Technical SEO may sound like a complicated topic. To a degree, it is because Technical SEO involves the development of your website. However, it’s important to understand and learn its basics so that you’ll know there are other ways to improve your website’s search rankings in addition to basic SEO.
We’ve also done our best to make the topic of Technical SEO easy to understand. The most important thing is to keep in mind is that your website needs it.
What Is Technical SEO?
Put simply, Technical SEO refers to implementing on-page technical changes or improvements that will further optimize your website and give it a boost up the search rankings.
A good way to differentiate basic from Technical SEO is that the former refers to off-page strategies and processes designed to drive traffic to your website. Examples of these strategies include blogging, social media marketing, and email marketing.
6 Qualities Of A Technically Optimized Website
For sure you have a list of go-to sites that you click on to get information about topics that interest you. Chances are, you enjoy these websites not only because the content is useful, relevant, engaging, and compelling.
You love going to these sites because the overall experience is just amazing. Time going to these sites is time well-spent. They make it easy and convenient for you to get the information you need.
Now compare your experience with these sites to those that get you frustrated and angry because it requires too much time and effort to get things done.
Sites where you get awesome user experience are technically optimized websites. Most likely, you’re not the only one who clicked off the website feeling satisfied. There are others who came away with the same wonderful experience.
And collectively, these wonderful experiences are pushing these websites up Google’s search rankings.
The same can’t be said for the sites that are a nightmare to access.
What makes a website technically optimized compared to other websites? There are seven qualities that define a technically optimized website:
1. The Webpage is Fast and Easy to Download
In boxing, the popular saying is “Speed Kills” which means a faster boxer will always win versus his slower opponent. In the world of Technical SEO, a slow-loading website will kill your chances for moving up the search rankings.
Digital technology has spoiled Internet users. They have grown impatient and want information available as fast as possible. If a user clicks on your site and the web page does not load within three seconds, he will abandon the search.
Search engines are well aware that slow-loading pages affect user experience. If your page does not load to the satisfaction of the users, Google will penalize you in the search rankings.
Conversely, fast-loading pages will be rewarded with a boost up the search rankings.
If you’re unhappy about your page loading speed, give us a call or email us at Mountaintop Web Design. We’ll get your web pages downloading in a flash!
2. Searchable by Web Crawlers
Practitioners of off-site SEO optimize content by integrating high search volume keywords that can be tracked and indexed by the search engines’ web crawlers. Keywords are the most frequently used search terms by Internet users to launch a query.
Embedding keywords in your content makes it easy for web crawlers to find and index your web page for future reference.
Technical SEO functions as a control center on your website. You can block web crawlers from accessing specific web pages or create parameters such as identifying the specific pages that can be indexed.
If the idea of restricting to certain pages appeals to you, connect with us. As experienced web developers, we can do this for you by using the following:
- Meta robots tag
These are files containing code that guide the web crawlers on your site. The robots.text.file instructs the web crawlers on the pages they can access while the meta robots tag sets page restrictions.
We recommend having a professional web designer or developer handle this because one mistake can be costly. You might unknowingly block access to the most important pages to your site.
3. The Website is Secure
Would you continue the search if you see the “Not Secure” notice before the URL?
At a time where hackers attack a site every 39 seconds, it pays to secure your website especially if you’re engaged in e-commerce. Online shoppers are wary of giving their confidential information to e-commerce sites that are not secure.
There are many ways for us at Mountaintop to secure your website. But the most basic step that you have to take is to acquire SSL certificates.
SSL or Secure Sockets Layer certificates encrypt data that is transmitted from your website. You can read more about SSL certificates in our article, “SSL Basics: Why You Need It To Protect Your Website From Hackers”.
SSL certificates are not expensive and are easy to install. Most importantly, SSL certificates assure the user that your site is safe to explore and transact with.
Another good reason to have SSL certificates is that Google has included it as a search ranking factor.
4. You Can Find a Sitemap
Do you remember your first time at Disneyland? Being in such a massive place for the first time in your life can be an overwhelming experience.
“How do I get to Tomorrowland?”
“Where can I buy an ‘Alien Turkey Leg’?”
“Where are the restrooms?”
The site map that they give you at the entrance sure comes in handy!
An XML Sitemap does the same thing for search engine web crawlers. It’s organized in terms of images, text, posts, tags, and includes details on when the pages have been updated.
With an XML Sitemap, the web crawlers won’t miss the important content on your website.
Web designers will incorporate an internal linking structure on your website. The purpose of the internal linking structure is to connect all of your site’s content. However, having an XML Sitemap ensures the search engines that your website is well-organized and will make the web crawler’s job easier.
5. No Duplicate Content
Let’s assume you have an e-commerce website in the U.S that sells disinfectants and sanitizers. Your analytics show that there is tremendous demand for your products in the Philippines.
You decide to open a distribution network in the Philippines and set up an e-commerce website with the “.ph” suffix. To maintain consistency, the Philippine website has the same content – text and images – as your U.S website.
It’s a good idea to standardize content. However, having duplicate content will confuse the search engines. Which URL will the search engine prioritize? In the end, you might be ranked lower for the same content.
The quick fix is to download a canonical link plug-in from Yoast. A canonical link plug-in tells the search engine which URL you prefer to rank for. By installing this plug-in, you eliminate the problem of duplicate content.
6. No Dead Links
Your website must remain dynamic. You should always look for ways to make it better by improving user experience. Sometimes, you might decide to remove certain pages that are no longer relevant.
If this is the case, make sure you have the URL redirected to the new page. Otherwise, your user will end up in the dreaded “404 Error Page”.
You know what we’re talking about! It has probably happened to you several times. You probably felt frustrated as everyone else does.
What we can be sure of is that your user experience is less than desired. You don’t want your site visitors to experience the same frustrations as you have.
Conclusion: Why Is Technical SEO Important?
Why is Technical SEO important? Can you achieve the desired result with just off-page or basic SEO?
Yes, but adding Technical SEO to your optimization strategy will make it better.
Google’s search ranking algorithm goes through frequent adjustments because the Internet’s biggest search engine is continually looking for ways to improve user experience.
Many of the search ranking factors that influence Google’s algorithm are based on user experience. A good example is site speed. If your website does not load within 3 seconds, the user will abandon the search.
Search bots are constantly collecting information about your web pages to assess how it responds to its users.
By improving the technical aspects of your webpage – page loading speed being one of them – search bots will have a favorable assessment of your site. To reward your efforts, Google may push it up the search rankings.
Combining off-page or basic SEO with on-page or Technical SEO is a great way to improve the visibility of your website to the search engines, increase site traffic, and help it climb up the rankings.
Let’s technically optimize your website! In this age of the new normal, more people will be using the Internet to get things done. If you’re not ahead of the competition, you may have a hard time catching up.
Give us a call and let’s come up with a Technical SEO gameplan!
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