What is technical SEO? 11 ways you can improve Technical SEO
What is technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the process of ensuring a website has a strong technical foundation to enable it to compete long term in organic search results. It includes elements such as URL structure, site indexation, mobile readiness and pagination. Technical SEO helps create an environment where good content can prosper.
Technical SEO has been gathering attention from leading industry influencers with Rand Fishkin and Bill Slawski publishing articles on the topic. It also featured as a major talking point at MozCon.
Technical SEO is about creating the foundation to enable your site to perform at its best for years to come. It helps you rank better and stay in front of competitors long term by helping you avoid short-term Google updates that could adversely affect your organic traffic results for both National SEO and Local SEO.
Technical SEO is complex, but it's also an area that can't be ignored. Technical SEO is about making your site faster, more reliable and easier to index, which in turn will help improve rankings, revenue and user happiness.
What are the characteristics of a technically optimized website?
A Technical SEO checklist is a series of questions you can ask yourself to determine how well your website performs in Technical SEO. The Technical SEO Checklist below was developed using the following criteria:
Can you easily identify where content sits on your site? Is your URL strategy logical and consistent across the domain? Does it make sense for users?
Can URLs be indexed by Google's crawler?
Is your site logically structured to enable users and search engines to easily navigate around it? Does it make sense for users? What are the main indexing challenges I'm facing with my current URL & navigation structure? Technical SEO can help create a logical site infrastructure that adapts to changes and integrates with Technical SEO best practices.
Can pages be accessed by Google's crawl?
Is your site fast enough for users & search engines? Technical SEO can ensure your site speed is considered during development, and regular audits ensure it stays fast as your site grows.
Mobile readiness Technical SEO is about ensuring your site isn't just responsive for mobile users, but that it's fast and able to rank well in mobile SERPs. Technical SEO can ensure your site is fully functional on all devices & browsers.
Pagination Technical SEO helps identify issues associated with paginated content, such as indexation of page 1 or 2 only, canonicalisation issues and duplication of content. Technical SEO can help identify issues such as these and implement a solution to take care of them.
Is my site fast enough for users?
Technical SEO should make your website faster by ensuring you're using the latest development techniques, such as gzip compression & CDNs. Technical SEO ensures that you don't pay the penalty for slow sites by removing any manual changes from the Technical SEO audit process.
Can pages be crawled and indexed?
Technical SEO ensures your site isn't just responsive for mobile users, but that it's fast and able to rank well in mobile SERPs. Technical SEO can ensure your site is fully functional on all devices & browsers.
Is my site easy to navigate for users?
Technical SEO can ensure your site is logically structured and your navigation reflects this. Technical SEO will cover best practices such as breadcrumbs and ensures any new URLs you create automatically inherit existing internal links, ensuring all pages are accessible from organic search results.
Can visitors easily find my content?
Technical SEO ensures the right keywords are targeted for each page and that you're using the right keyword density to help Google & users find your content. Technical SEO can ensure that all pages are crawlable, indexable and accessible from organic search results.
Am I using the right canonical tags on my site?
Technical SEO ensures all duplicate content is canonicalised correctly so it doesn't impact your rankings, and that your sitemap is up to date. Technical SEO can ensure you're not accidentally penalised for duplicate content by identifying and fixing all internal duplication issues.
Is my site crawlable?
Technical SEO ensures Google can access & index pages by creating a simple, clean robots.txt file and ensuring the right meta data is in place. Technical SEO also ensures you're not stopping Google accessing parts of your website by creating too many URLs that block crawling, such as those created from session IDs or query parameters.
Are all my links working correctly?
Technical SEO ensures any links pointing to your site are working as expected and don't redirect to unrelated pages or send users off-site
Why Is Technical SEO Important?
Technical SEO is a set of methodologies that help you improve your site's quality and quantity in search results. It can be thought of as a way to increase the prominence of a website in organic search engine results through enhancements at the crawling, indexing, and ranking levels.
