Search engine optimization is essential for every business. If you are not optimising your website for search, you are missing out on potential customers.
This blog post will focus on the benefits of doing technical SEO to optimise your website for search engines like Google and Bing. We will discuss how it improves organic rank, helps inbound traffic, and more!
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO refers to the process of optimising your website for search engines. This includes improving speed, ensuring proper indexing, and more to help improve organic rankings and increase traffic from inbound links or other sources like social media platforms.
Technical SEO can also be used effectively on any site or web page with a low position within Google’s SERPs.
Why Should We Do Technical SEO for Search Engines?
There are several reasons you should do technical SEO. First and foremost, technical SEO helps ensure that search engines can appropriately index your website. This means that your site will show up in search results with rich snippets.
Secondly, technical SEO can significantly improve the user experience. By improving site load speed, response code errors, and other technical aspects, the UI/UX experience is enhanced.
With this, search engines can better crawl and understand your site. If you want to rank higher on Google and other search engines, a site audit will help.
A site audit is the same as an SEO audit that identifies broken links, multiple versions of a web page, the structured data, site speed, robots meta tag, canonical tags, site structure, and more.
That’s why it’s important to implement a technical SEO audit to stay on track even before search engine spiders crawl your website. Keep in mind that other search engines crawl your website as well, that’s why a technical SEO audit is vital.
Benefits of Technical SEO
One of the most significant benefits of technical SEO is how it improves your website’s organic rank on search engines. Implementing technical SEO will help you get more traffic from search engines, which means that people find your website because it has been optimised for their search terms.
Aside from getting higher rankings on search engines for your web pages, technical SEO can also help increase Click-Through Rates (CTRs) and conversions.
Technical SEO is an integral part of any online marketing campaign. If you are not doing technical SEO, you are missing out on potential customers and business growth.
Have a Wider Reach Across All Channels
When you have content that is built and designed for search engines to discover, index, and display, then you’re in a good spot to gain a wider reach. This is because there will be more people who will be able to find your website on search engines.
As your web pages’ reach gets that boost across different channels, you get an increase in sales and engagement soon enough.
Boost Your Rankings on Search Engine
As mentioned, when search engines like Google can understand your content well, your website is in a better position to appear high in search results. You can even reach position zero with this on search engines.
Improve Your Page Speed
Your site’s page speed is a huge ranking factor by Google. So, working on your page speed is important for your web pages to show up in search results. The key to being relevant in search queries is technical SEO.
With a fast-loading website, the chances of increasing your page rankings are high. However, there are also other factors that may affect your site’s performance, such as images that are not optimised, too many CSS image requests, complicated page templates, and more.
Technical SEO plays a role here through the implementation of structured data that sends a detailed signal to search engines to let them know what the page is about.
It can also help your website increase its rankings and help with search engine positioning.
Structured data is the data in a fixed field within a field. In SEO, structured data is the markup that helps search engines understand your content.
Therefore, it’s important to add structured data for better SEO access. Your structured data markup or schema markup is a crucial part of technical SEO.
Simply put, structured data is organised information. On the other hand, there is also unstructured data you need to know about. This type of data is a form of schema markup that can be used to help search engines learn about the different assets.
Eliminate Duplicate Content on Web Pages
Technical SEO audits are helpful in eliminating the same content through canonicalisation. Canonicalisation is the process of choosing a preferred URL when there are multiple versions for a single page.
Having duplicate pages on your website isn’t good for your rankings. Google can penalise the website.
You can use technical SEO audit tools, such as the Yoast SEO plugin that can set a canonical URL for every page.
It also adds self-referencing canonical links to all pages. With this, it will be easier for you to prevent duplicate content issues.
Find Website Structure Issues
A well-structured website is crucial to success, especially for technical optimization. One of the most important things you need to look into is internal links. Ideally, pages should only be three clicks deep within the website.
This is because the deeper a page gets, the harder it is for search engines to find.
So, as part of your technical SEO audit, look into the internal links of a web page. Yes, you need to go through every web page to check for internal links and even broken links. Make sure that these internal links are sufficient and are not going overboard.
An XML sitemap is your website’s roadmap that leads Google and other search engines to all your important pages. XML sitemaps are necessary for technical SEO.
Moreover, validating an XML sitemap is another important thing to do. XML sitemaps contain details of all your website’s pages and articles.
What are the Factors Involved in a Technically Optimised Website?
A technically sound website should have the following factors to ensure your technical SEO efforts are effective :
Mobile-Friendly Web Page
Nowadays, most people use their mobile phones to search for anything on the internet. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you are losing out on hundreds, if not thousands, of potential customers.
