Technical SEO

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is most important in ranking of the website. If there are problems with your Technical SEO than the efforts put in SEO are not going to give the desired results. It is thus very important to understand the Technical SEO and how to get it right. The best part of Technical SEO is once you do the Technical SEO audit of your website and correct all the issues; you don’t have a deal with it again.

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is a process in which you optimize your website for crawling and indexing.  In this process, you can help Google to crawl, index and interpret your website without any issues.

It is called Technical because it has nothing to do with your content, it’s the main objective is to optimize the structure of the website.

What is SEO?

A simple definition of SEO is “It is the process of optimizing your website for search engines”

SEO Optimizations means:

  • Ensure that Search engine can access and index your website without any trouble
  • Having quality and unique content that matches the user search
  • Provide search engine crawlers the right signals to understand your website
  • Help search engine crawlers to understand the content on your website
  • Provide a search engine algorithm reason to trust your website and improves its ranking.

Once all the above is completed, your website will be SEO friendly and appears in SERP for many searches (related to your content)

How to do Technical SEO:

Now let’s see the best practices to follow to do Technical SEO:

  • Specify a preferred Domain
  • Optimize Robot.txt
  • Optimize Your UPL Structure
  • Navigation and site structure
  • Breadcrumb menus
  • Implemented structured data markup
  • Canonical URLs
  • Optimize 404 Pages
  • XML Sitemap Optimization
  • SSL and HTTPS
  • Website Speed
  • Mobile Friendliness
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages

 

  • Specify a preferred Domain

A website is accessible with www or without www in front of the domain name. This is having no issue for a user but it is confusing for search engines because they consider these as two different websites. This means you may encounter indexing issues, duplicate content, and loss in page ranking problems.

To solve this problem, you need to set the preferred domain and inform search engines about your choice.

www.xyz.com or xyz.com?

It is the personal preference which domain you want with www or without www. It is having nothing to do with SEO. What important is to inform the search engines about your decision and remain consistent throughout the lifetime.

If in case you feel to change your mind, you can use 301 redirects to switch between the different formats, but this involves a risk of domain migrations, so not recommended.

Domain

 

  • Optimize Robot.txt

Robot.txt is a text file residing in the root directory of your website, which gives instructions to search engines as to which pages of your website they can crawl and add to their index.

It is important to check and ensure that these are no false blockings that will prevent search engine crawlers from indexing your website.

 

  • Optimize Your URL Structure

By Optimizing your URL Structure, it is mean the format of your URL. SEO practices speak the following about URLs:

    • Use lowercase characters
    • Use a separator (-) instead of space between words
    • Make URL short and descriptive
    • Avoid unnecessary characters and words
    • Use a keyword in the URL without stuffing.

In the CMS platform, it changes your title into your URL automatically. It is a good option but you can edit and make it shorter.

  • Navigation and website structure

The structure of a website is a very important factor for SEO. Users want to stay on the website longer, which is faster and easy to navigate. This is done if the search engine understands and indexes the website with ease.

 Many times the web developers optimize the website for conversion, they forget about the navigation and structure of the site, and they end up damaging their SEO.

Example: Web developers hide archive pages from users and have all content under a single category. Earlier, it was thought that archive pages or multiple category pages could hurt your SEO but this a bad SEO practice

Google does take into account all the overall structure of the website when evaluating a particular page and is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. In addition, a well0defined structure helps webmaster pin-point Google the important content of a website, something that will greatly help in achieving the higher rankings in SERP.

 

  • Breadcrumb menus

A breadcrumb menu is a set of links at the top or at the bottom of the page, it allows users to navigate to the previous page or to the home page.

Breadcrumbs menu serves two purposes: it helps the user in navigation with ease without pressing the back button on the browser. It also gives hint to search engines about the structure of the website.

Breadcrumbs are SEO elements because they are recommended by Google.  If you don’t have breadcrumbs enabled, make sure that they are enabled on your website and also have a proper schema.

breadcrumbs

 

  • Implemented structured data markup

Structured data become much more important in the last few years because it is heavily used by Google search results.

Structured data is a code that is added to your website which is visible to search engine crawlers and helps them understand the context of your content. It’s a way to describe your data to search engines in a language they can understand.

How Technical SEO related to Structured Data?

Structured data has to do with the content of a website, it is past of technical SEO because you need to add code to your website to get it right. Once you add the structured data definition then you don’t have to do anything about it.

