Technical Website Tips for Stronger SEO

technical website tips for strong seo - web page loading and magnify glass Written By Jake Picken

Search engines find, crawl, and index the pages on your website with robots (also called crawlers). This means search engines see your site differently than you do. They don’t see all the nice designs and images; they primarily see text and links. 

Understanding this is important because when optimizing your website for SEO, you want to make it as easy as possible for search engines to crawl your site and find content. 

Here are five technical tips for optimizing components on your site that have an impact on SEO and a search engine's ability to crawl your site. 

 

Plan a Website Navigation that's Intuitive

Search engines crawl a website like a user would crawl a website, by following links.  This includes links from a navigation menu, footer menu, or linked text. 

Look at the content on a page and seek opportunities to link to other relevant content on your website. The goal is to provide links that are valuable to the user, guiding them to additional information that is beneficial. Overloading a page with links to irrelevant content is not helpful and will make your page look spammy to search engines.  

Think about the user journey from a specific page too.  If I am on a company's homepage, I would expect to see links to pages that highlight their products and services. If I land on a page that highlights a product category, then I would expect links to product subcategories. 

 

Build a Simple URL Structure 

URL structure is also important for helping search engines—the shorter the better.  Find one or two words that describe your page and let that be your URL.  In the quest to be descriptive, some companies make their URLs long and complex, which makes it more difficult for search engines to determine what your page is about. 

 

Optimize for Fast Page Loading

Page load time helps search engines determine the quality of a webpage.  When a page loads slow for users, it’s not only a bad experience, but they are also more likely to leave your site. 

Although displaying websites with the most relevant content is the goal for search engines, they also want to show websites that offer the best experience, which means websites that load quickly often get the top spots in search. 

Although there are many ways to increase a page's ranking in search results, faster page load times are one of the most important since pages that load slow have such a negative impact on a site visitors experience. 

We wrote an article about Google’s Page Experience Update and ways you can improve page load speed that you should read to better understand page speed. 

 

Create a Sitemap that Makes Sense

A sitemap is an HTML file that lists all the URLs that make up your website.  As the word states, it is a map of your site.  A map is used to guide and direct and that is how a sitemap is used by search engines. It guides them through your site and helps them make sense of its sometimes very complex structure. 

 

Reduce Non-Existent Pages and Bad Redirects 

A link that sends a user to a non-existent page is not only bad for the user experience but is also a roadblock for search engine crawlers.  This is also the case with a redirect that leads to missing content. Broken and missing links on your site can easily be identified with various website tools or with an SEO site audit. 

 

How to Identify Technical SEO Site Issues 

The first step to stronger SEO is by identifying what is causing your poor website performance.  The best way to do this is by getting an SEO audit

An SEO audit is an in-depth assessment of your site's technical elements.  It will identify any issues with page speed, performance, crawlability, internal linking, and other problem areas that keep search engines from crawling, indexing, and ranking your content. 

 

Always Aim for a Good Site Experience for Users 

Something important to keep in mind is that if you shoot for a good user experience than most of the time good SEO results will follow. 

Search engines want to serve quality websites to users, which includes websites that have great navigation, simple site (link) structure, fast page load speeds, and that ensure users land on the correct page and find the right content.