What is Technical SEO
What is Technical SEO

What is Technical SEO

Generally, those who have a top-level knowledge of SEO are aware of it being a combination of on-page and off-page SEO. On-page SEO deals with content and page optimization to help you rank higher and earn more relevant traffic, while off-page SEO refers to actions taken outside of your website to impact your site rankings on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Together these two almost complete the SEO universe. But there is one more significant element to consider, and that’s technical SEO. This is the nitty-gritty technical SEO activity -excluding content optimization and link building- that you need to start thinking about and taking more seriously to effectively make an impact on your SEO efforts!

How do search engines like Google rank your site?

A regular site will be optimized based on thorough keyword research, content relevancy, relevant backlinks, while also trying to fulfil Google’s EAT (Expertise, Authority and Trust) criteria. However, in addition to all of this, what would make a site the best it could be? Ensuring that it’s technically sound too.

In this day and age, the technical requirements of search engines are continually changing, becoming more sophisticated and advanced each day. Hence, 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. Consider technical SEO the backbone your website, and without it, all other SEO efforts you’re making could simple be diluted. This complete guide to technical SEO will help you understand what technical SEO is and the best tips to follow to make sure your site is technically complete and search engine friendly.

   


Make sure all webpages are crawlable

 

 

 

This aspect of SEO is focused on how well search engine spiders, known as crawl bots, 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. It is also essential to help search engine crawlers recognise the meaning of your content so it can rank your website higher than competitors for relevant search queries.

You’ll need to check the site’s crawlability to ensure all pages on your website are accessible to search engine crawlers and eliminate any instances of orphan pages. While it’s relatively 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.

Check indexing

 

After finding out if your site’s pages are crawled or not, it’s time to figure out the number of pages that are indexed. You can check the pages that are indexed by search engines 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 significant gap in these two values, you may need to revisit and recheck the disallowed pages.

 

 

Optimise 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 regularly tend to have much higher crawl budgets than the average website, as Google understands, based on previous crawl experience, that these sites release fresh 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 optimise the crawl budget are:

  • Avoid using rich media files like flash
  • Build internal links and backlinks
  • Fix broken links
  • Make sure all pages are crawlable
  • Get rid of duplicate pages
  • Prevent indexation of pages with no SEO value
  • Keep the sitemap up to date

Audit internal links

 

A rational site structure is one of the most significant preconditions for excellent 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.

While conducting an audit of internal links on your website, the below are some points 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 minimise the number of redirects on the site. Too many redirects negatively affect load time and crawl budget. 
  • Ensure that the redirected pages are updated using 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.

Evaluate your sitemap

 

Sitemaps are an essential part of any website; they help search engines understand your site’s structure and also allow them to discover new content faster. Several factors help ensure that your sitemap is SEO friendly, here are some you should consider:

  • 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), canonicalised pages, redirected URLs (3XX pages), and pages blocked from indexing.
  • Post submitting the sitemap in Google Search Console, 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 way more effective crawls.
 

Test and improve page speed

 

Page speed isn’t just one of Google’s top priorities; it’s, in fact, an important ranking signal too. You can test your page load time with Google’s own (PageSpeed Insights) tool, 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 will be provided by both of the tools mentioned above.

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. So, as clear and straightforward as it gets, website speed matter to users and Google, so in turn, it should matter to you too.

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Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

 

Mobile-friendliness is another major SEO ranking factor. As of today, more than 50% of people worldwide access the internet via only their smartphone, which makes it even more essential to ensure your website is carefully optimised for mobile devices.

Google’s “mobile-first index” is now a reality, which means it’s drawing its results from mobile-optimised sites first, rather than sites geared towards desktops. If your site isn’t mobile-optimised, visitors are five times more likely to leave your website.

Here are some of the most important things to take care of to ensure your site is mobile-friendly.

 

  • Test your pages for mobile-friendliness with Google’s 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.

 

 

Check for broken links

 

It is a known fact that any type of broken links is harmful to your website SEO in many ways. You waste your crawl budget and create a bad user experience, which leads to lower rankings in SERPs. Hence, it is quite essential to identify any broken links and fix them to save your site’s rankings.

Several tools 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 regularly can help you keep track of broken links. Fixing these will ensure your site is clean, free of errors and as optimised as possible.

SEO friendly URLs

 

URLs that are precise, descriptive, clean and contain keywords make it easy for search engines to understand what a particular page is about and index it in that sense. Bearing SEO in mind while working on the URL structure for your website goes a long way. URLs on any given website shouldn’t be changed too often. Building easy-to-read URLs that include the focus-keyword also helps 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:

  1. Short and precise URLs are more effective
  2. Use the primary keyword (focus keyword) in your URL
  3. Avoid underscores ( _ ), use hyphens only (-)
  4. Do not include irrelevant characters in your URLs

 

Why should I invest in technical SEO?

 

Technical SEO is a never-ending discussion and covers a broad range of topics and elements needed for optimising your website according to search engine requirements. In most 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 optimising your website from a technical standpoint? Simple! Because technical SEO helps your website get indexed more effectively, which can massively impact your SERPs ranking.

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 related to search engine optimisation, please get in touch with us today and let us know how we can help!


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