Be Late Than Sorry: Navigating the complexities of SEO in 2022
Consumers are becoming more sophisticated in their approach to buying products.
As per experts, 68% of the online journey began with search engines.
The pinnacle of this process is SEO. But, in addition, it should go without saying that; your brand visibility on Google is critical for sales and marketing growth in 2022.
You can influence your Google ranking by optimizing your content, site structure, on-page SEO, backlinks, and more. However, for those other strategies to succeed, you must get technical SEO right.
So What is Technical SEO?
Technical search engine optimization (SEO) involves creating and optimizing a website for crawling, indexing, and rendering by search engines. However, SEO is more than just technical.
Businesses and marketers invest in technical SEO to increase their website’s chances of ranking high on search engine results pages (SERPs).
To put things in perspective, technical SEO has very little to do with the website’s content but rather its infrastructure. For example, page speed, heading structure, site structure, redirects, and alt-text all influence technical SEO.
In contrast to “on-page” and “off-page” SEO, technical SEO focuses on the actual content on your website, as well as how other sites interact with yours (for example, backlinks).
Technical SEO vs. On-Page SEO vs. Off-Page SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is divided into three buckets: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. To help you understand them, here are a few definitions.
It includes alt text for images, keyword descriptions, H1 tags, URL naming, and internal links that describe what your page is about for search engines (and your readers). So basically, everything on your website is under your control.
Search engines use off-page SEO to determine how valuable and popular your site is based on votes of confidence, primarily backlinks. Pages with more backlinks and better quality will have higher PageRanks. Generally, pages with 100 relevant links from credible sites will outrank those with 50 relevant links (or 100 irrelevant links).
As with organic SEO, technical SEO is within your control, but it is trickier to master because it is less intuitive.
But Why is Technical SEO Important?
Perfect technical SEO makes your effort for organic visibility worth it. Unfortunately, many companies, during their seo strategy for web pages, ignore the idea of it without considering what technical seo refers to.
After “Page experience Update” based on Google Core Web Vital Metrics, the SEO community considers technical seo fundamentals indispensable for any web page. You can have the best site content on multiple pages with good keyword research, but if your site speed is more than 10 seconds with broken links, you’re doomed.
In a basic seo audit, you can configure that any website url with low page speed is bound to have high bounce rates. There are many factors at play here, for instance, broken internal links, flawed url structure, weak XML sitemaps, and lack of structured data.
The Cause: Web Pages and their Unhinged Complexities
Let’s break down four of the most critical factors and their plausible solution in a more comprehensive way.
Page speed, without any doubt, directly impacts ranking. This has become a universal truth since Google’s Algorithm Speed update in 2021. And recently, with Core Web Vitals metrics, Google deployed web page speed while ranking it during search results.
In short, from a technical seo point of view, site speed is pivotal.
Identifying the right solution and quantifying the issue are the first challenges regarding page speed.
Here are four key metrics to keep in mind:
- First Contentful Paint (FCP): FCP indicates the first point on the screen at which something can be seen. Ideally, it shouldn’t take more than two seconds to do this.
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): A site’s largest contentful paint (LCP) describes how long it takes to load the majority of its content. LCP should take no more than 2.5 seconds.
- First Input Delay (FDI): This indicates the time a user takes when interacting with a page to when the browser begins processing the request. It should be less than 100 milliseconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This isn’t precisely page speed but is inclined towards the core metric Google equates with page speed and quantifies how often the user experiences unwanted layout shifts while visiting a web page. CLS score should be 0.1 or less.
These problems have different solutions, such as code minification, proper image compression, and image formats. In addition, you also need to be mindful of the visual elements on your website. However, video backgrounds, title spinners, or large images can be engaging aesthetic aspects, but they can impact the side speed negatively. Thus don’t include them unnecessary until they serve a specific purpose.
Moreover, how you build your website directly impacts the options/features that can optimize the outcome. For instance, WordPress is preferred for web pages because of its user-friendly customization feature.
A safe and secure website massively influences website technical SEO. The record shows that around 82% of users avoid web pages that are not secure, thus creating a severe drop in SERP ranking.
Different search engines, especially Google, prioritize security. Secure web pages naturally rank higher: hence, eliminating security issues should be your top priority.
Keep a special eye on these issues:
Missing SSL certificates
SSL or Secure Sockets Layers is a vital security protocol that attests your website connection is encrypted and secure. Web pages that don’t have an SSL certificate are considered unreliable for sharing any sensitive information. If your URL structure starts with HTTP, not HTTPS, it indicates that the SSL certificate is missing. This lowers the reliability of your web page and reduces the chance of being ranked in search engines.
You can buy an SSL certificate from the hosting provider for a charge which varies for different tenures. However, this certificate requires periodical renewal, and in case you miss the renewal, your web page will no longer be secure.
Migrating from HTTP to HTTPS often results in mixed content errors. You run into this problem when you include HTTP links in your CSS and JS website files or use HTTP elements on a web page instead of HTTPS. In addition, it can compromise the security of your website and affect your SERP ranking if your SSL certification is compromised.
HTTPS URLs can avoid mixed content errors while embedding elements on your website. Lastly, always check that there are no embedded HTTP links in your site’s installed plugins or theme. Then, switch HTTP links with HTTPS secured versions.
Many search engines use multiple applications as web crawlers to index pages. Therefore, if it is easy to crawl the page, it will be convenient for you to optimize it. That is why a web crawler is essential in assisting the search engines (i.e., Google) in ranking the web pages. On the other hand, if your website is not easily crawlable, the Google search console might not rank it sufficiently.
Usually, a search engine ranks your website higher regarding its user-friendliness. Therefore, from a technical seo standpoint, a confusing website will only add more problems for you plus affect the ranking factor.
Some of the common crawlability issues are:
Error 404 indicates that the browser was able to direct the server, but the web server lacked in accessing the requested page. This confuses the web crawlers and makes crawling more costly. As a result, your crawl budget is heavily compromised, i.e., the amount of time and resources Google deploys for crawling your own website.
Revisit your technical seo strategy and examine the internal links:
- Remove all the broken internal linking that can lead to an error page.
- You can assist the search engine crawlers by replacing these bogus links with new resources.
- Your page’s URL should not be misspelled; most of the time, a misspelled page’s URL can lead to an error 404.
Missing alt text
Alternate text (alt-text) is used to describe the images displayed on your site to improve accessibility. As well as making your images understandable to web crawlers, alt text makes them more searchable. Both factors positively impact SEO.
Just give your images an alt description every time you load them on your website.
A good SEO strategy includes internal and external links. It is possible to negatively affect the crawlability of a page by having too many links on it. A lot of complexity is involved in crawling bloated pages, which could waste crawling resources. Your website’s other pages may not be crawled as a result.
Adding too many internal links on the same page is not recommended because it dilutes the value of those links for the search engines. On the other hand, including several links to high-ranking websites irrelevant to your website will negatively impact its search engine optimization.
Keep your link count (internal or external) to a minimum. Link-building is all about finding places where you can naturally add links. You should probably avoid anything that feels forced. You should be fine if you avoid link stuffing.
This blog has given you a glimpse of the technicalities you will constantly deal with while leading a website.
In all fairness, optimizing technical seo is not an overnight task; perhaps expert advice can assist you more effectively.