SEO can delve deeper than just keywords and backlinks. Technical SEO is where the inexperienced can become lost, but what can be said is the technical side of SEO can really help your ranking. It’s called technical SEO for the plain reason it focuses more on the technical elements of the page, and also the content. In this article we will aim to answer the question of what is technical SEO, and give you the basic idea of what it entails.
Technical SEO, what is it?
Technical SEO refers to improving the technical aspects of a website in order to help improve its ranking. It has become more popular over the past few years due to the changes in search engines, and its overall optimisation. Technical SEO focuses on some key elements, all of which when explained will really help to improve website traffic and ranking. Technical SEO forms a past of on-page SEO which focuses on overall performance and improvement of your website.
Why should you technically optimise your site?
Google and the other various search engines have been designed to present their users with the best possible results from their searches. Therefore search engine robots will crawl various sites and rank them based on a number of factors. Basic SEO is more around keywords and backlinks, whereas technical SEO delves into more detail.
Making sure the technical aspects, which we will discuss in this article are correct can really make a difference to the a pages ranking. Ensure they are done well, and you will see results. Equally doing the technical aspects badly will also impact your rankings. If robots cannot make a clear distinction between your web page and another, you will be ranked lower.
Do not be fooled however. Making sure your website works well, is well presented and also fast outweighs the technical SEO points. Do not try to conform with SEO at the detriment to your overall website,
How to know if a website is technically optimised
Knowing what affects your website, and how to utilise technical SEO can really help to improve your ranking and traffic. If your website loads fast and is easy for search engine robots to crawl then you are on the right lines. Having a proper technical setup allows search engines to understand what a site is about. Some of the below points are things to consider when looking to technically optimise your website.
Speed is a key element of all websites nowadays. If a website is not fast, you are going to use traffic. A fact to back this up is that in 2015 it was reported that 53% of mobile users who could not load a page in 3 seconds they would leave. Therefore meaning speed is crucial.
A slow webpage can be down to many reasons. Some may be server related or who looks after your hosting. However, more commonly it will be content related. If your page has large amounts of images and video then naturally the page speed will be slower. Consider the content when building the website.
It’s crawlable for search engines
All search engines have robots which crawl web pages. The robots are what rank a page based on a number of factors. What a robot will do however is follow links to discover content on your site. This is where a great internal linking structure comes into play. If you can link internally then this will give the robots a chance to give an overall assessment of your content.
The robots do work at random, but you can control them. Inserting things like no follow links, or telling them to not show the page in search results can help your website be ranked better. This is because you will be diluting your website’s content if something does not match.
It doesn’t really have any dead links
A slow home page is the issue that can deter future visitors from coming back to your site. What is even more of hindrance are pages that do not exist at all. When looking for a page that does not exist users will encounter a 404 error. This hampers user experience.
If a search engine finds a 404 error it will lower your website ranking. Some search engines will find errors most users won’t. This is purely down to them following multiple links, and all trails. Ensure all your pages are working, and active on your website. If anything it will only increase user experience.
If your website has been technically optimised then it is going to be a secure website. Website security is a major talking point in the technical world, and really needs to be considered. It is such a basic requirement that on wordpress now you need to implement HTTPS.
Having HTTPS means that no one can intercept the data that is sent over between the browser and the site. Therefore creating a security element for its users. You can easily check to see if a website has HTTPS as on the left hand side of a search bar you will see a padlock. No padlock means the website is not secure.
Not confusing for search engines with duplicate content
Where most will go wrong is having duplicate pieces of content on multiple pages. Robots do not like it. It confuses them, and can actually counteract what you are trying to achieve. Unfortunately you may also have duplicate content issues without even knowing. This may be to do with your URL structure showing the same piece of content. This may not be an issue for your readers, but is for the search engine.
Technical SEO is a real key foundation alongside the more basic levels of SEO. Backlinks and keywords are always going to be a focus point, however with changes in search engine robots you need to consider other elements. The above points really are the easier to understand technical SEO points so focus on these and you will be on the right lines.