Did the title scare you?
We are not sure why, but as soon as people tend to hear the term ‘technical’ they get edgy and agitated. So, we would like to make it clear that by ‘technical SEO’ we are referring to any kind of SEO work apart from content. Basically, this lays a strong foundation to give your content the best possible chance to rank higher for relevant keywords.
Just like the On page SEO, the technical SEO elements have also evolved as the search engines are becoming more and more sophisticated. While there is nothing much that you can do from the technical standpoint to ‘game’ the search engines, there are a few factors that you should consider to boost your rankings.
In this technical SEO guide, we have tried to cover technical SEO best practices, components of SEO, technical SEO definition as well as common technical SEO problems and how to solve them. Let us begin with ‘what is technical SEO’.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO deals with all the SEO activities apart from link building and content optimization. Like on page SEO guidelines, technical SEO also has some checklist, known as the technical SEO audit checklist.
This covers all the search engine requirements to boost crawling across your web pages. With constant changes and updates in the way search engine works, we can say that technical SEO too is continuously refining.
Technical SEO experts can help you to create the necessary foundation to provide the best marketing environment for your links and content. Ultimately, you will be able to shine across the search results without any hindrance.
Now that you are clear with what is technical SEO, let us now move on to technical SEO elements and technical SEO expert game.
Critical Technical Elements
When it comes to technical factors and other technical search engines’ elements, there are quite a few things that you should be considering. let us look into those one by one.
1. Page Load Speed
This is nothing but the time taken by your page to completely load and display all its content. This is one of the top 10 of the SEO ranking factors, as described in the killer case study by Brian Dean, an internationally recognized SEO expert.
Even huge megacorps like Amazon have realized that with every 100 microseconds of page loading time, there will be 1% decrease in the sales. Therefore, to put it in a nutshell, the faster your page speed, the better it is for your business.
Now, let us quickly look at a few tips to boost your page speed and create better user experience.
a. When it comes to templates – less is more. So, limit your website components and have a minimalist template. Additional elements like tracking codes, plugins, widgets, etc. require extra loading time. So, strike a healthy balance between complete page design and retaining minimum necessary elements.
b. Optimizing your images is necessary to make it look sharp and captivating. However, limit the size to bare minimum because larger images are heavier and will take longer to load, thereby disrupting your loading time. The best option is to retain jpg for images and png when it comes to graphics.
c. Multiple redirects negatively impact page loading speed. So, the best option is to limit the number of redirects per web page to just one. However, in case of 404 redirects, come up with custom designs, which are humorous and user friendly. This helps to mitigate the situation better.
d. Browser cache automatically stores website resources when you visit a web page for a first time. The browser remembers that web page version and loads it quickly. Use this to set the page speed as per your requirements.
2. Mobile Compatibility
Mobile friendliness/compatibility is the next component of the technical SEO. With the 2015 Google algorithm update – Mobilegeddon – Google has refined the way in which it ranks websites on its search results. This algorithm update almost ended the era of desktop and marked the beginning of the mobile search era.
Since then, mobile friendliness is a key factor when it comes to organic ranking. So, if you do not really know whether your website is mobile friendly or not, just go ahead and test it.
3. Website Architecture
Next critical technical SEO element is to design a savvy website architecture, which is completely SEO friendly. This requires you to focus on four core elements that include:
3)Consistent and clear URL structure
Let us see some of it in detail.
Choosing the right hypertext transfer protocol is essential while beginning with the site architecture. So, you should be using secure protocol. Included on the Google’s ranking factors list – HTTPS – having your website on this will boost your organic ranking.
In addition, HTTPS also provides some site analytics benefits like giving a view of the referrer details. It also ads protection and security to your website. Now don’t you think the switch is more worthwhile?
If you want to have an SEO friendly website architecture, then you cannot ignore breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs or a ‘breadcrumb trail’ is a kind of navigation that unveils user location. This enhances orientational awareness of a visitor.
They also present website hierarchy and show where the visitor currently is. Thereby reducing the number of actions users should take to get back to homepage or any other point. Therefore, it is a must for huge websites with comprehensive hierarchy.
Website URL Structure
Consistent, clear and user-friendly URL structure is necessary. This is nothing but readable texts that replace IPs, which are used by computers to identify specific resources. They describe the page for search engines as well as users.
Internal Links – Silo Content
Finally, let’s talk about silos. Silo content helps to create network of connections across your website and also establish hierarchy. This improves the visibility of the older posts that are related to the newer ones.
4. Data Markup Should be Structured
Structured data and rich snippets are critical for technical SEO. While Google identifies resource types by looking at on page optimization and page content, rich snippets are the ones that take it to the next level and help you to rank higher.
Wondering what rich snippets are? Now, these are the options that appear in search results when you key in a search term. It provides information like number of reviews, star ratings, etc.
5. Duplicate Content – Serious Technical SEO Threat
Duplicate content is something that you should watch out for. Way back from 2011, since the Google’s Panda update on duplicate and low-quality content issues, Google checks the web content quality and punishes spammy looking websites.
So, stay on your guard for any duplicate content issues and address it immediately.
Technical SEO is a set of ongoing efforts. It includes a wide range of subjects that are needed to optimize your website as per the search engines. This brief overview of all the major elements will be sufficient for you to learn technical SEO better and make some necessary amendments.