The term “search engine optimization,” or SEO, is frequently used when discussing websites. Search engines employ their own uniquely created algorithms to assess a website’s quality and choose where to rank it. Although there are many aspects to SEO, technical SEO is where your website’s foundation is built for these algorithms. Technical SEO, to put it simply, is the optimization of server-side code and technical website aspects to make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website. What does technical SEO consist of then? Let’s explore.
Technical SEO: What is it?
Technical SEO is used to improve a website’s structure so that search engine bots may more efficiently crawl and index the pages on your website.
Technical SEO is a method that involves evaluating and improving a website’s technical components in order to increase its chances of ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). High-level technical SEO abilities are needed to optimize your website’s performance across the board for search engines.
The three primary components of a strong technical SEO strategy for a website are faster page loads, easier crawling for search engines, and giving search engine algorithms enough data about your website to properly index it.
On-page SEO is a type of technical SEO. As a result, it primarily concentrates on enhancing various aspects of your website that might strengthen its reputation with search engines.
How important is Technical SEO?
You may develop a really high-quality website with the finest content, and it will still not rank if your technical SEO is not up to the standard. Why? Your pages should be accessible to search engine algorithms so that they can crawl them and comprehend the content so that they may index them for relevant search queries.
Technical SEO essentially tells search engines what the content of your pages is. Giving out details about the content, internal and external links, metadata, picture descriptions, and much more is part of this. This is only the tip of the sea.
Technical SEO is composed of a number of different characteristics, including duplicate content, website loading times, and mobile optimization.
This does not imply that you must achieve technical SEO excellence for your website in order to rank. However, having it optimized facilitates search engines’ tasks and raises your position in SERPs.
Why should your website be technically optimized?
Maintaining your website’s technical optimization is essential for both users and search engines.
Search engines work hard to provide users with the best results possible for their queries. Because of this, Google’s bots scan through all of your web pages and assess them based on a number of factors.
Speed of website loading, comprehension of the information, use of structured data, and many other technical aspects play a role in this process. This aids search engines in accurately determining the subject matter of your website.
Similar to this, technical SEO is extremely important for user experience. Visitors will remain interested in a website that loads quickly, has solid navigation, and is simple to use. The user experience of your website may be greatly enhanced by having a strong technological basis.
Checklist for the Top 15 Advanced Technical SEO
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the massive amount of tasks required to improve your website. To improve the user experience on your site and to make it rank higher in Google’s organic search results, simply go through the following technical SEO audit checklist. Here is a list of the top 15 technical SEO best practices you should follow to make your website search engine friendly:
HTTPS Version – A secure website is essential
Up until 2014, only e-commerce or online shopping websites used SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) software to create a safe and secure environment for transactions. Google started one of the most important Google ranking factors in 2014 when it said that all websites would need to implement the technology if they desired a higher organic search rating on its SERPs.
A responsive website
Google declared in 2018 that it will begin indexing websites with mobile devices in mind. This implies that the search engine evaluates how responsive web pages are from the standpoint of a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. You may always examine your Google Search Console statistics to see how you rank in this area. Keep in mind that the information on your mobile site should be the same as it is on the desktop version. Another crucial optimization step is to get rid of annoying pop-ups.
Put Structured Data Markup into Practice
Search engines may better comprehend and interpret your website with the aid of structured data markup if, for instance, your content is a recipe, book, how-to lesson, etc. You can easily build it up with Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper and test it with its Structured Data Testing Tool. But before you do anything, don’t forget to visit schema.org, figure out which schema is appropriate for the content of your website, and assign that schema to different URLs. By doing this, you may receive rich, visually improved results on Google’s search engine results pages, which will attract more people. Here are Matt Cutts’ comments on the use of structured data markup from Google.
Site Speed Is Important
Even while Google has always prioritized mobile site performance above desktop site speed when determining rankings, this change was made official in 2018. Additionally, a sluggish website may cause visitors to leave it fast without exploring it further or making a purchase, resulting in a high bounce rate.
To see how you rank in this area, you can simply utilize Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, but you can also employ a few tricks to make things run faster.
Increase Crawl Budget Efficiency
The number of times the Google bot will visit your site to crawl and index it is known as a crawl budget. It is your responsibility as the website owner to make sure that no crawl cycle or crawl budget unit is ever wasted.
Other indicators Google looks for when ranking your site include maintaining sites three clicks or less from the homepage, a shallow click depth, contextual linking, interlinking to pages with comparable content, and leveraging keywords in the anchor text of internal links.
