Technical SEO is the starting point of every SEO project

Every SEO project should start with technical optimization. Technical problems with your website, such as 404 messages, long loading times or a redirect chain, ruin the user experience of your website.

Google punishes this by ranking your website lower. You are already down 1-0, even before you have started with content optimization or link building.

What is technical SEO?

Google’s algorithm determines the position of your website in the search results. This algorithm pays attention to all kinds of things, including numerous technical aspects.

Technical SEO refers to improving the technology behind your website. This ensures a user-friendly and fast website, which is rewarded by Google with a higher ranking.

It is often thought that technical SEO is only about improving the loading speed, note that crawl budget optimization, improving the user experience, combating duplicate content and indexing problems are also considered when we speak about technical SEO.

  1. Improving the loading speed
  2. Optimization of the crawl budget
  3. Improving the user experience
  4. Solving indexation problems and making sure the right pages are indexed
  5. Resolving and preventing duplicate content

Why start with technical optimization?

The most important reason for many companies to start with technical SEO is because you want to rise in the Google search results. But just as important, and perhaps even more important, is the fact that you are doing your visitors a favor.

A technically optimized website ensures that you do not lose any visitors, for example due to a slow website or 404 reports. Moreover, a technically optimized website ensures that your visitors enjoy using your website.

This ensures that the relevance of your website increases, which in turn is rewarded with a higher ranking by Google.

Technical SEO components

Technical SEO is about optimizing various technical points of your website and includes more than just the loading speed. The complete list of technical issues that influence your rankings consists of more than 50 factors.

Components of a technical SEO process include:

  • Server speed
  • HTTPS implementation
  • Trailing slash issues
  • Canonical URLs
  • XML sitemaps
  • The robots.txt file
  • Redirect chains
  • Caching
  • JavaScript rendering
  • International targeting (with hreflang tags)
  • The URL structure
  • Crawler traps
  • Optimization of crawl budget
  • Load speed optimization
  • Structured data

With so many things to consider, technical SEO is a profession in itself. By optimizing the technique of your website alone, you will see your search positions increase.

Many marketers, at large and small companies, quickly lose the overview when it comes to SEO and specifically technical SEO. This may cost you positions in Google because when your competitor has everything in order, there is a good chance that your competitor will rank above you in the SERPs.

A technical SEO audit

In addition to a comprehensive SEO audit, it is also possible to carry out a technical SEO audit. This is where we focus on all the issues that are important for the technical SEO of your website.

A technical SEO audit is a report with issues and concrete action points, prioritized from 1 to 5 (from important to less important), where we consider the time versus impact of the optimizations.

Issues that we examine within a technical SEO audit are:

  1. A crawl analysis utilizing server log files
  2. The mobile performance
  3. Duplicate content issues
  4. The URL structure
  5. The internal link structure
  6. The loading speed
  7. The XML sitemaps and their contents
  8. The robots.txt file and its contents
  9. Existing crawl errors
  10. Optimization of images
  11. Indexing of pages and indexing issues
  12. Existing redirects and redirect loops
  13. The rendering of pages
  14. Applied structured data types and their opportunities

Recovering from a penalty by technical SEO

Due to present technical SEO issues, you may receive a (real-time) penalty by Google. Think of the situation where dozens of variants of duplicate content are created unknowingly, which are punished with a penalty. Or missing canonical URLs, causing Google to view pages with parameters as duplicate content.

By optimizing the technique, if this is the cause of the penalty, you will recover quickly and regain your traffic and positions.

Technical SEO as a starting point for declines in Google updates

On average, Google performs a major algorithm update approximately 4 times a year: the Google Core Update. This Core Update should improve the search results, which benefits the Google users.

Within a Core Update, significant changes to the algorithm take place, which can have a major impact on your SEO performance. One part of these algorithm changes is the technique. When loading speed becomes more important and your loading speed is disappointing, you will see this reflected in your positions.

In the Google Core Update of May 2020, a correlation is also visible between websites with many pages that perform poorly and drops in positions. These pages can be caused by technical errors, whereby many pages are unconsciously created in the background.

Have you been affected by a Google Core Update? Then, the technology of your website is often an important starting point for recovery.

Can we help you with technical SEO advice?

Our technical SEO specialists are ready to help you optimize your website. Whether this is a one-off SEO audit or ongoing optimizations. Please contact us to see what we can do for you.