get to know tech SEO with 8 must-read technical SEO ebooks (beginner to advanced)

Don't have all the answers you need to get organic search traffic up? Are you pretty good with content-driven SEO but kind of clueless about what goes on under the hood? You're in the right place. 

These free SEO guides all have a technical focus to help you woo Google from the code up — even if tinkering with website code isn't your forte. Check out the list below to jump straight to books or read on for a brief introduction to technical SEO.

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what are technical SEO techniques and tactics?

Advanced SEO tactics are a little more like sorcery than science. Even SEO experts have been known, every now and then, to throw their hands up in response to a question and say, "Well, that depends!" 

Advanced technical SEO takes you past the content itself, past the on-page optimization, and asks you to consider how well your website is built.

  • How good of an experience does it offer for visitors? Does it load quickly? Is it easy to navigate?
  • Is it just as usable on mobile as on desktop?
  • Does it make sense structurally with logical menus, easy-to-follow breadcrumbs, and proper page redirects?
  • Are pages visible and easy for bots to crawl so that Google can index? Likewise, are duplicate or less relevant pages hidden?

These concerns spill over into content, but technical SEO really boils down to overall site health and performance.

How much do I need to worry about advanced SEO?

You can't really over-optimize on the backend. However, you can overthink it and waste time making changes that offer negligible benefit. 

So where do you draw that line? 

You need a solid foundation to start. From the outset, make sure:

  • Pages are in good standing (crawled and indexed; full of original, valuable content) 
  • The purpose of the site and its pages is clear (Is this a storefront? A blog? Informational?) and includes a site map
  • A mobile version, 1. exists, and 2. is also optimized, not simply hacked together

Then it will come down to your own priorities and real-world results. Experimentation is key.

As a baseline, find a strategy that works for ranking and generates clicks. Monitor site health as well as analytics, and make time for regular, necessary changes as issues come to your attention.

When you want to prioritize better site health, cleaner website architecture, and emphasize the user experience, that's when a complete guide to technical SEO becomes handy.

What are the different types of SEO?

On-page SEO

On-page SEO is largely content-driven and totally within your control. It's articles, headings, and website copy. It's what you choose to call the categories on your site, what's included on your product pages, the links to your other content that you include in any given write-up.

On-page SEO isn't easy to master by any means, but it's the one many of us are most familiar with.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO is like your sphere of influence elsewhere on the web — republication of your content, backlinks and guest blogs, brand awareness and social media.

It usually helps Google contextualize your website and determine how reputable and authoritative you are. Page and domain authority depend on off-page SEO, and it can play a large role for budding SEO strategies.

Technical SEO

And finally, technical SEO: the things that make it easier for Google to crawl, index, and recommend your site in good conscience (insofar as an algorithm can). Like on-page SEO, you can improve your technical SEO by thinking of the end user instead of the search engine.

If a page loads slowly, or links are broken and pages are lost in the void, or images overly dominate the screen, people won't like using your website. This is basically what Google is trying to quantify as it investigates your technical SEO.

tech SEO
SEO ebooks

the best free technical SEO ebooks and SEO audit guides

But what is technical SEO? What are some technical SEO elements?

It's things like image types, Javascript, code structure, the quality of your domain, using a secured protocol. The advanced nature of these elements is what makes technical SEO so tricky, and keeps it out of reach for the non-devs among us. 

These SEO ebooks aim to change that. Each guide can help you conduct an audit, correct or address technical issues, and improve site performance in a way that boosts your search performance.

technical SEO for non-technical thinkers by oncrawl

The perspective you'll want if you're in content creation, e-commerce, or the like:  enough explanation that you'll understand why certain steps need to be taken, and how to take them, but the text doesn't go so far into the weeds that you'll need to pull up the inspect tool and start digging into your website code.

What questions does this technical SEO book address?

  • What do search engines need to access to create a search listing?
  • How do search engines find your page?
  • How do search engines evaluate your page?
  • What are the tools used for technical SEO?
see the ebook listing
technical SEO for non-technical thinkers by oncrawl

how schema markup can be a gamechanger for your site by yellow

This schema ebook from Yellow (the company formerly known as Yellow Pages!) is a super quick read, but gets the job done. If you need to put SEO microdata on your site, or learn more about it in general, start here.

What questions does this SEO ebook on structured data address?

