Technical SEO: Why It’s Becoming More Important Than ANY SEO Tactic

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
14 min read

No website can stand with out a strong backbone.

And that backbone is technical SEO.

Technical SEO may be the structure of one’s website.

Without it, the rest falls apart.

Imagine you wrote the most beautiful content on earth. It’s content that everyone should read.

People would pay buckets of money merely to read it. Millions are eagerly looking forward to the notification that you’ve managed to get available.

Then, your day finally comes, and the notification is out. Customers excitedly follow the link to learn your amazing article.

That’s when it happens:

It gets control 10 seconds for the website to load.

And for every second that it requires for your website to load, you’re losing readers and upping your bounce rate.

page speed and bounce rate

It doesn’t matter how great that little bit of content is. Because your website isn’t functioning well, you’re losing precious traffic.

That’s just one single exemplory case of why technical SEO is indeed critical.

Without it working, nothing else really matters.

That’s why I’m likely to walk you through the main areas of technical SEO. I’ll explain why each is so imperative to your website’s success and how exactly to identify and resolve problems.

The future is mobile-friendly

First, let’s discuss cellular devices.

Most folks have mobile phones.

In fact, a lot of people become their cellular phone is glued with their hand.

More and much more folks are buying and using mobile phones on a regular basis.

I already have two of these. I own a work cell and an individual cell.

This is now more prevalent as “home phones” turn into a thing of days gone by.

Google has recognized this trend. They’ve been working in the last couple of years to adapt their internet search engine algorithms to reflect this new life-style.

Back in 2015, Google implemented a mobile-related algorithm change.

People started calling it “mobilegeddon.”

This was only the start of Google moving the focus from computer-based browsing to mobile-based.

On November 4, 2016, Google announced their mobile-first indexing plans.

Google’s mobile-first indexing is actually a game changer.

Mobile traffic is currently more popular than desktop traffic.

mobile vs desktop traffic

And a lot more importantly, about 57% of most visits to retail websites result from cellular devices.

You can easily see why Google’s intention would be to choose the mobile version of websites for rankings.

Just to ensure you knew these were serious, Google reminded us of the change on December 18, 2017.

Why do we care what Google does?

They own almost 93% of the mobile internet search engine market.

google owns the internet search engine market

In fact, mobile-first indexing has generated enough conversation among marketers that it’s among the key topics of the year’s Pubcon conference.

You must make sure your site is ready because of this change.

The simplest way to get this done would be to have a responsive site or perhaps a dynamic serving site that knows adjust fully to screen size.

responsive vs unresponsive mobile site

If you’ve got a separate site for mobile, you must do the next:

  • Make sure the mobile version of one’s site still has all the critical content, such as for example high-quality pictures, properly-formatted text, and videos.
  • Your mobile site must be structured and indexed as being a desktop site.
  • Include metadata on both versions of one’s site: mobile and desktop.
  • If your mobile site is on another host, make certain it has enough capacity to take care of increased crawling from Google’s mobile bots.
  • Use Google’s robots.txt tester to ensure Google can read your mobile site.

You might curently have some of these covered, but it’s vital that you be sure your site is ready for mobile-first.

Speed is crucial to success

Whether you’re owning a desktop site or perhaps a mobile one, speed is crucial.

If I must wait for a niche site to load, I’m likely to leave it.

Like I stated before, load time is really a major reason that folks abandon pages and sites. With every second it requires for the page to load, more folks are quitting onto it.

If your site loads too slowly, readers will simply click back again to the internet search engine and try another relevant link.

This is named “pogo-sticking.” And Google hates pogo-sticking.

If Google sees that folks are leaving your page within the initial five seconds of landing onto it, they’re likely to drop you down in the serp’s.

It won’t matter how great the rest is in the event that you don’t have sufficient speed included in your sites.

Have you been focusing your SEO efforts on bounce rates, customer engagement, or time on site?

If so, you ought to be concentrating on site speed since it will impact all those metrics, too.

