What Is Technical SEO and Why Is It Important?From Experts
Technical SEO is a crucial step in your optimization process. If done incorrectly, there is little to no chance of boosting your website using other On-page techniques. You have to get it right from the get-go to maximize your positive outcomes, but that is easier said than done. Technical optimization is complex and can sometimes leave even experts baffled. So let’s take it slow and start by explaining what it is, why it is important, and how you can profit from it.
What Is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is part of On-site optimization and ensures your website and its pages follow all technical requirements when it comes to indexation, crawling, and website architecture. This type of SEO is not easy to master, as at times, it requires some level of coding knowledge.
Why Is Technical SEO Important?
Technical SEO ensures your website can be found, crawled, and indexed by Google and other search engines. You can have the most engaging and helpful content in the world, and your site can obtain links from the top most reputable websites in your sector, but if it is poorly constructed, missing some important elements, and has a low speed, it is doomed. Technical optimization is essential for your business's online success and the solid work of your site.
The 3 Most Important Technical SEO Elements
Technical SEO has 3 primary elements:
They are the reason you do technical audits and are at the core of your optimization efforts. Let’s look at each of them.
Crawlability is the ability of search engine bots to access and go through your content uninterrupted. The process must be smooth and fast, so you don’t waste Google’s time and resources.
If you want to have a crawlable site, it has to:
- Have a clear, intuitive structure
- Be free from missing, misdirected, or broken pages
- No broken links and dead ends - links that lead to nowhere.
You can use a technical SEO tool to inspect your website and determine how accessible it is for the bots. Remember, your rankings will be negatively affected if the crawlers can’t reach a page or take too much time to do so.
Indexability is the ability of search engine bots to understand the content on your page and categorize it - add the page to their index. Your copy must be on point, have the ideal keyword density, and most importantly - add value to the website users.
To achieve optimal results, you need to mix technical SEO with content marketing to create an engaging, well-structured copy that answers all tech requirements.
- No duplicate content - including URLs, meta tags, and page text.
- No hidden text
- Use of natural language and long-tail keywords
You can achieve the latter by doing in-depth keyword research for your business niche and site topic. Once you have this information, you can combine it with the technical data and create unique URLs, meta tags, and even engaging 404 pages.
Performance refers to how fast your website loads and interacts with its visitors. And we are not talking about only page speed here. Videos and images also have a loading time. Every element on your site must be optimized to its full potential and beyond. Time is the most valuable asset for people, and search engines don’t take it lightly if you waste it. Performance is a key ranking factor, so if you want that first place, you need to ace it.
Thankfully a significant portion of technical search engine optimization is focused on finding the things that can slow your performance:
- Large files
- Broken files
- Third-party scripts
Do regular technical audits to ensure your website is performing at its finest.
5 Technical SEO Ways to Boost Your Business
Explaining to a regular person why you need to audit their site is hard, and talking about website architecture, Google crawlers, and server errors are not the right way to win over a non-tech-savvy boss. Instead, let’s look at it from a different angle. Here are the top business perks of performing regular technical optimization on your/your company’s site.
Improve Your Page Speed to Reach A Larger Audience
According to all specialists, recent research by multiple agencies, and statements from Google experts, your site must load in under 2 seconds. So by the time you take one breath, the web page should load and open. And why is that, you ask? Users hate waiting, they hate wasting their time, and they will click on your competitor’s site if yours is not standing up to their expectations. A recent study by Portent reveals that ‘A site that loads in 1 second has a conversion rate 3x higher than a site that loads in 5 seconds.’ But that is not all: ‘A site that loads in 1 second has a conversion rate 5x higher than a site that loads in 10 seconds.’
Can you imagine all the missed opportunities? So the next time your boss wants a slider with 10 HD images and 3 videos, all on one page, you know what to tell them.
And things don’t end there because page speed is also an important ranking factor for Google. So if you want your site to be displayed on the SERP, it needs to be fast and trimmed down from all the baggage.
No Duplicate Content - Bigger Profits
Duplicate content poses a significant problem in the SEO world, as you can only partially control it. Let us explain. Generally, there are two types of identical content - the one you create yourself and the other that involves a third party.
You can 100% control the former. For the average visitor, finding two pages with identical content on your website may not be a big deal, but the search engine sees it as a huge red flag. Regular technical audits can minimize the chances of having an identical copy on multiple pages - something that can often happen, especially with e-commerce sites.
