While on-page and off-page search engine optimization (SEO) are, undoubtedly, search engine optimization essentials, technical SEO is the basis of any successful digital marketing strategy.
Your content may be insightful, your backlinks may have high authority, but your pages won’t rank if you are neglecting technical SEO. After all, how will your website rank high in search engines if those search engines can’t find, crawl, render and index your website’s pages?
As the behind-the-scenes of SEO, technical SEO may be underrated, but it is still essential.
Are you ready to offer technical search engine optimization the attention it deserves? It’s time to start building your technical SEO strategy!
What Is Technical SEO?
Want to improve your web pages’ ranking in search engines? Then, implementing technical SEO should be prioritized. The technical side of SEO is all about enhancing your website’s technical aspects in order to boost its web pages’ ranking in search engines.
Having said that, technical SEO is not some type of sorcery that will magically improve your rankings.
Nonetheless, by meeting the necessary technical requirements of search engines, technical SEO makes it easier for search engines to understand your website, hence also increasing its chances to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Why Is Technical SEO Important?
Contrary to popular belief, SEO means more than words and keyword research. So, if you truly want your search engine optimization strategy to be successful, you need to have a strong foundation.
That foundation is technical SEO, as, without it, your search engine optimization efforts will crumble. You invest time and effort in your keyword research and content, hence it would be a shame for that content not to reach its target audience just because you neglected technical optimization.
Besides, think about your website’s visitors. Do you think they would spend time on a website that isn’t user-friendly? We don’t think so. From mobile-friendliness to navigation and load speed, these are all technical SEO issues that you should consider if you want to avoid a high bounce rate.
Technical SEO Checklist
So, investing in technical SEO results in mainly two things:
- A fast, easy to navigate, user-friendly website
- A website that is easy to crawl for Google and other search engines
However, in order to get these results, you need to put in the effort.
So, keep reading about the technical SEO fundamentals you should incorporate in your strategy!
1. Improve Page Speed
Did you know that 53% of websites are abandoned if the mobile page takes longer than 3 seconds to load?
So, it’s safe to say that a slow-loading website is a huge red flag for visitors. Besides, Google also considers site speed when it comes to both desktop and mobile searches.
Eager to test your website’s page speed? Then, you will find Google’s PageSpeed Insights useful.
Nonetheless, no matter the result, there are various ways to improve your website’s page speed:
- Implement cache plugins
- Compress images and videos
- Utilize content distribution networks
2. Implement An XML Sitemap
Want to ensure that search engines find every page on your website? Then, an XML Sitemap should be prioritized.
Essentially, an XML sitemap helps search engines better understand your website’s structure, while also telling search engines about the importance of the pages, content, and files on your site and the relationship between them.
XML Sitemaps are always helpful. Nonetheless, according to Google, when it comes to large websites, websites that have large archives, or new websites with few external links, XML sitemaps should be treated as a priority, not as an option.
3. Add Breadcrumb Navigation
You may remember breadcrumb trails from Hansel and Gretel. Well, breadcrumb navigation is pretty similar as it guides users on your website.
Besides, breadcrumbs are useful for search engine spiders as well because they help them understand how your website is structured.
4. Utilize A SEO-Friendly URL Structure
Not only does a page’s URL structure indicate to Google what web pages are about, but it also helps users easily find what they are looking for.
If you want to create an SEO-friendly URL structure, you should keep these in mind:
- Add keywords to your page’s URL
- The URL should be descriptive
- Keep the URL short
- Use hyphens in the URL to separate words
5. Fix Duplicate Content
As a black hat SEO tactic, duplicate content not only misleads your readers and search bots, but can also be perceived as manipulative.
So, if you want to fix duplicate content issues, you can use canonical links to inform search engines which URL you want users to see in search results. In fact, according to Google Search Console Help, “a canonical URL is the URL of the page that Google thinks is the most representative form of a set of duplicate pages on your site.”
6. Focus on a Mobile-Friendly Design
Since Google’s mobile-first indexing was enabled by default for all new websites, a responsive, mobile-friendly design has become a necessity. As Matt Bush, the country director of Google UK, highlighted, “when it comes to mobile, it’s time to stop making excuses”.
Mobile SEO is all about offering your visitors the best experience possible, no matter the device they are using.
You can test how easily mobile users can use your page with Google’s mobile-Friendly Test.
Want to find out more about the importance of a mobile-friendly website? Then, check out our article on mobile SEO.
7. Use SSL
The visitors’ security is one of Google’s top priorities, so it’s no surprise that since 2014 SSL or Secure Sockets Layer has been considered a ranking factor. SSL keeps internet connections secure and protects sensitive data that may be sent between two systems.
If a website is protected by an SSL certificate, HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) and a lock symbol appear in the URL.
8. Fix Broken Links
No user wants to click on a link only to find out that the web page cannot be accessed or found. So, it’s no surprise that broken links aka dead links or link rots impact user experience and can result in a high bounce rate.
Nonetheless, if you are constantly checking for broken links and immediately fixing them, you should have no issues. For example, thanks to Google Search Console, you can find these errors under “Crawl Errors”.
Start Treating Technical SEO like The Priority That It Is!
Trying to rank higher in search results without prioritizing technical SEO, is like trying to decorate a house with no foundation: useless.
Technical SEO may seem more difficult than on-page or off-page SEO, but focusing on all of these aspects is essential for increasing organic traffic.
Not sure where to start with technical SEO? The team at CadenceSEO is here to help! Contact us today and let us drive high converting organic traffic to your website!