What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO pertains to the strategies used to optimize a website for search engines. It’s used to enhance the visibility and rankings of a website in search engine results through methods such as making sure it is properly structured and using keyword-rich content.
Technical SEO entails optimizing the technical features of a website with the aim of enhancing its pages’ ranking in search engines. This includes making a site faster, more easily crawlable and easier for search engines to comprehend. Technical SEO belongs to on-page SEO which centers around optimizing elements within your website to attain higher rankings. On the other hand, off-page SEO regards attaining visibility for a website through outside sources.
You should consider optimizing your website technically in order to improve performance. It can help to reduce loading times, increase usability, and boost user experience.
Search engines, such as Google, strive to give their users the best possible outcomes for their inquiries. To that end, Google’s robots trawl and assess webpages using an array of criteria. Some of these directly influence the user experience; for example how fast a page loads. Others are designed to help search engine robots understand what your pages are all about. Structured data is one feature that achieves this. Thus, by refining technical aspects you make it easier for search engines to both crawl and comprehend your site. If done right, you may be rewarded with higher rankings or even some rich results!
What features does a website need in order to be optimally technical?
A properly set up website is beneficial for both users and search engines – it helps to make loading times faster for visitors and helps search engines understand the content of the page. Furthermore, it prevents confusion due to duplicate content and prevents dead-end links from appearing in front of viewers or search engine crawlers. In this article we will discuss some important features which should be taken into account when optimizing a website.
1. Website / Page Load Speed
Today, web pages need to be speedy. The modern consumer has little patience for slow loading times. Recent studies indicated that a majority of mobile website visitors (53%) will abandon their session if a page is not ready within three seconds. In 2022, findings suggested that ecommerce conversion rates drop in direct proportion with the amount of time required for a page to open. If your site is too slow, it’s likely users will get irritated and choose another site – resulting in lost traffic streams.
Google is aware that slow-loading web pages are not ideal. Consequently, they prioritize faster loading web pages in the search engine results. This further decreases traffic to slower-loading pages. As of 2021, Page experience (how quickly it takes for someone to load a page) has become an official ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. Thus, making sure your site loads quickly is now more critical than ever before.
Are you curious to know if your website is performing as fast as it should be? Learn how to quickly test its speed and get some tips on what can be improved. Here, you’ll also find an explanation of Core Web vitals – which are Google’s measures for page experience – and some useful optimization advice.
2. It is indexed by search engines and can be crawled
Search engines utilize robots to spider or crawl your website. A well-designed internal linking structure can ensure that it grasps the foremost significant content of your site. This process works by the robots following the links to explore what is on offer.
In addition, there are numerous ways to control robots. For instance, you can choose to deny them access to certain content and prevent them from including a page in their search results or following the links on it.
3. Robots.txt file
Robots.txt is a document that denotes to web crawlers which parts of a website should not be accessed. It is important for webmasters to include this file on their domain, so search engine bots are aware of the areas that are off-limits.
It is recommended to look into how robots.txt works, or better yet, leave it to a developer!
The meta robots tag is an HTML tag used for controlling how search engines index and crawl webpages. It can be used to prevent search engines from indexing and crawling a webpage, or it can be used to tell search engines when and how to index the content.
The robots meta tag is a snippet of code hidden within the source code of a page – in the head section. Robots detect this code when they come across the page, providing them with instructions regarding what can be found on it and what needs to be done with it.
Using the robots meta tag, you can instruct search engine robots to crawl a page, yet refrain from indexing it. Furthermore, you can also have them avoid following any links on the page. Yoast SEO simplifies this process – allowing you to noindex and nofollow both posts and pages with ease. Understanding when these functions are appropriate will aid in successful implementation of your online strategy.
Investigating crawlability is important for ensuring that web pages are usable to search engines and that they can be indexed. It is essential to examine the ability of search-engines to crawl webpages, in order to guarantee that they can be located and used as intended.
4. It has few dead links – 404’s
Loading slowly is surely a nuisance to website visitors – however, it’s even worse when a link on your site leads to nowhere. A 404 error page will appear, completely ruining the user experience you’ve so attentively created.
In addition, search engines don’t appreciate these error pages either. They typically discover more broken links than what the users come across because they pursue every connection detected, even the ones that are obscured.
Unfortunately, most sites contain some dead links because maintaining a website is an ongoing process; new content is created while existing material can go missing. Thankfully, there are resources to help you find and repair these broken links. Learn more about these methods and how to fix 404 errors.
In order to avoid dead links, it is beneficial to redirect the URL of a page that has been removed or relocated. To get the best results, it is ideal to direct it towards one which takes the place of the original page. Yoast SEO Premium simplifies this process, no requiring assistance from a developer.
What is a redirect?
5. Fixing Duplicate Content
If you have similar content appearing on multiple pages of your website, or even other websites, Search Engines could become perplexed. This is because they won’t know which one to rank higher, meaning that all pages with the same material may end up being given a lower ranking.
Sadly, it is possible that you have a duplicate content issue and not even be aware of it. Technical matters may cause different locations to present the same material. From the viewer’s point of view, this situation does not really matter; however, search engines can distinguish when the identical material is on different URLs.
Fortunately, a technical fix is available for this problem. Known as the canonical link element, it allows you to specify the page that should be indexed in search engines. Yoast SEO enables you to quickly set up a canonical URL on each page and, even more conveniently, automatically adds self-referencing canonical links to them all. This will help minimize the impact of any duplicate content issues of which you might not even be aware.
6. Your Website Needs to be Secure
It is secure, and you can feel assured that your data will be safe.
A technically optimized website means ensuring security, which is a must in this day and age. To ensure users’ privacy on your (WordPress) website, there are many ways to go about it; implementing HTTPS being one of the most essential steps.
HTTPS guarantees that no third party can access the data communicated between your browser and a website. This means that, for example, when users log into your site their information is protected. To put it into practice, an SSL certificate is required. Google values security and consequently uses HTTPS as a metric to rank websites; secure sites are rated more favorably than non-secure ones.
To ensure your website is secure, check your browser’s search bar. If you see a lock icon on the left-hand side, it’s a sign that it’s HTTPS and safe. On the other hand, “not secure” would suggest that some work needs to be done by you or your developer.
Do you know what HTTPS is? If not, read on for an explanation.
7. You Need to Have Structured Data
Structured data enables search engines to comprehend your website, content and even your company better. It will let you inform them the kind of product you are marketing or the recipes available on your site. Furthermore, it offers you a chance to give detailed information about those products or recipes.
You can find out about the fixed format for providing this information, on Schema.org. It benefits search engines as it helps them to interpret and organize your content. To learn more, you can read a story about how this works and how Yoast SEO aids you with it. For example, Yoast SEO makes a Schema graph for your site as well as structured data blocks for How-to and FAQ content.
Structured data can give you something greater than an improved understanding from search engines: the possibility of rich results. These eye-catching outcomes, which feature details like stars, usually pique people’s attention and are more likely to be clicked on in comparison to ordinary search results.
8. XML Sitemaps Uploaded to search engines
An XML sitemap can be thought of as an outline for search engines, providing them with information about the content on your site. This could be in the form of posts, pages, tags or other custom post types, and includes the number of images and when it was last changed. Essentially, it ensures that no important content on your site will go unnoticed.
Ideally, a website doesn’t require an XML sitemap. If the internal linking setup allows for free movement between all pages, robots won’t need it. Although not all websites have such an effective structure, having an XML sitemap is unlikely to do any harm. That said, we would highly recommend having an XML site map on your site.