Technical SEO or technical search engine optimization is the use of all the available strategies to build and optimize a webpage so that search engines can crawl, index, and render it. Technical SEO is done to help get more traffic and in turn, get organic traffic. Most businesses and companies rely on technical SEO to improve the ranking of their webpage on search engine results pages (SERPs).
In the world of digital marketing, the name of the game is constant refinement and optimization. Every new release brings with it another set of rules and best practices that companies have to follow in order to stay competitive in their respective fields. So much so that there are entire agencies that specialize in a single area of digital marketing – like technical SEO, for instance. But what exactly is Technical SEO and why is it so important? Let’s take a look…
WHAT IS TECHNICAL SEO?
Technical SEO, or ‘tech SEO’ is the process of optimizing your website from an engineering and code level. In essence, it’s about ensuring that your website’s design and functionality are in harmony so that bots can crawl and index all of your content with ease. The ultimate goal is to make your site more discoverable and more relevant for your target keywords.
This process is undertaken by an engineer, who will integrate a range of techniques into your site’s code. This includes everything from using the right code formatting to extending your sitemap to ensure that all of your content is easily accessible. The ultimate goal is to make your site more discoverable and more relevant for your target keywords.
WHY IS TECHNICAL SEO IMPORTANT?
As we’ve already discussed, Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your website from an engineering and code level. It’s a crucial part of your SEO strategy because it determines how effective your other SEO efforts will be. If your website isn’t optimized for search engines, it will have a very hard time climbing in rankings.
The most important thing to remember is that SEO is not a one-off task. You can’t just hack your way to the top and then forget about it. It’s a constant and evolving process that will always require new and better techniques.
Although the core principles of SEO remain largely the same, the algorithms have been shifting more toward mobile-first indexing. This is a major concern for people who specialize in Technical SEO. It means that they have to start from scratch and find out where their code is failing.
WHAT DOES GOOD TECHNICAL SEO LOOK LIKE?
Good technical SEO is when your code can be read by search engine robots and they are able to crawl through your site and extract your data such as images, text, and links. If your website is inaccessible to search engines, you’re essentially shutting yourself off from a huge chunk of your target audience. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can tell if your Technical SEO is up to scratch.
Let’s look at the technical SEO checklist that can ensure that your website is getting exposed to the maximum audience.
1. CREATING A WEBSITE
The first step towards technical SEO is to create your own website. Fashion it in such a way that every page functions properly. You have to use the SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology which builds an encrypted connection between a browser and a server. The website URL should start with ‘https://’ instead of ‘http:/’.
Google gives preference to those websites that are SSL-secured and not to the non-secure ones on the search rankings. SSL-secured websites keep the content and information on their page secure. So it is better to make your website secure.
2. MOBILE-FRIENDLY SITE
When creating your website make sure that it is user-friendly and also designed to be used through desktops, tablets, and most importantly hand-held devices like mobile phones. Your website should be responsive and able to adjust automatically to be read and navigated easily on any device.
Google ranks those sites higher that are responsive and can be displayed in any format. With the introduction of Google’s ‘Mobile First‘ indexing approach, a fully responsive website is the need of the hour. Be it a blog, e-commerce site, or any other type of website; responsiveness is the key to a successful and SEO-friendly website. Responsive design adapts to different devices and screen sizes, helping users to navigate your website with ease and increasing your SEO performance.
Responsive design also allows Googlebot to crawl your website more easily. With a responsive website, Googlebot can crawl your content and index it much more quickly as compared to non-responsive websites.
3. SPEED OF YOUR SITE
The loading speed of your webpage is definitely a crucial factor in determining the ranking of a webpage. Those pages that take less time to load are given preference over the slower ones. To reduce the bounce rate and increase traffic it is very important that your webpage loads quickly and without any interruption.
Speed-optimized sites not only increase user experience but also give a boost to search engine rankings. There are many factors that affect the speed of the page. Some of them are mentioned below:
- The size and number of the images, videos, and other forms of media files are uploaded on a page.