With mobile browsing becoming more popular than desktop, it’s essential to make your site responsive to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of technology.
Mobile users will only spend time on a website if they can find what they need quickly and conveniently; testing both inside and outside those parameters is equally vital for success.
Make sure to test your website across different devices and browsers to ensure that it looks and performs optimally. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check if your website is mobile-friendly.
The Mobile-Friendly Test was designed to give a technical overview of the mobile-friendliness of your website.
Here are some of the things to look out for when conducting the mobile-friendly test:
● Text too small or links too close together.
One of the most important factors is whether your website’s content is easy to read and navigate on a smaller screen. If it’s not, then it’s likely that visitors will bounce from your site pretty quickly. This can be a problem on mobile devices because the text and links are hard to read.
● Viewport not set.
The viewport is the area of the website that’s visible on the screen. Your website will probably be zoomed out too much on mobile devices if it’s not specified, making it difficult to read.
● Incompatible styling and layout.
This means that the website will not automatically adjust its layout to fit the device’s width that it’s being viewed. This is becoming an increasingly important factor as more and more people browse the web on their mobile devices.
● Unplayable videos and sound files.
These things can be a real annoyance on a mobile device, so make sure that any multimedia on your website is playable on smaller screens.
A responsive design website is a site that serves different devices, has the same code to adjust the screen size, and is configured in only one way. This type of website design detects the device a person is using and then provides an optimal viewing experience for that particular device.
Google recommends mobile responsive design because it’s easier to manage, has better usability and eliminates duplicate content issues.
When you have a website with this type of layout, all the information loads quickly on any desktop computer or mobile phone device. All of these can set you up for SEO success and help search engines rank your website.
Status Codes and Errors
If you have any errors in your status codes, this can hinder search engine crawlers when trying to index your website. The most common error is the 404 Not Found. The 404 Not Found error happens when a user tries to access a page that doesn’t exist on your website.
The errors can be fixed with 301 redirects. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. When you set up a 301 redirect, it tells the search engine that the page has been permanently moved, and they should update their index accordingly.
Use the Google Search Console‘s Crawl Stats Report and Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool to check for status code errors.
Technical SEO Best Practices
For technical SEO to be effective, there are best practices to follow. What are they?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, a security protocol to establish encrypted links between a web server and browser. It’s common to see in online transactions, such as when you’re paying for your stuff. You can also see it when you sign up for something that requires your personal information.
Today, SSL is a huge part of technical SEO. In 2018, Google rolled out the Not Secure movement. The movement aims to improve the security of websites. Websites without a security certificate installed will be marked by the search engine as “Not Secure.”
With this, visitors online will be able to know immediately if they’re entering a website that is risky, giving them the choice to opt out.
So, one of the best practices for websites today in regards to technical SEO is to install a security certificate on their website domain and migrate the site to HTTPS.
Get Rid of 404 or Broken Pages
Website 404 errors mean that you pages that don’t exist and don’t deliver the best user experience. The likely cause of 404 or broken pages may be when you had a page that used a specific URL, but you changed the URL later, or you didn’t need the page anymore, so you unpublished it.
When this happens, you need to set up a 301 redirect that will allow the old page to bring a site visitor to the new page that it’s being redirected to.
Keep in mind, that a broken page means that Google won’t be able to crawl it. As a result, this can impact your rankings.
Disavow Toxic Backlinks Through Google Search Console
Your website will accumulate backlinks, and this probably got you excited. However, not all backlinks are good. Some can be toxic that may cause problems with your search rankings. That’s why you need to disavow them.
The first step here would be to reach out to the websites manually and ask them to remove the links to your site. It’s likely that the request will be ignored or denied, which is why you need to let Google know you already asked for this before you disavow the links through Google Search Console.
If you get ignored or denied, you can proceed with the submission of a reconsideration request to Google. After that, you will need to export a list of toxic backlinks and upload the disavow file to the Google Disavowal Tool.
Once you have completed this, Google will then assign a ‘no follow’ tag to them, which means that they will no longer affect your search rankings. The process will take about two weeks.
Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals is something you need to consider as part of your technical SEO. It is a subset of factors that is part of Google’s page experience score. Basically, Core Web Vitals is Google’s way to evaluate your page’s overall User Experience (UX).
You can find your site’s Core Web Vitals by logging onto your Google Search Console account.
There are three Core Web Vitals:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
The LCP is how long it takes your page to load from the user’s end. It is different from other page speed measurements. The LCP is focused on what matters when it comes to your site’s speed, which is to see and interact with your page. To check your LCP score, you can use Google PageSpeed Insights.
