Technical SEO. A short phrase that is known to instill fear in the hearts of SEO and non-SEO marketing professionals.
Makes sense. Between subdomains, robots.txt files, indexing budgets, schema.org tags, and all the other factors that developers typically deal with, technical SEO can seem daunting.
However, once you dive into the basics and understand what Google and other search engines are trying to achieve (indexing and indexing web pages), you can begin to develop access to a checklist for optimizing your website.
We are here to discuss what technical SEO is, why it is crucial for good ranking, important factors to consider and how to optimize your site for future success.
- 1 What is technical SEO?
- 2 Why is technical SEO important?
- 3 How does technical SEO differ from on- and off-page SEO factors?
- 4 11 tips for improving your site’s technical SEO
- 4.1 1. Make site structure and navigation user-friendly
- 4.2 2. Create a strategic, scalable URL structure
- 4.3 3. Make sure your site speed isn’t lagging
- 4.4 4. Check to see if your site is crawlable by search engines
- 4.5 5. Use schema.org structured data markup
- 4.6 6. Eliminate dead links on your site
- 4.7 7. Fix duplicate content issues
- 4.8 8. Implement HTTPS for enhanced security
- 4.9 9. Create an XML sitemap
- 4.10 10. Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
- 4.11 11. Improve your internal linking
- 5 Technical SEO tools
What is technical SEO?
Technical SEO describes any technical implementation or code implementation of a website that helps Google and any other search engine to index a bot) efficiently and accurately index and index your website.
Examples of optimization for technical SEO include, but are not limited to:
Technical SEO optimizations can improve the user experience, but primarily these factors are aimed at helping search and search engine robots to do their job more efficiently.
Learn: Before we continue to understand technical SEO, be sure to familiarize yourself with regular SEO and how it works.
Why is technical SEO important?
Although less understandable than building links or other optimizations on a page, technical SEO is key to building a solid foundation for your SEO campaign. Without proper application, Google will find it difficult to know who you are, what you provide, and how to rank your website properly.
Creating great content and building a bunch of links to your site without the technical foundation in place is the same as having 50 holes in the bottom of your boat. You can drain all the water as quickly as possible, but there will always be leaks that prevent the boat from staying afloat.
Crawling and indexing – what are they and how do they work?
To understand why these optimizations are crucial, it’s important to know how search engines search and index content on the web. The more you understand, the better insight you will have in optimizing your website.
The web, the creeps, the spiders … this giant metaphor got out of hand. But that is true. Search engines basically send these “indexing tools” (software programs) that use existing websites and links on those websites to find new content. After “searching” (finding all the content and links) of the website, they move on to the next one.
Depending on how big, popular, and reliable your website is, crawlers will come back regularly and re-search your content to see what has changed and what’s new.
Once your website is indexed, search engines must make it searchable. A search engine index is a set of pages in search results that appear when you search for a particular search term.
The search engine will regularly update its index based on the directives you gave it in the code of your website – whether the pages are deleted, how much content is available and when new content is published.
Major changes to basic search engine software can also occur, such as Google’s mysterious and influential algorithm updates.
Search engines are powerful software tools that do many complex things, but once you understand their goals, you can start putting together the parts for your strategy. Much of this is knowing the difference between technical SEO and other categories of factors.
How does technical SEO differ from on- and off-page SEO factors?
While each of these ranking factors has the same goal: to improve the visibility of your search for targeted keywords, each of the ranking factor categories has a slightly different purpose.
SEO on the site focuses on the factors that users are most likely to interact with. This includes:
Off-site SEO includes all the ranking factors that are outside of your website. The primary factor you can control is building and acquiring feedback.
Feedback is whenever another website links to yours. These connections are a system of thumbs up and thumbs down. Search engines evaluate your site and its potential for ranking based on the quality, quantity, and relevance of the links you have from other websites to yours.
Other off-site SEO factors include:
Knowing the key differences between these factors and their purpose can help you better inform your implementation strategy. Now that you understand the basics, here are the concrete steps you can take to improve the technical SEO optimization of your own website.
