Technical SEO is an important factor often neglected by most web design agencies and web developers. I believe the reason it’s often skipped over is because most web designers often don’t bother to learn SEO and sometimes not implemented by SEO’s because of their lack of technical expertise.
In this article I’m going to go over 5 technical SEO factors which can impact search ranking, user experience and most importantly conversions. Before that I’d like to go over the 3 types of SEO.
3 Types of SEO
What is On-Page SEO?
This type of search engine optimization refers to the practice of optimizing HTML and content on a website in order to improve search rankings for a target key word.
Examples of this include: Setting title tags, blogging, internal linking.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off page SEO refers to the techniques used external to a website in order to improve search engine visibility and ranking.
Examples include: building backlinks, social media marketing, guest blogging and influencer marketing.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the process of optimizing a website and hosting in order to help search engines index and crawl a website.
Google’s algorithm has evolved from looking at factors such as content, keywords and backlinks to the infrastructure and usability which require technical knowledge to address.
As a web developer/WordPress and SEO expert I’ve come to realize there is much overlap between these areas which not only allowed me to identify areas for improvement but also address these issues myself.
Here are a few technical SEO improvements that you or your web developer should consider.
1. Site speedA 100-millisecond delay in load time can cause conversion rates to drop by 7%Click To Tweet
Site speed can have a drastic impact on visitor user experience, search rankings and most importantly conversions. If a page takes too long to load this results in visitors leaving your website (high bounce rates) and likely going to your competitors sites.
If you’re curious to know what your loading time is you can get your results from gtmetrix.com.
2. Image Optimization
This factor is part of site speed but a major culprit in slow loading websites. Often times web designers will use images that are 20 times larger than they need to be which means that the browser has to take longer to download the unnecessary additional file sizes.
WordPress has a handful of plugins that allow compression or resizing that will make image file sizes smaller and therefore load faster in the browser. I recommend WordPress plugins such as Smush Image Compression and Optimization which easily optimizes images for your website.
3. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) setup
Accelerated Mobile Pages is a very simple configuration however one that is often overlooked by many SEO experts and web developers. AMP was developed to deliver content quickly on mobile devices. Google has officially launched AMP listings for mobile results in February of 2016, so it only makes sense that this configuration is setup to improve your exposure on mobile devices.
4. Mobile Friendly/Responsiveness
It’s amazing how many websites in 2017 still aren’t mobile friendly despite the increase in mobile search trends. In fact nearly 60% of searches are from mobile devices . Is your site mobile friendly? If you have a WordPress website that isn’t mobile friendly maybe it’s time to give your website a much needed face lift. Most WordPress templates are designed to be mobile responsive so switching to a new WordPress theme might be an easier way to solve this issue rather than trying to add CSS to transform your current theme.
5. Install an SSL (Secured Sockets Layer) Certificate
The purpose of an SSL certificate is to encrypt data the is transferred between a browser to a server in order to protect personal data submitted through forms or ecommerce transactions. You’ll know when an SSL certificate is installed by the padlock that can be seen in the address bar. Google has made it quite clear that an SSL certificate can impact search rankings and visitors are more likely to trust a website that has it installed. Installing an SSL certificate can be done through your hosting company for a fee. Some hosting companies such as Siteground offer Let’s Encrypt for free. You can also use configure your domain to use the cloudflare.com service which can provide SSL as well as a content delivery network service for free.