Technical SEO is one of the main factors that need to be taken into account for any Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) campaign. That looks at the technical side of your website and how search engines like Google crawl your website, using technical SEO techniques help to improve the Crawlability, Indexability and Ranking of your website within search results.
What is the importance of Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is an important factor to take into consideration when optimising your website for search engines, as it ensures that your website can be easily explored and crawled by search engines and visitors. Websites with good technical SEO also have a good user experience – which results in better conversions. Technical issues can also affect how search engines understand your website and content and can have an impact of your website’s performance in search results.
What does a technically optimised website look like?
There are many factors that need to be considered when developing a website that has Good Technical SEO, the factors that you need to think about are:
Performance is an important factor in Technical SEO! Google’s algorithms have been using Performance aka Page Speed as a ranking signal for Desktop since 2010, and in 2018 for Mobile. Therefore, it is important that you website is fast in order for your website users to have a good user experience.
In 2020 it was announced that a new algorithm would be released in May 2021 called ‘Core Web Vitals‘ which focuses on user experience and also new speed/performance targets. Find out more about this algorithm update on my blog ‘What are Google Core Web Vitals‘
Some great websites to look at the test your website’s current performance are:
In order to improve your websites page speed after you have tested it them visit my blog all about ‘How to Improve your Technical SEO‘ which gives a deep dive into how you can optimise your website’s technical factors to improve website search performance.
Crawlability is a very important factor for Technical SEO and is essential for websites, as this looks at optimising your website for crawlability as this enables search engines like Google to effectively crawl a website for indexing on the SERPs.
The main parts that you need to look at to improve your websites crawlability are:
- Robots.txt File – You need to check that only content you don’t want search engines to crawl are listed in the robots.txt file and also good practice is having a link to your XML sitemap as well.
- Sitemaps – Both XML and HTML sitemaps are important, however, XML sitemaps are essential to have setup on your website in order to enable easy crawling of your website by search engine crawlers. HTML sitemaps have little effect on search rankings these days, however, are still good practice and are great for helping with Internal linking as well as user experience so that users can easily find the information they are looking for on your site.
- Website Structure – This looks at both internal linking and hierarchy of your website pages. The most important pages need to be within 3 clicks from the homepage.
- Content Readability – Content readability looks at if your content is readable by search engines. Two main content types which search engines can’t crawl are iFrames and Flash. Website’s should no longer run on Flash as all browsers can no longer open Flash – Find out more details on Microsoft Documentation.
Indexability is the next part of Technical SEO to look at. Indexability looks at whether the content on your site can be indexed successfully and also looks at auditing content that you don’t want search engines to index and if this has been done correctly.
The main parts that you need to look at to improve your websites indexability are:
- Status codes – making sure that no internal links are returning 400 (Website) or 500 (Server) errors, checking that all pages that are linked from externally resolve to a 200 (Success) status codes not any other status code, Search console reports any coverage errors, and also checking that 400 status codes are successfully reported.
- Canonicalisation – Making sure that your website resolves to either HTTP or HTTPS not both, resolves to either WWW or non-WWW not both, Website has been canonicalised using 301 redirects only and self-referencing canonical tags are present.
A good tool to analyse your indexability is Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Last but not least is Ranking which looks at the technical aspects of a website which could help or hinder its ability to rank.
The main parts that you need to look at to improve your websites ranking are:
- HTTPS – Making sure that your website is fully HTTPS as all websites should now be secure especially to get better rankings in search. Also make sure that your websites links are all to the https version and that http links redirect to https links.
- Duplicate Content – Make sure that your content is unique and that your content is unique as search engines want content that is new and is not duplicated from other sites. A great tool to check if your content is unique is Copyscape.
- Mobile First – Ensuring your website is fully mobile friendly is essential especially as it’s now a ranking factor for Google. Check your website is mobile friendly with this easy tool
If you have any further questions about technical SEO or SEO in general, please get in touch as I’d happily give you advice.