One of the reasons for this debate is that many SEO tasks are difficult to measure. SEOs perform keyword research and link building. We know that these strategies help content rank, but there is no guarantee.
Web developers, architects, and DevOps look at these tasks and see them as the job of marketing. Not something they need to worry about. They are not technical.
These tasks need a deep technical understanding of how the web works. It is no longer SEOs alone that need to understand SEO. We need SEOs, webmasters, web developers, architects and DevOps working together.
Tackling technical issues as a multidisciplinary team.
Technical SEO Tasks
The goal of Technical SEO is to increase the efficiency, and speed of your site. This is so that web crawlers such as GoogleBot can crawl your site without any technical issues. When GoogleBot finds problems then either:
Your page will not appear in search results
Google will move your site down the rankings as it offers users poor experience.
Improving the Technical SEO of your website will allow Google to crawl your site. Which allows them to index the content. It is also a clear sign of a healthy site. Google likes healthy sites as it will give Google users a great experience. Making them come back to Google next time.
That is the ultimate goal of Technical SEO.
Let's look at some of the common Technical SEO tasks:
Performing a Technical SEO audit to identify areas of the site that need improving
Questions Technical SEO Addresses
There are many Technical SEO tasks as the subject is very broad. Here are some questions you can answer by focusing on the Technical SEO of a website:
How do web crawlers work?
As part of Technical SEO, you must have a good understanding of how web crawlers or Bots work. With this knowledge, you can fix issues when crawlers are unable to visit your site. Going further you can start to optimize your site to be more efficient.
Now you have a good understanding of what Technical SEO is. Let's look at some resources that you can use to learn more.
There are unfortunately very few books on the subject of Technical SEO. Many books touch on the subject by dedicating a chapter. Yet, they don't go in-depth enough. Here are some of my recommendations for further reading.
The Art of SEO
The book “The Art of SEO” has a chapter titled “Developing an SEO-Friendly Website”. The authors touch on many Technical SEO improvements, such as:
Making Your Site Accessible to Search Engines
Creating an Optimal Information Architecture
Root Domains, Subdomains, and Microsites
Optimization of Domain Names/URLs
Duplicate Content Issues
Controlling Content with Cookies and Session IDs
Content Delivery and Search Spider Control
Content Management System Issues
Best Practices for Multilanguage/Country Targeting
Web Performance in Action
This last book Web Performance in Action is a great deep dive into improving the page speed of your site. There is real technical detail which goes into subjects such as:
Making Images Responsive
Performance Monitoring Tools
My next recommendation is Using WebPageTest. This book is a deep dive into how to use WebPageTest.org. The website allows you to run performance tests and the book helps explain the results. This is a great book if you are new to WebPageTest as it helps to make sense of the charts and numbers.
The last book SEO Warrior also covers many areas of SEO. It does a good job of picking out some of the technical “traps” that your site may fall into. It covers Technical SEO such as:
There are a few online courses available. At present the best one is free and offered by SEMRush:
SEMRush has a dedicated free course for Technical SEO that is worth checking out. It covers many of the technical aspects including web performance. This is the course to beat at the moment.
Once you have completed the above course if you want more then take a look at the following courses.
Yoast is a popular WordPress plugin for SEO. They have an online academy that has a section dedicated to Technical SEO. The content is for non-technical people and will give a good overview of what makes a site crawlable.
The last course is on Udemy, Technical SEO course. It covers most of the Technical SEO topics including how to complete an Audit.
There are some great online communities for getting help with Technical SEO. Here are some to check out:
BigSEO is a slack group with a dedicated Technical SEO channel. There is a good mix of SEOs, webmasters and developers and this is one of my favorite communities. You can find me there.
WebPageTest Forums is for help and feedback on web performance. If you have trouble understanding the test results then this is the place to seek help.