Technical SEO

Technical search engine optimization refers to the structure and organization of a site for maximum search engine visibility. Our coverage addresses structured data (, website hierarchy, menus, categories, page speed, bot crawlers (including Googlebot), domain names, and more.

  • SEO: Google's Hummingbird Changes the Ecommerce Game Technical SEO

    SEO: Google’s Hummingbird Changes the Ecommerce Game

    October 11, 2013 •

    Google released its Hummingbird search algorithm under the radar in August. Hummingbird reportedly impacts 90 percent of all search queries. So how does Hummingbird change the game for ecommerce sites? With ...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO Traffic Changes When URLs Change

    September 6, 2013 •

    You may have noticed that we recently updated Practical Ecommerce with a fresh, new design. Behind the scenes, a lot of things changed as we moved to a new platform,

  • Technical SEO

    10 Free Website Speed Tests

    May 13, 2013 •

    Before your customers enter your ecommerce store, they’re waiting for it to load. Page load time is the lapsed time between the moment a user requests a new page and when that page is fully rendered by the browser. Reducing page load times can reduce bounce rates and increase conversion...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO Audits: What to Expect

    March 15, 2013 •

    One of the challenges that plagues the search marketing industry is a lack of standards around the quality and scope of work. Different agencies and consultants will use similar words to describe very different deliverables and processes. One of the most abused of these is the SEO Audit...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO: Impact of Ecommerce Catalog Structure

    March 1, 2013 •

    Information architecture and search engine optimization are both critical aspects of developing an ecommerce site. During the process, early decisions made about the structure of a site and its product catalog can have surprising ramifications for SEO. Which product types and attribute...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO: Optimal Ecommerce URLs

    February 1, 2013 •

    The ecommerce platform that hosts a site determines the URL structure, which in turn can have an impact on the site’s search engine optimization. Each platform creates URLs according to its own rules, but nearly all can be modified for greater SEO and brand recognition. In years past, ...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO: When Product Facets and Filters Fail

    December 21, 2012 •

    Ecommerce sites rely on filtered or faceted navigation to make their product catalogs more easily digestible for customers. Depending on how filters and facets are implemented, however, they can either be fantastic for search engine optimization or a big failure. SEO is based on three ...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO: Working Around a Redesign

    December 14, 2012 •

    When a redesign or platform change looms in your site’s future, it’s easy to turn off all search-engine-optimization work and focus on planning the new site. After all, why bother making changes that will just be overwritten when you launch the new site? Focusing on a few key areas will...

  • Technical SEO

    4 Fast Ways to Kill Your SEO

    November 9, 2012 •

    Search engine optimization experts usually focus on what you should do to improve your site’s organic search rankings. In this post, I'm asking the opposite question: What are the fastest ways to destroy your site’s SEO performance? Here's a list of my top four mistakes. Mistake 1: Lau...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO: Putting Navigation to Work

    September 28, 2012 •

    Navigation does more than shuttling customers around your site. In addition to its obvious usability and design functions, navigation can be optimized to improve organic search traffic. Well-optimized navigation strengthens the flow of link popularity throughout your site while sending ...

  • Creative SEO backdrop. Search engine optimization and startup concept. 3D Rendering Technical SEO

    Using Meta Tags for Search Engine Visibility

    September 25, 2012 •

    Search engine optimization continually evolves to include new tactics. But classics like meta tags are still important. Making the most of your meta tags can be a small step that can make a large difference in your overall web marketing.

  • Technical SEO

    SEO: Avoiding Penguins and Pandas

    September 7, 2012 •

    Google’s recent penchant for naming major algorithmic updates after animals has the world of search engine optimization sounding more like a zookeeper’s dilemma. But with rumors of an impending Penguin update — see this article from Search Engine Roundtable — right around the corner, e...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO: Launching a Redesigned Site

    August 31, 2012 •

    Editor's Note: This is part two of a two-part series on identifying, assessing, and mitigating the risk of site redesigns on organic search traffic. Part one, "SEO: Identifying the Impact of a Site Redesign," we published last week. Launching a redesigned site is filled with potentiall...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO: Identifying the Impact of a Site Redesign

    August 24, 2012 •

    Editor's Note: This is part one of a two-part series on identifying, assessing, and mitigating the risk of site redesigns on organic search traffic. Part two, "Launching a Redesigned Site," we will publish next week. Site redesigns can create a period of intense instability for organi...

