As an SEO and web dev with years under my belt, I’ve seen the landscape of search engine optimization evolve considerably. There’s one area, though, that remains critical regardless of the passing trends: technical SEO.
The technical backbone of a site can greatly influence its performance in search engine results, but it’s an aspect that’s often “ignored” in favour of content creation and link building.
After doing A SEO Audit for a website, follow this guide to start the technical optimization for SEO.
What’s Technical SEO?
Technical SEO refers to the process of optimizing the infrastructure of a website so search engines can crawl, index, and render it effectively. While the content you create provides the information search engines display to users, technical SEO ensures that this content can be found, understood, and displayed by search engines in the first place.
Imagine constructing a house. The content is the decor, furniture, and personal touches that make it a home, but the technical SEO is the foundation, walls, plumbing, and electrical systems. Without a strong and optimized structure, the house can’t function, no matter how beautiful its interiors may be.
Technical Aspects We Should Consider:
- Fact: Website speed determines how fast your content loads for users. Google has confirmed it as a ranking factor, with particular emphasis on mobile search.
- Tools: Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix.
- Fact: With mobile searches dominating the landscape, responsive design is essential. Websites should render appropriately on devices of all sizes.
- Tools: Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
- Fact: This is your website’s roadmap for search engines. It helps them understand your site structure and index content accordingly.
- Tools: XML-sitemap.com and Rankmath SEO (for WordPress) can generate and manage sitemaps.
- Fact: This file directs search engines on what parts of your site to crawl or avoid. It’s essential for preventing wasteful crawl budget usage.
- Tools: Robots.txt Tester in Google Search Console helps verify your robots.txt file.
Secure and Accessible Website
- Fact: HTTPS (the secure version of HTTP) ensures data integrity and security. It’s become a standard for user trust and SEO.
- Tools: Let’s Encrypt offers free SSL certificates to make your website secure.
- Fact: By utilizing Schema markup, you can help search engines better understand your content’s context.
- Tools: Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool can validate your markup.
- Fact: Duplicate content can dilute your site’s value. It’s vital to ensure unique content across all pages.
- Tools: Siteliner and Copyscape can help in identifying duplicate content.
Optimized Internal Links
- Fact: Internal links guide users and search engines to relevant content, establishing site hierarchy.
- Tools: Screaming Frog SEO Spider helps audit and visualize internal link structures.
Headers (H1, H2, H3, H4, etc.)
- Fact: Header tags help structure your content, making it more readable and helping search engines discern the main topics on your page.
- Best Practice: Only one H1 tag per page (the title), followed by H2s for main subheadings, H3s for sub-sections under those, and so on.
Benefits of Technical Optimization for SEO:
- Improved Search Visibility: When search engines can crawl and index your site without issues, it boosts the likelihood of your content ranking higher.
- Enhanced User Experience: Many technical optimizations, like increasing site speed and ensuring mobile responsiveness, also make for a better experience for your visitors, so they don’t struggle.
- Trust and Credibility: Sites that are secure, fast, and accessible are trusted more by both search engines and users.
- Edge Over Competitors: By ensuring that the technical foundations of your site are strong, you have an advantage over competitors who neglect this aspect of SEO.
- Future-Proofing: Good technical SEO practices ensure that as search engine algorithms evolve, your site is still positioned well to meet its criteria.
As I said before, high-quality content is king, backlink strategies are important, the keyword research and other factors impact ranking. But keep this in mind, successful SEO starts from a healthy website.
By prioritizing technical optimization, you’re not just appeasing search engines, but you’re also offering your users a smoother, more enjoyable experience. And in the world of SEO, what’s good for the user is good for search rankings.