Search engine optimisation (SEO) is something that needs to be done a regular basis to ensure sites are getting noticed by search engines, but there are other factors that need to be considered when preparing a website for an online audience.
Different businesses will often need a tailored approach when looking for success online, but this isn’t to say that there aren’t some tactics that should be followed to the letter.
So what is technical SEO? It’s something many may have heard about but are unsure of what the concept consists of.
What is technical SEO?
Just as conventional SEO deals with elements such as keyword research, backlink building, and content creation, technical SEO deals with the infrastructure of the website as well as how it performs.
Those new to the world of SEO may assume that technical SEO and conventional optimisation techniques are set apart, but technical SEO often interweaves with on-page and off-page SEO to obtain the best results.
As such, it’s important to ensure that technical SEO and other elements are used in unison as opposed to being separate tasks.
For example, a video hosted on a website not only needs to make use of keywords, but it will also have to load in a quick enough time to keep the user’s interests.
Technical SEO best practices
Once you understand how technical SEO works, it’s the time to put the practice into motion.
The way a website works can be judged as much as the content. Just as a fast-loading website with poor content won’t bode well with Google, neither will great content being promoted a site that struggles to load.
The following methods are often deemed best practice in relation to technical SEO.
Ensure you set a preferred domain
There can be several reasons as to why more than one domain is used for a website.
In many instances, this can be due to geographical reason. Google and Amazon are very good examples of this.
Although redirects can help deal with this, it’s important that Google is aware of what domain is preferred otherwise other domains could be considered duplicate encounter.
To set your preferred domain, you will need to register with Google Webmaster Tools and enter the details of your website.
You then need to verify the variations of your domain, for example, https:// and https://www.
The Site Settings option then must be updated to verify the preferred domain. Those who are using a content management system may also need to carry out the same methods within the platform.
For example, those using WordPress can amend these options within ‘Site Settings.’
There can be some confusion as to whether www. should be used or not. This is down to personal choice, as it won’t make any difference in relation to SEO.
Optimise a URL structure
The user-experience your website offers will be one of the determining facts as to how a website is placed in relation to search engine results.
Many can be under the impression that simply filling a website with content would be good for SEO, but it’s troublesome to navigate, then the slew of information could be detrimental.
Of course, a lot of information could be essential for a website, especially if it’s an e-commerce site, but website owners need to ensure that the navigation is straightforward and doesn’t cause any confusion.
As well as ensuring that navigation is simple, it also needs to be effective for mobile users.
Ensure your website is mobile optimised
Having a great website that looks great on a laptop is all good and well, but this doesn’t mean results will soar as a result.
Although a website should be appealing, it’s important that the website is easy to use for mobile visitors.
It is estimated that around 2 billion people access the Internet on the smartphone, and while not all these users will be relevant to you, that’s still a big number to consider when carrying out technical SEO.
There is no real requirement for a separate mobile version of the site. Instead, the design of the website should be able to conform to several display tapes.
This is due to the website using a user agent, which tells the server what type of device and browsers are accessing the website.
For example, those accessing a website using an iPhone would be telling the user agent the device is an iPhone using the Safari browser.
If you currently have a website that is outdated and can’t be displayed on a mobile device without using old-fashioned pinching for browsing, then an update is essential.
If you can’t do this yourself, then it may be worthwhile employing the services of a professional.
Simply using an outdated website will mean that rankings are minimal. Modern expectations also mean that your website will be overlooked for a website that is better optimised.
Technical SEO Checklist: Other Factors to Consider
As well as considering the best practices of technical SEO, it’s also important to ensure that other elements of SEO are being monitored and amended when necessary.
As one of the most important factors of technical SEO can be the speed information is gathered, it can be worthwhile putting together a technical SEO checklist that contains some of the following elements.
- Is the host being used loading the site fast enough?
- Are image files compressed to save on loading times?
- Is the use of multiple CSS stylesheets minimised?
- Is an XML sitemap in place?
- Is structured data mark-up to date?
If you’re proficient in technical SEO, then it may be worth going over the website to ensure that there are no funnels being missed in relation to technical SEO.
As well as being able to make light work of technical SEO, Whimsie Creative can also several other digital marketing and graphic design services that are perfect for small business and personal projects.