An introduction to technical SEO

Most businesses realise that SEO is important in getting their website a good position in search rankings. Part of that is determined by the quality of content, but there’s also a technical side, making sure that your site is compatible with the search engine’s rules and guidelines.

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The technical side of SEO is less well known, but getting it right is vital to the performance of your site and it needs to be built in right from the start.

Site architecture

Websites, by their very nature, seldom stand still, and the underlying structure of the site needs to be able to cope with this. Sites must be easy for the users to navigate while also allowing for changes to be made as the site evolves.

Search engines respond well to sites that have a horizontal structure, so pages shouldn’t be buried too deeply – ideally no more than four levels down from the home page. For a site that is selling products directly, this means careful division of items into categories. A company like http://www.rycomarketing.ie/ offering SEO in Dublin should be able to advise you on this.

To help search engine crawlers index the site, it’s important to have a site map. You also need to use the “robots” feature to control which pages are indexed.

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Delivering pages

The URL addresses of each individual page need careful consideration. When there are multiple routes to a particular page, for example, it’s important to ensure that the search engines don’t identify these as being duplicate content. It’s also important to apply meta tags to reflect the content of each page rather than globally across the site.

Considering pages’ technical SEO also means redirecting site visitors to appropriate content. This could be serving up the correct language version of the page, for example, or a page optimised for mobile devices.

The speed the site loads is another key factor. This is partly about the quality of the hosting, but the design of the site comes into it, too. Using an appropriate content delivery system and ensuring code is streamlined can help here.

Your site needs to be social media-friendly, too. You can make use of HTML to ensure your content appears properly on sites like Facebook and to control the snippets that show in search results.

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