  • What is a schema markup? What are some examples of schema markup?
  • What is the difference between schema markup and Google's rich snippets?
  • How do I implement schema markup using Google's structured data markup helper? What about using a schema markup generator?
see the ebook listing
how schema markup can be a gamechanger for your site by yellow

technical SEO audit by ryte

A quick-hit reference you can pull out whenever you need to keep track of tech SEO concerns. Run through the sections on a regular basis rather than picking up this eBook once and trying to learn the basics with it. It's perfect for making sure no important elements get overlooked.

What are some of the things you'll find covered in this technical SEO audit checklist?

  • Examining your indexed and cached pages
  • Running a keyword audit for your brand
  • Checking your Javascript, cookies, and CSS, as well as benchmarking load times
  • Running through your on-page SEO for any issues with title tags, headers, alt tags, and URL format
  • Reviewing internal link
see the ebook listing

SEO performance analysis by click consult

A different take on the SEO audit checklist – with more actionable content and suggestions for getting changes implemented. It works more as a guide and has a broader focus on overall optimization.

What can you expect this book on SEO performance to offer you?

  • What are Google core updates? Why do I need to care about them?
  • What parts of my website/SEO are impacted by changes and updates to the Google algorithm?
  • What is an SEO audit and what is a good template to follow?
  • What do I need to do to conduct keyword analysis and benchmark my mobile performance?
  • How do I perform an SEO backlink audit?
  • How do you prepare an SEO audit report after running through all the tests and analysis?
  • What tools do I need for an SEO audit?
see the ebook listing
SEO performance analysis by click consult

a complete guide to advanced technical SEO by search engine journal

What questions does this SEO ebook address? It might be better to try and figure out which ones it doesn't. When Search Engine Journal says they are offering a complete guide to advanced technical SEO, they aren't playing around.

This book really offers a pretty complete walkthrough:

  • hosting and optimized URL-building
  • how to set up robots.txt
  • troubleshooting problems with indexing
  • website navigation and pagination best practices
  • traffic and conversion optimization
  • the technical side of content wrangling
  • Javascript and URL parameters
  • and finally, a quick technical SEO audit guide that goes over all the points they hit on previously
see the ebook listing
a complete guide to advanced technical SEO by search engine journal

a complete guide to core web vitals by search engine journal

Core Web Vitals are not SEO directly, but it makes sense to look into them while you’re rummaging around your site’s backend. They're an assessment Google runs on your page performance based on real-world data — and as we've covered, performance is always important to SEO scores.

What questions does this advanced technical ebook cover?

  • How does Google use Core Web Vitals, and how has it changed over time?
  • How do you measure Core Web Vitals?
  • What are Google's own recommendations for Core Web Vitals best practices?
  • What is first input delay?
  • What is largest contentful paint?
  • What are lighthouse performance metrics and how can you use them?
see the ebook listing
a complete guide to core web vitals by search engine journal

ultimate guide to technical SEO audit by inboundsys

This Ultimate Guide to Technical SEO delivers on the promise of a strictly technical focus. Each topic gets a breakdown of what it is, why it's important, and how you can measure and improve the metric. While it's similar to Performance Analysis in that way, you definitely wouldn't use this book for a general audit.

What's specifically covered in this tech SEO ebook?

  • What kind of SEO problems can come up in relation to my source code?How do I check on it?
  • How can I help my pages load faster and work more responsively?
  • The importance of assessing the preferred domain, content delivery network, and canonical URLs of your website
  • How to optimize your crawl budget by making it easier for bots to inspect your site
  • Brief (non-specific) introductions to schema markup implementation, robots.txt, and breadcrumbs for SEO
  • How iframes can affect your site optimization and how you can make them more SEO-friendly
see the ebook listing
ultimate guide to technical SEO audit by inboundsys

ultimate guide to site architecture optimization by deepcrawl

What questions does this advanced technical SEO book address? Maybe you can guess, but it's all about architecture, baby – and it’s not for the uninitiated.

This is a highly specific playbook for specific, well-versed audiences. If you aren't building a website yourself, from the ground up, it may be an interesting read but only partially useful in very small sudden bursts. So it has a relatively narrow focus, but covers those topics in depth:

  • What exactly is site architecture anyway? How does it actually impact search engines and our users?
  • What's the difference between URL structure and site architecture?
  • Wait, now what's information architecture?
  • What are the different types of pages that can make up a site? How can we map them out and better align our site as a whole?
  • What are the best ways to organize and categorize website pages? What should our taxonomy and hierarchy look like?
  • How do you help a page target a specific search query or search intent?
  • How should we handle internal linking?
see the ebook listing
ultimate guide to site architecture optimization by deepcrawl

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