Most businesses today are aware of the overwhelming importance of SEO (search engine optimization). After all, in a world where 68% of all online experiences begin with a search engine query, there’s no understating the tremendous impact of an effectively optimized website.
That being said, SEO is a moving target; there’s no silver bullet that can guarantee you’ll tick all the boxes and jettison your website up to the number one ranking position. Why? Because myriad different factors play into search engine rankings. And even if you understand them all perfectly (which, let’s face it, most business owners don’t), there’s still a great deal of technique and finesse involved in the SEO game—not to mention constant monitoring, tweaking, and re-strategizing.
You’ve probably heard of core SEO best practices, such as building a robust backlink profile, identifying strong keywords, and generating high-quality content. These front-end strategies remain critical to successful SEO, but they’re not the only players on the scene. There are also the back-end factors—the behind-the-scenes stuff that many business owners consider too complex or indigestible to bother with. This “stuff” is known as Technical SEO, and in this post, we’re going to unpack exactly what it is and why you should not underestimate its potential to dramatically boost your rankings.
What Exactly Is Technical SEO?
In layperson’s terms, Technical SEO is the process of optimizing a website’s infrastructure. Like a city designed with good traffic flow in mind, a website with a strong Technical SEO foundation will effectively channel organic search traffic down all the intended routes.
The elements of Technical SEO may not be as apparent to the untrained human eye as those of On-Page SEO, but to search engine crawlers, they’re as obvious as traffic lights, stop signs, and potholes in the road. If your website doesn’t have a strong technical foundation, search engine crawlers will overlook it in favor of websites with more technical optimization. Google’s algorithms are designed to weed out search results that provide less-than-optimal visitor experiences. And while a technically optimized website correlates with a high-quality visitor experience, a technically sloppy website does just the opposite.
Without Technical SEO, you may end up with an attractively designed site that contains killer content…but very few visitors. If this is your situation, improving your Technical SEO may be the solution you’ve been looking for. Let’s get into some specifics:
What Are the Major Elements of Technical SEO?
To be fair, there are a lot of elements that comprise Technical SEO. And some of them are—well—really, really technical. Let’s start off with some of the more accessible elements and finish with an overview of strategies you might eventually want to delve deeper into—or that you might want to hire an SEO professional to iron out for you.
Optimize for Mobile Devices
More and more users browse the internet on their Smartphones, and if your website offers a clunky or frustrating mobile experience, that’s a surefire way to kill off potential customers—and, of course, tank your rankings. Take advantage of Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to find out whether or not your web page is mobile-friendly. If it’s not, check out some of the apps mentioned in this article to set you on the right track.
Optimize for Speed
A slow-loading page is irritating for potential customers and can cause search engines to flag your website as user-unfriendly. Check your website’s speed on a tool like Google PageSpeed and then consider improving it by: Enabling compression, browser caching, and optimizing your website’s images. Need some more in-depth ideas on how to improve your page speed? Check out this post.
Submit Your Sitemap to Search Engines
A sitemap is basically a list of all the web pages on your website. Without one, it’s difficult for search engines to find and index your content. Luckily, it’s relatively simple to find a sitemap plug-in compatible with the platform you’ve used to design your website and use it to create your own XML sitemap. Then, you can submit it to the Google Search Console to effectively optimize your rankings.
Strengthen Your Internal Linking Structure
Many business owners are familiar with backlinks (external links pointing to your website), but internal links are also one of the major Technical SEO issues. Eliminate dead links on your website, and be sure that your internal link-building strategy is organized, intuitive, and consistent. Website architecture that’s self-contained and easy to navigate is one of the key elements in keeping visitors engaged on your website and increasing your organic rankings.
Much More Than Meets the Eye
What are some of the other technical factors that impact your Off-Page SEO? Let’s take a peek:
- Core Web Vitals
- Duplicate content
- Tagging issues
- Broken images
- Poor use of redirects
- Complicated URL structures
- Robots.txt file errors
- Plus much more…
If you want to take a deeper dive into some of these technical elements, check out this article from Ignite Visibility as a great starting point.
If you’re just getting started with Technical SEO, a little professional guidance can go a long way. Our team at RAPTAP Marketing is committed to helping small businesses succeed; we’d love to give you a leg up on understanding the components of successful Technical SEO—as well as SEO in general. Looking for a supportive San Antonio SEO agency? Contact us today!