contact us

What is Technical SEO?

Ever wondered why some websites seem to magically appear at the top of search results, while others struggle to be seen? The answer lies in a powerful force known as Technical SEO

Technical SEO plays a crucial role in ensuring your website’s visibility and performance in search engine results. Whether you run an established business website or just started a blog, optimising technical SEO should be a priority.

Search Engine Optimization is integral to succeed online today. But optimising content and backlinks isn’t enough anymore. There’s a crucial technical side to SEO that most websites overlook – to their detriment.

Technical SEO is the foundation upon which your entire search visibility stands. Just like weak foundations undermine towering skyscrapers, poor technical SEO causes content and links to crumble in terms of search performance.

In this guide we will explain what technical SEO is, why it matters, and provide an actionable framework to audit and enhance your website’s technical SEO.

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO focuses on optimising your website’s underlying technical elements to improve crawling, indexing, and ranking in search engines like Google.

It involves reviewing your website’s:

  • Crawlability – How easily search bots can access and crawl your site’s pages.
  • Indexability – How effectively search engines can interpret and index your pages.
  • Rendering – How well your site loads and displays content to users.

While content optimisation targets keywords, technical SEO ensures search engines can efficiently crawl your content in the first place.

Performing regular technical SEO audits identifies issues that, if left unaddressed, can severely limit your search visibility irrespective of your content quality.

Why is Technical SEO Important?

With Google indexing over 130 trillion pages, technical website errors can easily cause your content to get lost. Small technical mistakes accumulate into substantial ranking drops.

According to Google, websites need to provide an excellent user experience on all devices. Technical SEO directly impacts user experience and your website’s ability to satisfy search intent.

Consider that Google’s ranking algorithm includes over 200 ranking factors. Many of these relate to technical SEO elements like site speed, mobile optimisation, SSL implementation, effective URL structures, and more.

Ignoring technical SEO while focusing only on content is like building a house on a shaky foundation. The higher you build, the harder it will fall.

Solid technical SEO is necessary for every website that wants to rank higher in search engines and provide a smooth user experience.

How To Conduct a Technical SEO Audit

Now that you know why technical SEO matters, let’s explore how to audit your website’s technical health.

Follow this checklist to identify issues that may be limiting your search visibility:

  1. Crawlability Checklist
    Crawlability determines how easily search bots can access and index your site’s pages. To optimize it:
  • Avoid crawling roadblocks like restrictive robots.txt files, noindex tags, password protections, etc. These signal bots not to crawl your content.
  • Minimise server load time as slow page speeds hinder crawlability. Use PageSpeed Insights to diagnose.
  • Optimise site architecture with a simple IA and intuitive URL structures. Complex, fractured site maps confuse bots.
  • Limit pagination as search bots may not crawl beyond 3-5 pages deep.
  • Consolidate duplicate content across multiple URLs, which dilutes page authority. Implement 301 redirects to a primary page.
  • Make XML sitemaps to highlight important pages search engines should prioritize crawling.
  • Implement proper 404-page handling so bots reaching dead ends can crawl efficiently.

     

  1. Indexability Checklist  
    Indexing determines how adequately search engines can analyse and rank your pages. To maximise it:
  • Ensure proper On-page SEO like page titles, meta descriptions, alt text, headings, etc. to provide context.
  • Avoid blocking page content with pop-ups, excessive ads, or design elements covering main content.
  • Prevent indexing issues from code errors like missing title tags or H1 headings.
  • Maintain a healthy backlink profile as too many low-quality links can trigger deindexing.
  • Minimise thin or duplicate content as search engines may not consider such pages worth indexing.
  • Implement proper schema markup like FAQ schema, review schema, etc. to structure page data.

     

  1. Rendering Checklist
    Rendering evaluates how quickly and smoothly your site displays content. To optimise it:
  • Minimise server response time, as delays in first byte time hamper rendering.
  • Optimise images by compressing sizes, implementing responsive images and using page caching.
  • Minify HTML, CSS and JavaScript by removing unnecessary characters to optimise code.
  • Enable browser caching so repeat visitors don’t have to re-download cached page assets.
  • Compress resources with gzip to reduce page weight and load faster.
  • Eliminate render-blocking resources like JavaScript and CSS that delay displaying page content.

