Technical SEO Iowa
A Critical Part of Your Iowa SEO Strategy

Technical SEO is Crucial For Success

Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for businesses in Iowa looking to drive more organic traffic and leads from search engines like Google. While content and links are key Iowa SEO factors, optimizing the technical foundations of your website is equally important and a core component of basic SEO. Implementing proper technical SEO establishes a solid infrastructure for search visibility. A proficient web developer normally builds out a site with proper infrastructure and design during the development process. Many times an SEO company will have to provide SEO services after a site has been completed because the design company didn’t do the job correctly.

This comprehensive article explores key technical SEO best practices for businesses in Iowa. Follow these guidelines to improve site speed, security, mobile friendliness, and more. Technical optimizations like these can significantly boost your local SEO rankings and traffic.

First Step – SEO Audit – Get Tech

A technical SEO audit is a comprehensive analysis of a website’s infrastructure to identify issues impacting search performance. It identifies issues and opportunities related to site speed, mobile optimization, security, accessibility, and more. An audit evaluates all the key technical optimization factors covered in this guide, including:

  • Site speed – Analyze page load times, resource loading, and hosting performance. Identify speed bottlenecks like unoptimized images.
  • Mobile friendliness – Crawl the site on mobile to check responsiveness and usage experience. Flag any elements that aren’t mobile-optimized.
  • Security – Inspect for vulnerabilities, outdated software, HTTPS implementation, and other security gaps.
  • Site architecture – Examine URL structures, sitemaps, internal linking, duplicate content, and other site architecture issues.
  • Platform optimization – Review CMS or site builder platform optimization capabilities and constraints.
  • Content quality – Spot-check thin pages, formatting problems, broken links, and content gaps.
  • Technical markup – Check for proper implementation of structured data, image alt text, meta tags, and other technical markup.

During an audit, use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, Google Mobile-Friendly Test, and Wave Accessibility checker to analyze your site’s technical health. Review page load performance, confirm responsiveness across devices, check for vulnerabilities, and ensure your site meets accessibility guidelines.

Inspect HTML markup manually to validate proper use of heading tags, alt image attributes, schema markup, and canonical tags. Check for duplicate title/meta descriptions.

Crawl the site architecture using ScreamingFrog to surface issues like broken links, crawling roadblocks, and thin content pages. Review internal linking and site hierarchies.

Pull up analytics to analyze traffic sources, top pages, and conversions. Look for high bounce rates that may signal page speed or mobile issues.

Addressing the technical problems and optimizations found in an audit can significantly boost your site’s search presence and user experience. The audit provides a blueprint to strengthen the technical foundation.

Optimize Site Speed

Site speed is a top ranking factor today. Slow load times hurt user experience and lead to higher bounce rates. Google has warned that page speed will become even more important for Search Engine Optimization in the future.

There are many ways to optimize speed:

  • Compress Images – Compress and resize large photos using tools like Squoosh. Lossless compression reduces file size without sacrificing quality.
  • Minify Code – Minify HTML, CSS and JavaScript files to reduce their footprint. Removing whitespace and comments speeds up page loads.
  • Use a CDN – Distribute static assets globally via a content delivery network. CDNs store cached copies around the world to reduce latency.
  • Limit Redirects – Reduce unnecessary redirects that incur latency. Avoid chaining multiple redirects if possible.
  • Cache Assets – Implement caching to serve repetitive requests faster. Browser and server caching eliminates roundtrips to the origin.
  • Async Loading – Load non-critical scripts like analytics asynchronously to unblock rendering.
  • Reduce Server Response Times – Upgrade hosting plans if overloaded servers are bottlenecking.

Run site speed tests like PageSpeed Insights and WebPageTest to diagnose issues. Faster sites lead to better local SEO visibility.

Prioritize Mobile Optimization

With over 60% of searches now on mobile, having a responsive mobile-friendly site is mandatory. Make sure:

  • Site layouts adjust for smaller screens. Text and elements should dynamically resize and reflow.
  • Text doesn’t require pinching/zooming to read. Use legible font sizes optimized for mobile screens.
  • Page elements take up appropriate space on mobile. Tap targets like buttons should be large enough for fingertips.
  • Forms and CTAs are easily tappable on touchscreens. Ensure buttons and links have ample padding.

Also, accelerate mobile page speeds. Google recommends pages load in under 5 seconds on mobile devices. Optimize images, scripts, and caching for mobile connectivity.

Test your site on real devices using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Mobile optimization is especially important for local SEO targeting users on the go.

Technical SEO Iowa

Improve Site Security

Security is both an SEO and moral imperative. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities to steal customer data or insert malware. Google also warns it may label sites as unsafe in results if they seem compromised.

Some tips:

  • Install an SSL certificate to enable HTTPS. Encrypt all traffic for security and SEO benefits.
  • Keep software like WordPress up-to-date. Outdated platforms are common infection vectors.
  • Disable unused extensions/plugins that create vulnerabilities. Limit your attack surface area.
  • Use strong passwords and limit admin access. Rotate credentials periodically.
  • Prevent cross-site scripting/injection attacks. Validate and sanitize all inputs and outputs.
  • Implement reCAPTCHA for forms to fight bots. Configure rate limiting for login attempts.

