SEO. Is it the bane of your marketing team’s existence or the guiding force behind your SEO strategy? If we had to guess, we’d say it’s probably both.

We spend a lot of time talking about SEO, be it how valuable an SEO strategy is, or the dangers of skipping SEO altogether. And for a good reason. Your content-driven SEO efforts majorly impact how well your site performs and can make all the difference in attracting new customers to your website instead of your competitors’ pages. But with so much focus on keywords and shareable graphics, too many organizations are letting another key piece of the puzzle fall by the wayside: technical SEO.

Whether you’re new to the SEO game or just need a refresher on what technical SEO is and why it’s so crucial for your site’s success, keep reading for the basics that will help you ace your efforts and better optimize your site’s performance.

What Is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is a strategy designed to assist search engines in interpreting and qualifying the various pages of your site, which in turn helps those pages increase their rankings.

Search engines rely on a lot of clues to figure out what your pages are about and where they fall in terms of relevancy and authority. These clues and indicators have a significant role in determining how well your pages rank and if they will ultimately rank higher than your competitors’ pages. SEO is a concerted effort to provide the right clues so that you can control what search engines pick up and, to a degree, how and where your site gets indexed. Front-end SEO, like keyword research, is part of this effort, but so is technical SEO.

There are a lot of ways to optimize your SEO on the technical side. This includes:

  • Increasing your page speed
  • Optimizing your site for mobile use
  • Removing duplicate and redundant content
  • Adding specific features to your HTML code, such as structured data markups and Google AMP
  • Adding an XML sitemap
  • Fixing or removing broken links
  • Bolstering your site’s security with Secure Socket Layers (SSL)

For the most part, your site’s visitors aren’t going to know these technical aspects exist. And they don’t need to. Technical SEO is all about communicating with the search engines, providing them with the elements they need to determine that your site is reputable, secure, and worthy of snagging a top spot on the results page.

The Benefits of Prioritizing Technical SEO

Technical SEO helps customers find you. But there are some other benefits above and beyond maximizing your page ranking that make it worth your time. Here are three of them.

1. Offer a Better On-Site Customer Experience. 

Strong technical SEO does double duty, since the same things that help search engines do their jobs better also make your site more efficient and effective for its users. Today’s digital consumers don’t want to wait around for pages with slow load times, and they don’t have the patience for pages that can’t be easily viewed on mobile devices. When you improve things like loading speed and mobile integration for your technical SEO, you improve them for your customers, too.

2. Make Your Site More Secure. 

Better site security should always be the goal. Bolstering it through things like SSL and more robust HTML serves to strengthen the barriers between the internal workings of your site and the people and code that may seek to harm it. If site security is important to you — and it definitely should be — then technical SEO is only going to serve to amplify your security efforts and ensure your site is as safe from outside harm as possible.

3. It Spurs Better Content. 

Part of technical SEO is ensuring that you don’t have any duplicate content on your site, and that’s good practice whether you’re focusing on page rankings or not. Redundancy on your site is, at best, a waste of space and, at worst, a signal to your visitors that you’re not paying attention. Plus, duplicate content only competes with itself, and that is just plain counterproductive. By forcing you to hone in on duplicity, technical SEO serves as a helpful addition to your overall content strategy and a net for tracking content and being sure not to replicate it.

To put your best foot forward with technical SEO, combine the efforts and expertise of your front-end and back-end teams. Everyone from your content strategists to your HTML developers has a role to play in making sure your website’s technical features are up to snuff, and that’s true whether you’re starting from scratch with your site or just performing regular maintenance or updates.