Google PageSpeed Insights will help you identify areas to improve and see how your page performs. It is also helpful to look at your LCP in your Google Search Console where you can see LCP data for the whole site.
Every page on your website should have LCP within two seconds. If you have a bigger website, achieving that may be a challenge, but there are several things you can do:
– Remove third-party scripts
– Upgrade your web host
– Set up lazing loading
– Eliminate large page elements
First Input Delay (FID)
The next one is the FID, which measures the time it takes for users to interact with your web page. This is important because it considers how users interact with websites.
You can improve your website’s FID scores by:
– Remove third-party scripts that are unnecessary
– Use a browser cache
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
The CLS is all about the stability of your web page. For example, if your page elements move around as the page loads, then you will have a high CLS, which isn’t a good thing. You should make sure your page elements are stable as the web page loads up.
Here are some ways you can minimise CLS:
– Use set size attribute dimensions for media
– Ensure ads elements have a reserved space
– Add new UI elements before the fold
So, the next time you are doing your site audits, you also need to look at these three to ensure that your website is on the right track.
Have a Preferred Domain
Setting up a website or blog means you need to specify a preferred domain. Doing so will let search engines know which variation of the domain you want to use throughout the lifetime of your site. That way, no one ends up potentially linking to your site with a domain name that may change in the future.
Robots.txt is a text file that helps search engines understand your site. It can also tell search engines which content is available to date and which should not be crawled.
The robots.txt file is a powerful control panel for preventing search engines and other web crawlers from accessing your website or blog.
You can also use it to ban them from specific parts of your site or to prevent unauthorised search engine from accessing content on your site.
You can also specify some alternative instructions for Googlebot using the Disallow directive, including disallowing specific directories from being crawled.
Optimise URL Structure
Every URL is a signal to search engines. The URL structure of a page is a clear indication and a clear instruction to Google and other search engines. Therefore, every URL should be SEO-friendly and easy to understand.
Your URL should contain the keywords you want to rank for, and the page should be in a logical location that is easy to find.
Optimising your site’s URL structure can make things a lot easier for search engines and users.
By doing so, you can make your site more user-friendly, and at the same time, you will be able to have more options when it comes to future URL changes.
Add Breadcrumb Menus
If you want Google to understand how your site is structured, you should use a breadcrumb navigation menu on your website.
A breadcrumb navigation menu helps search engines understand where users are on your website.
This can be a crucial factor when it comes to the ranking of a page on Google and other search engines.
As a result, breadcrumb navigation menus help search engines understand the structure of your website, which can improve your rankings.
So, how can you create your own breadcrumb navigation menu? You can create your own breadcrumb navigation menu by using a plugin or by adding a code to your theme’s functions.
Check Canonical URLs
Canonical URLs are URLs you can use instead of a set of two or more URLs that may point to the same content. They are a powerful SEO tool to avoid duplicate content issues.
Canonical URLs allow you to specify a single URL that you want search engines to consider.
Having multiple URLs for the same page can be problematic for SEO. Search engines may choose to index only one of the URLs, which means you don’t get the full benefits of the page, and your rankings can potentially be impacted.
You can check your canonical URLs via your Google Search Console account. There is a canonicalized URL section on GSC where you can check the highest number of impressions there and ensure that there are no duplicates.
Optimise 404 Page
Every time a page on your site can’t be found, a 404 Page Not Found effort page is displayed. A well-optimised 404 page can significantly reduce the amount of 404 errors that are being generated on your website.
The best way to optimise your 404 page is to ensure that it contains useful information and that it points users to the most relevant content on your site.
At the same time, try to avoid using non-relevant or broken links on your 404 page. These can potentially have a negative impact on your SEO efforts.
You can check how your 404 pages are doing by using a new window browser and typing the website URL that doesn’t exist.
These technical SEO best practices will help improve your site’s SEO which includes many aspects the website speed, local SEO, link building, category pages, URL structure, site architecture, off-page SEO, on page SEO, and more.
Fortunately, digital marketing has many free tools, such as Google Analytics (aside from Google, you can also use Bing webmaster tools) that we will discuss below that can help your website and other types of sites, may they be international websites, multilingual websites, and other websites.
Improving your SEO efforts with these best practices will not only boost loading speed and your ranking keywords on organic search, but it will also improve your brand in the SEO community and help you become an authority in your niche.
Optimise XML Sitemap
An XML sitemap is a file that lists the pages and posts on your site. It’s used for indexing and ranking by search engines.
