Technical SEO: A Beginner’s Guide for the Average Website Owner

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By tom.baldridge

You don’t need to be a coding expert to implement technical SEO best practices on your website. With some fundamental knowledge, any average Joe or Jane can significantly boost their search visibility and traffic.

This straightforward beginner’s guide covers the most important technical SEO factors to help your website show up in search engines like Google.

Why Technical SEO Matters

SEO isn’t just about content and keywords. The technical foundation of your website also plays a critical role in getting ranked.

Technical SEO ensures that search engines can easily crawl, index, and understand your pages. Without proper technical optimization, your content may struggle to get discovered.

It also impacts site speed and user experience – which Google cares a lot about. Faster sites rank better and keep visitors happy.

Optimizing technical SEO provides concrete benefits like:

  • Better crawlability for search engine bots
  • Faster page load times
  • Improved accessibility and navigation
  • Higher click-through rates from search results
  • Increased indexed pages and search visibility
  • Lower bounce rates from better experience

You don’t have to overhaul your entire website. Just focus on some key technical fixes.

Technical SEO Factors to Optimize for Beginners

Here are the most impactful technical elements to optimize if you’re new to SEO:

Use Search Engine Friendly Site Architecture

How you structure URLs and navigation links impacts crawling and indexing.

  • Use descriptive URLs with keywords, not overly long numbers and symbols.
  • Implement breadcrumb site links to help search bots navigate.
  • Ensure your site architecture is crawlable without dead ends.
  • Set up a sitemap to guide search engines through your pages.

Optimize Page Speed

Faster page speed equals better SEO and UX. Test your site’s speed and optimize where needed:

  • Compress images to reduce file size.
  • Minify CSS, JavaScript and HTML files.
  • Leverage browser caching so pages load from cache vs rerendering.
  • Upgrade to faster web hosting and content delivery network.
  • Defer nonessential Javascript rendering.
  • Remove unnecessary plugins or features bogging down pages.

Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

With over 60% of searches on mobile, having a mobile-friendly site is essential.

  • Use responsive design so your pages adapt for smaller screens.
  • Check site speed on mobile and optimize where sluggish.
  • Simplify navigation menus for better taps on touch screens.
  • Increase text sizing and button sizes for fat finger-friendly use.

Set Up and Submit XML Sitemaps

Sitemaps list all your pages so engines can more easily index them.

  • Use a plugin or webmaster tools to auto-generate a sitemap.
  • Include image tags for media discovery.
  • Submit your sitemap to Google and Bing webmaster tools.
  • Update sitemaps as you publish new content.

Optimize robots.txt File

This tells search bots which pages to crawl or ignore:

  • Disallow unimportant pages like archives, tags or admin areas.
  • Allow bots full access to key pages like blog posts, product categories.
  • Test access by requesting a page as Googlebot and validating response.

Implement Structured Data Markup

Structured data makes your pages machine-readable with schema and metadata.

  • Use product schema for richer search listings.
  • Add breadcrumb trails to enhance page relationships.
  • Implement review snippet markup to showcase ratings.
  • Markup FAQ pages and videos for better indexing.

Pick a Fast, Search-Friendly Web Host

Your web host impacts site speed and uptime.

  • Choose a reputable managed host like Bluehost or SiteGround.
  • Ensure your plan has adequate resources for traffic size.
  • Pick a provider with multiple data center locations.
  • Use a content delivery network like Cloudflare for faster delivery.

Advanced Technical SEO Tactics to Try

Once you have the basics covered, try some of these more advanced optimizations:

  • Set up AMP cached pages for blazing mobile speed.
  • Create an XML or txt versions of your sitemap for video and image discovery.
  • Add HTTPS encryption for better security and SEO value.
  • Implement targeting and re-marketing snippets for personalized SERPs.
  • Integrate with site search platforms like Yext for enhanced indexing.

Don’t let technical SEO intimidate you. With research and small tweaks over time, any average website owner can reap major benefits.

Focus on the most fundamental elements first:

  • Optimized site architecture
  • Fast mobile and desktop speeds
  • Effective use of sitemaps
  • Proper crawlability
  • Structured data enhancement

As you master the basics, layer in more advanced tactics. Be patient and tackle fixes step-by-step.

Partner With Technical SEO Experts If Needed

Technical SEO can get complex fast. If tackling optimization yourself is too daunting, partner with experts.

  • Web Developers – Can implement technical SEO best practices during website builds.
  • SEO Agencies – Handle technical and on-page optimization.
  • Web Designers – Ensure site UX and speed is optimized.
  • Hosting Companies – Provide managed hosting tuned for SEO and security.

Don’t let a lack of technical skill keep your site from ranking. Leverage experts to complement your in-house efforts.

Even if you outsource parts of technical SEO, understand the basics. This allows you to oversee the strategy and track effectiveness.

Measure and Monitor Technical SEO Results

Like any SEO initiative, you need to track technical optimization results:

  • Use Google Search Console to monitor crawl stats and indexed pages.
  • Analyze site speed improvements through PageSpeed Insights.
  • Check if mobile usability improves via Google’s test.
  • Set up analytics to measure traffic increases and lower bounce rates.
  • Spot indexation growth using search queries and site: searches.
  • Note any ranking improvements in SERPs.

Keep optimizing and iterating based on the data. Over time, you’ll see tangible traffic and conversions gains.

Now You Know Technical SEO Basics

The average website owner definitely can tackle important technical SEO fundamentals without advanced skills.

With core knowledge of site architecture, speed, mobility, sitemaps and crawling – you can significantly enhance discoverability and optimize for user experience.

Pair fundamental technical expertise with strong content and you’ll unlock SEO success. Your website will be on the fast track to driving qualified organic search to your doorstep.

Let me know if you would like me to modify or add to this beginner’s guide on technical SEO in any way. I’m happy to further tailor the information to suit your website’s needs and optimize the content.

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