You can use canonicalization to eliminate the duplicate content in the URL. Essentially, ‘tell’ the bot which page it should consider when indexing your site.
Technical optimization can also help you locate identical titles, meta descriptions, and tags. Those also must be unique for each of your website pages.
When a third party is involved in your content, things get a bit tricky. Google values authorship and unique content and doesn't appreciate it if you copy someone else’s work without crediting them. However, the same goes for those who ‘steal’ from you. Sadly, this is something you can’t control. Plagiarism is hard to detect, and you have to accept that other websites will at least partially benefit from your work. The saving grace is that Google can register the primary information source and will usually promote the original over the duplicate.
So far, all is clear, but how can it affect your profits? If you have duplicate content, regardless of the type, your site won’t get a ban or a penalty - this is a myth, but Google will lower your rankings and limit the visibility of your website. For e-commerce websites, this can be detrimental as often, consumers decide to shop from the first stores displayed on the first results page. Your business will be actively losing customers if you choose to have duplicate content on your web pages.
The Ideal Website Structure That Will Attract Customers
Users prefer sites that are easy to work with and navigate. Ideally, each page should be no more than 3 clicks deep from your homepage. The deeper the page, the harder it is for visitors and search engine bots to find it. And what is the aftermath? The potential customers click on your competitors because they don’t have time to wander in the depths of your site. Additionally, crawlers give lower markings to your site performance and will decrease your ranking positions on the SERP.
And speaking of bots, if your website structure is corrupted - has too many links that lead to non-existing pages, or is actively obstructing the work of the spiders, they can’t crawl or index your content.
So you need to invest some time in seriously thinking through and designing your website structure. But even then, things break. One day you have a perfectly normal site, and the next - there are server errors and missing pages all over the place. A simple hosting update can break your perfectly performing website.
That is precisely why regular technical check-ups are essential. During an audit, you can identify multiple structural problems, such as:
- Looping redirects
- Broken links
- Server errors
- Dead end links
- Errors in your Robots.txt file
You can also optimize your internal linking structure and create a link chain that can be crawled faster.
Lastly, you have to consider how your audience will use your site. Will it open on mobile or desktop? Sometimes mobile visions have different layouts that help visitors navigate the menus easily. Technical optimization can pinpoint the weak points of your website and help you eliminate them. This way, you will end up with happy customers who enjoy interacting with your business website.
Increase Your Website Security and Protect Your Business
Performing regular technical audits and optimization will help maintain your site secure. One of the biggest challenges online businesses meet is keeping their customer information safe and ensuring that personal data won’t get leaked on the internet. The answer is SSL (secure socket layers). It protects your site from hacker attacks and, as a bonus, restrains unwanted pop-up ads on your pages.
If you want to know whether a website has an SSL, just look at its URL - it has to start with HTTPS.
Google loves safe sites and prioritizes them in the SERP rankings. Granted, it is a small boost, but it is there nonetheless. And if you are a niche company with minimal competition, you will see a positive change in your conversions and CTR.
Technical search engine optimization tools can assist you in transferring your site from HTTP to HTTPS.
Get Ahead of Your Competitors Thanks to Adequate Structured Data
Structured data helps ‘label’ your content to make it easier for the crawlers to understand and appraise it. Thanks to adequate used mark-ups, companies can secure slot ‘zero’ on the first page of Google, a.k.a. The Featured snipped. But that is not all.
Schema markups allow you to provide your potential visitors with more information and ‘hook them to click on your website. You can highlight valuable, interesting information and add it to your meta description. In the example below, the article has FAQ schema markups that showcase the most anticipated questions and their answers.
If you sell products or offer services, you can add different valuable characteristics, work hours, prices, and more.
Adding structured data to your site will also help with indexation and - you guessed it - ranking. As we said, Google rewards those who make their website accessible and easy to work with.
See all business benefits from the mentioned Technical SEO methods in the infographic below.
Technical SEO is a powerful weapon that, if used correctly, can be a game changer for your business online presence. You must regularly audit your website and ensure it is crawlable, indexable, and performing at its best. It will increase organic traffic, CTR, conversions, and, of course, profits. Combine technical optimization with other types of SEO, like content marketing, to effectively engage your audience and grab their attention. Create a safe space where potential customers can interact with your brand and boost your company's reputation. Technical SEO is not easy, but its business benefits are countless.