     

  1. Mobile Optimisation Checklist
    With over 60% of searches happening on mobile, having a mobile-friendly website is mandatory. To ensure it:
  • Implement responsive web design so the site adapts seamlessly across devices.
  • Avoid interstitials and pop-ups that hinder usability on smaller screens.
  • Size tap targets appropriately for fat finger-friendly use on touchscreens.
  • Optimise page speed as slowness is exacerbated on mobile networks.
  • Minimise redirects that increase page loading time. Have a dedicated mobile site if needed.
  • Enable voice search optimisation as mobile queries are increasingly spoken.

Real-World Examples and Best Practices

Simple IA

Lush UK

Target Audience: Individuals interested in natural and ethical beauty products.

Navigation:

  • Homepage: Introduces the brand’s values and showcases popular product categories.
  • Shop:
    • Product Categories: Divided into clear categories like “Bath & Shower,” “Skincare,” and “Haircare,” further subcategorized by product type.
    • Individual Product Pages: Detailed information about ingredients, benefits, and usage instructions.
  • About Us: Explains the brand’s commitment to ethical sourcing and sustainability.
  • Our Story: Shares the history and mission of Lush.
  • FAQs: Answers common questions about products, ordering, and delivery.
  • Contact Us: Provides contact information and store locations.

Simple IA Principles:

  • Clear category breakdown: Products are categorized logically, making it easy for users to find what they need.
  • Visually appealing product pages: High-quality images and concise descriptions enhance user experience.
  • Search bar: Facilitates searching for specific products by name or keyword.
  • Sustainability focus: Information about ethical practices and product ingredients is readily accessible.

Boden UK

Target Audience: Individuals seeking stylish and timeless clothing and homeware.

Navigation:

  • Homepage: Features seasonal collections and highlights popular items.
  • Shop:
    • Clothing: Divided by gender and then further categorized by clothing type (e.g., “Dresses,” “Trousers”).
    • Homeware: Categorized by room (e.g., “Living Room,” “Bedroom”) and product type (e.g., “Cushions,” “Throws”).
    • Individual Product Pages: Detailed descriptions, size guides, and customer reviews.
  • Our Story: Explains the brand’s philosophy and design ethos.
  • Customer Service: Provides answers to frequently asked questions and contact details.
  • Delivery & Returns: Offers information about shipping options and returns.

Simple IA Principles:

  • Easy-to-understand navigation: Simple menu options with clear labels guide users efficiently.
  • Emphasis on visuals: High-quality product images create an engaging browsing experience.
  • Informative product pages: Detailed information helps users make informed purchasing decisions.
  • Mobile-friendly design: The website adapts seamlessly to different devices.
Mobile Optimisation

ASOS UK

Target Audience: Fashion-conscious individuals in the UK, primarily millennials and Gen Z.

Mobile Optimisation Highlights:

  • Responsive design: The website automatically adjusts its layout and elements to fit different screen sizes, ensuring optimal viewing and interaction on mobile devices.
  • Simplified navigation: The main menu on the mobile version is condensed, featuring essential options like “Shop,” “Search,” and “Account,” while still providing easy access to other categories through a hidden menu accessible via a hamburger icon.
  • Large, tappable buttons: Buttons for actions like “Add to Bag” and “Checkout” are large and easily accessible with fingers, avoiding frustration for users.
  • High-quality product images: Images are optimised for mobile loading speeds while maintaining clarity, allowing users to browse products effectively.
  • Focus on product information: Product descriptions are concise and easily readable on smaller screens, highlighting key details like size, color, and material.
  • Fast loading speed: Pages load quickly on mobile devices, minimising user wait time and improving the overall shopping experience.
  • Optimised search functionality: Searching for specific products or brands is convenient with auto-complete suggestions and clear filters for narrowing down results.
  • Mobile-friendly checkout process: The checkout process is streamlined for mobile users, minimizing the number of steps and requiring minimal typing.

