February 3, 2023

Why Your Website’s Ranking Relies Heavily on Your Site Structure

The Importance of Technical SEO

In the conversation around search engine optimization, many techniques are discussed. From things like backlinking and keyword research, to content optimization and brand promotion. And, while all of these are valuable and important parts of a successful marketing strategy, they aren’t the backbone of what ranks you in Google or Bing.

Under the Hood-Website SEO Structure and Mechanics

Let’s imagine a car race for a minute. Engines are roaring and the best drivers are at the wheel. Who is likely to win? Is it the car with the largest team or the most sponsorships? No. It’s the car that has the best chassis and top-of-the-line parts under the hood. Likewise, in the race for top search rankings, how well your website does comes down to the technical parts that make up its foundation.

What Is Technical SEO & Why Is It the Backbone of Your Website?

This is a type of on-page search engine optimization, which focuses strictly on ensuring that the base level of your website – the technical structure – is optimized & healthy. All of the work that goes into technical search engine optimization is done at the beginning of your website’s creation and launch. If your website is not technically sound, it will not perform well and it will cost you invaluable positions in the rankings.

Technical search engine optimization is the backbone of your website, because Google, Bing, and Yahoo give preferential treatment to websites that have certain technical elements. For instance, your website is going to rank better if the data you present to the search engine crawlers is structured well. Why? The crawlers are going to be able to understand it, quicker. Beyond this, things like a secure connection, fast loading times, and how well your website is indexed are all important pillars of technical search engine optimization.

It is important to note though, that improving the technical foundation of your website isn’t just for the search engines. The quicker your website is and the easier it is to understand, SEO results in a better user experience overall.

So, What Areas Under the Hood Should You Fine-Tune?

To ensure that your website’s structure is healthy under the hood, you need to fine-tune the following areas.

1. Have An XML Sitemap.

This is the roadmap to your website. It ensures that all of your pages get indexed and that the search engines don’t miss important content. It gives the search engines the data it needs to map out and understand what is on any given page across your site. This sitemap should be submitted to both the Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools to be indexed.

2. It Has Lightning Fast Load Time.

A slow web page is a frustrating experience. Google knows this and ranks slower websites down further if there is a faster equivalent. The further ranked down you are, the less traffic you will receive. To increase the speed of your website, make sure images are optimized, you use content compression, your web hosting is fast, and you aren’t using a complicated template with too many plugins.

3. It Doesn’t Contain Many/If Any Dead Links.

There is nothing worse than landing on a page that doesn’t exist. When a visitor lands on a page that is non-existent, they are slapped with a 404 error and handed a bad user experience as a result. But, search engines also hate these error pages too, and unfortunately, they tend to find a lot more dead links than your visitors do since they crawl every single link they come across. To prevent dead links, always redirect the URL of pages that you move or delete to the new page that replaces it.

4. It Doesn’t Contain Duplicate Content.

If you are listing the same content on multiple pages across your site or on multiple websites, you can confuse the search engines. When this happens, the search engines don’t know how to rank the content and as a result, all of the content can be ranked lower. The technical solution to this is to use canonical link elements, which allows you to tell the search engine crawlers which page is the original and which page to rank.

5. It Has An SSL Certificate for Security.

It is important that you use a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) on your website. This makes your website secure so that data cannot be intercepted when it is sent between a user’s browser and your web server. It works by encrypting sensitive information like logins, passwords, and credentials so that the information isn’t hacked or stolen. A website that uses SSL will have a website URL that reads: https://www instead of http://. This is extremely important as Google recognizes the importance of security and will rank secure websites higher than their counterparts.

6. You Have Proper Internal Linking.

Search engine crawlers and website visitors need to be able to get from one page to the next without any problems. If your pages aren’t linked together, the organization of your site’s structure becomes a mess. By using proper internal linking, you help search engines find your other pages through keyword-rich anchors, you decrease your page depth, and it creates a better user experience. Plus, search engines place a lot of value on internal links when ranking you in the SERPs.

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