Technical SEO is now a leading search ranking factor


There is a common belief that improving rankings is all about on-page SEO. But unless the technical SEO is right, all that effort will be for nothing.

A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Business managers and marketers who understand the rudiments of SEO will often tell you that the technical side sets out the basics, telling Google what your site is all about. Once that’s done, they will say, you can forget about it and get on with the on-page optimisation strategy that will send your page up the rankings.

Unfortunately, life is not that simple. Take a look at the services of an SEO company like and you will see that there is as much attention devoted to technical SEO as there is to anything else. Clearly, this is not a “set it and forget it” discipline, and anyone who thinks otherwise will see a diminishing return on their SEO investment.

What is technical SEO?

Technical SEO is the term applied to the fundamental aspects of a website that helps Googlebot to index and categorise it, so that it comes up in their results for the most appropriate keyword searches. Put this way, it is understandable that some see it as a one-off task.

Once done, you can get down to the business of posting fresh content, building links and all the other on-page SEO tasks that get the page climbing up the ranks. Of course, technical SEO is hugely important when designing a new site and getting the architecture right. But the work does not stop there.

Evolving architecture

As the website develops, the site architecture needs to develop with it. While more content is added, it is easy for important pages to become buried. If there are more than three, or at most four, layers, the web crawlers will struggle to understand what is there, and effectively, they will give up and start looking at another site.

Maintaining a horizontal site makes it easier for the search engine to do its job effectively, and results in more effective indexing.

Evolving business

Businesses do not stand still, and this is truer in the 21stcentury environment than it has ever been. Are the keywords that you were focussing on last year still the ones that are driving the optimum traffic to your site? Businesses evolve and change their focus, but even more importantly, so do customers.

If your on-site SEO efforts are focussing on new product offerings or changing customer demands, the underlying technical SEO needs to be adjusted accordingly. Otherwise, the effect is similar to that seen in a car engine where the ignition timing is out of adjustment. It keeps operating, but everything is just a little out of kilter.

Other technical details

However good your content is, if it is not delivered effectively to the end user, it will all be wasted. Mobile optimisation and loading times are all important, but you might think they have little impact on rankings. The point, however, is that these lead to bounce rates and pogo sticking, both of which can have a seriously detrimental effect.

On page optimisation is as important as it has ever been – but if you want your site to rise up the rankings, always keep an eye on the technical side, too.