Why Technical SEO Matters – Part Two
Well well well! For all those who’ve read part one of ‘Why Technical SEO Matters’; we’re back again to present to you the concluding part of our previous article – ‘Why Technical SEO Matters – Part Two’
In continuation of the previous four SEO factors, the ones mentioned below should also be looked at, to ensure your website is technically sound! So, let’s get started from where we left off!
Technical SEO factors to consider (contd.):
5. Evaluate your sitemap
Sitemaps are an essential part of any website and inform search engines about the site structure, whilst also allowing them to discover new content much faster. There are several criteria that help ensure that your sitemap is built as per SEO best practice, these are mentioned below:
- The XML sitemap should be updated whenever new content is added to your site
- The XML sitemap should be free of error pages (4XX pages), canonicalized pages, redirected URLs (3XX pages), and pages blocked from indexing. Post submitting the sitemap in Google Search Console (GSC), it’s good to keep a close watch to ensure there are no errors reported by GSC
- The XML sitemap can include a maximum of 50,000 URLs. Anything more than that will have to be included as part of a new sitemap. Just as a side note, quite a few SEO experts have pointed out that reducing the number of URLs in a sitemap tends to yield much more effective crawls.
6. Test and improve page speed
Page speed isn’t just one of Google’s top priorities, it’s actually an important ranking signal too. You can test your page load times with Google’s own tool (PageSpeed Insights) or you may even want to consider using the GT Metrix tool. Whatever aspects of the speed test your website doesn’t pass, the details and the how-to-fix recommendations are provided by both of the aforementioned tools.
We’re all aware that Google gives a lot of weight to user experience. If a site takes too long to load, users will leave and look for other websites. There are no two ways about it – website speed does really matter to Google, so in turn, it should matter to you too.
7. Get mobile-friendlier
Mobile-friendliness is another major SEO ranking factor. As of today, more than 55-60% of people worldwide use their mobile device to browse the internet, which makes it even more essential to ensure your website has been optimized for mobile devices.
Google’s “mobile-first index” is now a reality, which means it’s drawing its results from mobile-optimized sites first, rather than sites geared towards desktops. If your site isn’t mobile-optimized, visitors are 5 times more likely to leave your site.
Here are some of the most important things to take care of to ensure you’re mobile-friendly.
- Test your pages for mobile-friendliness with Google’s own Mobile-Friendly Test tool
- Run comprehensive audits of your mobile site, just like you do with the desktop version
- Finally, don’t forget to track your website rank on mobile, and remember that progress will more than likely translate to your desktop ranking as well.
8. Check for broken links
It is a known fact that any type of broken link is harmful to your website SEO in more ways than one. You waste your crawl budget and create a bad user experience, which in turn, leads to lower rankings in SERPs. Hence, it cannot be emphasized enough the importance of identifying these broken links and fixing them to save yourself trouble later on down the line!
There are several tools that can provide complete details of broken links that may exist on your site – these include Screaming Frog, Small SEO Tools, DrLinkCheck.com, etc. You can also download a broken links list using Google Search Console.
Using these tools on a regular basis can help keep track of broken links. Fixing these will ensure your site is clean, free of errors and as optimized as possible.
9. Building search engine friendly URLs
URLs that are precise, descriptive, clean and contain keywords make it easy for search engines to understand what a particular page is talking about. Bearing SEO best practice in mind whilst working on the URL structure for your website goes a long way as URLs on any given website aren’t/shouldn’t be changed too often. Building easy-to-read URLs that include the focus-keyword also help strengthen the relevancy of the whole page.
Below are a few easy-to-remember tips that will always come in handy when you’re working on the URL structure for your website:
- Shorter URLs are more effective
- Use the primary keyword (focus keyword)
- Avoid underscores ( _ ), use hyphens only (-)
- Do not include irrelevant characters.
Technical SEO is a never-ending discussion and covers a broad range of topics and elements needed for optimizing your website according to search engine requirements. In the majority of the cases, once you get your technical SEO right, you won’t have to deal with it again, other than doing periodical SEO audits (which are equally important).
Still wondering why you should invest all of that time and energy into optimizing your website from a technical standpoint? Simple! Because technical SEO helps your website to get indexed most effectively, which in turn, can have a massive impact on your ranking.
Very simply put, Technical SEO will give you an advantage with Google that you wouldn’t otherwise have.
If you’re looking for an SEO agency in Dubai to help you with technical SEO for your website, or you have any questions referring to this article, please get in touch with us today to understand how we can help!
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Afsha has worked in marketing for over 10 years, but switched to digital marketing six years ago. She started her digital career at SMG Convonix and most recently at IPG Mediabrands before joining us here at Bruce Clay.
She has worked with clients such as Johnson & Johnson (APAC), Edelweiss General Insurance, UAE Exchange, Nerolac, Mahindra and Croma to name a few. She is extremely passionate about all things digital and always keeps her finger on the pulse, learning new skills and keeping herself educated.
Afsha is extremely neat and is known in the office for her clean, paperless desk! If she’s not obsessively cleaning, you’ll find her on a plane, travelling to some exotic destination.