Technical SEO is defined as SEO that is done, mostly, outside the content management system and can include site architecture, server and domain configurations, caching, pre-fetching, reverse proxy, and meta-tag configurations. Some topics are advanced and most topics will require access to the web software stack or domain configuration.
SEO can be split into a number of categories, which roughly translate to skill areas and skill levels.
- SEO Basics – Things to know before you get started on an SEO project
- Technical SEO – Setting up the web environment including domains, hosting, content management systems, web software and more advanced topics such as caching and sitemaps, for which there might be easy ‘plug-in’ solutions. See the list below.
- On-page SEO – Content targeting, meta information, quality, formatting and titling that can help Google and customers to understand the topic more easily
- Off-page SEO – Outreach and publishing activities that can influence the way other websites link to your content
- Google algorithms, guidelines and crawling information – ongoing information needed to understand where Google is taking SEO
- Measuring SEO with performance indicators
- SEO strategy – Checklists and ideas about how to run, monitor and measure SEO activities for different types of businesses.
Technical SEO – What is it and what skill level is needed?
Technical SEO skills are needed throughout the life of a website. After learning the basics, an understanding of the technical aspects will allow you to manage and measure a service provider, freelancer or agency that may carry out the work. A detailed understanding of the technical aspects will allow you to set everything up on your own.
Technical SEO checklist
Here’s a list of the topics, linked to our content guides, that fall within the area of technical SEO. Some of these can also be regarded as off-page SEO activities and some are advanced topics.
- Choosing and buying a domain and understanding the format of a website name.
- Session IDs
- Site moves / migration
- Content migration or site architecture changes
- Site structure design
- URL redirect / forwarding
- URL rewriting
- Configuring .htaccess
- Adding a cache service
- Updating server software such as PHP, MySQL and WordPress
- Robots.txt configuration
- HTML topics such as parallel loading, lazy loading and content-shift
- Using an on-page crawler
- Detecting broken backlinks
- SSL and encrypted connections
- Page loading speed optimisation
- Analytics and other performance measurements
- WordPress SEO plugins and ‘SEO themes.’
- Interpreting Google Search Console errors
- Mobile first and mobile-friendly topics
- AMP configuration
- Understand status codes, including redirects.