How is it possible to know if your speed isn’t right?

There certainly are a number of websites on the internet that can try this for you personally.

A quick online test from WebPagetest or Google’s PageSpeed tools can provide you an over-all notion of how your website is measuring up.

A more complex tool I love is GTmetrix. It can help identify what is slowing down your website.

analyze your sites speed

Make sure you test multiple pages. One page might load blazing fast, nevertheless, you could possibly be missing four which are slow as molasses.

Aim to check at the very least ten pages. Pick the pages you know will be the largest and also have probably the most images.

Here are some typically common reasons a niche site has speed issues:

  • The images are too large and poorly optimized.
  • There is not any content compression.
  • The pages have way too many CSS image requests.
  • Your website isn’t caching information.
  • You’ve used way too many plugins.
  • Your site isn’t utilizing a CDN for static files.
  • Your website is running on a slow hosting company.

You may not be able to get yourself a perfect score on Google’s PageSpeed Insights the 1st time, but you can simply improve it.

Site errors will tank your rankings

Site errors are frustrating.

It doesn’t matter if we’re discussing customers or search bots. No-one likes site errors.

Site errors ‘re normally due to broken links, incorrect redirects, and missing pages.

Here certainly are a few things you have to remember in regards to site errors.

You have to cope with 404 errors.

When’s the final time you clicked a web link on your search engine and finished up seeing an ugly 404 error page?

not found 404 page

You probably clicked “back” immediately and shifted to another link.

404 error pages increase customer frustration and “pogo-sticking.”

As I mentioned previously, Google hates this.

You don’t want 404 errors on your own website. But here’s the truth:

Every website will have 404 errors at some time. Be sure you learn how to fix them.

For the days once you miss 404 errors, ensure that you at the very least customize your error pages.

Make sure you’re using 301 redirects properly.

A 301 redirect is really a permanent redirect to a fresh page.

301 redirect

A 302 redirect is really a temporary redirect.

302 redirect

Using a 302 rather than a 301 make a difference your readers as well as your search result rankings.

If you utilize a 301 redirect, se’s supply the new page exactly the same “trust” and authority that the old page had.

This implies that if your old page was near the top of search engine ranking positions, your brand-new page should dominate that ranking. Needless to say, this is let’s assume that everything else may be the same.

If you merely work with a 302 redirect, the bots view it as temporary.

Before 2016, this meant Google didn’t supply the new page the old authority.

Currently, Google says that any 30X redirect could keep exactly the same page ranking.

old and new rules of 3xx redirection

Despite the reassurance from Google, there’s still some doubt about whether that is true or not.

The small print in the image above says, “proceed with caution.”

The risk is that leaving a 302 redirect active for too much time can make you lose traffic.

It won’t matter how outstanding your other SEO tactics are.

It’s not worth the chance.

Even using 301 redirects can negatively impact your search engine ranking positions.

This is basically because they can decelerate your website speed. They are able to also signal that there surely is an issue with the structure of one’s website.

Google sees this being an issue. They don’t desire to send traffic to sites they believe will undoubtedly be hard to navigate.

Anything that hints your website isn’t user-friendly will probably harm your search engine ranking positions.

Find and fix your broken links.

You’re on a website, you’re reading a fascinating article, and contains a web link to something you need to learn about.

You follow the link, and nothing happens.

You’re probably slightly annoyed, right?

What happens in the event that you experience this several times on a single website?

I’m likely to reckon that you’re not likely to be happy. I understand I wouldn’t be.

It’s an easy task to end up getting a broken link. You might have external links to pages that the webmaster has moved or turn off.

It can occur to anyone.

So how can you see them fast and fix them before they impact your visitors as well as your rankings?

Don’t worry. It’s much less complicated or time-consuming as you may fear.

You simply need to use both tools and follow the four steps from this article.

bulk broken link checking

Watch out for duplicate websites content.

There are two major issues with duplicated content.

One is having content this is the duplicate of someone else’s.

