If you think, great content and backlinks are enough to make your website rank, think again. Without Technical SEO, your website is incomplete. Unless you have a robust framework, it is impossible to create a strong foundation for your website.
In many ways. Technical SEO falls within the On-Page SEO Services framework. However, most SEO experts unnecessarily complicate the process by saying it is an entirely different domain. This is not true. There are two components of SEO Services-
- Off-Page SEO
- On-Page SEO
There is no standard definition of what technical SEO stands for. However, SEO experts agree that technical SEO prepares favorable grounds for your content to rank and succeed. I always try to give the example of a human body when people ask me about technical SEO.
A human body needs to care for itself with proper amounts of sleep and the right levels of nutrition. It also needs to ensure that the internal organs are working properly. Unless all these conditions are met, no one will be able to work properly or perform to the best of their abilities.
Similarly, technical SEO optimizes the internals of your website to help you carry on the external processes better. The ultimate goal remains the same-
- Driving traffic to the website
- Increasing revenues
- Climbing the Search Engine Rankings Page (SERPs)
- Improving health and metrics
Educational qualifications, extra skill sets, and others that can be compared to Off-Page SEO. These are also equally important. However, without the right health, will you be able to pull 14-hour shifters? I guess not.
- 1 Technical SEO: Evolution and Changing Dynamics
- 2 Top Ten Technical SEO Terms to look for: The List:
- 2.1 1. Page Loading Speed:
- 2.2 2. Mobile Friendly Websites:
- 2.3 3. Safety and Security is a top priority:
- 2.4 4. Duplicate Content:
- 2.5 5. Robots.txt:
- 2.6 6. Optimize your URLs:
- 2.7 7. Employ the right Hosting Service Provider:
- 2.8 8. Optimize 404 Pages on your website:
- 2.9 9. Schema Mark-up in HTML:
- 2.10 10. Content Optimization:
- 3 The Final Word:
Technical SEO: Evolution and Changing Dynamics
No other digital marketing service has undergone as many changes as SEO Services has. Ask any digital marketing expert and they will lament the same fact. This is because of fact that search engines are constantly evolving.
According to SERP Co SEO services provider, for a business choosing an agency that is on top of all the updates is very important. This will ensure that all the recent best practices that have been propagated by the search engines and experts are being followed. As a result, you will be able to get the best results in terms of traffic, metrics, sales, and performance from your SEO strategy.
What were the best practices in 2015 that have been considered as black hat practices today and vice-versa? This has made SEO experts evolve and change the nature of technical SEO in particular and SEO services in general. This constant need for evolution is also responsible for increasing the scope of our understanding.
Every update from Google helps us understand the web better. It also helps us optimize our strategies and approaches to make our websites the best-performing ones. Better websites automatically translate into better relationships with search engines. If you have good relations with search engines, they reward you accordingly.
Some people think that technical SEO is too small a thing for them to worry about. They aim for the highest-hanging fruit to improve performance- quality backlinks and great content. This is not the correct strategy. The small issues start piling up and start affecting the entire ecosystem. This is the reason why some of the biggest websites have a separate technical SEO team.
Digital marketing expert, Neil Patel sums up technical SEO with a beautiful illustration-
In this article, we look at ten crucial technical SEO terms that you need to look after immediately.
Top Ten Technical SEO Terms to look for: The List:
Your website might have the best content on the internet. It might also have hundreds of quality backlinks. However, if it is not optimized from a technical SEO point of view, you might experience-
- Lower search rankings
- Lesser amounts of traffic
- Low levels of visibility and discoverability
- The decrease in metrics and SEO scores
- De-indexing by search engines.
If we do not want our website to suffer the above problems, we need to optimize ten technical SEO issues.
1. Page Loading Speed:
Nothing depresses search engines and users more than a website that does not load fast. A website with a slow loading speed increases bounce rates. It also contributes to Google lowering the website on search rankings.
TTFB or ‘Time To First Byte’ directly impacts search rankings. According to Quicksprout, more than 40% of people leave a website, if it does not load in under 3 seconds. With so much information on the internet, no user is going to wait for your website to load. People and search engines expect instant information.
Experts have coined a term for changing search rankings based on slow loading speed- ‘Pogo Sticking’. From your hosting platform to images that are not optimized, all can contribute to slow loading speed.
2. Mobile Friendly Websites:
One of the best things about the digital industry is its emphasis on making everything dramatic. When Google announced its 2015 update stressing the importance of mobile responsiveness, the industry termed it ‘MobileGeddon’. (I hope you get the reference to Armageddon- end of the world, Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, anything?).
The emphasis Google places on mobile-friendly websites stem from the fact that mobiles outnumber desktop internet usage 3:1. This is a huge number. If 60% of all searches are happening on cell phones, Google needs to consider it strongly.
Google also announced a ‘Mobile First Indexing’ approach to all websites in 2015. If you are a brand, optimizing your website from a mobile point of view should be right at the top of your checklist. A mobile-friendly website offers great performance metrics.
(Search rankings work differently on desktops and mobile phones).
3. Safety and Security is a top priority:
In 2017, the ‘Wannacry’ Malware affected 400,000 machines in 150 countries. The total damage- $4 Billion Dollars! Google places a lot of emphasis on website security and considers it of the utmost importance.
