What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is used to improve a website's infrastructure so that search engine bots can more effectively crawl and index the pages on your website.
Technical SEO is a process that involves auditing and optimizing technical elements of a website in order for it to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). Improving the overall efficiency of your website's performance for search engines necessitates advanced technical SEO skills.
The main components of a solid technical SEO strategy for a website include improving page load time, making it easier for search engines to crawl, and providing search engine algorithms with enough information about your website to accurately index it. On-page SEO includes technical SEO. As a result, it primarily focuses on improving various elements on your website that can improve its image in search engines' eyes.
Why is Technical SEO Important?
Even if you build a high-quality website with the best content, it will not rank if your technical SEO is lacking. Why? Search engine algorithms should be able to locate your pages in order to crawl them, as well as understand the content in order to index them for the appropriate search queries.
Simply put, technical SEO informs search engines about the content of your pages. This includes providing content information, internal and external links, metadata, image descriptions, and a variety of other metrics. This is only the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous other factors that go into technical SEO, such as mobile optimization, duplicate content, page loading speeds, and a slew of others.
This does not imply that you must perfect your website's technical SEO to rank. However, having it optimized makes search engines' jobs easier and gives you a higher ranking on SERPs.
Why should you optimize your site technically?
It is critical to keep your site technically optimized for both search engines and visitors.
Search engines strive to provide the best results for their users' search queries. This is why Google's bots crawl through all of your web pages and rank them based on a variety of criteria. This process's technical factors include page loading speed, content comprehension, structured data, and much more. This helps search engines understand what your website is about.
Similarly, technical SEO plays a significant role in user experience. A fast website with reliable navigation and an easy-to-use interface will keep visitors' attention. A solid technical foundation for your website can significantly improve the user experience.
Top Advance Technical SEO Checklist
It's common to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of things you need to do to optimize your site. Simply go through the following technical SEO audit checklist to improve your site's user experience and help it rank higher in Google's organic search results.
Here is a list of the top technical SEO checklists you should use to make your website SEO friendly:
- HTTPS version
- Mobile-friendly website
- Implementation of structured data markup
- Site speed
- Optimize your crawl budget
- Optimum XML sitemap
- AMP implementation
- Avoid 404 pages
- Name your preferred domain
- Breadcrumb Menu
- Avoid Duplicate and Thin Content
- Hreflang for International Website
You could also get in touch with us for Technical SEO Audit Services.
HTTPS Version – A secure site is everything
Until 2014, only online shopping or e-commerce websites used SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) software to provide a safe and secure environment for transactions. However, in 2014, Google announced that all websites would be required to use the technology if they wanted a higher organic search ranking on its SERPs, and thus one of the most important Google ranking factors was born. It began displaying the 'not secure' tag in 2018 for websites that did not comply with its mandate and still had the 'http://' tag in their URLs.
To avoid this, all you need to do as a website owner is make sure your website has an SSL certificate installed. This will establish a secure and encrypted connection between your web server and a browser, resulting in the 'https://' tag being displayed instead.
Google announced in 2018 that it would index sites first on mobile devices. This means that the search engine examines web pages from the perspective of a mobile device (such as a smartphone or tablet) and determines how responsive they are. You can always examine your Google Search Console data to see how you rank in this category. Remember that your mobile site should contain the same content as your desktop site. Another important optimization measure is to eliminate intrusive pop-ups.
Implement Structured Data Markup
Structured data markup assists search engines in better understanding and reading your web page content, such as whether it is a recipe, book, or how-to tutorial. Simply use Google's Structured Data Markup Helper to create it, and then test it with its Structured Data Testing Tool. But, before you do anything else, go to schema.org and figure out which schemas are appropriate for your site's content and assign them to various URLs. This will help you get visually enhanced rich results on Google's SERPs, which will attract more users' attention.
Site Speed Matters
Optimize Your Crawl Budget
Optimum XML sitemap
An XML sitemap contains useful information about your site, such as the most recent changes made to a page's content, its importance in comparison to other pages on your site, and so on. An XML sitemap, as the name implies, provides a blueprint of your site and instructs a web crawler on how to navigate it. While you can create one for your site using a sitemap generator, it is also critical that you submit your XML sitemap to Google Search Console so that it can crawl and index it properly. Remove any blocked URLs, unnecessary redirects, and pages with no SEO value, such as author bios, privacy policies, and so on; fix any broken pages; and avoid using long redirects. To check for coding errors, use a W3C validator.
