Technical Search Engine Optimisation (technical SEO) is the process of a webmaster ensuring their website is technically compatible with search engine guidelines so that it can be properly indexed and ranked for relevant keywords and phrases.
Technical SEO is not as time-consuming as other SEO tactics such as content, link building, and the ongoing optimisation of webpages, however, it is one of the most important elements of an SEO strategy. If you get it wrong, you can completely ruin the search performance of your site.
As technical SEO involves optimising a website and server to help search engine spiders crawl and index your site more effectively, the most appropriate time to ensure your technical SEO is on point is during the construction of the site. It is also easier to carry out the technical elements of SEO from the outset than it is to identify and fix issues as they come up later on. This being said, technical SEO is not a one-off task. As search engines update their algorithms, your business changes, or consumer behaviour shifts, technical SEO updates may be necessary.
Key Elements of Technical SEO
Search engines will rank websites higher in search results if their technical set up is good. For example, a secure connection, responsive design and quick loading time are all elements that are looked on positively by search engines. The following are some of the most important things that you can do to ensure your website’s technical SEO is giving you the best possible chance at ranking.
Ensure your Site is Mobile-Friendly
For the past decade, consumers have been getting more mobile. Now, the balance has shifted and nearly 60% of searches occur from mobile devices. This has driven Google’s ‘mobile first’ approach to indexing content, so it is vital for both SEO and usability reasons, that your website is mobile-friendly. This can be done by implementing a ‘responsive’ web design. Responsive design is a type of web design that allows the site to adjust itself automatically so that it can be easily displayed and navigated on any device. Google has confirmed that having a responsive site is considered a significant ranking signal for its algorithms.
Speed Up Your Site
Today’s Internet users expect to find the answers that they are looking for, fast. As such, page speed is an important ranking signal for search engines. There are several ways you can speed up your site, such as:
- Use quick hosting and a fast DNS provider
- Keep the use of scripts and plugins on your website to a minimum
- Ensure you are using one CSS stylesheet rather than multiple CSS stylesheets or inline CSS
- Make any image files on your site as small as possible, without compromising on quality
- Compress your web pages
Remove Duplicate Content
Search engines do not like websites with a lot of duplicate content. There are two main reasons for this:
- Duplicate content can be confusing for both users and search engine algorithms
- Duplicate content has, in the past, been used as a ‘black hat’ SEO technique to manipulate search rankings and win more traffic.
As such, any duplicate content issues on your website should be found and fixed as a matter of urgency. This can be done by preventing your CMS from publishing multiple versions of a page or post and using the canonical link element to let search engines know where the ‘main’ version of your content sits.
Create an XML sitemap.
An XML sitemap is a file that helps search engines understand your website while they are crawling it. It is a form of online roadmap that points out exactly where each page is to the search engine.
The XML sitemap contains useful information about the pages on your website, such as when a page was last modified, the priority that it has on your site and how frequently it is updated. With some website hosts, your XML site map can be created automatically. If not, a sitemap generator can help you build one.
There are a number of other things that you can do to boost your website’s technical SEO such as using SSL, enabling AMP, adding structured data mark up to your website, and registering your site with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
At Digital Squad, we’re experts in SEO. Contact us for the most up to date strategies to boost your website’s ranking on the SERPs. Make sure your business stays ahead of the game this year by focusing on SEO. If you need help with your SEO strategy get in touch with a digital marketing agency Auckland. The team at Digital Squad can help you with Remarketing, Facebook Marketing Auckland, AdWords Marketing Auckland and SEO Auckland.