What is technical on-page optimisation?

Oct 7th, 2015

SEO is an industry filled almost to brimming with terms and phrases that can worry those outside the industry, but there are few areas as potentially intimidating to the outsider as technical on-page optimisation.

The reason this particular facet of SEO tends to instill fear in those people outside the industry, or new to it, is that it deals with both content and coding and we are generally frightened of one or the other. However, though we often see blogs on how to write ‘quality content’, the coding aspects of on-page optimisation are often put to one side. We have today released a series of cheat sheets dealing with some of the trickier aspects of this element of on-page optimisation, but here’s why they matter.

What is technical on-page optimisation

Technical on-page optimisation is the practice of ensuring – through code, Google Tag Manager, plug-ins and more – that a web page is as easy as possible to understand by search engines. Good optimisation can often lead to a rankings uplift.


The most obvious of the on-page elements, correct use of HTML can make or break content – whether it is a misspelling leading to Google failing to index an entire website, or a simple missing parenthesis causing style spills between sections – it is the frame around which is built the entire website.

Simple HTML snippet
Basic HTML errors


HTTP status codes

Status codes are, generally speaking, seldom seen by site visitors – which is all the more reason to make sure those HTTP pages they do see are unlikely to inspire panic or discontent (by ensuring they are ‘on-brand’. In addition to this they are also important signposts for Google’s site-crawlers, ensuring authority isn’t shared between pages with duplicate content.

BBC 404 Page


URL best practice


Generally speaking, the shorter the URL the better and more memorable. Think of it like drawers within drawers – if your consumer has to access ten different drawers to get what they want, the chances are they’ll quickly lose their taste for that drawer’s content.




Canonicalisation is the process of identifying the page which you want both search engines and site traffic to see and marking it as such using a canonical tag. This ensures your site visitors always access the best content while making sure you don’t suffer the negative effects of split authority between pages.

canonicalisation with halo

This is just a quick overview of what we have in store for you in the new cheat sheet guide, hopefully it will have convinced you that technical on-page optimisation is not as scary as it sounds and is something which, if you haven’t done it already, is something you’ll be able to tackle at least at this basic level.


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