Why Technical SEO Matters – Part One
Generally, those who have a top-level knowledge of SEO are aware of it
A regular site will be optimized on the basis of thorough keyword research, content relevancy, relevant backlinks, whilst also trying to fulfil Google’s EAT (Expertise, Authority and Trust) criteria. However, in addition to all of this, what would make a site be the best it can be? Ensuring that it’s technically sound too.
In this day and age, the technical requirements of the search engines are continually changing, becoming more complex and sophisticated each day. Hence, in order to keep up with these changes, and to ensure that SEO efforts generate the expected results, you have to give technical SEO the adequate importance and prominence it deserves. Technical SEO really is the backbone of a website and without it, all other SEO efforts you’re making are diluted – like trying to drive with one hand tied behind your back.
In this post, we’ll shed some light on what technical SEO is, the best practices to follow and factors that need to be focused on whilst working towards making your site technically complete and search engine friendly. We’ll split this over two posts – the first part below and the concluding part to follow next month.
What is Technical SEO?
This aspect of SEO is focused on how well search engines spiders can crawl your site and index content effectively, without any issues.
As part of ensuring the above, it’s vital that your website gives search engine crawlers the correct signals and directives to not only understand the structure and architecture of the website but also to navigate through different pages on the site effortlessly. Additionally, it is also essential to help search engine spiders understand the meaning of your content so it can rank your website higher than competitors for relevant search queries.
Technical SEO factors to consider:
1. Make sure all webpages are crawlable
You’ll need to check the site’s crawlability to ensure all pages on your website are accessible to search engine crawlers and there are no instances of orphan pages. Whilst it’s fairly easy to check the robots.txt file to understand the pages that aren’t getting crawled, it may be beneficial to dive a little deeper and make use of external tools like Screaming Frog to get an entire list of all blocked pages.
2. Check indexing
After understanding if all the pages on your website are crawled, it’s also good practice to know the number of the pages on the site that are indexed by search engines. You can check this by using the site operator, site: website.com (e.g. site: www.bruceclaymena.com) in the target search engine. Ideally, the number that site: website.com returns should be proportionate to the total number of pages on your site (minus the ones that search engines have been marked not to index). If there’s a large gap in these two values, you may need to revisit and recheck the disallowed pages.
3. Optimize crawl budget
A crawl budget is the number of pages that Google will crawl on a site on any given day. This number may vary slightly from day to day, but overall, it’s found to be relatively stable. News websites and sites that turn over new content on a regular basis tend to have much higher crawl budgets than the average website, as Google understands, based on previous crawl experience, that these sites release new content regularly.
Once you know what your crawl budget is, you would want to work towards increasing it. A couple of pointers that will come in handy to optimize the crawl budget are:
useof rich media files like flash
- Building internal links & backlinks
- Fixing broken links
- Making sure all pages are crawlable
- Getting rid of duplicate pages
- Preventing indexation of pages with no SEO value
- Keeping the sitemap up to date.
4. Audit internal links
A rational site structure is one of the most important preconditions for great user experience as well as search engine experience on a site. To a large extent, internal linking on your website also aids in spreading ranking power (or link juice) around pages more effectively.
Whilst conducting an audit of internal links on your website, the below are some things to consider:
- The most important pages on your website shouldn’t be more than three clicks away from the home page
- Ensure that broken links (if any) on the website are fixed appropriately
- Try and minimize the number of redirects on the site. Too many redirects negatively affect load time and crawl budget. Also, ensure that the redirected pages are updated by the correct destination URLs in the source code
- Avoid the presence of orphan pages (pages that exist on your website without any other pages linking to them) on your site.
Sadly you’ve reached the end of part one of why technical SEO matters – however, don’t despair, the second part is now online!
If you’re looking for an SEO agency in Dubai to help you increase the online visibility of your website, get in touch with us today to understand what differentiates us from the rest!