Why ASOS is a good example:

  • ASOS caters primarily to a young demographic who heavily rely on their mobile devices for shopping.
  • Their website demonstrates a well-executed balance between maintaining the brand’s aesthetic and offering a user-friendly experience on mobile.
  • The focus on large tappable buttons, concise information, and fast loading speeds ensures a smooth shopping experience for mobile users.

Sainsbury’s Grocery Shopping (UK)

Target Audience: Individuals in the UK who use online grocery shopping services.

Mobile Optimization Highlights:

  • Intuitive search: Users can easily search for specific groceries by name, category, or dietary needs through a user-friendly search bar.
  • Barcode scanning: Customers can scan product barcodes in-store to quickly add items to their online basket, saving time and effort.
  • Visual product browsing: High-quality product images and clear descriptions facilitate browsing and product selection on mobile devices.
  • Mobile-friendly checkout: The checkout process is streamlined for mobile users, allowing quick and secure payment options.
  • Delivery slot selection: Users can easily choose their preferred delivery slot directly on their mobile devices.
  • Personalized recommendations: The app offers personalized product recommendations based on past purchases and browsing history, enhancing the user experience.

Why Sainsbury’s is a good example:

  • Their mobile app streamlines the entire online grocery shopping experience, catering to the needs of busy individuals on the go.
  • Features like barcode scanning and personalized recommendations make the app a convenient and efficient tool for mobile users.
Page Speed

John Lewis & Partners

Industry: Department store Target audience: Individuals in the UK seeking high-quality homeware, fashion, and electrical goods.

Page Speed Highlights:

  • Optimised image size: Images are compressed and resized for web display, minimising their file size and reducing loading times.
  • Leveraging browser caching: Frequently accessed files like JavaScript and CSS are stored in the user’s browser, reducing the need to download them again on subsequent visits.
  • Minified code: Code is minified, meaning unnecessary characters and spaces are removed, resulting in smaller file sizes and faster loading times.
  • Efficient server-side rendering: The server efficiently generates the HTML content without unnecessary delays, contributing to faster page load times.
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN is used to deliver website content from geographically distributed servers, minimizing latency and improving loading speeds for users across the UK.

Why John Lewis & Partners is a good example:

  • Consistently ranks highly in page speed tests by reputable tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix.
  • Provides a smooth and responsive user experience, especially important for users browsing on mobile devices.
  • Their focus on page speed optimization contributes to a positive user experience and potentially improves conversion rates.

GOV.UK

Industry: Government portal Target audience: Individuals in the UK seeking government information and services.

Page Speed Highlights:

  • Clean and lightweight design: The website utilises a minimalist design with minimal animations and graphics, reducing page size and loading times.
  • Lazy loading: Images and other non-essential content only load when they become visible in the user’s viewport, improving the initial page load speed.
  • Prioritised content: Critical content like navigation and main text is loaded first, ensuring users can access essential information quickly while other elements load in the background.
  • Mobile-first approach: The website is optimised for mobile devices, which often have limited bandwidth and processing power.

Why GOV.UK is a good example:

  • Demonstrates how even large government websites with vast amounts of information can prioritise page speed optimisation.
  • Their focus on accessibility and user experience extends to ensuring fast loading times for users across the UK, regardless of their device or internet connection.
  • Serves as an example of how page speed optimisation can play a crucial role in delivering essential information to users efficiently.

Using these technical SEO best practices allowed the sites to build domain authority and rank for competitive keywords in their space.

Technical SEO Example Case Study

Let’s look at a case study example demonstrating the tangible impact technical SEO optimisations can have on search performance. This is just an example scenario to help you understand consequences of not optimising your website for Technical SEO. 

Scenario

Rina runs a small local restaurant website to promote her new cafe opening in London. Despite posting menus and location details online, Rina gets very little website traffic. Her site does not rank for keywords like “breakfast diner london” that potential customers may search for.