11 tips for improving your site’s technical SEO
Understanding every ranking factor associated with technical SEO is important, but the real goal is to properly apply every repair and keep your website healthy in the long run. Here are the 10 most important areas you need to focus on when it comes to fully optimizing your website on an ongoing basis. Use this information as a checklist as you go through your web presence.
One way you can help search engines rank you higher and more consistently is to have a user-friendly website structure and clear navigation. Navigating your website is not just the primary menu at the top of your website. The ideal website structure helps users and search engines to quickly and easily find the pages that matter most to them.
2. Create a strategic, scalable URL structure
A consistent URL structure better helps users understand where they are when navigating your website, but also informs search engines about exactly what you’re doing.
Some best practices with URLs include:
3. Make sure your site speed isn’t lagging
Website performance and page load time have always been a key factor in search performance, but as of June 2021, with Google updating the page experience, it’s absolutely important to correct that.
Google has explicitly stated and quantified their expectations regarding the core web values of your website, which are a set of metrics designed to set a standard for the quality of page load performance. The most important of these are the highest content color, the first entry delay, and the cumulative shift in layout. In addition to satisfying Google, users expect your website to load in less than three seconds. The longer it takes to load, the less likely users of the site are to stay.
Here’s a brief overview of the optimizations you can make to positively impact load performance:
4. Check to see if your site is crawlable by search engines
One of the basic goals of technical SEO is to ensure that Google can find and browse your site. There are three primary methods for achieving this and verifying that Google is currently indexing your content:
You should regularly review your website for the desired indexing throughout the site. Each page should be given a status and an appropriate action on whether to keep it indexed, switch the page without indexing to intentional indexing, without indexing the currently indexed page, and so on.
Once you identify these actions, it’s time to do them. Here’s how.
A Robots.txt file is a small file that you place in a site’s folder structure that instructs search engines to index which web pages on your site you want to index and index.
Google gives a great overview of how to apply this document and some specific use cases, but in general, here are some basic instructions you can give:
A very basic sitemap that allows all crawlers to access all content and points them in the direction of your sitemap looks like this:
Meta robots tag
You can also use the “Index vs. no index ”within the website code to instruct the search engine to include your page in their index or not. This can be done by adding a meta tag within the code of the page written as & lt; meta name = “robots” content = “noindex” & gt; or & lt; meta name = “robots” content = “index” & gt ;.
Similarly, you can instruct a search engine to include a page in their index, but then not follow the links on that page and transfer its authority to other pages on or off your website. This can be expressed within the same meta robot tag as & lt; meta name = “robots” content = “follow” & gt; or & lt; meta name = “robots” content = “nofollow” & gt ;.
5. Use schema.org structured data markup
Schema tagging is a form of structured data created by Google, Bing, Yahoo! I Yandex. Structured data is a form of language that is added to code that transmits information to search engines. The official Scheme website provides resources for additional learning and a complete library of schema dictionaries.
The tagging scheme was created to help companies communicate more explicitly with search engines about the processes, products, services, and other offerings they might have. He also conveys things like key business information. Currently, search engines use their own complex algorithms to make educated people assume these aspects.
Schema.org tags can be divided into two main components, ItemTypes and ItemProperties.
In addition to letting search engines know exactly what your content is about, this structured data can help you appear for a rich snippet. These are special features in SERPs other than titles, meta descriptions, and URLs.
Some examples of how Schema.org can help your website and search for visibility with these rich snippets are:
A broken link is not only a bad experience for the user, but can also harm your ranking ability. If you have a page that was intentionally or unintentionally deleted, it will be displayed as a 404 “Not Found” error. This error will take your users and search engine robots to your “404 page” or blank page if you did not set it.
It is crucial that you make a plan of action every time a page is deleted on your website and make sure that links to these invalid pages are not broken. Here’s how to find and clean these invalid pages and links:
7. Fix duplicate content issues
Duplicate content is every time you have two or more pages on your website that are too similar to each other. This is usually content that has been completely copied and pasted or a content template, also known as union content.
