Technical SEO refers to the optimisation of your website so that search engines like Google can crawl, index and rank your page – pushing it under the noses of your potential customers.
It all sounds a bit scary, right? But in this guide, we break down technical SEO and give you some actionable tips on how to optimise your website.
SEO – standing for Search Engine Optimisation – basically helps businesses rank higher in Search Engine Results Pages.
Why is technical SEO important?
Well, how many times have you Googled a product or service before buying it?
If you do this, you’re not alone. In fact, 77% of people research a brand before engaging with it.
Unfortunately, appearing on a Google search isn’t as simple as publishing your website and hoping for the best. There are a few more things you need to do in order for search engines to find, scan and index your page.
Search engines need to do three things for your page to appear in search results.
1) They need to find your page(s).
2) They need to scan them and identify keywords.
3) They need to add them to an index – a huge database of all the content found on the web.
But, I can find my site online with no problems, so why can’t Google?
Search engines do not see what we see – they can’t see images, design elements, graphics or colours. So instead, web pages are displayed as text and links only.
And, this is where technical SEO comes in…
To help search engines find your site, try making these improvements:
Use text for navigation and links to improve technical SEO.
Make sure all of your links and navigation are text-only – avoid using images to link to other pages.
Whilst an image may look pretty, search engines won’t be able to crawl through your site via an image, so this reduces your chance of ranking on Google or other search engines.
Check with your website designer that the links on your site are text-only – this is especially important for the main navigation bar.
Reduce page load speed to improve technical SEO.
Your website should be able to load efficiently – not only for search engines but also for your customers.
Almost half of consumers expect websites to load in two seconds or less and Google doesn’t want to direct users to sites that won’t load or function well.
You can test your current page load speed time by using:
- Pingdom Website Speed Test.
- Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool – this one gives you in-depth recommendations on how you can improve the page speed.
There are several ways you can improve your site’s load speed – check out our guide on How To Speed Up A Website’s Page Loading Time.
Keep URLs short and sweet to improve technical SEO.
When using sites like WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Shopify and HubSpot to manage your website’s content – URLs are often autogenerated from page or blog titles.
Simplify your URLs to include one or two keywords instead of lengthy sentences that search engines hate to crawl through.
Speed up crawling with a sitemap to improve technical SEO.
To help search engines crawl your site faster, create a sitemap. A sitemap is essentially a blueprint of your website that lists all the URLs and content on your site.
Additionally, you can also tell search engines not to index certain pages if you don’t want them appearing in search with a Robots.txt file.
This guide explains how you can generate a sitemap.
Remove dead links or broken redirects to improve technical SEO.
Search engines are trying to find the best quality results for their users – so this means they’re searching for websites with the best content that works and functions well.
This means you need to make sure any links on your site actually work – they’re not linking to a page that no longer exists or never existed.
Of course, you can check this manually during your technical SEO audit of each page, but there are also some tools to help you scan and catch all those annoying dead and broken links:
Need some help getting your website to appear in your ideal customer’s Google search? Get in touch with a member of the Mattix team today.