If you have a website, you need SEO to show up on search engines. With so many companies flocking into the digital marketplace in the wake of the COVID-19 quarantines, this is even more true.
Practically every company on Earth is suddenly fighting to be seen online. Your website’s SEO has become more essential than ever for achieving online success.
However, when things get technical, many marketers and content writers get overwhelmed rather quickly.
What is Technical SEO?
SEO is comprised of well-known areas, such as on-page (including content) and off-page (primarily driven by links). These areas are important for growing traffic AFTER you’ve gotten the technical aspects in place.
Technical SEO is the process of ensuring that your site meets the basic technical requirements of search engines. In a way, you could consider Technical SEO to be a prerequisite to success with either of the other areas.
Because think about it — if your website cannot be crawled or has extremely slow load times, search engines will not highlight your content on the SERPs.
Technical SEO Tips
Overlooking Technical SEO may not cause you to immediately vanish from the SERPs. You’ll likely get traffic either way.
However, this is one area in which we should not cut corners. We need to ensure we have a fast website with a quality user experience for both search engines AND users.
Here are a few specific tips to help you get your website’s Technical SEO in order.
Get a Good SEO Plugin
Never underestimate the value of a good SEO plugin. Plugins like Tinify can help optimize your images, while MonsterInsights can help with your Google Analytics. [EDITOR’S NOTE: We recommend Yoast SEO for all WordPress based websites]
Just make sure not to install too many plugins or it will slow down your website (we will revisit performance later in this post).
Be Mobile-Friendly, Mobile-First
If you want to maintain healthy Technical SEO for your domain, you absolutely MUST have a mobile responsive back end.
In addition, don’t assume that a template or WordPress theme will flawlessly take care of all of your mobile-first considerations.
Always take the time to test your website for mobile-friendly features while building it.
Optimize Your Page Load Times
Page load time is a critical element of technical SEO. Slower loading times can decrease your organic traffic, which will directly hinder your success on the SERPs.
Take steps to decrease your site’s load times by:
- Compressing files
- Optimizing your code
- Reducing the number of redirects being used
- Using browser caching
- Optimizing images
- Moving render-blocking scripts lower on the page
Look for Duplicate Content
Duplicate content (literally, the same content in multiple locations on your site) is bad for SEO.
Fortunately, there are many tools that can help you identify and then weed out duplicate content on your website.
Use a tool like Copyscape or Duplichecker to identify and eliminate duplicate content wherever possible.
Properly Organize Your Site
When built the right way, structure and navigation are basic elements of Technical SEO.
All of your pages should be linked to one another in an organized manner that is easy for both readers and search engines to understand.
Readers will benefit from the clear navigation by having a better user experience. UX is another factor that can dramatically affect your site’s overall success.
When it comes to technical SEO and the search engines, a well-organized site is easier to index, easier to crawl, and generally easier to keep track of.
Use Baby Steps
Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your technical SEO strategy, it’s okay. You’re not alone.
Take a deep breath, and then try to break each of these suggestions down into even smaller baby steps.
For instance, rather than improving UX by addressing the mobile-friendly nature of your entire site, start by focusing exclusively on landing page optimization first.
Go over each of your landing pages to ensure that they are mobile-friendly.
You can even set up A/B tests to try different offers and actions on each landing page. This will ensure the navigation is clear and consistent for humans as well as search engines.
So break down each Technical SEO tactic into smaller steps to avoid potential overwhelm down the road, which might tempt you to give up halfway through the process otherwise.
Summary: Technical SEO in 2020
SEO has been around for over two decades now — and yet, it’s never been more crucial. Nor has it ever been more complex.
With ever-growing competition in the online marketplace and increasingly refined search engines combing over sites, Technical SEO optimization is a no-brainer activity. This is especially true when you consider the competitive advantages it can offer you vs. other companies in your market.
So go over the list above, find the activities that will make the biggest and most immediate impact on your site. Then set up a plan for small, baby-step goals to help you get started.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.