Technical SEO refers to optimizing the technical parts of your website to increase your rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). It is a part of on-page SEO, which focuses on improving aspects on your website in order to achieve higher search engine rankings. This includes a few different technical optimizations, from speed to crawlability and more. Many of the technical aspects of your website are a big part of what Google and other search engines use to determine the quality of your website for user experiences. It is a task best done by website design experts, who are in tune with what the algorithms are looking for, and how best to meet these expectations to ensure your website is ranking as high as possible.
For us, technical SEO includes making sure that we address 8 major components of on-page SEO.
- Use SSL
While SSL – short for secure sockets layer – is optional when setting up a website, it is an option we encourage our clients to opt in to. SSL is a security technology that creates an encrypted link between web servers and browsers, and is designated by a “https://” in front of the URL. Google has been pushing for website owners to utilize SSL since 2014, and they give a decided preference to sites that do. It is as simple as installing a SSL certificate onto your website, and it is well worth the little extra effort.
- Make it Mobile-Friendly
Google considers website responsiveness, or how well and how quickly it automatically adjusts to the user’s device, to be a very significant ranking factor. And with the ever increasing popularity of using mobile devices instead of desktop computers, it is also very important for user experience. Making sure your site displays correctly across all devices is an easy way to ensure that you rank well in this category.
- Speed it Up
All search engines give preference to websites that load quickly, using page speed as an important ranking signal. There are a number of different ways that we can ensure your pages are loading as quickly as possible:
- Use a fast hosting site and DNS provider.
- Minimize the use of scripts and plugins.
- Use one or two CSS stylesheets rather than multiple or inline CSS.
- Keep image files as small as possible while still retaining clarity.
- Compress your pages.
- Minimize your site code by removing unnecessary spaces, line breaks, or indentations.
- Clean up Duplicate Content
Many people use duplicate content across their pages to either reduce copywriting costs or to try and manipulate rankings with excessive keywords. Either way, search engines count this as a mark against you, and your rankings will suffer as a result. Removing duplicate content is as easy as replacing it with unique content, or linking to a different page with the relevant information that you want your users to find.
- Create an XML Sitemap
XML sitemaps are files that help search engines understand your website while they are crawling it, and serve to tell them where each page is at. It also contains information about your site, including how frequently it is updated, when the last time a page was modified, and what priority each page has on your site.
- Consider Enabling AMP
AMP is a project backed by Google that helps to speed loading time for mobile users, by utilizing a special code called AMP HTML. The downside to AMP is that is disables scripts, comments, and forms, so it isn’t for everyone. If these features aren’t relevant to your site, AMP can help your pages load lightning-fast, making it more likely that users will stick around to read or even backlink your pages.
- Add Structured Data
Structured data is a code you can add to your site that better helps search engines to understand your content. This in turn helps them to index your information faster and more accurately, boosting your rankings for relevant search results. You can also use structured data to highly star ratings for reviews and add prices to products, which makes your site more visually appealing and helps your CTR and traffic.
- Register Your Site With the top Search Engines
Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools are free tools from Google and Microsoft that allow you to submit your website to their search engines for indexing.
When your site is ready to launch, you should submit the sitemap to both of these tools so that your site can be crawled and indexed as soon as possible. This helps to get your site on SERPs much more quickly than simply waiting for search engines to do it automatically. These tools also help you to monitor your site’s performance by testing mobile performance, providing search analytics, showing backlinks to your site, and much more.
Want Effective Technical SEO? Trust the Experts to do it For You
Interested in learning more about how technical SEO can help boost your website’s search engine rankings? Contact us today. At Gulf Coast Web, we have over 25 years of experience in managing all types of digital design and marketing campaigns – even for companies outside of our immediate area. Our staff consists of highly-trained digital design advertising professionals who are both passionate about their jobs and excel at what they do. Contact us today to book a consultation with our team. We look forward to outlining exactly how we can help you grow your business with our digital media agency services.