Preparing your site for the crawling of search engine spiders is vital. An important factor in this process is proper utilization of the technical aspect of SEO: what you must do in On-Page and Off-Page optimization in order to improve the page performance and raise its efficiency. This involves solving your website’s technical problems and making it user friendly and more able to satisfy the user. To find out more, we invite you to read the article.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: blog.hubspot.com
Technical SEO is a very important element in the process of readying your site for search engines. If there are issues with the SEO technology process, your efforts to improve your site for SEO may not achieve the expected and desired results.
So it is important to make sure that you understand what SEO or Technical SEO is and how to properly handle them on your site. Performing a technical SEO audit on your website and fixing any potential problems will make sure you do not have to deal with these same problems again.
Technical SEO is the process of improving your website for the crawl and indexing stage. By using Technical SEO on your site, you help search engines to access, crawl, interpret, and index your website without any problems.
Search engines use several classification factors—such as site speed, safety, and mobile-friendly design—to determine what is displayed in search results. Technical SEO is comprehensive terms for activities that help crawlers of search engines perform their tasks, allowing them to index your site in the correct way and to do their work inside your site. This means that the site is technically configured to do indexing or crawling robots.
Search engines are adjusting their ranking techniques all the time for search algorithms. Google is believed to change its search engine algorithm from 500 to 600 times a year! Technical SEO for your site must continue to keep pace with updates to search engines, especially in the field of classification of sites.
Does Technical SEO differ from other types of SEO?
Technical SEO tactics, by simple definition, are anything you do to improve your site classification other than content and links, such as improvements to the structure of your site, the transfer to hosts, fast servers or site security, etc.
On-page SEO: Refers to your site’s optimization of page-level search engines such as content layout, image enhancement, and internal linking practices between topics, etc.
Off-page SEO: includes everything that you do with regard to the site and the content outside the limits of your site, such as securing high-quality links by posting on social networks and the guest post in high-quality sites, and other things that build external links to your website.
To read more about the differences between On-page SEO and Off-page SEO visit the source information at HubSpot website.
Internal page-level SEO indicates your site is optimized for page-level search engines such as content layout, image optimization, and internal linking practices between topics, etc. Technical SEO outside the page level includes everything that you do with regard to the site and the content outside the borders of your site, such as securing high-quality links by posting on social networks, the guest post in high-quality sites and other things that build external links to your website. The Off-page technical SEO process also includes a specific dependence on the quality of your content that makes the sites agree to host your content or link to you again.
Remember that technical SEO techniques are in your control. When you apply them, they provide you with a great opportunity to focus on achieving the business’s goal, which is a sure way to increase the chances of your site appearing on results pages.
What is SEO?
First of all, let’s summarize what SEO is. The simplest definition is that SEO is the process of optimizing your website for search engines. SEO means:
- Assurance that search engines can access and index your website without any problems.
- The presence of high-quality content that matches the intention of the researcher.
- Search engine crawlers have the right signals to understand the structure of your website.
- The search engine spiders understand the meaning of your content.
- Internal and external SEO adjustments and improvements give search engine algorithms confidence in your website and its ranking is higher than other sites.
- Once you’ve done all of the above correctly, your website will be a friend to search engines and filter to appear in search results for many searches (related to your content).
Technical SEO Best Practices:
- Find errors on your site.
One quick way to get started is to find and fix existing site errors. These errors may be technical (as they prevent crawlers from indexing your pages correctly), such as writing wrong orders in the Robot.txt file or the .htaccessfile…or your site has broken links that you must discover and fix by using this site to detect broken links in your site and fix them.
In the worst scenario, search engines cannot index your site at all as a result of these errors, so cleaning them from your site is a necessary first step in any technical SEO project.
For users of Blogger and sites other than WordPress, you can use the previous site to detect and repair broken links to your site, but if you are using WordPress, I advise you to use this add-on to your blog:Broken Link Checker. Activate it, and it will inform you periodically of any broken links on your blog.
- Select the preferred link for your site that you would like to appear on search engine results.
When setting up your website or blog, you need to select your preferred domain. By doing this, you direct the search engines to see what kind of differences regarding your site’s URL you want to use.
