Technical search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of enhancing a website’s technical features to help it attain higher search engine rankings. These aspects include the site’s crawling and indexing phases, structure, and loading speed, to name just a few.
A good shorthand for remembering what technical SEO is meant to achieve is that it encapsulates any SEO work aside from content production. At its core, technical SEO involves two things:
- Building a strong base that can help improve your content’s chances of ranking highly for relevant search phrases and keywords, and;
- Identifying and resolving any issues that might prevent users from efficiently navigating your website, thereby increasing your site conversions.
Optimizing your technical SEO is one of the most effective ways to enhance your website’s search presence. If your site has unresolved problems with technical SEO, then you’ll likely find it difficult to achieve the rankings you want even with topnotch content on popular topics. As such, you’ll want for any professional SEO services provider that you work with to spend time working on your website’s technical SEO as part of your business’s overarching digital marketing strategy.
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Here are four key benefits of technical SEO for the success of your business:
Technical SEO Improves Website Rankings
It’s a well-known fact in digital marketing that most internet users who are looking for information on a particular topic through a search engine will only click the links on the first search engine results page (SERP) for that topic. Moreover, many users will specifically prioritize the highest-ranking links on the first page and not bother with any alternatives placed further down.
Technical SEO works to take advantage of these behaviors by ensuring that your site ranks as highly as possible for its target keywords and phrases, which will in turn help maximize traffic to your landing pages. As mentioned above, technical SEO comprises many different SEO techniques, but they all work toward this goal. For example, working towards a clear and straightforward site structure will ensure for you that Google indexes and displays your content more efficiently, which in turn will enhance your website’s organic rankings.
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Technical SEO Streamlines Website Structure
Users browsing the internet want clear and comprehensive information, and they’ll want to be able to access it in the shortest time and the smallest number of clicks possible. If they have to click around your website too many times before they find what they’re looking for, chances are that many will simply leave your site and look for an alternative that gives them the information upfront. Search engines reflect these user behaviors and will, as a rule, drop the rankings of sites with deep pages.
You ideally want your pages to be only three clicks deep or less within your website. If your website is full of deep pages, it’s definitely in your best interest to revisit your XML sitemap with your technical SEO partners and find ways to flatten the site’s overall structure. In essence, a site’s XML sitemap is a file that outlines all the pages and articles the site contains, including these pages’ titles, release dates, and most recent update dates. Search engines may also use the XML sitemap as a guide when indexing websites.
The ins and outs of technical SEO and website structure may seem like a foreign language to you, but don’t underestimate how much more navigable they’ll make your website. Entrust these to the expertise of technical SEO providers.
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Technical SEO Increases Page Loading Speed
Google considers page loading speeds as a significant ranking factor, as most internet users are likely to favor fast-loading websites and to navigate away from those with poor loading speeds. Using technical SEO to optimize your website to achieve the slowest possible loading times will compel Google to prioritize it over competitor sites.
There are various best practices for both technical SEO and web design that can improve a website’s performance in this area, including the following:
- Optimizing images for fast loading
- Compressing content
- Simplifying page templates
- Minimizing the use of plugins
- Minimizing CSS image requests on each page
By implementing these courses of action, you can ensure that your website loads as quickly as possible. This will help drive conversions and keep your bounce rate low.
Optimizing your website for fast loading on mobile is another equally important part of technical SEO. More internet users than ever are using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets rather than desktop computers to browse search engines. Make it your priority to ensure that your website’s user experience is consistently smooth, fast, and streamlined on any type of device.
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Technical SEO Mitigates Risks of Duplicated Content
Avoiding duplicate content is one of the cardinal rules of SEO, as search engines penalize sites that recycle the same content across multiple pages. Fortunately, regular technical audits can help eliminate duplicate content completely from your website, and technical SEO experts can deploy techniques like differentiating pages from each other with unique titles, meta descriptions, and heading tags.
Another technique that you can expect your SEO provider to implement is the use of canonical URLs to scrub duplicate content from your site. At times, technical errors or glitches may cause different URLs to show the same content, which will earn your site penalties from search engines. Canonicalization will allow you to choose your preferred URLs for individual pages to ensure that each one is unique.
At the end of the day, strengthening your technical SEO is in your best interest if you want your website to increase its search and organic traffic. Once you make the optimization of technical SEO part of your standard page publishing workflow, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of better search engine rankings and better turnouts for your business’s bottom line.