SEO is the backbone of any website’s online presence. Now we have come to the most neglected but equally important aspect of SEO. Technical SEO is incredibly essential in the whole SEO process. Your SEO efforts will not be fruitful if your website is lacking it’s Technical SEO Practices. Technical SEO isn’t easy but here we bring you the best Technical SEO practices. We will explain you in layman’s terms as to which aspects you should focus on while working on the technical foundation of your website.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO refers to the process of optimizing your website for the crawling and indexing phase.
Neil Patel has put it simply by saying, Technical SEO is any SEO work that is done aside the content. Essentially, it’s laying a strong foundation to give your content the best chance it can have to rank for relevant keywords and phrases.
Why is Technical SEO important ?
If you ask the SEO heads around, nothing beats the desire of getting your website ranked. By improving technical aspects you help search engines to crawl and understand your sites in a better manner. Once this is done perfectly, Google rewards you with better website rankings and result.
Best Technical SEO Practices
1. Crawling and Indexing
If these terms seem complicated, it’s not. Crawling is nothing but the process of visiting and analyzing your website, performed by Google’s crawlers or spiders. On the other hand, Indexing is the process of listing your website’s pages on the search engine results page.
Google always wants to present their users with the best possible results for their query. So, we need to make sure that our content is ‘crawlable’ and ‘indexable’.
A good internal linking system will help will help the crawlers to discover new and updated content on your website.
Robot.txt and Meta robots tag.
An important aspect of crawling is using the robots.txt file. Robots.txt is a file accessed through Google Search Console. It tells the crawlers which web pages they can or cannot crawl. So you need to make sure, that you aren’t blocking any pages that you shouldn’t.
However, crawlable pages aren’t always indexable. Search engines won’t be always be able to index your pages. This is possible only when the meta robots tag is set to ‘noindex’.
2. Apply SSL
The latest internet trend is having a secure website. There are many ways to make a website secure. But, one of the most critical things is implementing HTTPS.
To implement HTTPS, you’ll need an SSL certificate. SSL is a term that we hear around a lot but most of us don’t really know what it means. It stands for Secure Sockets Layer.
Google confirmed that SSL certificates or HTTPS encryptions are now a ranking factor. Security Certifications, are nothing but a security protocol used to establish encrypted links between a web server and a browser in their communication line.
You need to contact your hosting provider and ask them to enable an SSL certificate if you want to have one. You’ll have to follow a migration procedure to activate SSL on your website without losing your rankings.
So, if you’ve been thinking about getting an SSL, now is the time. Not only for security but also for SEO.
3. Decrease Site Load time
Let’s be honest, we all run out of patience when we wait for a site to open up. We want access to the desired content that very moment, at a good speed. Google has made page speed, a factor for ranking.
If your site is slow and taking a long time to load, Google will place a small penalty on your website. You will end up at the bottom of the search engine results page even if your content is gold.
So what can you do to keep a check on your page loading speed ?
- Optimize your images – Use a compressed form of the image can .jpg format. Compressing them decreases their size and ensures they take as little time to load as possible.
- Use a CDN – A Content Distribution Network stores copies of your web pages on servers around the globe. It then connects visitors to the nearest server so there’s less distance for the requested file to travel.
4. Duplicate Content
If you write unique and original content on your website, then you probably don’t have anything to worry. But the crawlers are not a fan of plagiarized content.
Duplicate content is when there is same or similar content at multiple pages on the web. This confuses the search engine crawlers. Because, if the content is same, who should rank first?
You can use tools such as SEMrush’s Site Audit tool, which will help you figure out which pages are being considered duplicated.
But for some reason, you have to have the duplicated content on your website then you can use a canonical link element. You just need to add a rel=”canonical” link to let the search engine know which URL you want to rank.
5. Eliminate Broken Links and Pages
How would you feel when you click on a link that leads to nowhere? Broken links are not only bad for SEO but can also harm user experience.
If a link leads to a non-existent page, then you will come across a ‘404 error page’. It is not favourable to user experience as well as for crawlers. They find more broken links than the user because they follow every link they bump to, even if its hidden.
Therefore, you should keep on checking for broken links on your website on a regular basis. If you have a WordPress website then your job can be easily done through the Broken Link Checker Plugin. Also, to prevent unnecessary dead links, don’t forget to redirect the URL of the page when you move it or delete it.
Also Read – Best SEO Plugins for WordPress
Technical SEO often gets neglected with the process of On-Page SEO and link building practices. But it is equally essential to fix technical issues. A technically optimized site will always help in better rankings on the SERP.
As we came through the best technical SEO practices, it consists of a number of checks and settings you need to optimize to help your site get crawled and indexed better.
In the majority of cases, you won’t have to deal with technical SEO again and again, once you get it right. Except for the periodical site audits.
Also Read – Best Keyword Research Techniques