Technical SEO isn't about creating content - it's about making sure your site is the best possible platform for it.
We're all aware of how important it is to have a strong online presence; many business owners spend a lot of time making sure that the content on their website reaches the top of search results pages.
What about the other side of SEO? You may have heard the term technical SEO before but don't know exactly what it means. Don't worry; you're not alone. You'll ignore it at your peril though - as a good technical SEO strategy will help you to stand out from your competitors.
What is technical SEO?
Technical SEO is any SEO work that isn't content. Now, that can mean anything from getting your website to load faster to fixing broken links. Technical SEO is all about creating a great experience for those visiting your site, and allowing your content to shine by presenting it on a platform that's reliable and effective.
What can technical SEO do?
So what areas of your technical SEO should you aim to improve? The most important thing to focus on is your site's usability and the user experience (UX). This could include how easy your site is to navigate, how quickly pages on your site take to load, and the CSS of those pages - think formatting, alignment, links, headings, paragraph breaks and spaces.
Just one of these problems could be sabotaging your online efforts - and multiple usability impairments could be disastrous. If a page looks messy or a site is impossible to navigate, a potential customer will be clicking the back button immediately and heading straight to one of your competitors.
Mobile usage is huge and growing rapidly, and a website that does not perform well on mobile is not going to compete well in today's market. Run your site through Google's mobile testing tool and resolve all issues - this may mean rebuilding your site.
Speed is more important than ever. A slow-loading website puts off visitors and hurts your organic search positions. Aim for a load time of under one second - anything over three seconds will result in lost business.
Site architecture refers to the way the site is built, which includes both its code-base as well as visible features, such as the navigation, layout and design. Responsive design is a must today - this ties in with mobile friendliness. Other important visible features include URL structure, categorisation and tagging, and image display.
Behind the scenes, technical SEOs need to optimise servers, manage memory use, implement page compression and caching solutions, and manage web security issues.
Google's search console provides a lot of information to assist with technical SEO, such as broken links, issues with sitemaps, duplicate meta information (often caused by CMS problems), crawl errors, and more recently, data on Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
Do you need to work on your technical SEO?
So who needs to focus their efforts on technical SEO? Put simply - everyone. Customers are becoming more selective and making a good first impression has never been so important.
Good technical SEO will help you to rank more highly on search engine results and keep a potential customer's interest. So it's not something that you can afford to scrimp on.
Kickstart your technical SEO efforts
You could have the best content on the web, but without a strong foundation it's not going to reach anyone. Technical SEO is often a neglected aspect of a marketing campaign, but it's just as important as your content, paid advertising and social media presence.
A good SEO strategy is one that's balanced. Finding that balance may take some time, but when you do, you'll see just how much of a difference it makes. So why not start today? Take a good look at your site and see if there are any areas that need improving. Even the smallest mistakes and oversights can damage your online results, so make sure that you concentrate on the technical side of things just as much as your do your content. Without the former, the latter just won't work.
Sponsored post. Copyright © 2016 Danielle Haley, Director of Indy Consultancy.