Technical SEO is not dead. With web development capabilities evolving, technical SEO will become even more important. But check-listing small, individual technical fixes over focusing on providing helpful content, a good user experience, and accessibility is very much an outdated practice.
For example, you will often see industry-leading site performance evaluator tools like PageSpeed insights or GTMetrix spit out a list of issues on your site. If there are a large number of issues, your site will receive a bad score – according to their algorithms. But just because something is an “issue”, it doesn’t mean it’s significantly impacting your SEO performance. For example, defining the explicit width and height of an image is a known issue for these tools; if the image looks good on both desktop and mobile view, and doesn’t cause any performance issues on the site, then this “fix” won’t have any major impact on your user experience and, in turn, on your SEO.
That said, there are technical issues that can have a significant impact on your SEO performance—and they’re often not obvious. For example, your site may use client-side rendered content that’s visible to users but often not to Google. In this case, even the best content in the world will never rank well — if Google can’t see it, it can’t rank it.
Other technical issues can impact user experience, such as excessive numbers of 404 pages and, yes, even truly bad page load times. If it’s bad for users, it’s bad for Google.
When prioritizing your technical issues, always ask yourself: will fixing this particular issue make a significant difference in how bots or users are visiting, interacting with, and experiencing your site? If not, it can probably be put on the back burner to be addressed when you don’t have more pressing priorities. In the interim, you should focus your time on creating exciting new content & optimizing your existing content.
Contact Fire&Spark to learn more about contemporary approaches to technical SEO & content marketing.