Check security with Sucuri SiteCheck. A secure site improves SEO and protects your users.

Optimize Site Architecture

Logical URL structures and site architecture boost SEO. Make pages easy to navigate and crawl with:

  • Descriptive URLs – Use keywords in slugs like Avoid overly long or generic URLs.
  • Short URLs – Avoid lengthy URLs with unnecessary parameters. Keep paths clean and concise.
  • Flat Architecture – Reduce folder nesting and complexity. Stick to a shallow hierarchy.
  • Responsive Design – Use relative pathing so links work across devices. Avoid hardcoded paths.
  • Sitemaps – Help search bots index new content with XML sitemaps. Include all pages.
  • Internal Linking – Link related content together using keyword anchor text for context.

Review site architecture using Screaming Frog SEO Spider. An optimized sitemap improves search bots’ ability to crawl and index pages.

Provide Quality Content – Feed The Search Engine

At its core, SEO is about providing content that satisfies searchers’ queries and meets their intent. Iowa businesses should publish pages and blogs optimized around relevant topics and keywords.

Make content search-friendly through:

  • Informative copy – Answer audiences’ key questions comprehensively. Include relevant examples, stats, etc.
  • Multimedia – Incorporate images, videos and graphics related to the topic. Optimize with alt text.
  • Optimized title tags – Craft compelling titles focused on target keywords. Keep under 60 characters.
  • Outbound links – Link out to authority sources to enrich content. Vary anchor text.
  • Updated regularly – Add fresh information continuously. Search engines favor new content.
  • Keyword Integration – Naturally use relevant keywords in body copy without over-optimizing.

Producing regular, high quality content that engages searchers improves relevance signals.

Leverage Structured Data

Structured data is an SEO tool that provides additional context to search engines through schema markup. There are many schema types that can highlight your:

  • Business name, address and contact info
  • Opening hours
  • Products and services
  • Reviews and ratings
  • Events
  • FAQs
  • And more

By implementing schema, you make your business attributes clearer to Google. Take advantage of schema generators to easily add markup.

Monitor with Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides invaluable SEO insights. Connect your site to monitor:

  • Top landing/exit pages
  • Traffic sources
  • Popular keyword rankings
  • Geo-performance
  • Site speed metrics
  • Conversion funnels
  • More

Analytics helps spot SEO wins and issues. Install Google Tag Manager to manage analytics/tracking efficiently.

We also like to use SERPRobot which is a paid service that allows you to monitor search rankings for keyword phrases you specify.

Choose SEO-Friendly Platforms

Your website platform impacts SEO. Build sites on optimization-friendly solutions like:

  • WordPress – Customizable CMS with SEO plugins and integrations.
  • Webflow – No-code design with built-in SEO features.
  • Squarespace – User-friendly SaaS with decent SEO capabilities.
  • Wix – Drag-and-drop website builder gaining SEO support.

Avoid restrictive platforms that limit SEO control like Flash sites.

Follow SEO Best Practices

Beyond the technical factors above, follow other best practices:

  • Alt Image Tags – Describe images accurately for blind users and SEO.
  • 301 Redirects – Redirect old URLs to new ones properly.
  • XML Sitemap – Aid crawling with a sitemap listing all pages.
  • robots.txt – Indicate crawlability with a robots.txt file.
  • Page Speed – Faster sites have better SEO and UX.
  • Cleaner Code – Fix HTML errors/warnings flagged by validators.

A Technical Foundation for SEO Success

By following these SEO technical best practices, Iowa businesses can establish a solid search optimization infrastructure. Invest time into site speed, mobile readiness, security, architecture, and content quality.

The technical factors covered in this guide work behind the scenes to improve SEO results. While less visible than content and links, they create the foundation needed for search visibility.

So don’t neglect the technical side of SEO. Join these technical optimization tips with smart local content and link building to maximize your local SEO performance. With the right tech SEO groundwork in place, your website will be primed for local search dominance.

Voice search usage is growing exponentially thanks to smart assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Home. Voice queries now account for over 20% of mobile searches.

To optimize for voice:

  • Simplify phrasing – Avoid long sentences and complex wording.
  • Focus on conversational queries – Use natural language questions like “What is the best coffee shop downtown?”
  • Answer intent directly – Provide concise answers focused on what the searcher wants to know.
  • Improve branded search visibility – Rank for brand keywords so assistants recommend you.
  • Enhance structured data – Add markup so voice assistants can understand your business.

Voice search rewards simple, clear content tailored to natural conversational queries. Optimize your pages for long-tail voice keywords.

Leverage Structured Data

Structured data is an advanced SEO technology that provides additional context to search engines through schema markup. There are many schema types that can highlight your:

  • Business name, address and contact info
  • Opening hours
  • Products and services
  • Reviews and ratings
  • Events
  • FAQs
  • And more

By implementing schema, you make your business attributes clearer to Google. Take advantage of schema generators to easily add markup.

