When we talk about SEO, we can use the iceberg metaphor to distinguish between content SEO and technical SEO. Content SEO is just the tip of the iceberg, but there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface. Enter technical SEO.

Technical SEO plays a key role in ensuring that search engines crawl, index and rank your website properly. By optimising the technical elements of your website, you’ll therefore increase its chances of ranking higher and, therefore, increase the number of people who visit your website.

In this article, we take a deep dive into all things technical SEO. We also provide you with a handy technical SEO checklist so you can make sure your technical SEO game is up to scratch.

Technical SEO is pivotal. You might have the best content in the world, but if your website isn’t optimised from a technical standpoint, you’ll likely struggle to see results. Technical SEO focuses on the behind-the-scenes elements that impact search engine crawling, indexing and ranking. Essentially, it makes it easier for search engines to understand WHAT your website is about and HOW to categorise it properly.

Some key areas that fall under the technical SEO umbrella are:

  • Site speed
  • Mobile friendliness
  • URL Structure
  • Site architecture
  • HTTPS Security

But don’t think technical SEO is just for search engines. A good site structure and technical foundation are crucial to turn casual visitors into repeat customers. A website should load quickly and be easy to navigate. After all, who wants to buy a product from a website that takes ages to load?





First off, before getting into any technical SEO issues, you need to make sure you’re all set up to track all data associated with your website’s performance. This way, you can track whether your SEO strategy is working or not.

Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools are the two platforms you should use to do this. They show you how your website is performing in terms of organic traffic and display the results of key data points such as keyword rankings, impressions and clicks on search engines. The more data you have, the better you can refine your SEO strategy.

Google Analytics is another platform you need to set up. While Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Search Console collect data directly related to search engine performance, Google Analytics tracks data related to ALL people visiting your website. In this way, you can monitor the channels from which your traffic comes from and what people are doing once they’re on your website.

Speed is one of Google’s Core Web Vitals. These vitals are standardised metrics set by Google that help website owners understand how users experience their website. Site speed is a key aspect of these core web vitals. In addition, it’s also one of Google’s ranking factors, which further underlines how important it is to prioritise site speed.

One easy way to improve site speed is to optimise all images on your website. Compress large images, make sure you’re using the appropriate file formats, and specify the image dimensions to prevent any clunky resizing. Speaking of compression, use Gzip or Brotli compression to compress HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. These can significantly improve your overall loading times.

Another thing you need to consider is the implementation of appropriate cache-control headers. Browser caching dramatically improves site speed, as it allows static resources to be stored locally on each visitor’s device. This means that these resources don’t have to be re-downloaded on the visitor’s device every time they visit your website. Make sure you configure caching policies from the start to maximise the positive impact of browser caching on your site speed.

You need to ensure your website is free from crawl errors. Crawl errors are issues that search engines encounter when they try to reach a webpage. Undoubtedly, having a lot of these errors tanks your website’s SERP rankings.

You can use Google Search Console to check for crawl errors. Common errors include server errors (for instance, 5xx errors), broken links and redirect chains. While checking for these errors, make sure you use 301 redirect for any redirects. This indicates that your page is permanently moving, enabling search engine crawlers to re-index your page and maintain your ranking.

If there are any specific pages that you don’t want the search engine crawlers to crawl, use a robots.txt file. However, make sure this webpage doesn’t lead to any important content, as you can unintentionally block an important page if you’re not careful!

Another important criteria to tick off your technical SEO checklist is site structure. An optimised site architecture may seem like a no-brainer, but it can easily be sidelined. Site architecture refers to the overall site structure, and this includes how pages are clustered and interconnected. A well-designed site not only takes user experience into account, but also facilitates search engine crawling.

First, make sure you establish a clear hierarchy for your website content. Important pages should be accessible with just a few clicks. This allows visitors to quickly find the important information without having to waste time clicking on pages they don’t need.

Internal linking is a good way to connect related pages. Say your blog post talks about your latest product. Not including an internal link in your article leading to your product page is a big faux pas. This is because internal links are crucial to help search engines crawl and index new pages.

Breadcrumbs also play a key role in improving search engine crawling and indexing. They’re a type of secondary navigation that help users, as well as search engines, understand the relationship between different pages.

However, breadcrumbs are only useful for large websites with hierarchically-arranged webpages, such as e-commerce websites. You shouldn’t use them for single-level websites, as doing so can actually harm, rather than help, your technical SEO.

Finally, a user-friendly design can go a long way towards improving your search engine rankings. Design websites with the user (and Google/Bing) in mind. Prioritise intuitive navigation, easy access to important content, and mobile responsiveness.

URL structures contribute to whether or not a website can be easily crawled and indexed. The URL of all webpages within the website structure should be descriptive, user-friendly and SEO-optimised.

Make sure you include relevant keywords relating to what’s on the page. Descriptive URLs not only contribute to a page’s SEO score, but also help visitors understand what they can expect from the webpage.

It doesn’t need to be complicated, however. Keep URLs short and avoid keyword stuffing. Remember that short URLs are easier to remember, which makes it easier for website visitors to share.

This one may seem obvious, but never use underscores or spaces in your URL. Use hyphens instead. Search engines prefer them, because URLs with hyphens are easier to crawl. Also make sure you specify the canonical URL for each page. A canonical URl is the main version of a webpage in case of duplicates. This prevents issues related to duplicate content, which can seriously harm indexing and ultimately, your rankings.

The final point on this technical SEO checklist is HTTPS security. This is the secure version of HTTP – the main protocol used to transfer data between a website and web browser. The difference between HTTPS and HTTP is that the former is encrypted, which increases the overall security of data transfer. Therefore, it’s essential for businesses (especially those specialising in e-Commerce) to switch to HTTPS, as it prevents malicious actors from tampering with sensitive data.

Furthermore, HTTPS is widely associated with credibility. When website visitors see https:// as a prefix, they’re rest assured that if they buy a product from your business’ website, their data is protected. As you can imagine, this makes a world of a difference when you’re trying to convert visitors into buyers.

As far as SEO is concerned, HTTPS still plays a role in Google’s ranking system. Websites that use HTTPS are seen as more reputable and trustworthy than their HTTP counterparts. Although it’s not a ranking signal, it’s still an important technical SEO consideration, especially if you’re operating in a competitive niche.

Technical SEO is not something you can do once and be done with it. On the contrary, it’s something you need to constantly monitor and improve. With recent and forthcoming search engine changes, especially Google’s Search Generative Experience, being on top of your technical SEO game is crucial to ensure that your website remains relevant in Google’s eyes.

If you don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. Audit your website with our free SEO audit tool to identify any issues, and receive personalised recommendations on how to address them. After all, staying proactive in optimising your SEO will not only benefit your search engine visibility, but also improve the way your customers experience your website and your overall brand.

LOCALiQ FREE Website Grader

Prepare for SEO take off 🚀

Take the first step to ranking higher with our free SEO audit.

Get a complete overview of optimisation opportunities and uncover the actions you need to take to scale the SERPs.


Sign up to our newsletter.

Get the latest digital marketing tips and trends direct to your inbox every month.