Technical Search Engine Optimization Strategies

Technical SEO might not be one of the most popular parts of search engine optimization but, it’s certainly one of the most important aspects of SEO that can not only disrupt your visibility but will totally impact the success of your website.

Unfortunately, most SEOs and website owners will rather focus on improving on-page and off-page optimizations while totally forgetting to give this aspect of search optimization, the priority it deserves.

With the recent changes in Google and search engine algorithms, technical SEO has once again become a core part of search ranking indicators. As an SEO seeking to gain improved results for your website, you want to understand how to get started with technical SEO optimization.

In this guide, I’ll be taking you through the important steps you can follow in the following paragraphs.

What is Technical SEO?

Technical search engine optimizations are the key steps you take to improve your website so that the search engines can easily crawl, understand and index its content. The following are the key steps you can take to set up technical optimizations for your website:

Your website is meant to be easily accessible for both humans and search engine bots. Considering that an easily reachable website is easier to navigate, it is very important to search engine companies like Google that you make it convenient for users to have access to your website without hassles.

To achieve this as a part of your technical SEO optimization, you want to consider the following:

Create a Website Menu: This is very important for SEO and navigation. Set up a menu for all your website pages and categorize them accordingly.

Set up & Link Web Pages Together: Beyond setting up pages on your website, try and link those pages to other relevant pages on your website so users and search engine bots can easily find their way around.

Create & Use Sub Pages Correctly: Where there are subpages on your website, consider placing them under the main pages in your menu section, for easy cataloguing and navigation.

Categories & Taxonomy: Additionally, create categories for your content and then place your content within relevant categories. Alongside the main categories, consider creating close related sub categories to further fine tune the placement of your content.

Use your tags correctly and be sure they are relevant to your content. While most SEOs prefer tags are not visible in SEO results, if you want your settings otherwise, take clear steps to set this up properly.

One of the first steps to take while setting up technical SEO optimization is to ensure that your website is available for the search engine to crawl as soon as you’re done setting up the website

If you’re building with WordPress, there’s a module under the settings section where you can use to confirm if your website is actually crawlable or not.

Also, if you notice that your website is not actually visible, consider creating an XML sitemap and submitting it to Google via your search console. This can be done using a plugin.

Furthermore, you can check your robots.txt file to ensure it is not blocking search engine bots from accessing your pages. And you can also find out your indexed and non-indexed pages, using your Google Search Console.

Improving website speed is an important aspect of technical search engine optimization that cannot be ignored because the slower a website gets to load, the more potential users gets off to the next website.

But it doesn’t always stop there. When more people find it difficult to access your website, search engines like Google eventually decides to show less of your website to potential searchers because, it is literally pointless.

For us over here, while doing any search engine optimization, one of our primary areas of concern is usually the website speed. And below are some of the things you can do to improve this:

Optimize Images: Some images are very large and loading them will naturally take a while. To improve your loading speed, you want to compress your images before using them either by resizing or using smaller image sizes.

Implement Browser Caching: Browser caching will store your website content locally on a user’s browser so it doesn’t have to re-load afresh whenever a user is loading the website. There are a number of caching plugins you can use for this purpose.

Minify CSS, Javascript and HTML files: Leaving your CSS, JS and HTML files as it is can create an increased load on your website. You want to reduce this as much as possible by minifying and optimizing them to reduce your overall page size.

Remove Bloated Plugins & Themes: Bloated plugins and themes can lead to serious loading issues on your website. While trying to identify this, you may want to consider testing different plugins to find out their compatibility before getting to use one.

Mobile optimization is crucial for technical SEO
Mobile first optimization is important for technical SEO | Photo by Ketut Subiyanto via Pexels

Outside all of this, you might want to consider checking out or changing your hosting company because sometimes, the servers can also be part of the issues dragging down your website speed.

As part of your speed optimization options, you also want to take steps to optimize for core web vitals and get them all set up properly.

Although majority of themes and templates from leading CMS like WordPress are increasingly becoming optimized out of the box for mobile visibility, a number of other themes and website builders are not mobile optimized.

Considering that Google prioritizes a mobile first approach to search engine visibility, you want to ensure you do not run afoul of this by creating a website that is compliant for mobile search visibility as part of your technical SEO.

To get started with this, pay attention to creating a design that is responsive and easily adjustable to device screen size.

Also, using tools like Google’s Page Speed Insight, Pingdom Tools, GTMetrix, etc, you will get to find out about your mobile optimization, whether or not they are effective. And also, you’ll find suggestions you can use to improve your page speed.

SSL otherwise known as secret socket layer is an encrypted communication protocol for secured internet communication.