  • Technical SEO

    5 SEO Shortcuts to Avoid

    July 12, 2012 •

    Search engines are programmed to reward relevance and popularity, and are striving to algorithmically determine quality as well. Ecommerce sites are programmed to sell product to customers as efficiently as possible while offering a positive brand experience. Ecommerce sites often striv...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO: Understanding XML Sitemaps

    June 29, 2012 •

    XML sitemaps serve a very niche purpose in search engine optimization: facilitating indexation. Posting an XML sitemap is kind of like rolling out the red carpet for search engines and giving them a roadmap of the preferred routes through the site. It’s the site owner’s chance to tell c...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO Site Migration Checklist

    May 18, 2012 •

    Migrating a site to a new platform or domain, or implementing a major redesign, is one of the most stressful situations in search engine optimization. The potential for massively impacting organic search traffic and sales is higher during these launches than at any other time. But with ...

  • Technical SEO

    Google’s Over-Optimization Penalty an Evolution, Not Revolution

    April 27, 2012 •

    Google’s much discussed over-optimization penalty turned out to be a moderate evolutionary step in Google’s site quality crusade. Launched April 24, Google wrote in a blog post of its update, “The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s quality gui...

  • Technical SEO

    Google’s Secure Search Squeezes SEO Planning and Reporting

    March 30, 2012 •

    Google's secure SSL search protects users' search results and the keywords they searched on. Unfortunately, it also poses a growing threat to data-driven search engine optimization. Firefox recently joined Google Chrome — and, for logged-in users — in defaulting to secure sea...

  • Technical SEO

    Google Plans SEO Over-Optimization Penalty

    March 22, 2012 •

    Google’s head spam cop Matt Cutts announced the impending launch of a new over-optimization penalty to “level the playing ground.” The disclosure came earlier this month at the South By ...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO Benefits of Responsive Web Design

    March 1, 2012 •

    Site owners have many competing needs when developing mobile sites. Different devices, different capabilities, different screen sizes and resolutions, all have an impact on designing and developing mobile sites today. According to Mongoose Metrics, a tracking and analysis firm, only 9...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO: Letting Customers Generate Long Tail Search Terms

    November 23, 2011 •

    Search engine optimization typically focuses on the trophy terms, the high-volume keyword phrases, because marketers need to drive the highest value with the lowest effort. Unfortunately, those juicy trophy terms are great for brand recognition and customers' initial awareness, but they...

  • Technical SEO

    Navigation: Your Biggest On-Site SEO Asset

    October 28, 2011 •

    A site's navigational links can help its search engine optimization. Links pass "link popularity," little votes of value, from the linking page to the destination page. In addition, the link's anchor text — the visible text portion of the link — passes a relevance signal. Relevance and...

  • Technical SEO

    How to Increase Page Speed and Help Search-Engine Rankings

    May 11, 2011 •

    In the spring of 2010, Google announced it would factor page speed more heavily into its search ranking algorithm. "Faster sites create happy users," Google stated in the blog post describing the algorithm change. Your ability — as an ecommerce merchant — to improve your site's speed d...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO Case Study: Improving the Site’s Architecture

    March 25, 2011 •

    Editor's Note: This is the second installment of a search-engine-optimization case study from contributor Jill Kocher on the SEO travails of The Motor Bookstore, a retailer of automotive manuals. Like most ecommerce businesses, The Motorbook Store relies heavily on traffic from search ...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO: Understanding Advanced Search Operators

    September 30, 2010 •

    Let’s face it, the engines control search. They may keep tight-lipped control of their algorithmic secrets, but they also provide their users with tools that SEO practitioners can use to understand how the engines see their sites. These advanced operators offer a peek behind the curtain...

  • Technical SEO

    SEO: Unique Content Good for Search Engines, Good for Consumers

    September 3, 2010 •

    Unique, valuable content is a critical part of a successful SEO strategy. That is especially the case for ecommerce sites that utilize non-unique stock product descriptions from the manufacturer’s database. But, I’m often asked if there’s a faster, cheaper, free way to generate content....

  • Technical SEO

    The PEC Review: Online Image Optimizer Speeds Load Times

    July 26, 2010 •

    A slow-loading retail site is akin to the store clerk who ignores you in a brick-and-mortar shop. On a recent trip, I stopped at a small antique store. My wife and I entered the store, walked around for about 20 minutes, examined dozens of items, and never once during the entire experi...

  • Technical SEO

    Google Changes Search-Results Page, How Merchants Can Benefit

    May 25, 2010 •

    Google has made some major changes to its search results recently, adding more options for searchers. These are not changes to search algorithms, which determine the websites that show up, and where. Rather, the new changes give searchers options that allow them to tailor the type of s...

  • Technical SEO

    The PEC Review:

    May 17, 2010 •

    Most ecommerce merchants are digital natives, spending hours each day online, managing orders, marketing, or just staying ahead of the competition. When so much of your working day is spent on the Internet, even modest changes in upload and download speeds can have a major impact on pr...