When people think about SEO elements, oftentimes their minds go straight to so-called visual SEO concepts such as varied multimedia content, authoritative outbound links, and relevant content. What is often overlooked are the technical SEO components, or the architectural and functional choices that impact usability. As critical as the visual elements are, overlooking other SEO elements can quickly harm your website’s ranking.
One way to think about the difference between visual and technical SEO is to imagine a shopper at a high-end mall. Before going into a store, the shopper is likely going to judge the storefront in terms of relevance and visual appeal. If it’s not appealing or doesn’t carry the items they need, they likely won’t go inside. At the same time, if they do go in and find a cluttered, disorganized mess of inventory, they’re likely going to leave because they can’t find what they want, no matter how lovely the storefront looked. Technical SEO relies on the idea that a web crawler may overlook content if it is difficult to access, index, or render, just as a disillusioned shopper might miss the perfect dress if it’s too hard to find in the store.
How to Optimize Technical SEO
To prevent search engine algorithms from overlooking your SEO-optimized content, it’s important to dig deeper into the architecture of your website. The following SEO elements are just a few that can almost always benefit from targeted improvements.
Web crawlers draw on XML sitemaps to locate and identify web pages to be indexed. Failure to keep a tidy sitemap can make it harder for these crawlers to reach all of your pages, so it’s important to regularly check that all relevant pages are included in a properly formatted sitemap.
Metadata is another important structural consideration that affects how crawlers interpret your webpage. Using metadata, you can make it clear to a crawler what the title and content of a page is, along with what description should be displayed alongside the link. More advanced functions allow you to control whether a given page is indexed, for instance, or whether the crawler should follow links on a page. In general, these functions are underutilized by many companies, but it’s worth the extra effort to control how your website is viewed.
If your website doesn’t take advantage of the more secure HTTPS protocol, your ranking will suffer, at least with Google. Security is one of the few considerations that Google has explicitly confirmed as being part of their algorithm, and so you’re passing up a higher ranking if you fail to switch over to HTTPS.
With the ever-increasing proportion of traffic that comes from mobile devices, responsive design that smoothly adapts to different devices is non-negotiable if you want to maximize conversions. As a bonus, responsive, mobile-friendly design also translates to a boost in search engine rankings.
Page load time is a critical consideration to consumers who will often leave a site in frustration if it doesn’t load quickly. Because of this, search engine algorithms weight website speed as one of the most important considerations in ranking a website. Eliminating unnecessarily complicated page elements, bloated code, or high-resolution images can help optimize loading speed without substantially harming the user’s visual experience.
SocialSEO Considers All of the Details
As important as technical SEO is, many firms will fail to pay adequate attention to the usability, or technical SEO components, of your website when there’s lower hanging fruit from visual elements. At SocialSEO, we take a comprehensive approach to SEO, considering all factors that influence ranking, and a detailed technical SEO audit is part of that. Only by analyzing all factors can we offer the actionable, effective recommendations that we’re known for.
To learn more about how SocialSEO can help improve all SEO elements, get in touch with our team today.