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Top 3 Technical SEO Ranking Factors Your Website Can't Live Without

search engine optimisation Nov 11, 2021

WHAT DOES TECHNICAL SEO MEAN?

Having a technically sound website is crucial to your SEO success. It provides a solid foundation for your SEO strategy.

Getting all your technical SEO ranking factors right needs to be first cab off the rank otherwise all the work you do after this won’t be anywhere near as beneficial. Before I dive into this, let’s refresh what makes up SEO.

There are three primary components that make up the SEO beast. Each component must work together to optimise your ranking in search engines like Google, starting with technical of course.

SEO COMPONENTS

Technical SEO

How your site is built and functions (crawlability, speed and responsiveness).

Content

The words, images, graphics, videos and content on your pages and posts and how they’re optimised

Links

Backlinks from other sites to your website which increase your domain authority and help Google to boost your ranking.

Let’s get into it. How do you achieve a technically sound website?

SEO BASICS

What does Technical SEO mean?

First of all, let’s go back to basics.

The goal of a search engine like Google is to understand your website like a human would so that it can accurately present results to its users that match their search queries. Unfortunately, it’s not a human, so it therefore can’t see, process, or understand your page as a human would.

Instead, it uses code that acts as instructions to browsers on how to render the page on to the screen so that you can see it as it appears (logos, navigation, pictures, text, videos and more).

Browsers use this code which is generally HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) to build web pages. This code instructs browsers on:

  • Page structure and layout
  • Fonts, their size and colour
  • Headings, titles and body content placement
  • Where images and video files are kept
  • Where links should lead
  • Plus a whole lot more…

There is also other code to help make a web page look good including:

  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) - helps with page styling, keeping the site looking uniform including elements like colours and fonts.
  • Javascript and HTML5 – helps make the page more interactive with things like animation and sliders

To help your website perform well SEO wise, you need to understand what search engines like Google see and read in the code and then optimise your site accordingly. Your code also needs to free from errors and include all, if not most of the technical elements Google requires to rank.

 Good coding will make it simpler for search engines to crawl and understand your website, make it look better to your visitors and again, provide a solid foundation to build your website and on.

TECHNICAL SEO RANKING FACTORS

Technical SEO ranking factors can be broken down into three main parts:

  • Crawlability
  • Speed
  • Mobile Responsiveness

CRAWLABILITY

Search engines like Google crawl your website using links to find and index your content. They crawl links within your website and links pointing to your website from other sites.

There are several things you need to do to ensure Google can efficiently crawl and index your site including

  • Checking your site for crawl errors. Type ‘site: yourdomain.com’ into Google search bar to see how many pages Google has indexed (only works on desktop not mobile). Go through the search engine results page and check there is a result for almost all your pages.
  • Make sure you have an XML Sitemap which is list of your websites content (pages or URL).
  • Make sure you have a Robots.txt file – tells search engines what they can crawl on your website

SITE SPEED

Site speed refers to how quickly and smoothly your website loads and responds to user interactions. It’s super important your site loads quickly for Google and for humans. Aim for a load speed of three seconds or less.

Google has indicated that site speed (and as a result page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. A slow page speed means search engines can crawl fewer pages, using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your indexation.

MOBILE RESPONSIVENESS

Mobile devices have changed the world. It’s safe to say nearly everybody has a smartphone they take everywhere with them, constantly communicating and searching for information wherever they go. When it comes to location searches, they are generally mobile (up to 74% of mobile device searches include a location in the search query).

In many countries, the number of smartphones has well surpassed the number of personal desktop computers. For this reason, it’s essential to have a mobile-friendly website that functions and performs well across different devices and shows correctly so that users can use your site properly.

 

Consider:

  • Site Speed: site needs to load quickly and smoothly (more on optimising this soon).
  • Image sizes: image sizes and choices need to be adjusted for different screen sizes.
  • Navigation: your site needs to be easy to navigate on mobile devices.
  • Fonts & Colours: is the screen easy to read with the font colour against the chosen background. Curvy serif fonts are hard to read so keep them to a minimum.

  

CONCLUSION

Crawlability, speed and mobile responsiveness form the base foundation for good SEO for your website. If you get don’t get this right, all the work you do on top to select the right keywords, write great content and get backlinks from strong authority sites won’t be as effective. Get the technical SEO ranking factors right first and build that strong foundation for your SEO Strategy to perform well and get the results you desire.

Want to know more about SEO and why it's important, take a read through my recent blog 'What is SEO & why is it important?'.

Good luck improving your site.

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