What Is Technical SEO & How You Can Improve It
This article will cover the most impactful technical SEO areas and depict how you can improve them. Even if you sweeten just a few of these spots, your website will be much healthier. That makes search engines happy – granting you improved rankings and increased website traffic.
Want to learn more? Let’s dive right into it!
Quick Introduction/Refresher to Technical SEO
First, we are going to define the term and tell you why you should be studying and improving its parts.
What Is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the process of enhancing a website, so that it meets the technical requirements of modern search engines. The goal of technical SEO is to improve a website’s organic rankings on search engine result pages. Important areas that belong to this group are website architecture, page speed, and crawlability.
Why Is Technical SEO Important?
Google makes sure that the top-ranked websites will provide the best possible user experience for the visitors, meaning, they will fulfill their search intent while being nice and smooth. On-site content is also important, but it is irrelevant when your page is loading for more than ten seconds. Your potential visitors will leave before the content loads.
See How Local SEO Works here: Jacksonville SEO Services
The main technical SEO changes, therefore, should be observable to the users. Many methods used to improve your site’s technical condition will result in a better user experience, and the loading speed is just one of many.
Why bother? To benefit from increased website traffic to your website.
Because if you are improving your website, Google will reward you with improved rankings on the search engine result pages (SERPs.)
Improving Technical SEO: The Best Practices
Now let’s move on to the most effective ways to improve your technical SEO.
Optimizing Site Speed
Page speed is definitely the number one factor for SEO. Research shows that website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time. That’s why it is so important to use only what you need on your website.
To optimize your loading time, start by testing your pages’ loading times using a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights. This free tool will analyze your page and give you detailed recommendations on how to improve it.
The Most Common PageSpeed Recommendations: Images
1. Properly size your images
This is a quick tip that has a compounding effect, so definitely make sure you prepare images properly.
2. Serve images in next-gen formats
Every kilobyte counts. Especially for mobile users.
You can change image formats in many online converters. But when you are running your website on WordPress, you will also need to install a plugin to upload .webp-type images.
Mobile First Approach
More website visitors are browsing on mobile phones than ever before. And Google wants to see that you care about them. That’s why you should focus on making sure that pages are responsive and that content is properly formatted for mobile devices.
Web designers employing mobile-first web design prioritize the needs of mobile users ahead of those of desktop users. And you can start by designing the web for the smallest screen size possible and then continue expanding content to accommodate the larger ones.
Choosing the mobile-first approach will also ensure that your web is responsive. And with this approach in mind, let’s move on to how to structure your site correctly.
You Need a Proper Site Structure & Internal Linking
If it’s hard for users to navigate on your website, they might get frustrated enough to exit right away. That’s why organizing your website’s structure, linking your pages internally, and making the header menu intuitive are important parts of technical SEO.
Internal linking makes it easier for users and search engines to navigate your site. Start by preparing a hierarchy of pages and sub-pages, and then link them naturally to each other.
This makes it easier for users and search engines to understand the context of each page and the relationship between them.
Optimizing Image Alt Texts & File Names
Optimizing the alt text and file names of images on your website is another small tip that can score you extra technical SEO points.
See Another Example of Technical SEO here: Tampa Bay SEO
When a search engine crawls your website, it can’t read the image itself, so it relies on the alt text and file names to understand the content of an image. Make sure to include relevant keywords in image alt text and file names to help search engines better understand the content of your page.
Using Canonical Tags
You can tell the search engines which version of a page they should index using canonical tags. They can be useful for preventing problems with duplicate content and guaranteeing that links to the master copy of a page receive credit.
Add an <link> element with the attribute rel=”canonical” to the <head> section of the duplicate pages and point to the canonical page. For example:
<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://coastalmarketingstrategies.com/services/seo” />
Robots.txt is a text file that tells search engine bots which pages to crawl and index and which pages to avoid. It can be used to block certain pages from being indexed, such as pages containing sensitive information. It’s important to create and regularly update your robots.txt file in order to ensure that search engine bots are crawling the pages that you want them to.
Save your robots.txt file at the root of your site. So, for the site www.example.com, the robots.txt file lives at www.example.com/robots.txt
Learn more about robots.txt directly from Google Search Central.
The Most Common Technical SEO Issues
Duplicate content is a common issue for websites and can be caused by multiple URLs leading to the same content, or by having two different versions of the same content on different pages.
This can be problematic as search engines may not know which version to index, and it can lead to lower rankings. To combat this, websites should use previously mentioned canonical tags to specify the main version of a page.
Also it’s important to mention that slightly changed content still counts as duplicate content.
Broken links can occur when a website is linking to a page that no longer exists or has been moved. This can lead to decreased rankings as search engines (and users) won’t be able to access the linked page. To prevent this, you should regularly run broken link scans on your website and make appropriate changes.
Tools & Resources for Technical SEO
Google Tools & Resources
Google provides a variety of tools and resources to help your website with technical SEO. This includes the Google Search Console, which provides insights into how a website is performing in search results, as well as the PageSpeed Insights tool, which measures page speed and offers ways to improve it. Additionally, Google provides the Mobile-Friendly Test tool, which checks to see if a website is optimized for mobile devices.
SEO Analysis Tools
SEO analysis tools are designed to help you identify and address technical SEO issues. This includes tools like Screaming Frog, which crawls websites to identify technical issues such as broken links and duplicate content, as well as tools like SEMrush, which provides detailed insights about a website’s performance in search engine results.
Let’s Sum Up The Technical SEO Benefits
Technical SEO is an important component of improving your organic rankings on search engine result pages. And by improving your page speed, user experience, and reducing duplicate content issues, your site will get better. And your visitors will sense that change and demonstrate their gratitude through their purchasing behavior.
For the technical SEO best practices, be sure to set up a proper site structure and internal linking, optimize page speed, optimize image alt text and file names, use canonical tags, and utilize robots.txt files. By doing that you will fix the most common technical SEO issues, including duplicate content, indexability issues, broken links, and mobile readiness.
If you liked this article but feel that you can’t do this on your own, just shoot us a message, and we will happily help you out with improving your website’s SEO today!