Mostly, the website can be accessed by default using www or removing www in front of the domain name. For example, if your domain is example.com, your website can be accessed via https://www.example.com and https://example.com (i.e. without www). Although this is good for users, it is confusing to search engines because they consider this to be two different websites. This means that you may experience indexing problems, duplicating content issues, and page rank loss. To solve this problem, you need to set your preferred domain and inform the search engines about your choice.
- www or without www?
One of the questions many people ask is whether to use www in front of the domain name or move to a version other than www. There is no advantage to technical SEO in choosing one format over another; it is a matter of personal preference. I prefer to have www in front of the domain name of the blog because it seems more natural to me, but there is nothing wrong with you deciding to use your website link without www. What is important is that you inform the search engines of your decision and that the link is consistent throughout the life of your website.
- Improve your Robots.txt.
Once you have set up your preferred domain, the next step is to check and improve your robots.txt file.
Robots.txt is a text file located in the root directory of your website that provides instructions for search engines to find your website pages that they can crawl and add to their index, as well as restrictions on some files on your site that prevent search engines from indexing them. The format of this file is very simple, and in most cases, you do not have to make any changes to it. But it is important to check and ensure that there are no wrong directives in it that will prevent search engine crawlers from indexing your website.
- Improve your URL structure.
The next element in your technical SEO checklist is a review of your website’s URL structure. The URL structure of your site means coordinating your URLs in order to improve the SEO of your site and its structure for search engines. The requirements include the following:
- Use lowercase letters for words in English titles.
- Use “-” to separate the words in the URL.
- Condense the title description to 61 characters.
- Avoid using unnecessary letters, words, or symbols.
- Use your targeted keywords in the URL without pre-positioning keywords.
- Improve the structure of your site:
Improving the structure of your site is an important element to consider when designing, as a well-defined and hierarchical site structure facilitates the task of search engine crawlers.
By improving the structure of your site, you will get better indexing and greater opportunities in achieving higher rankings in the search results for your site. For example, many overlook the divisions of your site from its main page, then a section, and then the site’s topics.
Google takes into account the general structure of the website when evaluating a specific page and this is something that should not be ignored. Therefore, you should improve your section pages if you want to obtain a division for your site in Google. In addition, Google mentioned in its guidelines on this matter that a well-defined structure helps webmasters identify important content on their website for Google, which will help a lot in driving important pages to a higher ranking in search engine results.
- Check the title Rel=Canonical to prevent duplicate content.
Each page of your website must have a canonical URL. This is defined by adding the <link rel = “canonical” href = “yourpageurl”> tag to <head> of your posts and pages.
What is a canonical URL?
A canonical URL is a simple way to tell Google which version of the page to consider when indexing your website. The concept is similar to the preferred domain where one page can be accessed through different URLs. You can use rel = “canonical” when you have pages with similar content and to avoid repeating duplicate content problems when adding content to your website from other websites. As a general rule, you must specify a canonical URL for all pages of your website.
- Improve your site’s 404 error page.
The 404 page is displayed to users when the URL they visited is not on your website. The page may have been deleted, the URL may have changed, or they may have mistyped the URL in their browser.
What is an enhanced 404 page?
- It has the same structure and navigation menus as your website.
- It tells visitors in a friendly tone that the page they’re looking for is no longer available.
- It gives them alternatives (suggests other related pages) or a search engine.
- It makes it easy to return to the previous page, your home page, or other important pages.
How do you check your 404-page?
The 404-page layout test is very easy. Just open a new browser window and type the URL that does not exist on your website. What will appear in your browser is your 404-page. Don’t spend too much time optimizing your 404-page; just make sure that when the page requested by the visitor is not found, the custom 404 error page appears.
- Improve the sitemap XML file.
One of the most important elements of Technical SEO is the improvement of the XML sitemap. A Sitemap XML file is an XML file that lists all the pages/posts available on your website. The map also includes the date of publication and the date of the last update. Search engines can use the XML sitemap as a guide when crawling your website.
How do you improve XML sitemap?