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a stripped-down version of HTML that is used to improve the speed and functionality of mobile websites. AMP works by deactivating scripts, forms, comments, and other similar elements. AMP can increase your CTR (click-through rate) and the number of backlinks to your site if used correctly. Google even includes AMP pages in important search result carousels, increasing user attention. However, keep in mind that AMP is not a replacement for a mobile-friendly website.
Avoid 404 Pages
If a page no longer exists or if you changed the URL, a 404 status code is your best bet. If you use WordPress or another content publishing platform, make sure your 404 page is search engine optimized by having a structure similar to your site, giving users options of other similar pages they can visit instead, and making it easy to navigate back to where they came from, and so on. This makes it easier for a web crawler to index and crawl your site while moving through it without getting confused.
When it comes to maintaining good site hygiene, duplicate site content is a big no-no. A canonical URL tells Google which version of a website to crawl and index. Simply including a rel="canonical" command in your page code will assist you in accomplishing this. It is recommended that you specify a preferred canonical URL for all of your website's pages. You can also prevent your CMS (content management system) from publishing multiple versions of the same content to avoid duplication in the first place.
Noindex Tag and Category Pages
A 'noindex' tag on a page instructs search engines to stop indexing and tracking the page's content and links. Developers frequently use this to direct Google crawlers to their more important and prioritised pages. As a result, while working on improving various technical SEO factors, this tag can be placed on archive or category pages.
Name your preferred domain
You can get to a website by typing https://www.abc.com or https://abc.com (sans the www). While users may do this on the spur of the moment, it may confuse search engines and cause indexing and page rank issues. As a result, you must tell Google which version you prefer. There is no advantage to choosing one over the other, but once you've decided on a domain name, you must stick to it, or else there will be issues during site migration using a 301 redirect. To set a preferred domain name with Google, first sign up for Google Webmaster Tools, then validate all versions of your site and select the preferred one under 'Site Settings.'
Breadcrumbs are an important structural component of the technical SEO checklist. It is a type of navigation that reveals the user's location. It is also known as a "breadcrumb trail." It is a type of website navigation that greatly improves a visitor's orientational awareness. Breadcrumbs clearly show the website hierarchy and indicate where a user is currently located.
It also reduces the number of steps a user must take when returning to the homepage, a different section, or a higher-level page. Breadcrumbs are commonly used by websites with multiple sections that require a logical structure. As a result, it is an excellent choice for e-commerce websites.
It is a method of dividing content across multiple pages. Pagination, an important aspect of technical SEO, is used to organise a list of products or articles into a readable format. Pagination is used on websites such as news publishers, ecommerce, blogs, and forums.
When using pagination, you may encounter duplicate content issues. To avoid such situations and integrate links as well as page rank to the main page, use rel="next" and rel="prev" links. It is done to inform search engines that the pages that follow are extensions of the main page. Google will recognise the main page and index it after discovering the relevant links in the code.
Avoid duplicate or thin content
One of the most important factors in understanding technical SEO is thin content. It can be discovered using the ranking signals derived from the data sent by Google. To avoid instances of thin content, it is recommended that websites use higher-quality content written by experts rather than mass-produced content.
Duplicate content in the downloaded HTML can be removed before it is sent for rendering. In the HTML response, app shell models, less content, and code may be displayed. The presence of the same visible code on multiple websites results in duplicate pages that may or may not be rendered immediately. With time, the problem should resolve itself. However, with newer websites, this could be a problem. At this point, self-referencing canonical link elements help in the prevention of duplicate content issues by indicating the original page or page one that we want to rank in search engines.
Extra Technical SEO Tips
Check Your Site for Dead Links/Broken Links
Dead links (delete/moved pages) and broken links (non-responsive pages) can both harm your website's SEO. There are two reasons for this: first, Google crawlers spend time on these links without yielding much information. Second, users visit and exit these links too quickly, giving the search engine a negative impression of the website. As a result, it is critical to audit your website on a regular basis, identify dead or broken links, and optimize it as much as possible. Google Search Console is one of the simplest ways to identify these links (GSC).
Hreflang for International Websites
Hreflang tags help to specify which country and language a page is intended for. It also eliminates the possibility of duplicate content. If a site targets more than one country with the same spoken language, search engines may require some assistance in determining which country/language is being targeted. As a result, Hreflang displays the correct website for the searched area in the search results.
Investing valuable time in getting your site's technical SEO right is a must for any business or brand owner, as the benefits far outweigh the difficulties that they may face while understanding its concepts and implementing its techniques. On the bright side, once done correctly, you won't have to worry about it again, save for the occasional site health audit. Check out our blogs for the most recent information on SEO and other topics.