- The plugins and attachments installed on your website
- Lastly your website’s coding
The above factors negatively impact the loading speed and in turn website’s user experience. Users are most likely to click away from slow-loading pages.
4. DUPLICATE CONTENT
Duplicate content is not liked by search engines and probably de-rank the web pages they find duplicate content on. Duplicate content is confusing for both users and search engines alike. The duplicated content can crop up on any website, usually when your Content Management Service creates multiple versions of the same page on different URLs.
However, you want to avoid publishing multiple versions of the same piece of content on the same page. Doing so can confuse your readers and negatively impact your site’s SEO. To avoid issues with duplicate content, consider publishing one piece of content in multiple formats. You might publish one blog post in both visual and text-only formats, or you might create multiple videos with the same topic. Doing so ensures that you’re not publishing the same content on the same page, which eliminates the risk of duplicate content negatively impacting your site’s SEO.
5. XML SITEMAP
A sitemap can be created manually, or you can use a sitemap generator. Additionally, you can also submit your sitemap to Google and Bing manually via their indexing APIs. You may want to create a sitemap if your website has a lot of pages, or if it is important that your website is crawled frequently.
An XML sitemap helps understand search engines about your website. It is more like a map telling the search engine where each page is. XML sitemap also contains important information like how frequently the page is updated, its priority, or when it was last modified.
Creating a sitemap will make it easier for Google to point out the important content and how frequently it is updated. Google clearly stated that XML sitemaps are the second most important source for finding URLs. Some platforms create sitemaps automatically but if you are not using those, you may need a sitemap generator to make one.
6. ENABLE AMP
Accelerated Mobile Pages are lightweight pages that are designed to give mobile users a fast experience. They are designed in such a manner that they load fastly, and smoothly and prioritize user experience. While AMP itself isn’t a ranking factor, but the fast speed associated with it surely is. Google knows that most of the traffic is coming through mobile phones now a days and will priotize the websites offering such experience.
AMP is a Google-backed project that delivers content and loads pages on mobile phones really fast. Because of this feature, they are most likely to be read and shared by users. This in turn increases the number of backlinks leading to your content. Often Google highlights AMP pages in its search results giving your webpage an extra push.
7. USING STRUCTURED DATA
Through structured data search engines can index your webpage better because it makes them better understand the content on it. By using structured data some of your pages can get Rich Snippets. Rich snippets usually stand out in search results and show more data, so they contribute to organic traffic. The extra data is usually extracted from structured data.
The website that has a higher click-through rate as compared to its competitors receives preferential treatment through search engines. So it is important to include structured data on your webpage. Just like AMP structured data itself isn’t a ranking factor but using it correctly can make search engines your content better.
WHY IS TECHNICAL SEO DIFFICULT?
Because the algorithms are always changing, Technical SEO is a very fluid and evolving process. Companies have to keep up-to-date with the latest changes in the algorithms, which can be a stressful and difficult task. In fact, some companies even employ full-time engineers who are dedicated to monitoring the algorithms and finding out how best to optimize their code.
There are also other issues that make Technical SEO difficult. For example, the sheer complexity of the process means that it’s very easy to make mistakes. It’s also a very time-consuming process, which makes it a very costly affair for businesses. Thankfully, by using these shortcuts you can ensure that your Technical SEO is up to the mark.
As we’ve seen, Technical SEO is a crucial part of your overall SEO strategy. However, it’s also very difficult to master and requires constant attention and refinement. Luckily, there are a few shortcuts that you can take to ensure that your website is optimized for search engines. If your website loads quickly if your bounce rate is low and if your content is being found, then you can be sure that your website is technically optimized.
Technical SEO cannot be mastered in a day or two. It is a trial-and-error process and has a learning curve. It requires a lot of time and effort to be completely fruitful for your business. Follow the above checklist for technical SEO to master this art quickly.