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When developing an SEO strategy, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of technical SEO, so you can optimize your website to rank in search engines. Technical SEO is…well, technical, rather than based on written content or social media posts. That means boosting the accessibility and performance of your website, while structuring it in a way that search engines like Google can analyze. If you want to rank, you’ll need to implement technical SEO techniques. We know it can be a bit confusing at the beginning. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

In this article, we’re going to talk about the importance of technical SEO and answer questions like:

  • How do you define technical SEO?
  • What is the importance of technical SEO?
  • What is included in technical SEO?
  • Is technical SEO part of on-page SEO?
  • Are there differences between types of SEO?

What Is Technical SEO?

Technical search engine optimization (SEO) refers to optimizing your website so that search engines like Google can crawl, index, and rank your website, leading to improved organic rankings. The precision of all three processes behind the scenes is achieved by implementing good technical SEO principles.

Technical SEO enables search engines to recognize that your website offers a high-quality experience. It also ensures that people will find it snappy and easy to navigate while discovering helpful information. Sounds pretty important, right? It is! We’ll explain further below, but ultimately technical SEO is what helps get eyes on your website by boosting organic SEO and search engine results pages (SERPs), which leads to ranking higher on search engines.

Why Is Technical SEO Important?

In short, technical SEO allows Google to see your website is of high-value by making it accessible for crawling and indexing. Technical SEO ensures that your website is user-friendly and free of bugs that would make it difficult for search engines to analyze and rank it. If you don’t utilize technical SEO techniques, you’ll find it difficult to rank on search engines. This is especially true, because Google avoids prioritizing websites that are difficult to access, confusing to navigate, and sluggish.

Using technical SEO:

  • Achieves better rankings
  • Improves page speed
  • Eliminates duplicate content
  • Sets up structured data
  • Locates website structure issues

Without ranking, people aren’t visiting your site to get information. Your chances of appearing in search results improve if a search engine can successfully crawl, index, and rank your web pages. Did you know that the first page of Google gets 40.44% click-through-rate of all organic traffic? Among that, nearly 32% of clicks go to the first result on a search. Once you drop from page one, only about 13% of users even click to page two and 8.4% click to page three. In addition to high rankings, websites that post content like blogs have a staggering 434% more indexed pages.

What does technical SEO do?

While reaching more people is the number one reason why SEO is important, an added benefit is the cost effectiveness and return on investment (ROI). You can reach great results with a fraction of the cost of paid ads and other non-organic marketing and sales techniques. SEO also reduces the amount of inquiries from outside of your ideal customer profile (ICP), because it targets people who are searching for the product or service you’re offering. This reduction also reflects itself in time spent chasing leads and other costly methods.

What Does Technical SEO Consist Of?

Technical SEO is all about optimizing your website, which relies on three things: indexing, crawling, and ranking. All of these combined will lead to higher organic click-through rates by placing your website higher in the search results.

Arguably the most important technical SEO factor is indexing. Indexing is a method used by search engines to organize material before a search in order to respond to queries very quickly. When your web pages are indexed by Google, they are added to the search engine's database and displayed in the search results. Your blog won't appear in any search results if it isn't indexed. The best way to index your website is to structure it in a way that search engines can easily crawl.

Adapting your site for indexing can happen by utilizing:

  • Metadata
  • Site structure
  • Backlinks
  • Keywords
  • Robot.txt

Crawling is the process of locating websites and links that connect to other pages. Throughout the crawling process, search engines use a network of robots known as “crawlers” or “spiders” to look for new and updated web pages. Crawlers begin their scanning by downloading the robot.txt file, which contains sitemaps that list the URLs that the search engine's crawl. The sitemap helps crawlers navigate through the site itself and then the crawlers use hyperlinks embedded in the site to find new, connected pages.

Ranking is, quite literally, how well you rank (or place) in search results. When your site is crawled and indexed, Google decides how helpful and informative your content is and then ranks it compared to other sites. Of course the goal is to reach the #1 spot, but placing on page one is incredibly important. We’ll explain later why SEO is important to ranking and why getting to page one is essential to success, but your first priority should always be to optimize your site.

Technical SEO is optimizing your website.

What Is the Difference Between Technical SEO and SEO?

“SEO” is an umbrella term that refers to everything you do on your website that affects how search engines view it. This includes the site's metadata, page speed, mobile compatibility, and content.

Technical SEO lives within the general SEO space. It includes elements of your website itself (or on-site SEO) and is not a piece of your content, like blogs or longer-form pieces e.g. Pillars. It is the process of optimizing your website so that search engines can easily crawl, analyze, and index your pages while also giving users the greatest possible experience. Consider technical SEO as anything code based rather than involving written content.

What Is the Difference Between On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO?

On-page and off-page SEO focus on different aspects of SEO techniques, whether on your website or elsewhere on the internet.