Diagnosing the Issues

In her SEO audit, it revealed that while Rina focused on content, she overlooked technical optimisation:

  • Slow page speed: Images were unoptimised and heavy. Site loaded in 8+ seconds.
  • Poor mobile experience: Site layout broke on phones. Key info only on desktop site.
  • Low indexation: Thin pages with duplicate content resulted in only 50% of site indexed.
  • Crawling errors: Broken navigation and links prevented efficient bot crawling.


Implementing Technical SEO Optimisations

To address these technical issues, the following fixes were implemented:

  • Compressed images and enabled caching to improve page speeds.
  • Implemented responsive mobile-friendly design.
  • Consolidated thin, duplicate content using 301 redirects.
  • Structured navigation and fixed broken links to improve crawlability.


Results

Within 3 months of the technical SEO optimisations:

  • Page speed improved from 8+ seconds to <2 seconds.
  • Mobile experience score increased from 40 to 90+ on Google PageSpeed Insights.
  • Indexed pages doubled from 50% to 100% of the website.
  • Site began ranking for the core keywords, driving a 2X increase in traffic.

This case study demonstrates the tangible impact technical SEO can have on search visibility and performance! 

Implementing Technical SEO Fixes

Now that you understand the importance of technical SEO, let’s discuss some tips for actually implementing optimisations:

  • Prioritise quick wins first – Tackle “low hanging fruit” like broken links and duplicate content removal to get early search visibility gains.
  • Take an iterative approach – Technical SEO is an ongoing process. Optimise in phases rather than trying to overhaul everything at once.
  • Allocate sufficient resources – Have developers, content writers, and site managers collaborate to implement changes smoothly.
  • Monitor regularly – Continuously measure with tools like Google Search Console to track progress after optimisations go live.
  • Document learnings – Note which specific fixes led to which improvements in rankings to guide future efforts.
  • Watch for site errors – New technical issues can emerge after changes like a site redesign. Monitor closely.
  • Tune based on data – Let your analytics and search data guide you towards aspects needing further optimisation.
  • Don’t lose sight of content – Balance technical SEO with continuously creating high-quality content that engages users.

With strategic planning and oversight, you can systematically scale up your technical SEO to boost search visibility over time. 

Common Technical SEO Issues to Avoid

Many websites unknowingly make technical errors that limit their search performance. Here are common technical SEO issues to watch out for:

  • Duplicate Content
    Having identical or near-identical content across multiple URLs dilutes page authority in search rankings.
    Consolidate duplicate content under one primary URL using 301 redirects, canonical tags or noindex on less important pages.
  • Slow Page Speeds
    With page speed being a ranking factor, unoptimised sites with slow load times suffer in search results.
    Run pages through Google PageSpeed Insights to catch issues degrading performance. Implement optimisations highlighted above to improve speed.
  • Unsecured URLs
    Google flags HTTP pages as not secure, which can negatively impact search rankings.
    Migrate site to HTTPS by getting an SSL certificate to switch to secure URLs across all pages.
  • Broken Backlinks
    Dead or broken external links on your pages signal outdated, neglected content to search engines.
    Regularly check for broken backlinks using tools like Ahrefs and remove or update those links.
  • Bloated Site Architecture
    Overly complex site structures with fractured silos of content confuse search bots trying to crawl and index pages.
    Streamline site architecture with a simplified information architecture that connects related content.
  • Lack of Mobile Optimisation
    With mobile usage dominating, not having a mobile-friendly site severely impacts search visibility.
    Implement responsive design, minimise pop-ups, and optimise speed to improve mobile experience.

Technical SEO Checklist for Website Redesign

When redesigning or migrating your website, technical SEO should be a key priority to avoid major ranking drops.