Optimizing your Sitemap XML file is simple. If you are a WordPress user, optimizing your Sitemap XML file is simple, because by adding Yoast SEO, you can control what to archive on your site and what you should not archive on your site. As for Blogger, the map is fixed and renewed by renewing topics in your blog.
- Add an SSL certificate to make your site’s connection HTTPS encrypted.
The most recent technical trend on the Internet now is HTTPS secure communication which is a well-known classification signal and an additional way to establish trust with users. When you install SSL on your hosting or server, whether the certificate is free or paid, you can access your website from https, not HTTP.
SSL indicates that any information that is transferred between your website and the server (such as usernames, passwords, personal data, etc.) is encrypted.
In the past, secure encrypted communications were important to e-commerce sites, but nowadays all websites should have SSL certified installed. If you do not have an SSL certificate installed on your site, the first thing you need to do is contact your hosting provider and ask them to enable an SSL certificate on your account.
- Site Speed – The fastest site is the best.
Another well-known ranking signal is the speed of the site. Google mentions the importance of speed in all SEO recommendations, and studies confirm that faster web sites perform better than lower speed websites.
Improving website speed is a technical SEO issue and requires making changes to the website and infrastructure to get good results. The starting point is to check your speed with three tools: Google page speed insights, Pingdom tools, and Google mobile speed tool. The tools mentioned above will give you some recommendations on what you need to change to improve your speed.
In general, what you can do to increase your website’s upload speed is the following:
- Upgrade your server to use a 64-bit operating system if you use a private server for your site.
- Improve the size of your photos. There are some tools that can help you reduce image size without affecting image quality.
- Reduce the use of plugins if you use WordPress.
- Upgrade WordPress and all add-ons to the latest versions.
- Do not use a heavy pattern for your site that contains flashes, etc., but use the quick, simple, error-free template.
- Optimize and reduce your CSS and JS files.
- Avoid adding too many scripts at <head> from your website.
- Ensure that your site is compatible with mobile devices.
Having a website compatible with mobile devices is not optional, but rather is based on Technical SEO. Often the majority of users are using mobile devices, especially with the inclusion of a mobile index first by Google. If you do not have a fast and mobile-friendly website, your site will lose upgrades in rank.
Mobile usability is part of the SEO technology because once you have a mobile-friendly website that is properly configured; you won’t have to deal with this again. It is also a task that requires technical SEO knowledge on how to set it up.
The first thing you need to do is check your website’s usability with this tool from Google. If your website fails the test, you have a lot of work to do, and this should be your first priority. Even if you pass the test, there are a number of things you need to know about mobile devices and SEO.
The mobile website must contain the same content as your desktop website. With the introduction of the mobile index first, Google will attempt to classify mobile websites based on their mobile content. Therefore, any content on the desktop must also be available on mobile (including any internal links or other elements available on your website on the desktop). Avoid using mobile popups.
- Split pages and multilingual sites.
If you have content on your website in more than one language, i.e. multilingual, then you need to take advantage of the Hreflang feature to provide Google with more information about the structure and content of your site. This will help them provide appropriate content to users (i.e. to show the content of your Arabic website to foreigners in each language) and will also help you improve your site for search engines (SEO) by avoiding recurring content and indexing problems.
If you have reached that point, you will likely have a good idea now about what Technical SEO is and why it is handled separately from On-page SEO and Off-Page SEO.
Even if you have done this before, it’s always a good idea to check technical SEO techniques for your website.
Technical SEO consists of a number of scans and settings that you need to optimize your search engines to crawl and index the website without any problems. In most cases, once you have optimized your site to search engines by configuring it in the correct way through technical SEO methods, you will not have to deal with it again, other than performing periodic SEO checks for your site.
Technical SEO needs some technical SEO knowledge to perform some tasks (such as improving page speed, adding structured data, etc.) but it is necessary to do so, or your website will not achieve SEO for it to raise its ranking in search results.
In order to help you with business marketing, Health Connexions has many marketing solutions to help you succeed with your business and help you with Technical SEO. If you are interested in learning more about our services, contact us at info(at)healthconnexions.com.