Technical SEO is a key foundational item. It’s implemented in conjunction with your initial web build. It’s the metadata and all the behind-the-scenes items that are crucial to successfully marketing and optimizing your website. To liken it to a flower, if you have a seed (your website) and you want it to grow, you need rich soil (technical SEO).
“All right, I get it, it’s important. But what exactly is technical SEO?”
It can be broken down into a few buckets, ranging from basic to very advanced and technical, but let’s ease into it with something most people are familiar with.
Titles and Metas
To be as simple as possible, titles and metas are the text you see for each website when you search for something. A title tag is sort of like a chapter title — what’s the page about? If it’s a page about hearing tests, then the title would be something like “Hearing Tests in Portland, OR | Awesome Audiology.” It’s important to include the practice name and location whenever possible for branding purposes and for ensuring your ranking in local searches.
If the title tag is the chapter title, then the meta description is a one-sentence teaser. Back to the hearing tests example: “Awesome Audiology provides comprehensive hearing tests. If you suffer from hearing loss, contact us today to schedule an appointment and start your journey to better hearing!”
It should give a rough idea of what the page is about, contain some keywords, and provide a call to action. And all of that must be done in 156 characters or less! In fact, my example above is over that limit. If I wanted to clean it up and optimize it further so it actually fit the requirements, I’d drop the practice name, but add the city/state: “Comprehensive hearing tests in Portland, OR. If you suffer from hearing loss, contact us today for an appointment and start your journey to better hearing!” City and state are important for local packs, as well as for making your website relevant to people searching things like “hearing tests near me.”
Site speed is another important factor regarding your technical SEO. You should make sure your images are compressed and optimized. You also need to be mindful of having too many plug-ins if using WordPress, as well as extraneous features within the theme template.
Now on to the more technical aspects that you might not be familiar with.
Website architecture, simply put, is the structure of your website — parent pages, content organization, etc. The general rule of thumb is no more than three levels deep for site content (i.e., Hearing Aids > Lifestyles > AGX 9). User experience also comes into play here, as the content and overall website should be designed in a way that makes the most sense to the user. It should be intuitive, should be easy to navigate, and should serve the user’s intent. Another important piece of website architecture is formatting URLs so they aren’t too long and ideally include the keywords you’re targeting. Sitemaps are also important when considering your website architecture, and every website should have a sitemap so search engine crawlers can easily index all pages.
Schema is essentially an HTML markup language that tells the search engine exactly what the content is. It helps direct and guide the crawlers to better understand your website pages and categorize them, as well as provide more details in the search engine results page (SERP).
So, in short: Technical SEO is the nuts and bolts of your website. It’s all the behind-the-scenes things that help optimize your website for search engines. If you’re concerned about your own site, reach out to our digital team, and we can assess your website!