Follow this checklist to manage SEO through site changes:

  • Conduct a pre-launch technical SEO audit – Fix existing issues before migrating to avoid carrying over problems.
  • Align information architecture – Ensure your new site IA logically organises content for easy crawling.
  • Implement 301 redirects Redirect old URLs to relevant new pages so rankings can transfer.
  • Maintain internal links – Keep linking structures intact through the transition or redirect broken links.
  • Monitor traffic and rankings – Watch for drops immediately post-launch and troubleshoot promptly.
  • Enable XML sitemaps – Submit new or updated sitemaps so search engines can recrawl efficiently.
  • Optimise pages and metadata – Update page titles, descriptions, etc. to fit the new site pages and content.
  • Check page speed – Ensure your new site performs well and hasn’t introduced new speed issues.
  • Test mobile friendliness – Confirm the responsive design works seamlessly on mobile devices.
  • Update Google Search Console – Switch over verification to the new domain to maintain tracking.

Following these best practices will ensure your website migration doesn’t negatively impact your technical SEO foundation and search visibility. 

Technical SEO Trends to Watch

Technical SEO is constantly evolving. Here are some key trends to monitor that may soon impact optimising technical SEO:

  • Core Web Vitals enhancements – Google is emphasizing new page experience metrics like Largest Contentful Paint in rankings.
  • CTR factors growing – Click-through-rate signals like title tags, fragments and formatting may grow in importance.
  • Mobile page experience as a ranking factor – With mobile first indexing, poor mobile site speed or usability may hurt visibility.
  • More indexing evaluation factors – Google may add signals like structured data quality to evaluate indexation more holistically.
  • Advances in JavaScript rendering – Faster JavaScript processing could enable more interactive content while retaining optimization.
  • Knowledge Graph integration – Tighter integration of Knowledge Graph entities may require more thoughtful content optimization.
  • Trust and E-A-T emphasis – Recent updates highlight Google’s focus on evaluating expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
  • Multimedia processing – Better processing of images, videos and audio may require new optimization practices.

Staying updated on these emerging trends will help you adapt your technical SEO approach ahead of time and build future-proof foundations.

Ready to unlock your website's true potential with Technical SEO?

We are Utds Optimal Choice, leading experts in technical SEO auditing and optimisation. Our experienced team can conduct a comprehensive audit of your website’s technical health to identify issues impacting crawlability, indexability, speed and mobile-friendliness. We use the latest tools and follow Google’s best practices to analyse and enhance your website’s technical foundations.

If you need help establishing robust technical SEO foundations or resolving complex performance issues, contact us today. We have a proven track record of delivering results by aligning technical SEO with your overarching business goals. Our expertise in this crucial but often neglected area of SEO can take your website’s performance to the next level.

Our team of experts can conduct an in-depth audit tailored to your website and implement a strategic roadmap to boost technical performance.

Book a free consultation now to get started!

Technical SEO FAQs

The key on-page factors are page titles, meta descriptions, alt text, heading tags, image optimization, internal linking, quality content, and structured data markup.

Removing crawl errors, eliminating duplicate content, creating XML sitemaps, optimizing page speed, and having a streamlined IA help maximize crawlability.

Use 301 redirects, canonical tags, or noindex tags to consolidate duplicate content to a single URL. Avoid duplicating content across pages.

Run your website through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and Google PageSpeed Insights Mobile test to catch mobile usability issues.

Pages that load within 2-3 seconds are ideal. Optimising page speed to load pages under 5 seconds on mobile and 3 seconds on desktop should be the goal.

Conduct a full technical SEO audit quarterly. Additionally, monitor key metrics like page speed weekly and run individual audits after site changes like a redesign.

Google Search Console, Google PageSpeed Insights, Google Mobile-Friendly Test, Pingdom Website Speed Test, Screaming Frog SEO Spider, Ahrefs Site Audit are top options.

Send us a short brief for your project and we will be back to you with a solution for it

Join The Club!

Be the first to learn about
new insights and Services

No Spam, just usefull information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.
We value your privacy and therefore we do not store any data on our site :)

By continuing to our website you agree to our Terms and Conditions. Please review our Privacy Policy and our Cookie Policy.