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Why Technical SEO Is Crucial For Your Website In 2023

Why Technical SEO Is Crucial For Your Website In 2023
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  1. What Is Technical SEO?
  2. The Difference Between Technical, Off-page & On-page SEO
  3. So Why Is Technical SEO Crucial For Your Website?
  4. Site Architecture
    4.1 Site Hierarchical Structure
    4.2 Breadcrumbs
    4.3 URL structure
    4.4 XML sitemap
  5. Security
  6. Usability
    6.1 Core Web Vitals
    6.2 Website Page Speed
    6.3 Mobile Friendliness
  7. Conclusion

What Is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is the foundation of your SEO efforts. In order to rank higher on search engines’ result page (SERP), search engines such as Google requires your website to have a strong foundation. This includes crawlability, indexing, security, and usability. Technical SEO focuses on enhancing a website’s technical components to raise the ranking of its pages in search results. In order to have a building that withstands a storm, you need a strong foundation. This goes the same for your website to withstand algorithm changes.

These are the elements to watch for your Technical SEO:
1. Site architecture
2. XML Sitemaps
3. SSL Site Security
4. Javascript
5. Page Speed
6. Duplicate Content
7. Crawlability
8. Indexing
9. URL Structure
10. Hreflangs
11. Mobile friendliness
12. Structured Data
13. Canonical Tags
14. Page not found & redirects (404 & 301)

The Difference Between Technical, Off-page & On-page SEO

Technical SEO is arguably a part of on-page SEO. This is because just link on-page SEO, Technical SEO is also working to improve elements within your website. The main difference between the two is Technical SEO efforts are focused on the backend of your website and ultimately affect your whole website. At the same time, on-page SEO is focused on individual pages (such as contents, meta tags, titles and etc.). Off-page SEO is all about generating traffic to your webpages & websites from different channels (such as other websites & social media).

So Why Is Technical SEO Crucial For Your Website?

You can look at it like this: You can have the most fantastic product in the world, but if you do not have a solid foundation created by technical SEO, your website won’t make it to the first page on search engines. And if your website doesn’t make it to the first page, it will hardly get traffic.

Technical SEO is an official ranking factor provided by Search Engines. At the very least, your web pages need to be crawlable & indexable. This is because when a webpage is not indexed, there is no possibility for it to rank on the search engine result pages.
Besides technical SEO being a requirement from search engines, optimizing it would increase website visitors’ experience. What elements of technical SEO affect user experience? Site speed, mobile friendliness, site structure, and 404s & 301s are a few examples. Your business will lose plenty of opportunities by having a poor user experience website. This is because factors such as a slow website increases bounce rates.

Site Architecture

Your Site Architecture tells search engines which pages are the most important to your website. Site Architecture resembles a hierarchical structure, starting from the very top, which is your homepage. It is recommended for all pages on your website be as close as possible to the top of the Site Architecture. The four elements for your website architecture optimizations are site hierarchical structure, breadcrumbs, URL structure, and XML sitemaps.

Site Hierarchical Structure

Site structure is basically your internal linking. The best practice for a good site hierarchical structure is a flat structure. Having a flat structure makes it easier for search engine crawling bots to crawl your website and index your pages. This is especially important if you have a massive website with many pages, such as individual pages for individual products. It is a good idea to keep your pages at most  2 – 3 clicks away from your homepage.

bad site architecture example
source:tradiedigital.co

BAD. The site structure above is an example of an unorganized site structure. Some pages are too far from the homepage and the structure may confuse your website visitors.

Breadcrumbs

BestBuy website breadcrumb
BestBuy’s breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are navigational texts that are usually located on top of the page. Using breadcrumbs is very user-friendly, this allows users to know where they are on the website and can easily navigate through pages. Furthermore, breadcrumbs provide your pages with internal linking, which is beneficial for your website’s crawlability.


Read More:
Introductory To Internal Linking in SEO – Definition & How It Helps Your On-Page SEO

URL structure

URL structure is used by search engines to identify the context of that page. Although not playing a major part in page rankings, URL structure benefits website visitors to understand where they are. URL structure should be short, descriptive, logical, and contains your keyword.