On-Page SEO

To put it simply, on-page SEO examines the contents of your website or page. On-page SEO focuses on factors and strategies you can directly influence, such as optimizing your website’s features. There are several variables that impact ranking and decide where your website appears in search engine results pages, such as:

  • Website accessibility
  • Page speed
  • Optimized written content
  • Keywords
  • Headings (H1)
  • Title tags
  • URL structure
  • Alt text

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to external signals aimed at promoting your site or brand throughout the web, such as other websites linking to and sharing information from your site. It aims to improve the domain's authority through the production of content and gaining backlinks from other websites. When it comes down to it, off-page SEO examines your site's authority and popularity—meaning you demonstrate you’re knowledgeable and helpful to your audience.

  • Inbound links
  • Social media marketing
  • Guest blogging and guest posting
  • Unlinked brand mentions
  • Influencer marketing

You can generate backlinks to your content using off-page SEO techniques. Backlinks are links to your site posted on other sites, because your material is helpful and knowledgeable. You may generate links to your website in a number of ways, for instance you should:

  • Create amazing content that is valuable enough for people to link to.
  • Share your material on social media.
  • Write personalized email to your potential and current customers
  • Post as a guest on other sites

Is Technical SEO Part of On-Page SEO?

No, while technical and on-page SEO cooperate with one another on a webpage, they are not the same thing. However, a strong SEO plan must include both on-page and technical SEO. Search engines will have an easier time scanning and indexing content on a site that was developed with SEO in mind from the start. Because it consists of factors such as accessibility, structured data, and page speed, technical SEO is the bedrock of how optimized your website is for search engines to crawl. Ultimately, when asking the difference between technical SEO vs on-page SEO: technical SEO is concerned with performance, whereas general on-page SEO is focused on the page’s content.

Technical SEO is performance and on-page SEO is content.

Is Technical SEO Difficult?

We don’t want to sugar coat it… technical SEO can be a complex task and takes significant time and effort to effectively implement when you first begin. If you want to add technical SEO to your arsenal, you’ll need to dedicate a lot of time to research and prepare to test and fix bugs until you get it right. Of course, you’ll want to keep an eye out for any problems that could arise in your SEO code. A few of these issues include:

  • Duplicate content: When a piece of content appears more than once online.
  • Title or description issues: When a title tag—an element of HTML—defines a web page's title and the description—located in the code—is input incorrectly.
  • Broken internal links: When links leading to other pages on your site don’t work properly.
  • Missing alt tags: When alternate text is not put on images and damages accessibility for the visually impaired.
  • Mobile usability errors: When your site isn’t optimized for mobile.
  • Ignoring meta descriptions: When no meta description is used to explain what the page contains and its context.
  • Robots.txt: A file that contains all of the information about your website, which can determine what is accessible by crawlers. Look out for any errors that accidentally revoke access to your pages.
  • Noindex: When a noindex tag is found in your HTML code, it tells Google not to index your page.

Once you’re familiar with HTML coding and other technical SEO techniques, it’s much easier to maintain across your site.

What Are the Technical SEO Techniques?

While we’ve mentioned several techniques like checking your Robots.txt file or searching for duplicate content, Google has a list of exactly what you need to consider when implementing technical SEO. According to Google, you need to consider the following types of technical SEO techniques to maintain your site’s SEO:

  • Be aware of any duplicate content—even if there are simply a desktop and mobile version of the same page Google will see them as duplicate and therefore will only crawl one more frequently.
  • Make sure all resources are accessible to Google—they can be blocked in the robots.txt.
  • Use robots.txt rules to prevent crawling. Stop crawlers from accessing duplicate content or insignificant resources on your site.
  • Use sitemaps to encourage crawling and tell Google what is important to index, including non-textual content.
  • Adapt your website with multiple languages or location-specific targets using codes like hreflang so Google can more effectively crawl the site.
  • Alert Google to any page or site migration using different redirect codes—301 and 302—or 404 for removed pages.
  • Follow crawling and indexing best practices like using crawlable links, managing crawl budget, JavaScript usage—among others.

These techniques are designed to help Google understand your site for easier crawling and indexing.

What Is an SEO Audit?

An SEO audit examines how well your website follows the best practices in order to find as many underlying problems that negatively impact organic search performance. And they’re not just reserved for technical SEO. SEO audits find issues in your technical, on- and off-page, and content SEO that may prevent your site from ranking effectively. An audit will also point out any opportunities that may improve your rankings.

Completing an SEO audit will help you figure out:

  • Things you are doing well and how to harness and scale those strengths.
  • Any mistakes and other obvious issues you need to fix.
  • What parts of your SEO practices are not working and shouldn’t be implemented further.
  • What parts of your SEO practices are not working and should be improved.

Optimize Your Website to Reach Page One

One way to take advantage of crawling (and in turn indexing) is to post new, valuable content that helps your audience find answers to their questions. You can boost your SEO and rankings even further by developing a content strategy that weaves your content together. Search engines reward high-quality and authoritative content, which is possible using the right tools. At DemandJump, we’ve pioneered Pillar-Based Marketing as the most effective way to generate organic traffic to your website. Not only that, but our Insights tool will help you develop a Pillar strategy and give you the most valuable keywords. By using the keywords your audience searches for the most and writing content that meets their needs, you’ll be on your way to page one of Google in no time. Click the button below to try it out for yourself!

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