What Is Technical SEO and How Does It Improve My Rankings?

Technical SEO is all about optimizing the technical health of your site to make it easy to crawl, index and rank.

When search engines decide if and how to index your site in search engine results pages (SERPs), they also look at what’s going on under the hood – your code, site maps, linking structures, etc.

The point of technical search engine optimization (SEO) is to:

  1. Make your site easy to crawl and index
  2. Optimize any technical aspects of your site that influence its performance on search
  3. Tell Google and other search engines that there are no technical issues that will negatively affect the user’s experience

Some of the factors that need to be considered in these endeavors include the following:

1. Site Errors

These include 404 errors, 301 and 302 redirects, broken links and other issues that search engines interpret as negatively influencing a search user’s experience. Who wants to click on a link just to be taken to page that no longer exists? Probably not you, and probably not your users.

2. Page Speed

Page speed is a ranking factor, meaning Google directly penalizes sites that load slowly. The penalties compound, however, if users start leaving your website after visiting just one page because they don’t want to stick around and wait for others to load. Google interprets this heightened bounce rate as a sign that users aren’t engaged with your site.

3. Mobile Friendliness

Google switched to mobile-first indexing years ago. It’s the mobile version of your site that Google indexes by default, as opposed to the desktop version. In other words, if your site isn’t optimized for mobile, it isn’t optimized for search.

4. User Experience

While not a direct ranking factor, layout issues that make your site difficult to navigate can indirectly affect how users interact with your pages. Google will see a high bounce rate or short time on page as red flags indicating a lack of value for users.

5. Site Maps and Markup

XML site maps, Schema, meta tags, meta descriptions, ALT tags for images and other HTML elements on the backend of your site will help make it more machine-readable.

There’s a bit more to technical SEO than can fit in this blog post, and a whole lot more than you probably have time for. If you need help or just have questions, get in touch with us today.

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