This problem ought to be obvious. Someone has plagiarized.

Google is continually trying to enhance their capability to detect duplicated content, and they’re getting very good at it.

Unfortunately, the bots aren’t high-tech enough to learn who ripped off another, so Google will penalize you both.

To assist you to avoid penalties, you may use Copyscape to ensure the content on your own webpage isn’t too near any other webpages.

copyscape

The second problem is that should you have an excessive amount of duplicate or repetitive content by yourself website, it could be really annoying for the regular, dedicated fans.

No one really wants to read five different blogs that basically say a similar thing.

If your readers discover that your write-ups are too similar, they’ll just stop following you.

After all, they’ll commence to believe you don’t already have anything not used to say.

Duplicate content inside your site might not just be from the insufficient ideas.

It may also be due to page refreshes or updates (if your update is on a “new” page with a fresh URL).

So, how will you find out when you have duplicated content?

Siteliner will help you find any duplicated content by yourself website.

your duplicated content copyscape

If you discover duplicate content on your own site, easy and simple solution would be to delete it.

But remember: You can’t just hit the delete button if the page has already been indexed.

Remember the discussion above about site errors!

If you’re going to delete an indexed website, make sure to work with a permanent 301 redirect.

What in the event that you don’t desire to delete a full page? After all, we realize way too many redirects could be bad aswell.

The next most suitable choice would be to add a canonical URL to each page which has duplicated content.

canonical URL

This will tell se’s you know your site has indexed pages which are duplicated content, but that there surely is one version you want the internet search engine to direct people to.

Know about other website errors.

Like I mentioned previously, poor website structure will hurt your ratings.

Make sure you’ve built your site with properly-structured data.

This means using categories and website groupings that produce sense.

Solid structure helps enhance the search-ability of one’s site.

For example, imagine if I would like to know if you’ve written articles on technical SEO?

I’m not going to scroll through a huge selection of blog posts searching for one on that topic. Instead, I’ll visit the search box and enter my keywords like I’d on search engines.

If you structure your site properly, it’ll show me any articles linked to that subject. Not just that, nonetheless it will pull them up quickly.

It’s easier for the site to get relevant articles if it only must read through a category instead of your complete website.

Remember that speed is among the top issues for sites. Structured data allows users and bots to get related articles faster.

Building your structured data (which some make reference to as schema markup) isn’t all that technical.

Schema.org exists for the only real reason for helping enhance the schema markup of websites.

welcome to schema

How does schema impact your serp’s?

It helps describe your articles to find engines.

That implies that it can help Google know very well what your website is actually about.

It also helps Google create rich snippets.

Here’s a normal Google snippet:

normal google snippet

Now, have a look at a Google rich text snippet.

google rich text snippet

You often will guess which includes a better click-through rate.

This isn’t about content or on-page SEO. That is all technical SEO.

Some other technical site errors you should look out for are:

  • Page sizes which are too large
  • Having problems with using meta refresh
  • Hidden text occurring on your own pages
  • Unending data, such as for example calendars that venture out for 100 years

Never ignore crawl errors

Search engines send bots to crawl your website continuously.

A crawl error means the bots found something amiss which will impact your search engine results positioning.

First, make sure you’ve got a working sitemap and your web pages are indexed.

sitemaps website console

If Google can’t read a sitemap, then it can’t even make an effort to crawl your website.

It won’t know your website even exists.

Avoid being the lost, forgotten soul by making certain you have an XML sitemap on your own website.

Of course, second step offers that sitemap to the various search engines.

Once you’ve done this, the internet search engine will be able to index your pages.

This basically means filing them for review to allow them to measure them against all the similar pages and determine how to rank them.

If you obtain a no index error, this means that Google didn’t register your pages.

If they’re not registered, they’ll not appear on the search engine page.

Even with the very best content on the planet, your traffic will undoubtedly be nonexistent in the event that you don’t arrive on serp’s pages. In the event that you don’t trust me, look at these statistics:

all online experiences start out with search engines

One common reason that pages don’t index properly is URL issues.

