There is a lot of overlap in the different areas of SEO. Technical SEO pertains to the nitty gritty, behind the scenes “technical” work of SEO that isn’t as exciting as, for example, content creation, but just as important to address. Technical SEO answers questions like:
Does your website take too long to load?
Is the htaccess file calibrated correctly?
Do you have an XML sitemap linked on your site?
Can google detect any rich snippets or structured data on your site?
Is your site secure?
Most of these terms are probably foreign to the average business owner, but
neglecting to answer too many of these questions can negatively impact your SEO efforts.
How Do You Check Your Technical SEO
As a small business owner, you may be the only person giving attention to the details of your digital marketing. This is why it’s important to have a baseline understanding of what boxes to check when it comes looking for issues with your SEO. These skills will also come in handy when verifying the work being done by digital marketing services you pay for in the future. Below is a basic list of instructions to see if improvements could be made to your technical SEO:
Overall health check: A simple tool to check the basics of you SEO health is through a tool called Lighthouse, found on the Google Chrome browser.
Navigate to your website.
Right-click and click on “inspect”
On the tabs along the top, click on Lighthouse
Check the boxes “Performance”, “SEO”, and “Best Practices”
Run the report.
Look through the resulting score and explanations to get an idea of where you can improve the overall performance of your website.
Google PageSpeed Insights: This tool will give you a breakdown on your website’s speed from the source itself, Google.
The results will give you a detailed breakdown on speed issues that are slowing down your website. As a non SEO, you may not understand some of the terms, but the score can give you a baseline on your website’s speed.
Rich Snippet Tester: Rich snippets are the answers that appear on the top of the results page when you ask Google a question. They are not limited to simple answers though, and can be anything appearing in the results page that satisfies your query without having to click on a website. Recipes, movie times, flight information, FAQ’s. These are generated by what’s called schema, a markup used by a human using the website, but valuable to search engines. For small businesses, this markup help Google know who you are and what you do. To check, do the following:
If the results yield no results, then there’s great room for improvement. If there are errors, then there is room for improvement. If all you see is basic business information, then there is room for improvement.
XML Sitemap:XML ((extensible markup language) sitemaps are read by search engines to gather an idea of the page structure of your website. Why is this important? It helps search engines to better parse and deliver your website to people on the internet. It’s a clear roadmap of how your site is laid out, and is a missed opportunity if overlooked. Here’s how to check it you have one:
Navigate to your website’s homepage
After your url, append “sitemap.xml”, resulting in “your-website.com/sitemap.xml”
If you receive a 404, page not found, error, there is room for improvement.
Is your site secure? This one is simple:
Navigate to your website
Does the url begin with “http://”, or “https://”?
If is begins with “https://” then you’re in good shape. If not, getting an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate is a great idea. Google ranks secure sites over non secure.