Your website’s technical SEO is like the foundation of a house.
You can build the biggest, shiniest, most elaborate structure you can imagine, but if it’s built on shaky foundations it’s never going to be completely stable, and always at risk of collapsing.
It’s the same for your website.
When we think of website’s today we’re either thinking about huge resource centres filled with blogs, guides, videos and web pages designed to attract customers to them.
Or, Ecommerce websites filled with interactive media content, hi-res product images and sales material.
But like everything else, you need to learn to walk before you run and all the basic SEO principles still apply.
Whether it’s optimising your website for mobile, testing load speed of web pages or even just making sure your web pages are being indexed by search engines, you need to pay attention to the technical SEO in the background.
Fixing critical errors
This is particularly true when it comes to big SEO problems like broken links.
Broken links are a serious issue because they can easily happen on your website without you even realising it.
A website can be a complicated labyrinth of pages linking to other pages and back again, and over time some pages will be deleted naturally if they’re no longer relevant or if they carry products you no longer sell.
But even if you delete the page, the link pointing to it is still there – only now when the user clicks it, they’ll get a 404 error page instead.
This, isn’t good.
First, it’s a terrible user experience. The last thing your user wants is to land on an error page just after thinking they’d found something on your website that could be useful.
If they land on an error page, chances are they’ll just abandon your website and go somewhere else.
Plus, broken links are a red flag to search engine crawlers about your website.
They’ll view it as a sign as your website isn’t a reliable source of information for users, and your search rankings will suffer.
So you should be looking to identify broken links and redirecting them to active pages on a regular basis.
You can find broken links on your site fairly easily by running a search on a platform like Google Analytics.
Check that your pages are actually indexed
We all take it as a given that once we’ve created a new page on our website that Google will come looking at it, and rank it.
But sometimes pages get missed by search engines.
The easiest way to get a new page indexed by Google is to submit an XML sitemap, or to simply request a crawl when you’ve created a new page.
Build for mobile first
If you’ve had your website for a long time, there’s a chance it was built before mobile search became so prevalent among users.
Today, a huge proportion of web searches are made over mobile, compared to desktop, and many customers are becoming more comfortable shopping for and buying items directly from mobile.
Search engines have also taken note of this and are now prioritising results for websites that are optimised for mobile searches.
Most web developers will now build mobile into your web design.
Platforms like WordPress also make it relatively simple to create mobile optimised websites if you decide to build your website yourself.
Either way, it’s worth reviewing your website on a mobile device on a regular basis to make sure everything still works.
If you don’t, you could pay the price in the long term.
Ignoring your technical SEO is a long term mistake
Search Engine Optimisation is a long term marketing investment.
Chances are the things you do today, you won’t see the results from until a few months from now.
But as long as it can take for SEO to start taking effect, the damage you can do by failing on the technical SEO can be done very quickly.
Search engines like Google are constantly reviewing their algorithms and the things they use to determine where your site will rank.
Some of this is to do with content, some is to do with your link profile, others are based on user experience and prioritising certain websites over others.
Some changes just seem to happen for the sake of it.
You can’t control these algorithm changes.
But by focusing on your technical SEO and setting a solid foundation for your website, you can put yourself in a better position to be agile and react to changes quickly.
If you want to see how your current technical SEO stacks up, get in touch for a free technical SEO audit and let’s see how we can help you get better results in search.