Some websites comes with a pre-installed SSL certificate while some others do not. And for the latter, to get one you’ll need to purchase it from your hosting company or get one from a third party source and have it installed on your website.

What an SSL certificate does is that it boosts your user’s confidence on their security while using your website. It also indirectly affects your SEO from the broader perspective.

While Google’s John Mueller has tried to debunk the overwhelming impact of SSL certificates on SEO, it is important to note that outside being considered a crucial ranking factor in previous years, not using an SSL certificate on your website can trigger the “website not secured” warning from Google on some browsers.

And this can potentially impact your brand, stop a user from using your website or even discourage them from coming back.

So, either ways, you want to install an SSL certificate to ensure data processed on your website is encrypted.

Outside dividing your page rank, wasting indexing resources and even causing confusion for both users and search engine bots, having duplicate pages is not what you want on your website.

As part of your technical SEO procedure, take steps to fix your duplicate content issues so your rankings do not get diluted.

Use 301 Redirect: If you’re running a news website where more than one piece of content can be talking about the same subject, consider using a 301 redirect to point the search bots to your preferred versions of the post. Afterwards, you can go ahead and delete the other one.

Canonical Tags: This might be a bit more technical for an absolute beginner but outside a 301 redirect, you can also use canonical tags to point the search engine bots to your preferred content, where you have a duplicate content issue.

In a post helpful content update (HCU) era, creating or allowing thin content on your website is a strategy that will actually get you nowhere in the SEO ladder.

Since the recent Algorithm updates from Google, thin or low value content are getting fewer and fewer visibility in the search engine. For this reason, you want to avoid creating and posting this kind of content.

And even beyond that, take steps to remove them and initiate a 301 redirect, when you have such on your website. This is very crucial.

Just like fixing duplicate content, you can us both 301 redirect and canonical tags to fix thin content issues on your website.

Alternatively, you can flesh up the content by recreating it to add valuable and relevant information and then reposting it on your website. This strategy is effective for a website in an evergreen niche.

For those websites in journalistic niche, you might want to do a 301 redirect and then delete the content itself.

Your URL structure might not be a big factor in the overall scheme of things, but when it comes to technical SEO, even the small things matter.

To get the most out of your technical optimizations, optimize your URL. Stating with your Permalinks, choose a structure that best defines what is most suitable for your website and then leave the rest.

Technical SEO strategies
Audit your Search Console to find out what’s working as regards your technical SEO | Photos by Pexels

Now this means that if you’re optimizing for a news website, you can consider using the day and name or month and name permalink structure for your website while using the post name structure if you’re in an evergreen niche.

PS: Please note that you cannot change your permalink structure after your website goes live with content (blog posts) otherwise you may end up with broken links. Change your permalink structure only for a new website.

Furthermore, try using shorter and descriptive URL for your content. And be sure to add some aspects of your main keywords to the URL. And finally, use hyphen over underscores to keep it neat.

Setting up these tools allows you to have access to data on your website and how it is being used on these search engine platforms.

It also gives you insights into other important SEO metrics like the number of crawled pages, pages with indexing issues among many other vital information.

To get this started you can register on Google Search Console, claim your website and set up the details. Afterwards, head over to Bing web master tool and import your data from Google’s Search Console over to Bing. With that you don’t have to set it up all over again.

Now, after setting up your Search Console, submit your sitemap to these tools and then monitor the performance of your website at intervals.

Final Words

Whether you’re a beginner or an SEO expert with widespread experience in SEO, technical search engine optimization is a key SEO strategy that cannot be ignored and using these steps here will get you started.

In addition to all of these, pay attention to setting up your schema structure for a richer display of your website, using plugins like Yoast SEO etc. Also, look out for crawl errors on your website using your search console, monitor your server performance and ensure your website UI is displaying as expected.

Overall, pay attention to monitor and maintain your website. Keep it regularly updated and audited to ensure consistent performance. And finally, be sure you’re work with our SEO experts to get your technical SEO done so you don’t run into issues. Reach us here.

Now, it’s your turn. What do you think about technical search engine optimization and how do you go about it? Drop your comments below.

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    Victor Winners

    Victor Winners

    A Nigerian trained Law graduate and British LL.M candidate, using his widespread experience in tech, law and innovation, to evolve cutting edge and growth driven solutions for brands and businesses in Africa and beyond.As a Law-trained tech expert, Victor brings in over 7 years experience working in the Digital Marketing, SEO, Web Development, Online Publishing, Social Media and Legaltech sectors, to create result driven content and innovative solutions to brands and businesses.Named as one of the top 50 Web Design Influencers Globally, Victor Winners started one of Africa's most widely read blogs on Digital Marketing and Strategy.With this platform, he has impacted the lives of over 2 million readers spanning more than 135 countries in 8+ years

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