Example: in breadcrumbs, Once you configure the structured data, no further actions are required after that.

Benefits of Structured Data: It can help you enhance the presentation of your website through snippets; graphs etc. and improve your CTR.

Uses of Structured Data: there are many forms of structured data to describe your content like articles, events, job posting, local business, etc.

 

  • Canonical URLs

Canonical is information to Google crawlers which page to an index during crawling your website. This is a concept similar to the preferred domain where a page is accessible through various URLs.

You have to use rel=” canonical” if you have pages with similar content for paging purposes. To avoid duplicate content issues when you add content to your page from another website.

 

  • Optimize 404 Pages

404 page is shown to the user when URL he wants to visit was deleted; the URL is changed or misspelled by the browser.

What is 404-page optimization?

    • The page should have a navigation menu as your website
    • It tells visitors that the webpage they are looking is no longer available on the website in a very friendly language
    • Provide alternatives or similar pages on your website
    • Make it easier for a user to go to the home page or some other page on your website.

If you want to test a 404 page, just type a URL of your website page that doesn’t exist.

Don’t spend too much time on optimizing your 404 pages, just make sure when a page is not found it returns a custom 404 page.

404

 

  • XML Sitemap Optimization

An XML sitemap is another one of the most important elements of technical SEO. An XML sitemap is a file that lists all pages/posts available on the website. It includes titles, published date, and last updated date. A search engine can use the XML sitemap as a guide when crawling a website.

How to optimize the XML sitemap?

XML optimization includes your sitemap the pages that are important for your website, generally, these are pages, posts, and categories.

The sitemap doesn’t include tag pages, author pages or other pages that have no original content on their own.

Always be sure that your Sitemap is automatically updated when a new page is added or updated.

 

  • SSL and HTTPS

Internet security is the latest trend. HTTPS is a ranking signal and an additional way to build trust with your users.

When you install an SSL certificate on your server, your website is accessed as https, not as HTTP. Adding https to your website indicates that the information (like password, personal data, etc) transferred between your website and server is encrypted.

Earlier, SSL was important for eCommerce websites but now any website on the internet should have SSL installed.

If you don’t have SSL installed, contact your hosting provider and ask to enable SSL on your account. Adding SSL is similar to migration to a new domain so you will have to follow the migration procedure to active SSL on your website without losing your ranking.

ssl

 

  • Website Speed

Website speed is also a major factor in the ranking of a website. Google is giving importance to the speed of the website in SEO, recommendation and studies confirm that faster websites perform better than slower websites.

Tracking website speed is a technical SEO and if speed is slow it requires making changes in your website and infrastructure to get results.

The tools which can be used to inspect the side speed are Google Page Speed Insight, Pingdom, GTmetrix. These tools can give you some recommendations to make changes to the website if speed is slow. To make changes you may need a developer.

In general, you can do to following to make your website load faster:

    • Upgrade your server to use 64 bits operating system
    • Upgrade to PHP 7.2. this can give you a huge improvement in speed compared to PHP 5.2
    • Optimize the size of images loaded on the website
    • Minimize the use of plugins
    • In case of WordPress, keep it updated and its plugins to the latest version
    • Don’t use heavy themes. Try to use custom made themes.
    • Optimize and minimize your CSS and JS files
    • Use a caching plugin to serve cached pages to users
    • To don’t use many scripts in the <head> of your website
    • Use asynchronous javascript loading

 

  • Mobile Friendliness

A mobile-friendly website is very much important because the majority of users are now on mobile and with the introduction of a mobile-first index by Google; so if you don’t have a fast, mobile-friendly website your ranking will suffer.

Mobile-friendliness us a part of technical SEO because once you have a mobile-friendly theme, which is properly configured you don’t have to deal with that again.

There is a number of things you need to know about mobile-friendliness are:

    • Your mobile website should have the same content as your desktop site.
    • The loading time to the website should be less than 6 seconds
    • Avoid using pop-ups on mobile
    • AMP website does not change the need for having a fast mobile website.

responsive

 

  • Accelerated Mobile Pages

Accelerated mobile pages are a new concept introduced by Google in its efforts to make the mobile web faster. It provides your website AMP HTML which is a cut down version of normal HTML.

Once AMP Pages are created for your website, they are stored and used through Google Mobile Results or through other AMP providers.

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