Technical SEO is important for any business or organization with an online presence. It can help increase traffic to website by getting in front of more users that need it.
Technical SEO is also crucial for online marketers looking to expand the reach of their campaigns with organic results in SERPs.
Technical SEO isn't just about optimizing your website, Technical SEO makes sure your content is easily discoverable in search engine result pages (SERPs).
How Can You Improve Your Technical SEO?
Here we dive into 11 things you can do to improve your Technical SEO:
1. Ensure canonical URLs are in place
2. Identify crawlable, indexable pages
3. Subdomain or subfolder – what's best for SEO?
4. Technical XML sitemaps are in place
5. Redirect mobile pages to the right place
6. Google Authorship markup is in place
7. Robots.txt file includes noindex meta tag directives for crawlers that don't support it
8. Use HTML sitemaps to increase indexation (and de-duplicate content)
9. Ensure redirects are in place
10. Ensure pages load quickly
11. Make sure your site speed report & optimisation strategy in place! Technical SEO is not about creating the next gTLD, adding a blog or installing a plugin.
Technical SEO FAQS
How do you learn technical seo?
Technical SEO is a vast topic and can be quite difficult to learn. This knowledge is not necessary for most roles, but it may help you understand your website performance better. Technical SEO knowledge is often misunderstood as being the same as on-page optimization.
Technical SEO focuses on website speed, indexation, site structure, crawlability and more – all of which are factors that contribute to your SEO performance. It is often misunderstood as being the same as on-page optimization, but Technical SEO focuses on website speed, indexality, site structure, crawlability and more—all of which are factors that contribute to your search engine rankings.
On the other hand, off-page SEO refers to all aspects that are carried out off of your site such as link building, social media signals etc.
Is Technical SEO important?
Yes. Technical SEO is important because Technical SEO is what powers organic search. It is also important in order to improve the quality of your product or service, because Technical SEO will help your website perform better.
Technical SEO can be difficult to separate from on-page optimization; much of Technical SEO work depends on how much content you have and the structure of that content (this is usually categorized as on-page Technical SEO work). Technical SEO is a necessary part of a complete digital marketing strategy. Technical SEO can be applied to any online platform, from websites and blogs to apps and social networks.
What is a technical seo audit?
A Technical SEO Audit is a Technical SEO best practice that ensures your Technical SEO performance is strong. Placing the Technical SEO audit as an early step in any Technical SEO process gives you a baseline from which to track progress and success against Technical SEO goals.
What does a Technical SEO audit include?
An ideal Technical SEO audit includes Technical SEO best practices such as:
- Site structure
- Technical SEO crawling
- Technical SEO indexation
- SEO speed.
Technical SEO audits require a deep understanding of Technical SEO and the Technical Audit process can vary greatly depending on who is performing it and what they want to know.
How does Technical SEO play a part in keyword research?
Keyword research is an important Technical SEO best practice that ties directly into Technical seo. Technical SEO crawling can help with identifying keywords to include in your Technical SEO strategy.
Technical SEO structure and Technical SEO indexation should take keywords into account early on in a Technical SEO process or campaign.
What companies need to focus on technical SEO?
All companies do. Whether you are a looking for SEO for Security Companies or SEO for Interior Designers. All companies will benefit from sorting out their technical SEO.
What is the best way to track performance for technical seo?
A Technical SEO tool is a great way to see how Technical SEO has been impacting your website.
How do I choose the best Technical SEO tool?
The best Technical SEO tools vary depending upon what type of information you need. Technical SEO tools should be chosen based on what you need to know about your Technical SEO performance. Technical SEO tools provide valuable insight into Technical SEO, so the more Technical SEO information you want, the more complex and comprehensive your Technical SEO tool should be.
Semrush, Ahrefs and Screaming Frog are great examples of industry-standard Technical SEO Tools.