Since SEO became a thing, it has always had two main components:
1) On-page SEO: Optimization of text and other elements on the website itself for keyword/topic relevance and
2) Off-page SEO: Gaining links pointing to your website to exhibit website popularity and authority
As web technology has advanced and become more complex in recent years, Technical SEO has risen to the forefront of SEO activity. Simply put, Technical SEO addresses the technical issues required to maximize search engine performance. Technical SEO covers many aspects of a website's functionality. Here are the main ones:
Google won't show your pages in the search results unless it has
- crawled them (visited them by a computer called a bot) and
- indexed them (copied the content into it's database)
Once your site is established, Google will crawl it daily to look for and index any changes. The number of pages Google visits on a daily basis is called your "Crawl Budget." Your crawl budget can be seen in Google Search Console as the average number of pages crawled per day.
If your crawl budget is significantly lower than the number of pages on your site, there can be a significant delay between the time when a change is made and the time Google takes the change into account in the search results .
To increase your crawl budget do the following:
- Fix errors - Google does not like error filled sites because crawling them is a waste of resources
- Get more incoming links - Google will think your site is more important and worth the effort
It's also a good idea to block pages that don't need to be in Google's index so your crawl budget is most effectively utilized on your important pages.
Mobile-friendliness is now an important ranking factor on Google and other search engines. It is no longer optional to have a mobile version of your website available. A responsive design that resizes the website based on the visitor's screen size is the best way to provide a consistent user experience and consistent content across devices.
Google has a Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. It will show problems and suggest solutions that will help make your website mobile friendly.
Structured data is invisible code on a website that helps Google understand not only your sites structure, but it's purpose. Information like your location, industry and official business name should all be communicated to Google through structured markup.
Google has a Structured Data Testing Tool that detects the presence of structured data on a page and displays warnings and errors related to that code.
Duplicate Content Elimination
Today almost all websites are built on Content Management Systems (CMS). The technical complexity of a CMS is enormous and the possibility for errors in communication between Google and your website's CMS is a ongoing issue. The most common error of this type is duplicate content. It is important to monitor your indexed pages for duplicate content on a regular basis.
Google Search Console of Screaming Frog are good tools to identify duplicate content so it can be eliminated.
Having a fast loading website is a crucial aspect to a good user experience, so it is an important ranking factor in Google searches. Page speed is tied into the speed of the web hosting server, but there are other aspects that play just as important a role:
- Distance of user from web server. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) such as Cloudflare can help with this.
- Web host throttling: On shared servers each website is allocated a certain amount of resources. If a website exceeds its limits, the web host will slow the website down for a period of time until usage is again within limits.
- Website software: This can have a huge impact on resource usage and page load time. Caching is often used so the software does not need to rebuild the pages from the database every time someone visits.
- Image size: Large images or images that aren't optimized will slow page load and negatively impact user experience.
Page Speed Insights is a tool that will grade your website as well as point out problems and suggested solutions.
So not only is it necessary to have both strong On-Page and Off-Page SEO to rank well in competitive searches, you must also have a good handle on your website's Technical SEO factors.
TP Designs provides On-Page, Off-Page and Technical SEO services for businesses. Have a question? Feel free to leave a comment!