Technical SEO is a crucial step in the whole SEO process. Your SEO efforts will not generate the expected results if there are problems with your technical SEO. It is thus necessary to make sure that you rightly perform technical search engine optimization activities for your website.
Wondering what exactly technical SEO is?
In this post, we will discuss the basics of technical SEO.
Technical SEO is a subcategory of search engine optimization that involves website and server optimization to help search engine spiders crawl and index your site more effectively.
The technical SEO efforts should address:
- Website speed- A faster website enhances the user experience. Make sure that the website template is simple, limit redirects, and optimize the visuals.
- Mobile-friendliness- Users have now moved from desktop to mobile. Ensure that the website is easy to navigate for visitors via mobile devices.
- Site structure- Site structure is how your website content is organised and presented in front of visitors. Use HTTP, hypertext, user-friendly, consistent URL structure, and internal links.
Why is technical SEO an important part of modern web marketing?
The success of a website depends on how fast, functional, and user-friendly it is. And technical SEO aims the same by optimizing the infrastructure of the website. Technical SEO ensures that the website is easy to navigate and free from the technical issue that prevents it from ranking higher in the search engine results. Businesses should apply technical SEO to attract organic traffic and turn traffic into customers. In the absence of technical SEO the most attractive, relevant content-loaded website that loads slowly, isn’t usable on mobile devices will fail to generate any leads or revenue.
Benefits of Technical SEO for business:
- Adhere business to Google’s best practices for website optimization.
- Build a mobile-friendly website that users can access easily from any device.
- Ensures that the website doesn’t lag behind while loading.
- Make the website easy to crawl, index and rank by search engines.
- Remove intrusive elements that hinder the user experience.
- Eases navigation on the website for users.
- Keep the website safe and secure.
- Lay-out search engine-friendly URL.
- Remove broken links and 404 pages from the website.
- Add structured data to improve the way a page is displayed in the search result.
- Improve indexing by setting up a sitemap as a roadmap.
- Include a robots.txt file to tell the search engine what and what not to crawl.
Technical SEO checklist
- Update the page experience– Google new page experience signal include mobile friendliness, HTTP security, safe browsing, and intrusive interstitial guidelines. Google core web vital comprised of three factors-
- First input delay- – FID refers to the time taken by the browser to respond to the user’s first interaction with the website. To ensure a good user experience, the page should have an FID of less than 100 ms
- Largest content paint- LCP is a metric that measures the time taken by a website to display the user its lengthiest content on the web page. To ensure a good user experience the LCP of a page should be 2.5 seconds.
- Cumulative layout Shift- CLS is a metric that measures the visual stability, unexpected shifting of the web elements while the page is loading.
All of these factors can be measured through the google search console, which informs you about URLs that have potential issues. Google page speed insights, lighthouse, and webpagestest.org are some tools that can help to improve the page speed and core web vitals. Optimizations you should perform:
- Implement lazy loading for non-critical images
- Optimize image formats for browser
- Analyze for crawl errors-The errors that restrict the search engine to reach the website page are crawling errors. Tools that can help you to make your website free from crawl errors are deep crawl, SEO clarity, etc. Google search console can also help to check the crawl errors. While scanning the crawl errors-
- Implement all redirect with the 301 redirect
- Go through 4xx and 5xx pages to find where you want to redirect the errors to
- Fix broken inbound and outbound links- Inbound links are the links that come from others website while outbound links are the like that your website links out to other websites with the different domain name. The poor and broken link won’t direct the users to the correct web page, thus causing a poor user experience for both the humans and search engines. For broken inbound and outbound links, check for the mentioned factors:
- Links that go to 4xx error page
- Links that are 301 and 302 redirecting
- Deep internal linking structure
- Pages that are not linked at all. Remove these kinds of links.
- Fix duplicate content issues– The content that appears in more than one place or a website is duplicate content. The duplicate content is used by the competitors to manipulate the search engine rankings and drive more traffic, hence it is advised to fix the duplicate content. To fix the issue:
- Use the canonical search element to let the search engines know where the true version of the content resides.
- Prevent CMS from publishing multiple versions of posts by disabling the session ids and printer-friendly versions of the content.
- Set up parameter handling in google search console.
- Migrate the site to HTTPS protocol– HTTPS ensures data safety as it provides encrypted data to avoid data leaks.
- Has clean URL structure– Site URL should be simple as complex URLs cause problems for the crawlers by creating unnecessarily high numbers of URLs pointing to similar content. Google Bot is unable to index the content of the website for complex URL structure.
- Create an XML sitemap– An XML sitemap is a blueprint of a website that helps the searchers find, crawl, and index the website’s content. It is a “search roadmap” for the search engines as it tells the search engines about the most important pages of your website. Site maps also give an estimate about the pages that you have indexed and pages you want to index and also informs about the last modification detail, updating frequency and priority of the page to the site. An XML sitemap can be built using a sitemap generator.
An optimized sitemap includes:
- Recently added content like a blog post, product, etc.
- Only 200-status URL
- You should not have more than 50000 URLs and for more URLs you should have multiple XML Sitemaps to maximize the crawl budget.
- Break a sitemap into several smaller Sitemaps
- Keep your site map below 50 MB, as google doesn’t support Sitemaps above 50 MB.
Exclude the following from the sitemap:
- URL with parameters
- URL with 4xx and 5xx status codes
- 301 redirecting URLs
- Optimized robots.txt file– A Robots.txt file informs search engine crawlers which URLs the crawler can access on your website. It helps to avoid overloading a site with the requests, thus helping to manage the crawler traffic on the website.
- Include a location of the XML sitemap in the robot.txt
- Disallow temporary files, admin pages, cart, and checkout pages, and search-related pages URLs from the robots.txt
- Enable AMP– AMP, accelerated mobile pages also form a part of the on-site SEO strategy. It is an open-source coding structure that is designed to make websites open more quickly on mobile devices while using less data. Optimizing the speed that your website can load onto mobile impacts the SEO as customers will get a positive impression which leads to more engagement and clicks.
- Use SSL – Secure socket layer certificates are the security measures for websites. These are the small data files that are installed on a web server, activating a padlock that allows a secure connection from a web server to a browser. SSL certificates show visitors that your website is verified and safe from hackers. It also helps to improve the SEO ranking.
- Add schema markup– Schema markup is a code that is inserted into your website to make it easier for the search engine to interpret the information included in your on-page content. It helps to improve the visibility of content. Online schema markup generators, like Merkle, and Google’s structured data testing tool can be used to create schema markup for your website.
Technical SEO thus comprises a number of checks to help search engines to crawl and index your website easily. In the majority of cases doing it is a one-time task and you don’t have to do it again except the regular technical audit. Thus by doing technical SEO you can help your website to reach its full potential.
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