In Google’s eyes, duplicate content is the worst because it requires little effort. The goal of every valuable salt search engine is to provide its users with high quality, informative and relevant content. Do you see a discrepancy?
To resolve duplicate content issues, you must first index your website. Website indexing tools have special features within the software that require content overlap and record which pages are too similar.
Once you’ve identified these pages, you need to determine which page you want as your “main” page and what you plan to do with the duplicate content. Delete? Redirect? Rewrite or refresh?
In other situations, for example when you have product pages that have no SEO value (e.g. selling the same shoes in red, blue, etc.), you will want to use canonical tags between the pages.
A canonical tag is a snippet of text within a page’s code that instructs a search engine to treat that page as a deliberate duplicate of another “main” page and ignores intentional variations that occur in SERPS.
Let’s say you own Dope Shoes. The URL you have on your site might look like this: https://dopeshoes.com/shoes/running/dope300/.
You may also have a CMS that creates a new “page” for each variation or size: https://dopeshoes.com/shoes/running/dope300/red/ or https://dopeshoes.com/shoes/running/dope300 / blue /
Now, since the content for these color variations is likely to be identical or nearly identical to the main / dope300 / page, you would like to state that each of these color variations is a deliberate duplicate of the main page.
This can be done by placing a rel canonical label within the code of the variation pages as follows:
8. Implement HTTPS for enhanced security
A secure website has always been important for both users and search engines, especially if you use e-commerce.
With that in mind, a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) has been created. This adds an extra layer of security thanks to the SSL distributor by creating a private and public access key on the server that helps verify the ownership and authenticity of the website. This verification layer prevents various attacks.
Once you implement your SSL certificate, you will be rewarded with HTTP (instead of standard and less secure HTTP) protocol added to your URL. Search engines will then include details of your certificate and include a “secure” message regarding users when they find you. It is also a direct ranking signal.
9. Create an XML sitemap
Simply put, a sitemap is a set of links that you want search engines to search and index. Extensible markup language (XML) web page maps allow you to provide specific information that a search engine can use to index your pages more efficiently, rather than a simple list of links.
Website XML maps are great for large websites with a lot of content, new websites that don’t have many inbound links yet, and generally for any website that regularly makes changes that need to be indexed and indexed.
How do you create an XML sitemap?
If you use a CMS, it is usually created for you by adding “/sitemap.xml” to the end of your root domain. Example: https://yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml ”.
Here are some best practices after creating a Sitemap:
10. Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
If you’re late with time, Google has moved to mobile indexing in 2021, which means it will evaluate your website to determine its ranking potential based on the mobile version of your site.
“Mobile-friendly” describes a number of website features, such as:
You can use Google’s own mobile compliance testing tool to audit your website.
A strong and deliberate internal linking strategy can dramatically improve the strength and ranking of individual pages on your website. Internal links work similarly to backlinks in the sense that they can help inform the search engine robot about what it is about.
When you think of internal links on your website, the links you post are not only good for helping users navigate the website, but also communicate hierarchy and importance. If you have the most links that lead to your core solutions, Google tends to think these are the most important topics and therefore ranks you for related terms.
Technical SEO tools
Now that you have a good understanding of the most important technical SEO factors and some implementation techniques, here are some essential SEO tools in your tool.
Technically SEO at first can look daunting. There are a lot of moving parts and a bit of a learning curve. However, these checks are pretty binary and once you understand the intent behind them, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining an optimized presence.
In this regard, poorly implemented technical SEO can ruin your other SEO efforts, such as building links and creating content strategies. It’s not always the most glamorous, but it’s key to the success of your website and always will be.
As time goes on, you may be tempted to set it up and forget it, or do these checks once and then never review them, but you have to resist that urge. It is important that you have a plan to regularly check the technical condition of your website.
Here is a short technical plan for maintaining SEO:
Ken Marshall is a CCE and a partner at RevenueZen. He has been doing some version of digital marketing for the last seven years, and for the last five years he has focused on all SEO and inbound content. Husband, father of an Australian Shepherd mini puppy and serial entrepreneur (mostly failures, lots of lessons).