Technical SEO: What it is and why it's important
May 4, 2022
SEO is a complex subject that is misunderstood by even the best marketers. This becomes even more evident when talking about technical SEO – something that most marketers choose to avoid completely.
That being said, technical SEO is a very important topic to understand, especially if you are serious about improving your search engine rankings. In this post, we’ll dive into what technical SEO is and why it’s such an important part of your site’s performance in the SERPs.
If you need help improving your technical SEO, or you have any questions after reading this post, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Why it’s so important
Technical SEO plays a major role in your site’s performance in search engines. It’s one of the three major areas of SEO, namely on-page SEO, off-page SEO and technical SEO. By understanding what technical SEO is and just how much it impacts your rankings, you’re in a better position to understand the work done by your SEO agency or your internal SEO team.
What is technical SEO?
As you can imagine, technical SEO is a huge topic with many sub-topics. For example, speed optimization is an important part of technical SEO, yet speed optimization is a specialization in its own right, with certain developers focusing solely on optimizing website speed and server speed.
This is what makes technical SEO so complex and is why it’s often left to technical SEO specialists or developers with a significant amount of SEO knowledge.
What’s the difference between technical SEO and on-page SEO?
The main difference between technical SEO and on-page SEO is that technical SEO focuses solely on the technical/code side, whereas on-page SEO focuses mainly on the visible elements on the page, including the text, images, etc.
Even though both technical SEO and on-page SEO is performed on the website itself, as opposed to off-page SEO which is done on external websites, there is still a clear distinction to be made. Even though full-stack SEOs that cover all areas of SEO do exist, it’s common to see technical or on-page SEO specialists that focus solely on a specific aspect of SEO.
Why is technical SEO so important?
Technical SEO is a very important part of SEO and, if done well, it can offer a wide range of benefits. Making sure your site is easily accessible to both users and search engine crawlers not only ensures the site functions well but also improves crawling, indexation and rankings.
Even though search engines are doing an increasingly better job crawling sites and understanding the content that’s served, there are still a lot of technical elements that can impact your rankings, either positively or negatively. By ensuring the technical side of your site is well-optimized, you can drive more relevant search traffic to your web pages.
How much does technical SEO impact my rankings?
Technical SEO is one of the most foundational aspects of SEO and therefore it’s something that can drastically impact your rankings. As a matter of fact, poor technical SEO can completely prevent your website from ranking at all!
While major errors can completely prevent a site from ranking, meaning it can have a huge impact on a site’s performance, it’s more common to see minor issues. These minor issues generally don’t result in websites dropping out of the SERPs completely, but it’s still common to see them hold a site back from performing optimally.
Since many technical SEO issues are site-wide, they have a tendency to positively or negatively impact a large number of pages. For example, optimizing a website’s server speed could boost all pages on the site at once.
Below are some quick technical SEO tips that can help you improve your site’s performance. Although these tips may help you improve your rankings, they aren’t complete and therefor
Optimize your code
Optimize your website’s code to ensure your site isn’t bogged down by ineffective or unused code. Although there are shortcuts to improving website speed, like lazy loading and using a CDN (both of which certainly help), optimizing your code is still the most effective way of improving your site’s speed. It’s a lot of work but can certainly help improve your rankings.
Optimize your server speed
Servers are a major cause of slow load times, so optimizing a website’s server can often result in a quick win. Make sure to work with a trusted developer when optimizing your server to ensure it is done well.
Make sure there are no issues in your robots.txt or sitemap
Robots.txt and sitemap files are some of the most common causes of technical SEO issues. Even though they are relatively simple files to set up and understand, a small typo or error can wreak havoc on your rankings.
Crawl your site regularly to check for issues
Using a website crawler every few months will help you spot technical SEO issues early. Not all issues will show up in Google Search Console, so it’s important that you or an SEO agency you work with regularly crawl your website.
Keep an eye on your Google Search Console
Google Search Console is an important tool for all aspects of SEO and this is no different for technical SEO. Make sure to deal with any search console errors as soon as possible and keep an eye on any warnings too to ensure they’re not causing any major issues.
Even though technical SEO is a vast subject, we hope that this post has helped you to understand the basics. You should now know what technical SEO is and why it’s so important, as well as what some of the most important things are that you can do to improve your technical SEO.
Do you still have questions about technical SEO, or want to find out how we can best help your business improve its search engine performance? We’d love to hear from you!