What is Technical SEO?

By 22 January 2024SEO
Technical SEO audit screen graphs (photo credit: Myriam Jessier)

Technical SEO involves the optimization of a website’s technical components that influence how easy it is for search engines to crawl and index, and overall performance.

This optimization encompasses various elements, including sitemaps, structured data, site structure, URL structure, meta robots directives and tags, log file analysis, broken links, page load speed, mobile-friendliness, redirects, website security and management of duplicate content.

So this is where you may need an SEO expert’s help, but not just any SEO person, one that understands how websites work. The person or team built your website and/or manages it would be best suited.

The significance of technical SEO

Technical SEO holds paramount importance as it significantly impacts a website’s performance and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). Ensuring that a website is easily accessible and crawlable by search engines is crucial in maintaining visibility on platforms like Google. This aspect becomes particularly critical for larger websites with complex structures, where effective technical optimization plays a pivotal role in managing the site efficiently.

Best practices for technical SEO

Before delving into technical SEO, conducting a thorough SEO audit is essential to identify and address any on-page or technical issues affecting the website’s performance. Again, this is where you need a web expert; someone who understands the issues and can safely action fixes and improvements. And guess what, we have the software, knowledge and experience to offer SEO audits, from which we can advise on best courses of action and apply fixes for you.

Key areas to focus on for effective technical SEO

Some key areas to focus on include:

  • Use SSL/HTTPS: Secure your website with HTTPS to establish encrypted communication and data privacy (see our blog post on SSL and HTTPS). Since 2014, Google has considered https as a ranking factor, and its significance has grown, with browsers now labelling non-secure websites as such. Obtaining an SSL certificate is crucial for user trust and positive search engine rankings.
  • Enhance page speed: Faster-loading pages provide a better user experience (see our blog post about why a good website is a fast website). Page speed has been a ranking factor for desktop and mobile since 2010 and 2018, respectively. Google’s introduction of Core Web Vitals in 2021 emphasizes the importance of page speed as part of the overall page experience. We can almost certainly help with your website’s page speed using pro tools to identify and fix issues.
  • Implement schema markup: Structured data, conveyed through schema markup, aids search engines in understanding and organizing content effectively. While not critical for all types of websites, it is essential for platforms like e-commerce, events, recipes, books and videos. Implementing structured data allows for enhanced search result formats, such as rich snippets and knowledge panels.
  • Ensure mobile-friendliness: Given Google’s mobile-first indexing approach adopted back in 2020, optimizing for mobile users is imperative. With over 60% of web traffic coming from mobile devices, a mobile-friendly website enhances user experience and aligns with Google’s indexing preferences. Prioritizing “responsiveness” across various mobile devices and screen sizes will help improve visibility and rankings.
  • Add an XML sitemap: This file provides a structured list of a website’s pages and posts, to assist search engines in discovering and comprehensively crawling the content of a website. XML sitemaps contain information such as URLs, last modification dates and the priority of pages, facilitating efficient indexing by search engine bots. An XML sitemap is beneficial in guiding search engine crawlers to important pages on your site, ensuring that they are quickly and properly indexed, therefore positively impacting your site’s performance in search rankings.

Incorporating these technical SEO best practices, and more, can contribute significantly to a website’s overall health and performance in search engine rankings.

Read more about our SEO services or if you have website performance or SEO problems that need swift action, get in touch!