Technical SEO: An Overview of Fundamentals and Top Optimization Techniques

An Introduction to Technical SEO: Definition, Importance, and Best Practices

Technical SEO refers to the process of enhancing a website’s visibility and user experience on search engines. This includes a range of activities, such as submitting sitemaps, improving site structure, enhancing website speed, optimizing for mobile devices, and resolving duplicate content issues.

In this article, you’ll discover the fundamentals and top techniques for optimizing your website’s technical SEO. But first, why is technical SEO crucial?

Effective technical SEO can significantly influence a website’s performance on search engines. If your web pages are inaccessible to search engines, they won’t show up in search results, no matter how valuable your content is. Consequently, you’ll lose traffic and potential revenue for your business.

Moreover, website speed and mobile-friendliness are confirmed ranking factors by Google. If your pages load slowly or your website is not optimized for mobile, users may have a poor experience and leave your site. Such negative user behaviors can signal to Google that your site doesn’t provide a good user experience, which may affect your ranking.

The first step towards optimizing your site’s technical SEO is ensuring that search engines can crawl it effectively. Crawling is an essential function of how search engines operate.

When search engines explore links on familiar web pages to discover new ones, it is called crawling. For instance, we update our blog archive page every time we publish new blog posts.

When search engines like Google revisit our blog page, they detect the newly added links to our recent blog posts. This is one of the ways search engines discover our new content.

To get your pages indexed on search engines, you must ensure that they are accessible to them. Here are a few ways to achieve that:

Establish SEO-Friendly Site Architecture

Site architecture or structure refers to how pages are interlinked within your website. An efficient site structure arranges pages in a manner that makes it simple and fast for crawlers to locate your content.

Therefore, while creating your site architecture, ensure that all pages are within a few clicks from the homepage for easy crawling.

The homepage directs to the category pages, which then link to specific subpages on the website. This setup also minimizes the number of orphan pages.

Orphan pages are web pages with no internal links that lead to them, making it challenging (and at times impossible) for both users and crawlers to discover them.

Submitting Your Sitemap to Google

Utilizing a sitemap can assist search engines in discovering your web pages. A sitemap generally comprises an XML file with a catalog of essential pages on your site. It notifies search engines which pages you possess and their respective locations.

This is especially crucial if your website consists of numerous pages or they aren’t linked effectively.

Usually, your sitemap is present at one of the following two URLs:

Once you’ve located your sitemap, submit it to Google through GSC (Google Search Console).

Quick tip: If you haven’t set up GSC yet, follow this guide to activate it for your website.

To submit your sitemap to Google, navigate to GSC and select “Indexing” > “Sitemaps” from the sidebar.

Afterward, insert your sitemap URL in the provided space and click “Submit.”

Comprehending Indexing

Upon crawling your web pages, search engines aim to analyze and comprehend their content. The search engine then proceeds to store these content pieces in its search index, which is a colossal database housing billions of web pages.

For your website pages to surface in search results, search engines must index them. One effortless method of verifying whether your pages are indexed or not is by conducting a “site:” search. For instance, to check the indexing status of, enter in the Google search box. This action discloses the number of pages indexed by Google from the site.

The HTML snippet known as the “noindex” tag can prevent Google from indexing your pages. To use it, simply include the following code within the <head> section of your webpage:
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>

It’s important to note that you should only use this tag when you want to exclude specific pages from being indexed, such as “Thank You” pages or PPC landing pages. For more information on how to use “noindex” tags correctly, refer to our guide on robots meta tags.

If Google encounters similar content on multiple pages of your site, it may have difficulty determining which page to index and display in search results. To address this issue, you can use canonical tags.

The canonical tag (rel=”canonical”) designates a link as the original version of the content, which informs Google which page to index and rank. To add a canonical tag to a duplicate page, include the following code within the <head> section:
<link rel=”canonical” href=”” />

For more guidance on implementing canonical tags properly, consult our guide on canonical URLs.

To optimize your site for technical SEO, it’s crucial to have an SEO-friendly site structure and submit your sitemap to Google. However, there are additional best practices you can follow to ensure your website is fully optimized:

Use HTTPS to secure your website and protect sensitive user information like passwords and credit card details. HTTPS has been a ranking signal since 2014, and you can check if your site uses HTTPS by looking for the “lock” icon in the address bar.

To ensure your website is secure and authenticates its identity, you should install an SSL certificate. This certificate creates a secure connection for users when they access your website. You can obtain a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt.

It’s essential to remember that after moving your website to HTTPS, you must set up redirects from HTTP to the HTTPS version. This will ensure that all users who visit the HTTP version are redirected to the secure HTTPS version of your site.

To avoid duplicate content issues, it’s crucial to have only one version of your site accessible to users and crawlers. Users and crawlers should only access either or Having both versions accessible may reduce the effectiveness of your backlink profile and negatively affect your performance in Google. Therefore, redirect the other version to your main website and use only one version.

Improving your page speed is also essential as it’s a ranking factor on both mobile and desktop devices. To improve your website’s speed, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to check your website’s current speed. The tool provides a performance score from 0 to 100, and the higher the score, the better the website’s performance.

To improve your website speed, consider implementing the following ideas:

Compress your images: Images are usually the largest files on a webpage. Using image optimization tools like Shortpixel to compress them can reduce their file size, ensuring that they load faster.
Use a content distribution network (CDN): CDNs store copies of your webpages on servers around the world, making it easier for visitors to connect to the nearest server. This reduces the distance that requested files need to travel, improving page load time.
Minify your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files: Minification removes unnecessary characters and whitespace from code, resulting in smaller file sizes and faster page load times.

Additionally, since Google uses mobile-first indexing, ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. You can check this by using the “Mobile Usability” report in Google Search Console.

The report will display the quantity of pages that impact mobile usability and outline the particular issues present.

In case you do not have access to Google Search Console, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool instead.