SEO friendly URL structure
source: cultofweb.com

XML Sitemap

XML Sitemap Checker
XML Sitemap for Nike Indonesia

A sitemap is a file where you provide information about the files contained inside your website and tells the relationship between them. This includes pages, images, videos, and news entries.
Basically, an XML sitemap tells search engines which URLs are available for crawling. Google highly recommends XML sitemap for websites that are:
1. Your website is new and doesn’t have many external links yet.
2. Your website has a lot of media assets or shown in Google news.
3. Your website doesn’t have sufficient internal linking.
4. You have a really big website.

Security

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. SSL Certificate is an encryption-based Internet security protocol. This means any data you enter is safely shared with that website. How? This technology encrypts communication shared between a website and its user making it impossible for hackers to read. When a website owns an SSL Certificate, HTTPS appears in that website’s URL. Without SSL Certificate, your website visitors would not be reliant to share sensitive information such as name, address, payment information and etc., which in the end would remove opportunities for getting a sale.

secure domain example
Example of a secure domain: https://www.satuvision.com/

Usability

Search engine such as Google wants their searcher to have the best experience possible. This is why the usability of your website became one of the multiple ranking factors for SERPs. There are three important factors for website usability, which are, website page speed, core web vitals, and mobile friendliness. If your website is optimized for all 3 factors, it would likely be ranked higher on SERPs for both SEO and Paid Ads.

Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals are Google’s estimation of your overall website’s user experience using real-world usage data. You can learn more about what each metric on the report means by reading through Google’s Core Web Vitals report page. In Summary, the important elements from Google’s Core Web Vitals report are LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) for loading speed, FID (First Input Delay) for interactivity, and CLS (Cumulative Layout Shifts) for visual stability.

LCP (Largest Contentful Paint): The largest element of a web page should load at most 2.5 seconds.

FID (First Input Delay): Your interactive elements such as buttons should respond quickly with less than 100ms.

CLS (Cumulative Layout Shifts): This element is not measured in speed, instead it’s measured in how an element in your webpage may unexpectedly shift during a visitor’s page session. A good page should have fewer content shifts. The optimal score here is lower than 0.1.

Website Page Speed

Faster page speed equals higher page rankings, more traffic, and better user experience. There is no dispute with that statement. Google itself has stated that faster website page speed will get you a higher ranking than slower pages. Using yourself as an example, how many times have you visited a really slow website, get frustrated, and exited the page? Yes, the slower your website is, the higher the bounce rate will be. Here is a study by section.io:

page speed affect to user behaviour study
Page Speed & User Behaviours

Not only does page speed affect bounce rate, but a slower page speed will also have significantly lower page views and visitors won’t travel around your website.

Now, the most impactful thing is, slow page speed with a higher bounce rate and lower traffic will affect your conversion negatively. Slow page speed = less conversion!

To check your page speed, you can visit Google’s PageSpeed Insight. Here, Google will also provide you with recommendations for improving your page speed. You can also use the Google Performance Audits page when optimizing your web pages. Keep in mind that your page speed differs on desktop and mobile devices. It is important to optimize for both.

Mobile Friendliness

Why is mobile friendliness is so important? Well, in today’s age, over 60% of searches are made from mobile devices (according to a study from Hitwise). Your website will receive a lot of mobile traffic which may give you conversions, hence you want to make sure your website is optimized for it. Your web pages should be responsive, this means, when a page is viewed on different devices, it will optimize itself to the size of that device. To check on your mobile friendliness, you may use Google’s Mobile Friendly test.

Here are some elements to make your web pages mobile-friendly:

Responsive Web Design (RWD): Instead of using a mobile-specific page, your web design should be able to render perfectly for different resolutions and device sizes.

Consider Using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): An open-source HTML framework to optimize mobile web browsing with the intention to improve webpages load faster for mobile devices.

Avoid Using Pop-ups: Pop-ups can be extremely distracting and annoying, especially for smaller devices. It is best to not use pop-ups for a better user experience on mobile devices.

Larger Interactive Buttons: If your web pages are using interactive buttons, keep in mind to make them bigger for mobile devices.

Font size: Your body fonts are best kept at around 16px, anything below 15px is very hard to read on smaller devices.

Conclusion

Technical SEO is very commonly forgotten, we can’t stress enough how important technical SEO is for your business websites. It is a ranking factor for most SERPs and also hugely affects your business success. Your business will miss sales opportunities by not optimizing technical SEO! We recommend running a scheduled technical SEO audit for your website as seldom as once a year.

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