What is Technical SEO? Traffic Boosting Checklist for Your Business
Technical SEO is a crucial step in the whole SEO method. If there are obstacles with your technical SEO, then it is likely that your SEO efforts will not generate the expected results.
It is thus crucial to make sure that you understand technical SEO and how to get it right.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO refers to improving the technical aspects of a website to increase its pages in the search engines. Making a website quicker, simpler to crawl, and understandable for search engines are technical optimization pillars. Technical SEO is part of on-page SEO, which focuses on improving your website’s elements to get higher rankings. It’s the opposite of off-page SEO, generating exposure for a website through other channels.
Technical SEO Checklist
Search engines give preferential way in search results to websites that display specific technical characteristics — for example, a secure connection, a responsive design, or a fast loading time — and technical SEO is the work you require to do to ensure your website does so.
Below you’ll find a checklist of essential steps you can take to ensure your technical SEO is up to scratch. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your site’s security and structure meet the expectation of search engine algorithms and is rewarded in search results accordingly.
Secure Sockets Layer – SSL – is a security technology that forms an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. You can easily spot a site using SSL: the website URL starts with ‘HTTPS://’ rather than ‘http://.’
In 2014 Google announced that they wanted to see ‘HTTPS everywhere and that secure HTTPS websites would be given preference over non-secure ones in search results. =
So it makes sense, where possible, to guarantee your site is secure – this can be done by installing an SSL certificate on your website, though most top website builders now include SSL by default.
Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
A responsive website design adapts itself automatically to be navigated and read easily on any device.
Google is transparent that having a responsive site is considered a very significant ranking signal by its algorithms. With the introduction of Google’s mobile-first approach to indexing content, a responsive website is now more critical than ever.
So it makes sense to guarantee that your website is fully responsive and will display in the best format possible for mobile, tablet, or desktop users.
Speed your site up
Search engines favor sites that load quickly: page speed is considered an important ranking signal.
There are many ways you can speed up your site:
- Use fast hosting.
- Utilize a fast DNS (‘domain name system’), the provider
- Reduce HTTP requests – keep the use of scripts and plugins to a minimum
- Use one CSS stylesheet (the code which is utilized to tell a website browser how to display your website) instead of multiple CSS stylesheets or inline CSS
- Assure your image files are as small as possible (without being too pixelated)
- Compress your web pages (this can be done utilizing a tool called GZIP)
Fix duplicate content issues
Duplicate content can either be confusing for users (or indeed search engine algorithms); it can also be used to manipulate search rankings or win more traffic.
In conclusion, search engines aren’t keen on it, and Google and Bing advise webmasters to fix any duplicate content issues they find.
You can fix duplicate content issues by:
- Preventing your CMS from publishing multiple versions of a page or post (for example, by disabling Session IDs where they are not vital to your website’s functionality and getting rid of printer-friendly versions of your content).
- Using the canonical link element lets search engines know where the ‘main’ version of your content resides.
Create an XML sitemap
An XML sitemap is a file that helps search engines to understand your website while crawling it – you can think of it as being like a ‘search roadmap’ of sorts, telling search engines precisely where each page is.
It additionally contains useful information about each page on your site, including
- when a page was last modified;
- what priority it has on your site;
- How frequently it is updated.
Consider enabling AMP
AMP is a Google-backed project that intends to speed up the delivery of content on mobile devices by using unique code known as AMP HTML.
AMP versions of your web pages load incredibly quickly on mobile devices. They do this by removing your content and code down to the bare bones, leaving text, images, and video intact but disabling scripts, comments, and forms.
Because they load so fast, AMP versions of pages are far more inclined to be viewed and shared by your users, increasing dwell time and the number of backlinks pointing to your content – all great things from an SEO point of view. On top of that, Google seldom highlights AMP pages in prominent carousels in search results – giving you a vital search bump.
Add structured data markup to your website
Structured data markup is code that you add to your website to help search engines better understand its content. This data can assist search engines index your website more effectively and provide more relevant results.
Additionally, structured data improves search results through the addition of rich snippets – for example, you can use structured data to add star ratings to reviews, prices to products, or reviewer information (example below).
Because they are more visually appealing and highlight directly useful data to searchers, these enhanced results can improve your click-through rate (CTR) and generate additional traffic to your site. Because sites with results featuring higher CTRs are generally considered to receive preferential treatment in search engines, it is worth making an effort to add structured data to your site.
Register your website with Google Search Console & Bing Webmaster Tools
Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools are free tools from Google and Microsoft, respectively, allowing you to submit your website to their search engines for indexing.
When you are able to launch your website, you should submit its XML sitemap (see above) to both Google Search Console and Webmaster Tools so that they can crawl your new site and begin to display results from it in search results.