Technical SEO is a critical phase in the overall SEO process. If you have issues with your technical SEO, it is likely that your SEO efforts will not produce the desired results.
Technical SEO covers all SEO practices other than content optimization and link building. In a nutshell, it addresses the following search engine criteria in order to boost crawling. These criteria are continually evolving and becoming more complicated in order to keep up with the increasingly sophisticated search engines. As a result, we may assume that technical SEO is constantly being refined.
It must be optimized in order to lay the groundwork for providing your content and links with the best possible marketing atmosphere, allowing you to shine in search engine results without any obstacles.
The three foundations of Search Engine Optimization are on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. All three must be given equal weight. However, it is often found that website owners do not take Professional SEO seriously.
List of Best Practices for Higher Rankings
Now that we know what is technical SEO, let’s look at the best practices to pursue. You can conduct your own technical SEO audit using the list below.
Ensure the important content is crawlable and indexable.
Crawling is how search engines find the bulk of new content. It is the location where a spider visits and downloads new data from well-known webpages.
Assume you add a new page to your website and connect to it from your homepage. When Google crawls your homepage again, it will find the path to the new tab. Then, if it determines that the material on that page is useful to searchers, it will index it.
This approach works well as long as you don’t prohibit search engines from crawling or indexing a website.
Make use of HTTPS
SSL is a security technology that establishes an encrypted connection between a web server and a browser. A site that uses SSL can be identified reasonably easily: the website URL begins with ‘https://’ rather than ‘http://.’
Google revealed in 2014 that they wanted to see ‘HTTPS everywhere,’ and that protected HTTPS websites will be prioritized over non-secure ones in search results.
As a result, it makes sense to ensure your site is safe wherever possible – this can be accomplished by installing an SSL certificate on your website, but most top website builders now provide SSL by default.
Make certain that your website is mobile-friendly
A ‘responsive’ website architecture automatically changes itself so that it can be navigated and read on any screen.
Google is unequivocal in its assertion that creating a sensitive website is a major ranking signal for its algorithms. And, with Google’s new ‘mobile first’ approach to indexing content, a responsive website is now more relevant than ever.
As a result, it makes sense to ensure that your website is completely responsive and displays in the best possible format for smartphone, tablet, and desktop users.
It is now more relevant than ever to have a mobile-friendly website. Take a look at the statistics below.
- More than half of all internet users worldwide access the internet from mobile devices.
- A non-mobile-friendly website can be difficult to access and use on a mobile device. It can cause your site visitors to have a disappointing experience, resulting in a higher bounce rate.
- Google also primarily indexes and ranks mobile versions of content, a practice known as mobile-first indexing. This means that if your website is not mobile-friendly, it will not appear higher in search results.
How can you tell if your website is mobile-friendly?
The online resources listed below will assist you in deciding whether your site is mobile-friendly or not.
- Google Mobile-Friendly Test Tool – Type our domain URL into the search box and click the Test URL button. It will inform you whether or not your website is mobile-friendly in a matter of seconds. The tool also suggests ways to improve the mobile experience.
- Bing Mobile-Friendly Test Tool – Similar to Google, this Bing tool easily analyzes the domain to determine if it is mobile-friendly or not. If a platform is not found to be mobile-friendly, it also provides a list of suggestions.
Increase the speed of your website
Even behemoths like Amazon found that every 100 milliseconds of page load time resulted in a 1% decrease in revenue. Brian Dean reported earlier this year that page load speed – the time it takes to completely view the content on a page – is one of the top ten SEO ranking factors. He outlined it in his killer case study, which involved reviewing more than one million Google search results.
Sites that load quickly are preferred by search engines: page speed is regarded as an effective ranking signal.
You can speed up the site in a number of ways:
- Switch to a faster hosting.
- Use a faster DNS (domain name system) provider.
- Reduce the number of ‘HTTP requests’ by using fewer scripts and plugins.
- Instead of using several CSS stylesheets or inline CSS, use a single CSS stylesheet (the code that tells a website browser how to view your website).
- Make your picture files as tiny as possible (without being too pixelated)
- Consolidate your web sites (this can be done using a tool called GZIP)
Resolve duplicate content problems
Duplicate content happens when the same or identical content appears on different sites on the internet. It may occur on a single website or through multiple pages.
Contrary to common opinion, Google does not penalize websites for providing duplicate content. This has been verified on several occasions.
However, duplicate content can lead to other problems, such as:
- URLs in search results that are unacceptable or unfriendly.
- Dilution of backlinks.
- Squandered crawl budget.
- You are being outranked by scraped or syndicated content.
You will address duplicate content issues by doing the following:
- Preventing different versions of a website or post from being released by your CMS (for example, by disabling Session IDs where they are not vital to the functionality of your website and getting rid of printer-friendly versions of your content).
- Using the canonical connection element to inform search engines about the location of your content’s “key” edition.
Make an XML sitemap
An XML sitemap includes all of your website’s relevant content.
Having a sitemap on your website allows search engines like Google to find, crawl, and index all of your website’s important pages.
If your site does not have an XML sitemap, Google will not be able to find all of your webpages, especially orphan pages.
Orphan pages are those that are not connected to any other pages on your site. Google may not be able to locate all of your orphan pages.
As a result, if you want search engines to find all of your relevant posts and pages, including orphan pages, you should consider creating an XML sitemap.
How do I make an XML sitemap?