An XML sitemap contains helpful details about your website, such as the most recent updates to a page’s content and its relative importance to other pages on your website. An XML sitemap, as the name indicates, provides a web crawler with a blueprint of your website and instructions on how to browse it.
While you can make one for your website using a sitemap generator, it’s essential that you also submit your XML sitemap to Google Search Console so that it can properly crawl and index your website.
Implementation of AMP
A special, stripped-down version of HTML called AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is used to increase the performance and functionality of mobile websites. By turning off scripts, forms, comments, and other similar features, AMP works. The number of backlinks to your site and your CTR (click-through rate) may both increase with the proper use of AMP. Google even makes AMP pages visible in significant search result carousels, which attracts more user attention. But keep in mind that AMP is not a replacement for a website that is mobile-friendly.
Prevent 404 pages
A 404 status code is the ideal option if a page no longer exists or if you changed the URL. If you use WordPress or another similar content publishing platform, make sure your 404 page is search engine optimized by using a structure that is similar to your website, providing users with options for alternative, related pages they can visit, making it simple for users to return to where they came from, etc. By doing this, you will remove any uncertainty from a web crawler’s journey through your site as it indexes and crawls it.
When it comes to maintaining a clean website, duplicate site content is a big no-no. Google is informed by a canonical URL which version of a web page it should crawl and index. You may do this by simply adding the rel=”canonical” directive to your page’s code. You should choose a preferred canonical URL for each page on your website. To guarantee there isn’t any duplication in the first place, you may also stop your CMS (content management system like WordPress) from publishing several copies of the same content.
Tag and Category Pages with Noindex
A page’s “no index” tag tells search engines to cease indexing and following the links and material on it. Developers frequently utilize this to guide Google crawlers to their sites that are more significant and prioritized. Thus, this tag may be added to archive or category pages while trying to improve other technical SEO aspects.
Choose your preferred domain name
Entering either https://www.abc.com or https://abc.com will take you to a website (sans the www). Users could do this out of the blue and without much consideration, but it could perplex search engines and cause indexing and page rank problems.
As a result, you need to tell Google which version you want. Mentioning that there is no benefit to choosing one over the other, you must remain steadfast after you’ve chosen your preferred domain name or there may be issues with site migration utilizing a 301 redirect. Register with Google Webmaster Tools, confirm all of your site’s versions and then select the preferable one under “Site Settings” to specify your preferred domain name with Google.
A key structural component of the technical SEO checklist is breadcrumbs. It is sometimes referred to as a “breadcrumb trail” and is a style of navigation that reveals the user’s position.
It is a type of internet navigation that significantly raises a visitor’s sense of direction. Breadcrumbs make it evident where one user is on the website and display the website structure.
Additionally, it reduces the number of steps a user must go to return to the homepage, another area, or a higher-level page. Websites that require a logical layout and have several parts frequently employ breadcrumbs. It is therefore a fantastic suggestion for e-commerce websites.
It is a method of spreading out the content over a number of pages. An essential component of technical SEO, pagination is utilized to organize a list of items or articles in a manner that is easy to read. Websites that employ pagination include blogs, forums, news providers, and e-commerce sites.
When employing pagination, duplicate content concerns may arise. The use of rel=”next” and rel=”prev” links can help to prevent such situations and merge the links and page rank to the main page.
This is done to let search engines know that the primary page continues on subsequent pages. Google will identify the primary page and utilize it for indexing after locating the appropriate links in the code.
Stay away from duplicate or weak content
One of the key elements in comprehending technical SEO is thin content. The ranking indications that are uncovered from the data that Google sends can be used to find it. It is advised that websites use expertly written content rather than mass-produced information to avoid instances of thin content.
Before sending the downloaded HTML for rendering, duplicate content may be eliminated. The HTML response may contain app shell models, less-important material, and code. The same visible code results in duplicate pages that might not render right away on other websites. The worry ought to finally go away with time. Although it could become an issue with more recent websites. Canonical link components that self-reference at this time assist avoid duplicate content problems and identify the original page or page one that we want to rank in search results.
Every business or brand owner should spend valuable time perfecting the technical SEO of their website since the rewards far surpass any early challenges they may have in comprehending the principles and using the tactics. On the plus side, though, if done properly, you won’t need to worry about it outside the odd site health audit. Check out our blogs for the most recent information about SEO and other topics.