEO
Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Boston, Massachusetts


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