Most cyber-attacks happen because of third-party malware transferred to a user’s computer when they open a website. This is the reason why Google is keen on HTTPS websites as opposed to HTTP websites.
SSL encryption is critical when it comes to Google assessing how safe and secure your website is. If you are an e-commerce company or handle data related to the finances of consumers, site security is of paramount importance.
4. Duplicate Content:
Striving for quality, informative, and log format content should be the second step. The first step should be to ensure that whatever content you have on the website is original. A strong component of technical SEO is locating duplicate content and addressing it.
There are ways in which you can eliminate duplicate content from the website from a technical point of view. Most of the big e-commerce companies use complex technical programming to overcome the problem. However, if you cannot follow them, you can simply use Copyscape and locate the duplicate content.
You can ask your content writer to rewrite those parts and you will be good to go. Google finds no value in showing such information to users. Worse, duplicate content can lower your metrics or contribute to your site getting de-indexed.
I was at a conference on SEO best practices in late 2016. The topic of a Paper Presentation was how SEO experts frequently overlook the role of robots.txt. One of the speakers drew an analogy between robots.txt and a house usher.
Even after nearly three years, I still think about the analogy. Robotx.txt helps Google’s crawlers and bots access various sections of your website. These are sections, which you want search engines to index, and other pages, which you don’t want them to index.
Robots help the crawlers, spiders, and bots crawl through your website and find-
- Internal Links
They are a very crucial and important part of technical SEO and help contribute immensely towards optimizing performance.
6. Optimize your URLs:
A URL is like an address for several sections within your website. For search engines, URL plays a key role in determining the content of a particular page. A search engine typically sees and aligns the following things-
- URL Description
- Meta Description’
- Title Tags
- Focus Keyword
- Keywords in H1 and H2
If all these things correspond to one particular topic, it represents the best possible impact on Google. The alignment between all the above is necessary for your content to rank on Google.
The URL structure also corresponds to you having just one version of your website.
For example, many websites have different identities like-
These are four different versions and four different identities of one website. You need to check if your site is suffering from similar problems and eliminate them immediately. According to experts, 310 Redirects are the most effective way to do this.
7. Employ the right Hosting Service Provider:
I once had an Australian client who owned a chain of restaurants. In one month; the time I was able to fix 90 percent of his SEO. From changes in content to crawling, getting over a hundred quality backlinks, optimizing images, videos, everything.
However, in spite of everything the page loading speed was abysmal. I had asked him about his hosting plan and was happy to hear that his response. A few days late, I was going through some data and noticed that his hosting server was based in Canada.
If you are running a business in a particular geographical location, make sure that the server’s location is also there. There is technical wizardry that is involved in the explanation. However, for people who are not so adept, you can ensure the following requirements-
- Always select a dedicated hosting service.
- Ensure that the server is located within your geographical location.
- Pay importance to the SSL encryption provided by your hosting service provider.
- Check about facilities about ‘Automatic Data Backup’ every day.
8. Optimize 404 Pages on your website:
If users request a page from your website from the server, and it is not delivered to them, the server will return a 404 Error Page. Simply put, the less number of 404 error pages on your website, the better will be its performance.
There might be several reasons why the 404 pages were shown to users. These can range from deleted content to server malfunction to wrong configurations owning to improper coding. You need to ensure that your site has no 404 pages at all. Google takes websites with many 404 pages to the task.
Some penalties that you might experience from 404 can decrease your site’s metrics. Or even contribute to de-indexing.
9. Schema Mark-up in HTML:
Many SEO Services often ignore the small points when it comes to implementing the perfect technical SEO strategy. ‘If it does not contribute directly to page rankings, why bother?’ is their attitude.
Yes, schema mark-up in HTML does not have any direct impact on page rankings. However, schema mark-up helps search engine bots, access your content in a better manner. The biggest advantage of schema mark-up is helping create snippets.
Snippets are highly useful when it comes to displaying concise and precise search results. In addition to YouTube videos ranking exponentially well on search, snippets are doing equally well.
10. Content Optimization:
Once you have been able to sort the above issues, it is now time to make your content talk. This is where you need to optimize pages for keywords and rankings. Mix up the content with images, videos, infographics, and case studies,
Content optimization involves optimizing the-
- Title Tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Focus Keywords
I have already mentioned that search engines look for alignment between several key markers. Once they see that the alignment is there, they promote the page on the search rankings. It is important that you pay attention to this part of technical SEO.
You can also check for favorable backlinks when you are doing content optimization. By linking credible pages externally, as well as internally, you can push the right kind of content on search engines.
The Final Word:
SEO services is not an easy domain. A specialized skill set needs real-world experience. This is also the reason why expert SEO services charge thousands of dollars a month to ensure optimization.
However, it is also not as complicated as most people make it out to be. You do not need to be a software engineer to master SEO. Both from an agency perspective as well as from a brand perspective. The key is to understand what works, and what does not. This is also, where an SEO Audit makes sense for your brand.
By knowing the big pain points you can start prioritizing your SEO services strategy accordingly. Technical SEO cannot exist in isolation from Off-Page SEO. If you want your website to perform at optimum levels, both are essential.
If you want to add value to the article, please feel free to comment.
For any other information on technical SEO or SEO Services in general, drop me a mail at [email protected]