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Technical SEO: That’s what matters

Technical SEO

Technical SEO: That’s what matters

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It is well known that SEO includes the strategic selection of good keywords, the creation of high-quality content, and the building of backlinks. Another important aspect of search engine optimization, however, is often put on the back burner: technology.

In this article, you will find out why technical SEO is so important, what exactly belongs to it and how you can start optimizing your website immediately, even without a great deal of technical knowledge.

Why is technical SEO important?

The technology of your website is the basis for ensuring that all functions can be used smoothly, that the content is loaded quickly, that users can easily find their way around your website and that search engines can easily crawl, index, and thus make your content findable.

No matter how much-added value you can provide for your target group: If a page takes several seconds to set up, the navigation is confusing or promising links fail, neither your customers nor Google will be able to appreciate it. Technical SEO ensures that your content can develop its full effect and should therefore be part of your SEO strategy.

What does technical SEO include?

Technical SEO is a whole series of actions that you can take. Some are just small adjustments, others are fundamental. Some of the key points to consider are the following:

  • the optimization of the loading speed of  your pages.
  • the integration of an SSL certificate  to secure data transmission.
  • the use of a mobile-friendly responsive design.
  • the provision of an XML sitemap.
  • the linking of the most important pages of your website in the main menu.
  • the use of intact links – and, if necessary, the correction of defective links.
  • the limitation to one H1 heading per page.
  • the use of alt attributes for images.
  • the use of short, easy-to-read URLs  without technical abbreviations or database IDs.
  • the use of error-free, as lean code as possible.
  • Correctly set hreflang and language meta tags if you provide content in several languages  and the identification of structured data through the Schema.org markup.

A good start for SEO: technical analysis

A technical SEO analysis will tell you which of the above points you have already implemented well and which optimization potential exists. There are various tools that you can use for this.

In any case, it makes sense to use the Google Search Console. In the event of major technical errors, you will receive a notification by email. Directly in the dashboard under the menu item “Core Web Vitals” you can see how things are going with the loading speed of your pages. In addition, you can easily submit an XML sitemap in the Search Console and thus help the search engine to correctly understand the structure of your website.

Another free technical analysis tool is Google PageSpeed ​​Insights. As the name suggests, it is mainly about the loading speed. The tool helps you, for example, to minimize the code of your site, but also reveals many other technical optimization possibilities.

With Ahrefs’ Broken Link Checker you can check that all links on your website are working. You should carry out this analysis at regular intervals because it can happen that some of the pages you have linked to are deleted or given a new URL. If users then click on the link, they end up on an error page and are disappointed in the best case, frustrated in the worst case.

The easiest, fastest, and most comprehensive way to carry out technical SEO analyzes is with specialized SEO tools such as SISTRIX, Ahrefs, or Ryte. These are chargeable but often offer a free trial period. The advantage of such SEO tools is that they not only look at individual aspects of your website but also provide a broad overview of all technical factors.

Technically optimizing your website: three simple ways

Many companies shy away from technical optimizations because they appear very complex. However, there are some things that you can easily take today.

1. Submit an XML sitemap

An XML sitemap ensures that Google can capture the hierarchical structure of your website and understand which pages are particularly important. There is also a chance that new pages will be indexed faster if they appear in the sitemap.

You can have the sitemap created for free on sites such as XML-Sitemaps.com. Then open the Google Search Console and select “Sitemaps” in the menu on the left. There you can insert and send the sitemap you just generated. That’s it!

2. Fill in the alt attribute of your images

Google will notice when your text contains images, but it doesn’t know what is in those images. Give him this information by filling in the alt text in the backend of your website. You can usually find the field when you click on the image in question in your media library.

It is best to describe in a short sentence what the picture shows. If possible, include a keyword so that the photo or graphic has a better chance in the image search.

In addition to Google, the visually impaired will also thank you for this work: You can have the alt attribute read out to you by your reading device.

3. Improve the loading speed of your website

What is complicated doesn’t have to be. The biggest speed inhibitors are often sweeping pictures. As a result, you may already see big gains by reducing the file size of your images. Tools such as typing are suitable for this.

Another method that often shows quick results is by flattening HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code. If you have a WordPress website, you can use a plugin for this. The free options Autoptimize or Fast Velocity Minify are popular among others. You should notice improvements immediately after installing and activating the plugins.

Conclusion: Technical SEO is not only good news for Google, but also for users

Technical SEO may seem complicated. Nevertheless, you should definitely take up the topic, because it can have a major impact on your Google rankings and thus the visibility of your company. 

Also keep in mind that with technical optimizations you are not only doing something good for yourself, but also for your customers. They will much prefer to stay on your website if everything is technically working properly, the pages load quickly and the navigation is well thought out. Technical SEO is therefore a win for everyone involved.

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