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Guide to Technical On-Page SEO

There’s much more to SEO than making sure you have the right keywords creatively woven into your content. There’s also a range of technical aspects that you need to take care of.

This differs from off-page SEO which is about getting exposure for your website through other channels.

What exactly is technical on-page SEO and why is it so important?


What is technical on-page SEO?


It’s important to remember that for all their intelligence, search engines don’t look at web pages the same way we do. They’re not looking at the slick design or the engaging content.

Instead, they only read the source code of the page.

If you right-click on a webpage, you’ll be presented with an option for viewing the page code. If you’re not familiar with HTML code, then it won’t make a lot of sense.

You might understand one or two commands from your experience using the internet over the years, but as a cohesive whole it will be meaningless.

When a search engine crawler finds a web page, it’s this code that it will scan through while trying to establish an understanding of the page’s content and its relevance to a particular search.

In effect, it’s looking for clues. The more clues you give it, the more likely it is to return your website at a prominent position in the search results.


What is HTML code and how does it work with SEO?


HTML is the basic code that websites use. The source code for websites is filled with tags, and anything written within the tags is HTML code.

Anything between the two sets of tags is something that could appear on the page for a visitor to read. The text inside the tags is what tells browsers and search engines how to render the information contained between two sets of tags.


For instance, this piece of code:


<title>All about technical SEO<title>


You would see “All about technical SEO” in the title bar of the browser window.

If this page were to appear in search results, the name “All about technical SEO” would be the text on the link you would click to reach the page. Technical on-page SEO techniques use these tags and the information that they hold to give more clues to the search engine crawlers. This is done by adding more key information, such as keywords, to enable them to rank higher in relevant search engines.

This SEO is on-page because it’s visible to readers. If you add more keywords, they’ll be seen by the visitor.

With this in mind, on-page SEO is a balance between giving the correct information to search engines without compromising the value of the content that your visitors are reading on the page.

In the early days of mass internet use, SEO techniques were basic, reflecting an unsophisticated approach by search engines when it came to generating results. You would regularly find pages stuffed with keywords that were essentially meaningless. These days, that approach gets you punished by search engines who are looking for quality information.

On-page SEO vs technical SEO

This kind of ‘on-page’ SEO differs from technical SEO in that it’s centred around keywords. The technical SEO aspects you have to take into account are all about optimising the website to make it easy for search engines to understand what a site is all about.

Search engines evaluate websites on a range of different factors. Some of these factors will impact on the overall user experience, such as the speed at which a website loads.

Others are about how the data is structured to make it easier for search engines to crawl and understand your site. When it’s done well, it will help improve your position in website rankings.

It’s also important to remember that poorly-executed technical SEO can have a detrimental impact on your search engine rankings. For instance, it’s all too easy to add a trailing slash in the wrong place in your robots.txt.file.

This small mistake can render your site completely invisible to search engines.


What are some elements of technical SEO?

There are a range of technical elements that you need to take care of if you’re to give your site the best possible chance of appearing prominently in search engine results.

First, the website is fast. It loads quickly, and the time between the user clicking on a link and getting the content they’re looking for is minimal. Search engines understand that users are increasingly impatient with slow loading sites.

The site also needs to be easy for the crawlers to navigate. To help facilitate this, it should have a sound internal linking structure.

Use tags and robots.txt. files to give crawlers information about what your site should look like. Dead links are a red flag for Google crawlers.

Make sure that you remove any from your site, including the ones that are hidden. The more 404 pages you have on your site, the less appealing it will be to search engines. Your website shouldn’t include too much duplicate content, should have structured data, and it should include an XML sitemap.

Crucially, it needs to be secure, guaranteeing user privacy and reducing the risk of it being used for malicious or fraudulent purposes.


Get your technical SEO right first time


Technical SEO isn’t straightforward, and it’s easy to make mistakes. Aqueous Digital are experts when it comes to technical SEO.

We can fine tune the technical aspects of your website, tackling any underlying issues while adding new elements that can give your website the edge.

Call us on 0800 285 1424 or email us at for a free audit of your website and to have a chat about how we can support the success of your business with our award-winning search engine optimisation.


Find out more about the SEO services we offer.


Further reading on SEO

Aqueous Digital’s Guide to the Top 501 SEO and Digital Marketing Terms

Aqueous Digital’s Ultimate Guide to the cost of SEO in the UK

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What is Technical SEO?

What is Local SEO?


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