Technical SEO: Why It’s More Important Than Ever to Be Technical

Joel House, Founder, Joel House Search

First, I want to talk to you about what technical SEO is, and what you – in terms of technology – have to take into account in order to score high in Google.

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is nothing more than the ‘technical side’ of your website. Think of the permalink structure, sitemaps, the loading time of your website and actually everything that comes with it. In this aspect, the SEO technique acquires the greatest relevance since its task is to strategically locate these keywords in the pages of your SEO company and other sites promoting your products. With this, you get that you gain relevance and a privileged position with respect to other competitors. Do not forget that in the digital world everything is based on time, the faster you catch the user and the more effective and immediate the link that leads to you, the better.

Everything except the content itself

Is it important that the technical SEO of your website is correct? Absolutely.
Is technical SEO difficult? No.
Because we can use systems like WordPress, technical SEO is actually already done for you, and you hardly have to spend time and energy on it.

The basis of SEO

Simplified we can say that SEO is basically based on 3 elements:
A. Technique: Removing technical thresholds so that a webshop is better indexed by search engines.
B. On-page optimization: Search engine-friendly organization of a website and the strategic processing of keywords.
C. Link building: Obtaining relevant links to your webshop so that it becomes popular and scores higher than less popular competitors.

Use An SEO-Friendly System

The most important aspect of technical SEO is, of course, the system on which your website runs. I still see websites passing by that run on systems that are simply old-fashioned, and that is not good of course.
I recommend using WordPress. WordPress is a free website system, with which you can create and maintain websites super simple and fast.
The best thing about WordPress is that the code is optimized for SEO and that WordPress sites are well appreciated by Google because the code is so good and clean.
When you have a WordPress site, basically the technical side of the SEO is good.

Change the Permalink Structure of Your Website

Another important ‘technical SEO’ point is the permalink structure of your website.
This is an example of a bad permalink structure:
https://www.jouwwebsite.nl/page = id32421
A good (SEO friendly) permalink structure would be for example:
https://www.jouwwebsite.nl/technical-seo
For example, Google (and the visitor) can read what the page is about and the permalink structure is not numeric, but relevant.
You can easily change your permalink structure via WordPress.

Activate a Sitemap

Do not forget to activate a sitemap and send it to Google.
A sitemap ensures that your website can easily be ‘read’ by Google. This is because there is no superfluous information in a sitemap and only a kind of ‘tree structure’ of your pages and articles.

Keep Your Website Fast

One of the most important aspects of your website is its speed.
A slow website ensures a lower position in Google, and the visitors you get will quickly leave your website.
Making your website fast is done by:
Take a quick hosting (do not save on this)
Choose a clean WordPress theme (not too much fuss)
Optimize your images on your website
Optimizing your website speed
The latter is natural, of course, but not again. Not every website is ‘optimized’ on speed; often nothing has been done about it.
My advice is, therefore, to hire someone to take a good look at your website and optimize your website.
Again, do not save on speed, because this is very important to score well in Google.

Using an SSL CERTIFICATE:

Actually, one of the simplest things to improve the SEO of your website is to purchase an SSL certificate.
An SSL certificate provides an https connection, and therefore also the ‘green lock’ that you often see in the address bar at websites.

Check your indexing

Check how many pages of your website are indexed by search engines. You can do this manually with a site: domain.nl in the search engines. If all goes well, the number of pages you want to index and what is indexed is about the same. Is there a bigger difference than you expected? Then check your rejected pages and check where the problem lies. This brings us to point 2.

Making important parts searchable

To check the search ability of your website, it is best to use an SEO crawler. This way you can easily and quickly get a list of blocked pages. Keep in mind that Google is now able to search pages like modern browsers do, which is why in 2018 it is not only important to make your pages searchable, but also all kinds of sources, such as CSS and Javascript. If your CSS files from crawlers are closed, Google cannot see the pages as you’ve designed them. And often the stylistic variants of your pages do not look very attractive. The same applies to Javascript. If your Javascript is not searchable, Google cannot index the dynamically generated content. Check if your pages are searchable with Website Auditor or Screaming Frog.

Crawl budget

With the crawl budget, we mean the number of pages that a search engine visits in a certain time. Check your pages on the crawl budget so that you can increase it. You can do this by having more internal and external links to a page.

1. Remove duplicate pages to avoid waste of your crawl budget
2. Prevent pages without SEO value being indexed, such as policies, conditions or expired promotions.
3. Repair broken links. As soon as a search bot lands on a 404-page, part of your crawl budget will be lost.
4. Keep your sitemap.xml up-to-date and submit it to Google Search Console.

Site structure and internal linking

A flat and logical site structure are conditions for a good user experience and search ability. In addition, internal linking also strengthens the ranking of your pages. You can use a flowchart to identify and solve bottlenecks. You can take into account a number of things when you check the internal linking of your website:

1. Keep your site structure as superficial as possible. Make sure that important pages fall within 3 clicks of the homepage.
2. Avoid redirects so that visitors do not get confused and do not weaken the ranking.
3. Avoid weighing pages. These are pages that are in no way linked to and that you as a visitor can very difficult to reach.

Make your website more mobile-friendly

Google has started mobile-first indexing of websites, which means that Google will index the mobile version of your pages first, instead of the desktop version. As a result, the mobile versions of your pages determine how high you rank in both mobile and desktop search results.
With a few steps you can check if your website is ready for the mobile-first changes of Google:

1. Test the mobile-friendliness of your pages with Google’s own mobile-friendly tool: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
2. Do extensive and comprehensive checks for your mobile website, just like you do with the desktop version.
3. Keep track of your mobile rankings. The progression you see in the mobile rankings will eventually also be seen in the desktop rankings.

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