Monitor with Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides invaluable SEO insights. Connect your site to monitor:

  • Top landing/exit pages
  • Traffic sources
  • Popular keyword rankings
  • Geo-performance
  • Site speed metrics
  • Conversion funnels
  • More

Analytics helps spot SEO wins and issues. Install Google Tag Manager to manage analytics/tracking efficiently.

We also like to use SERPRobot which is a paid service that allows you to monitor search rankings for keyword phrases you specify.

Optimizing for Google’s RankBrain Algorithm

In 2015, Google introduced RankBrain, a machine learning AI system for search. RankBrain helps Google better interpret language and semantic search intent.

To rank for RankBrain:

  • Write for humans – Focus on creating informative content for your audience vs search engines.
  • Incorporate natural language – Use complete sentences, paragraphs and conversational wording.
  • Optimize topic relevancy – Demonstrate in-depth expertise on subjects via quality content.
  • Improve page speed – Faster pages signal relevance to RankBrain.
  • Update old content – Improve or remove thin, dated pages.

RankBrain rewards pages that clearly satisfy searcher intent. Creating useful, fresh content tailored to users’ queries can improve RankBrain rankings.

Local SEO for Marketing for Iowa City, Davenport or Your City

Local SEO is critical for businesses trying to attract nearby customers in Iowa. You could think of this as city SEO and depending on the size of your city you might zoom in even further to neighborhoods. If you want to be an Iowa top site, localize your site for Google with:

  • Google My Business – (Now know as Google Business Profile) Complete your free local Iowa business listing on Google.
  • Address, Phone, Hours – Display updated business info prominently onsite.
  • Location pages – Create dedicated pages targeting local city/region keywords.
  • City content – Mention surrounding city names like Iowa City or Davenport throughout content to build relevance.
  • Citations – Build local citations on directories like Yelp to reinforce your NAP info.

Also engage locally on social media by interacting with followers and monitoring reviews. Strong local SEO brings in more foot traffic.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common technical SEO issues that hurt search performance?

Some typical tech problems hurting Iowa sites’ SEO include:

  • Slow page load speeds due to unoptimized images, code, etc.
  • Lack of responsive design causing poor mobile experience.
  • Outdated platforms with security vulnerabilities.
  • Bloated site architecture with nested folders and chaotic URLs.
  • Low-quality thin content that doesn’t satisfy searcher intent.

What’s the easiest quick win for most Iowa sites?

The simplest technical improvement with a big SEO impact is enabling an SSL certificate to support HTTPS. HTTPS provides security, improves search visibility, and is expected by most users today.

Are technical and content SEO equally important?

Both carry weight, but most SEO experts agree high quality content remains king. Technical SEO establishes the optimal framework, but compelling content is what earns rankings and conversions. You need both, but amazing content rises above all. Think of it this way,  technical SEO can help get traffic to your site but once they get there you need high quality, relevant content to convert them to customers.

How can I learn more about technical for Iowa sites?

Check out Team 218’s SEO resources for more local search tips. Their experienced consultants can also provide an SEO website audit specifically tailored to your Iowa business’s needs.

What is the best way to speed up my site?

Some top ways to accelerate your site include compressing images, enabling caching, using a CDN, minimizing redirects, async loading non-critical resources, and upgrading overloaded hosting infrastructure if needed.

How often should I be creating new content?

Aim to regularly publish fresh blog content and long-form articles about your business, industry, products, etc. This shows search engines your site is active and reinforces your expertise. But focus on quality over quantity, as thin content can actually hurt SEO.

What are the benefits of migrating to HTTPS?

Enabling HTTPS via an SSL certificate provides encryption for security, privacy, and trust. It also gives a slight SEO ranking boost, as Google favors secure sites. Having the HTTPS padlock gives users peace of mind too.

What’s the best way to optimize my site for voice search?

Focus on crafting content around natural conversational long-tail keywords that real users would ask voice assistants. Simplify phrasing, answer intent directly, and enhance structured data to help voicebots understand your business.

How can I tell if my site works well on mobile devices?

Test your live site on real phones to see how it handles at different screen sizes. Google’s Mobile-Friendly test can also identify issues. Your content should resize fluidly without pinching/zooming needed to read text.

What’s the benefit of a flat site architecture vs nested folders?

Flatter site structures with fewer subfolder levels are easier for users and search bots to navigate. Lean toward wider rather than deeper content hierarchies. But some nesting for clean organization is fine. Just avoid going too deep.

Should I include location keywords throughout my content?

For local SEO, strategically working your city, region and state names into content helps establish geographic relevance. But integrate them naturally so as not to appear over-optimized.


Optimizing the technical foundations of your website is just as important as content and links when it comes to enterprise SEO success.

By making your site fast, mobile-friendly, secure and crawling-friendly, you lay the groundwork needed for search visibility.

Combine these technical SEO best practices with high-quality, relevant content and thoughtful link building to maximize search rankings.

Your website’s technical infrastructure and architecture may not be glamorous marketing elements, but they powerfully impact performance behind the scenes. Treat them as critical pillars of your broader SEO strategy.

We provide SEO services to help with your digital marketing and search engine results. Get in touch with any questions or if you need help with Technical SEO on your website.