Check that your XML sitemap is being correctly submitted. The easiest way to do it is to submit a sitemap for the search console.
XML sitemap optimisation is simple. You need to ensure that the file has the most relevant keywords possible and that it contains the sitemaps for all the different URLs of your site.
Consider Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
AMP is a type of mobile optimised site. It is designed to improve the user experience on mobile devices and to make sure that any AMP page loads almost instantly.
AMP can be extremely beneficial for your technical SEO efforts. They can help load mobile content much faster than a standard web page. This means that the page’s content can be available much faster, and users can navigate through the page much faster, too.
Google is giving a lot of importance to AMP. To create AMP on your website, you need to use a specific AMP HTML page on your site. A tag is basically the first line of an AMP HTML code, which is used to tell Google to display the AMP result.
Doing so will allow Google and other search engines to see your site as an Accelerated Mobile Page.
Once you’ve created an AMP version of your site, you need to submit it to Google to have it displayed as mobile-friendly in the search results.
Pagination is usually used when there is a large amount of content on a page. This can create a problem for search engines, which index each page as a separate entity.
Pagination allows users to navigate through a list of items without having to navigate back to the first page. That’s why pagination is crucial for getting a good user experience.
If you have content on your site in several languages, you should have hreflang attribute. The hreflang attribute is basically a way to tell Google which language is being used for which page on your site.
You need to specify the language of the page on the URL of any page on your site. If you use the same URL to access the same page, but you change the language of the menu, Google will understand that the pages are related.
If you don’t specify the hreflang attribute, Google will only index the language that is specified in the first language code that it finds.
Technical SEO Tools
As far as technical SEO goals, you need several tools to help you determine which aspects need improvement. So, what are the best technical SEO tools you should consider using today?
We list down below tools that can help with link building, ensure high-quality content, improve canonical tag and URL structure, eliminate broken links, and boost site structure and keyword research.
Google Search Console is a free tool that will help you manage your site’s functionalities. It contains tools, reports, and other information that will help you fix errors on your site. You can also use Google Search Console to prepare strategies and optimise your rankings.
For example, you can use this to add a canonical tag, boost your website speed on your site and other websites, and many more.
Google Webmaster Tools is probably the most-used technical SEO tool today because it is loaded with features, such as giving users the ability to figure out 404 errors or those web pages that don’t show up to website visitors.
It also lets users check their Robots.txt file to ensure that none of the important pages are blocked from search engines.
Furthermore, you will see your sitemap here to know if it’s free of errors. GWT will also let you pick duplicate page titles and descriptions so you can go into the website and fix them.
Primarily, Screaming Frog helps with on-page SEO, but it is also useful for technical SEO. It can crawl many aspects of a domain that can help you through the technical SEO process.
It scans websites that will allow you to analyse its structure and elements easily. The tool can detect abnormalities that will help you improve your technical SEO.
To make it even better, this SEO tool is very easy to use with its user-friendly interface and useful features.
Your site’s load time is crucial to its success; therefore, you need to ensure you are on top of things when it comes to its load speed.
A faster page load time can improve your site rankings and make the website experience even more enjoyable for your visitors.
Using tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights will help. With this, you can analyse site speed for every page.
You can also analyse it across devices, and the tool will show you how you can fix these errors to help improve the speed or user experience of a specific page.
Another one from Google, this tool will help ensure your bases are all covered and keep your rankings intact or higher than ever. In 2015, the search engine release a mobile algorithm update that is in favour of websites with a responsive or mobile website.
Following the update, Google released the mobile-friendly testing tool. This will also help you fix any of the errors it encountered in regard to the mobile-friendliness of your website.
You don’t need to write the schema code by yourself. The JSON-LD generator is a helpful technical SEO tool that will write the code.
All you need to do is choose the variables you need to tag up, and then it will generate the schema code for you.
As a result, this will speed up the process of putting structured data on your website.
Siteliner helps with identifying duplicate content on your website. It’s pretty straightforward to use in which you only need to insert your domain, and the tool will crawl up to 250 pages. Siteliner will analyse the percentage of the website that is duplicate content.
Aside from that, it will identify pages that have duplicate content and their percentages.
In a Nutshell
Technical SEO has evolved a lot over the past few years. If you want to be successful, you need to be constantly evolving with it, and you need to be quick to adapt to any changes. Doing so will allow you to gain more organic traffic, which can help you to drive more sales.
By following these technical SEO tips, you will be able to boost your overall rankings. A few simple changes can have great results and help you be on the right track.
Do you need help with your technical SEO? Contact us here at Evolving Digital.