How Technical SEO Can Save Your Site From a Poor Ranking
Keywords, content, and links are essential components of a solid SEO strategy. These can help your pages rank high, but SEO’s technical elements are also technical elements. Ignore these, and you’re missing opportunities to improve rank. You might even be making a technical mistake that hurts your page.
Technical SEO includes security, mobile readiness, loading speed, duplicate content, sitemaps, and anything else you can do to make your site easier to use and easier for search engines to crawl and index. It works in tandem with content and linking strategies to boost your page rank.
Technical SEO Basics
Technical SEO is any part of your SEO strategy that makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your pages. You could have high-value, shareable, and relevant content, but if the search engines can’t find your site, it’s all for nothing. You’ll get little or no organic traffic. The technical aspects should go hand-in-hand with a strong content marketing strategy.
Content marketing focuses on developing valuable content using searchable keywords and linking.
A keyword strategy is important for both content and technical elements, like meta descriptions and title tags. Use the Ahrefs Tool Guide: Keyword Explorer for e-Commerce to build a solid keyword strategy that supports good content and technical SEO elements.
Another basis of technical SEO that you must have for optimal page rank is security. A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) provides protection between a browser and a server. It makes pages safer for users and is an essential technical item for SEO. Google uses SSL as a ranking factor because it improves user experience. You can quickly determine if a site uses SSL by looking at the URL. If it starts with “https://” then it’s using SSL.
Mobile-friendly websites are also essential to modern SEO. According to statistics, mobile use makes up nearly half of all internet traffic worldwide. It’s a trend that has been increasing for years. If your site isn’t mobile-ready, searchers will most likely bounce.
Moreover, Google has stated that a responsive website is a factor in page rank. Responsiveness includes being mobile-ready. In 2018, Google announced that it would begin mobile-first indexing. Previously, it only used desktop pages to crawl, index, and rank. It now considers mobile content as well.
Common Technical SEO Issues
Once you have the basics of technical SEO sorted for your pages, you can turn to smaller details and errors with simple fixes:
Content repeated on more than one page is not just confusing and frustrating for users, it’s also a technical problem. It gets in the way of crawling and indexing bots, diluting the overall authority of your website.
If you have a lot of duplicated content across multiple pages, it can be difficult for Google to determine which page is the most relevant. This can result in your pages competing against each other instead of working together to rank higher.
Title Tag Issues
A title tag is the HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result; and are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing.
The tag’s problems deter users and confuse search engines trying to crawl and index a page. Avoid duplicate tags on your website, missing title tags, and tags that are too short or too long. Each should be unique even for similar pages, between 50 and 60 characters, and include page keywords or variations.
Canonical Tag Issues
A canonical tag is an HTML element that tells search engines which version of a piece of content is the original. If you have multiple versions of the same content on your website, it can be difficult for Google to determine which one is the original. This can cause your pages to compete against each other instead of working together to rank higher.
When you use the robots.txt file on your website, you are telling search engine crawlers which pages they can and cannot access. This is important because you may have pages on your website that you do not want to be indexed, such as duplicate content or private pages. The robots.txt file is placed in the root directory of your website, and it must be formatted correctly in order for it to work properly.
Integrate Content and Technical SEO
If you don’t have a technical background, it’s easy to ignore these technical aspects of SEO and focus on the more visible, “front-end” elements like content and keywords. However, if you want your website to rank highly in search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to make sure all of the SEO technical elements are working together correctly. Consider the technical side of SEO to be the foundation of your website, and make sure it is strong before you start building on top of it.