There are numerous online resources available to assist you in creating an XML sitemap for your website. To build a sitemap, use resources like https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/ or https://www.mysitemapgenerator.com/.
These resources, however, are better suited for smaller sites that aren’t updated regularly.
You will need to regenerate and upload your updated sitemap if your site is frequently updated with new content.
So, if you have a blog that publishes content regularly, you can create a sitemap for your WordPress site using the RankMath or YoastSEO plugins.
These plugins create dynamic sitemaps, which means they are automatically modified whenever you add new content to your site.
How do I submit a sitemap to Google?
After you’ve created your sitemap, you can upload it to Google via Google Search Console.
Navigate to Console >> Sitemaps, enter your sitemap URL (as seen in the image below), and then press Submit. That’s what there is to it.
File Robots.txt Should Be Configured
So far, we’ve set up your site’s chosen domain and built a sitemap.
We will customize the robots.txt file in this phase to ensure that it does not contain any rules that prohibit search engine crawlers from indexing your website.
The Robots.txt file is usually used to warn search engine crawlers about which pages or files they can and cannot request from your site.
A robots.txt file is located in the root (main folder, predominantly public html) of your website. For example, for the website www.example.com, the robots.txt file is located at www.example.com/robots.txt.
Thus, you can analyze your robots.txt file by entering the following URL into a browser:
Without a robots.txt file, search engines can crawl all of your site’s pages and data.
Crawl limits are set by search engines. If your site is large, you might want to set aside some of your crawl budget so that search engines can only crawl and index the most interesting content on your site.
You can easily prevent search engines from crawling and indexing non-essential pages by adding special codes to robots.txt.
For example, in your robots.txt file, provide the following codes to allow search engines to crawl and index all of your content except the wp-admin and affiliate links (/recommends/).
User-agent: * Disallow: /wp-admin/ Disallow: /recommends/ Sitemap: https://www.yourdomainname.com/post-sitemap.xml
You can also include the URL of your sitemap in the robots.txt format. It ensures that search engine bots can crawl and index all of your site’s essential content.
Consider turning on AMP
AMP is a Google-backed project that aims to speed up content delivery on mobile devices by using a special code known as AMP HTML.
On mobile devices, AMP versions of your web pages load extremely quickly. They accomplish this by reducing your content and code to their bare essentials, retaining text, photographs, and video but disabling scripts, comments, and forms.
Since they load so easily, AMP versions of pages are much more likely to be read and shared by your users, increasing dwell time and the amount of backlinks pointing to your content – all of which are positive SEO factors. Furthermore, Google sometimes highlights AMP pages in famous carousels in search results, giving you a big search boost.
- Improve the speed of your mobile sites.
- It is likely that your CTR will increase as a result of this (from mobile users)
- It’s not easy to put into action. Even triggering the AMP plugin on WordPress is inadequate.
- AMP sites cannot be used for email marketing.
- To create a good AMP website, you should hire a developer.
- Since you must manage and take into account data from two separate platforms, your analytics and reports will become muddled (your normal website and your AMP website).
Google currently believes that there is no SEO advantage to using AMP (other than speed), but this could change in the future.
Structured data markup should be added to the website
Structured data markup is code that you can add to your website to help search engines understand the content. This knowledge will assist search engines in indexing your site more efficiently and delivering more accurate results.
Furthermore, structured data improves search results by adding ‘rich snippets’ – for example, you can use structured data to add star ratings to reviews, prices to goods, or reviewer information to reviews (example below).
These enhanced results will increase your click-through rate (CTR) and attract more traffic to your site because they are more visually pleasing and highlight instantly valuable information to searchers. Since sites with higher CTRs are commonly thought to obtain preferential treatment in search engines, it is worthwhile to make the effort to add structured data to your site.
Sign up for Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools
When you’re ready to launch your website, upload the XML sitemap (see above) to both Google Search Console and Webmaster Tools so that they can crawl it and start displaying results from it in search results.
These services also help you to monitor your site’s overall output from a search engine standpoint – other things you can do with the tools include:
- Putting the site’s mobile usability to the test
- Gaining access to search analytics
- Examining backlinks to your site
- Removing spammy links
- and a whole lot more
Checklist for Technical SEO
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve already found out what technical SEO is and why it’s handled separately from on-page and off-page SEO.
Even if you’ve done it before, doing a technical SEO audit of your website is still a good idea, and this is your technical SEO checklist.
- Choose a preferred domain.
- Examine and customize your robots.txt file.
- Examine and improve the structure of your URLs.
- Rethink the website’s navigation and structure.
- Breadcrumb menus can be added to your articles and websites.
- Add organized data to your website’s homepage.
- Include organized data in your articles.
- Structured data should be added on other websites (based on their type)
- Examine your canonical URLs.
- Improve your 404 Page
- Optimize your XML sitemap and upload it to Google and Bing.
- Switch on HTTPS.
- Examine your website’s loading speed and try to make it quicker.
- Examine the website’s mobile friendliness.
- Consider using AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) (AMP)
- Examine the pagination and multilingual configurations.
- Sign up for Google Search Console for your website.
- Create an account with Bing Webmaster Tools to register your website.
Technical SEO consists of a variety of checks and configurations that must be optimized in order for search engines to properly crawl and index your website.
In most cases, once you’ve mastered technical SEO, you won’t have to deal with it again, except for occasional SEO audits.
The term technical means that you must have some technical skills to complete some of the tasks (such as page speed optimization, adding structured data, and so on), but it is important to do so or your website will not achieve its full potential.