Make sure your URLs aren’t too much time or messy.

Avoid having any URLs which have query parameters by the end of these.

Other indexing problems could possibly be title tag issues, missing alt tags, and meta descriptions which are either missing or too much time.

Beyond indexing issues, you can find other forms of crawl errors.

In many cases, the error is because of among the websites content errors that I discussed within the last section.

Other types of crawl errors are:

  • DNS errors
  • Server errors (that could be considered a speed issue)
  • Robots failure
  • Denied site access
  • Not followed (meaning that Google struggles to follow confirmed URL)

Image issues could cause you plenty of problems

Visual content is really a vital section of content marketing and on-page SEO.

The problem is that on-page SEO strategy could result in technical SEO issues.

Images which are too big can tank your speed and make your website less mobile-friendly. Broken images may also hurt an individual experience, increasing page abandonment.

You know you will need plenty of high-quality images. However now I’ve just told you that the thing likely to help your ratings can hurt them.

What can you do?

It’s easy. Just smush your images with Smush Image Compression and Optimization.

wp smush pro

This plugin will shrink your images down in order that their size doesn’t decelerate your website.

The best benefit is that it could do that without impacting the image quality. You obtain the faster load, without sacrificing beauty.

You may also use WP Super Cache for developing a static image of one’s website. It’s an identical WordPress plugin to Smush Image Compression and Optimization.

Super Cache can lessen the quantity of data your website uses and increase your load time.

What about broken images?

Searching for broken images is equivalent to looking for broken links. You need to work with a tool that may search your website for just about any broken images.

Most tools that look for broken links may also look for broken images.

Are your images using alt attributes? Because you may not always catch broken images immediately, this could be helpful.

You may use an internet site like SEO SiteCheckup to see if you’ve create alt attributes on your own site.

image alt test

If your image eventually ends up broken, the alt text provides alternative information.

Security matters more now than ever before before

Google has been cracking down on security.

You was previously in a position to assume that http:// will be in the beginning of each website address.

But that’s no more the case.

Google has warned that by July 2018, Chrome will quickly warn users in case a site is insecure.

http warnings could cause users to leave a niche site

No matter how excellent your articles is, customers are less inclined to click on through to an internet site whenever a browser warns them that it could be unsafe.

If your address continues to be using http, you can begin losing traffic fast (in the event that you aren’t already).

Chrome is the browser with the biggest market share on earth.

browser market share worldwide

Google has recently managed to get pretty clear they prefer https sites.

Just have a look at how Chrome already highlights the security of https sites:

There are different forms of SSL, so you’ll desire to be sure you research your facts to pick the correct one for the site.

Conclusion

There are three different facets of SEO, and technical SEO may be the most significant of the three.

three forms of seo

SEO guidelines are constantly changing.

Every time a significant internet search engine significantly updates their algorithm, SEO must adapt.

But fortunately that the frequency of changes for Technical SEO is leaner compared to the others.

After all, it’s nothing like se’s or readers will suddenly decide they’re okay with slower speeds.

If anything, you will notice the common acceptable speed continue steadily to drop. Your website simply needs to be faster in order to match SEO demands.

Your website needs to be mobile-friendly. That is only likely to are more important as time passes, too.

It must work without errors, duplicated content, and poor images.

Search engines also need to have the ability to crawl it successfully.

These things are critical.

They are necessary to your success on se’s sufficient reason for actual readers and customers. In order to prioritize your SEO efforts, be sure you tackle the technical aspects first.

As I’ve mentioned many times, it won’t matter how amazing your on-page SEO is in the event that you fail at technical SEO.

It also won’t matter how great you’re at off-page SEO if you’re horrible at the technical stuff.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the thought of it being “technical” or complex.

Start with the big, critical aspects discussed above and tackle them one problem at the same time.

How perhaps you have found success with technical SEO on your own site?

About the writer: Neil Patel may be the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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