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What is Technical SEO? Understand the Top 13 Technical SEO Components.

What is Technical SEO. McCord and Cargile Marketing Resources

Technical Search Engine Optimization refers to the process of improving the technical aspects of a website to enhance its search engine visibility and performance. Unlike on-page SEO, which focuses on optimizing content and keywords, technical SEO deals with the behind-the-scenes elements that affect how search engines crawl, index, and rank a website. Technical SEO aims to ensure that search engines can easily access, understand, and evaluate your site's content.

Many of the tools and techniques for Technical SEO are just that: highly technical. If you are not a trained web developer or webmaster, you may need to work with one of those professionals to implement some of these practices. At the very least, at the end of this article, you will know enough to start asking the right questions.

Key components of Technical SEO include:

  1. Website Speed: Faster-loading websites tend to rank higher in search results. Optimizing server response times, minimizing computer code such as CSS, and compressing images can improve page load times.

  2. Mobile Friendliness: As a significant portion of internet traffic comes from mobile devices, ensuring your site is responsive and mobile-friendly is a crucial component of Technical SEO. Google uses mobile-first indexing, meaning it primarily looks at the mobile version of your site for ranking.

  3. Crawlability: Search engine bots need to crawl your website to index its pages. Ensuring that your site has a clean and well-structured sitemap, uses appropriate robots.txt files, and is checked for ‘crawl errors’ (such as broken links) with checking tools is essential.

  4. Site Architecture: A clear and logical site structure with an organized hierarchy of pages and internal linking helps both users and search engines navigate your site efficiently. This includes creating XML sitemaps to help search engines discover and index content.

  5. URL Structure: Using descriptive, readable URLs that include relevant keywords can improve click-through rates and SEO performance. Avoid long, complex, or dynamically generated URLs. Note: A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is, essentially, a website address.

  6. HTTPS: Secure websites using the HTTPS encrypted protocol tend to rank higher in search results. Ensure that your website has an SSL certificate installed.

  7. Duplicate Content: Avoid duplicate content issues, as they can confuse search engines and dilute your rankings. Use canonical tags and avoid duplicate titles and meta descriptions.

  8. Schema Markup: Implement ‘structured data markup’ (also called ‘schema markup’) to provide search engines with additional information about your content. This can lead to rich snippets in search results, improving click-through rates.

  9. Page Speed: Page speed is an often forgotten Technical SEO component. Beyond overall site speed, optimizing individual page load times is crucial. Compress images, use browser caching, and minimize HTTP requests to improve page speed.

  10. Mobile-First Optimization: Now that search engine companies are shifting to a mobile-first indexing approach, it's essential to prioritize mobile optimization. Ensure that your site is responsive, and its content is fully accessible on mobile devices.

  11. Technical Errors: Regularly monitor for and fix technical errors like broken links (404 errors) and server errors (5xx errors).

  12. International SEO: If your site targets a global audience, implement tools to specify language and regional targeting, such as ‘hreflang tags.

  13. Structured Data: Earlier, we mentioned ‘structured data markup’. This will only work if you have designed and implemented a ‘structured data’ framework within your website. Implement structured data to provide search engines with additional information about your content, potentially leading to rich snippets in search results.

Technical SEO is an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring and adjustments to keep up with search engine algorithm updates and changes in best practices. By understanding and addressing these top 13 components of technical SEO, you can help search engines better understand and rank your website, ultimately improving its visibility in search results.

If the information above feels a bit daunting, don’t despair! Help is just a click away. Connect with us and take your first next step to improving your site's Technical SEO.

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