Technical SEO is the process of improving a website’s search engine results by making changes to its technical parts. It includes setting up the structure, code, and server configuration of a website so that it is easy for search engines to crawl and index.
Technical SEO includes both on-page and off-page changes that help search engines understand a website’s content and layout. This can include things like speeding up the site, making it safer, making sure it works well on mobile devices, using structured data, improving the site’s design, and more.
The goal of technical SEO is to make a website that is easy for search engines to crawl and index and that gives users a great experience. By doing this, companies can improve their search engine rankings, get more people to visit their websites, and, in the end, make more money.
Best Practices of Technical SEO for Higher Rankings
Optimizing website speed
Optimizing website speed is an essential aspect of technical SEO. It involves improving the load time of a website’s pages to enhance the user experience and improve search engine rankings. A faster website speed can lead to increased user engagement, reduced bounce rates, and better conversion rates.
To optimize website speed, there are several best practices to follow, including:
- Compressing images and other files to reduce page load times.
- Using browser caching to store frequently accessed resources on a user’s computer, reduces the number of requests needed to load a page.
- Minimizing code by removing unnecessary characters, reducing the size of the file and improving page load speed.
- Reducing the number of HTTP requests by combining files and removing unnecessary plugins.
- Using a content delivery network (CDN) to store and deliver website content from multiple locations, reducing the physical distance between the user and the server and improving load times.
By optimizing website speed, businesses can improve the user experience, reduce bounce rates, and ultimately increase conversions and revenue.
Optimize Your Robots.txt
After you have set your chosen domain, you should check and improve your robots.txt file.
What is the robots.txt file?
Robots.txt is a text file in your website’s root directory that tells search engines which parts of your website they can crawl and add to their index.
This file’s format is very easy, and most of the time, you won’t need to make any changes to it.
Optimize Your URL Structure
The next thing on your list for your technical SEO audit is to change the way your website’s URLs are set up. By URL structure, we mean how your URLs are set up.
The following is what best SEO practices say about URLs:
- Use only lowercase letters
- Use – to separate words in a URL
- Make them short and to the point.
- Don’t use characters or words that aren’t necessary.
- Use the keywords you want to rank for in the URL, but don’t overdo it.
In general, once you set up the structure of your permanent links, the only thing you will have to do when you publish new content is optimise your URLs.
Ensuring mobile-friendliness is another crucial aspect of technical SEO. With an increasing number of users accessing websites on their mobile devices, it’s essential to ensure that a website is optimized for mobile use. A mobile-friendly website provides a better user experience, which can lead to increased engagement and better search engine rankings.
To ensure mobile-friendliness, businesses can follow several best practices, including:
- Using responsive design, which automatically adjusts the website layout to fit the user’s screen size.
- Optimizing font sizes to ensure they are readable on a mobile device.
- Ensuring buttons and links are large and easy to tap, making them more accessible on a touch screen.
- Limiting the use of pop-ups, which can be difficult to close on a mobile device.
- Ensuring that all website elements are easily accessible on a mobile device, including images, videos, and forms.
By ensuring mobile-friendliness, businesses can improve the user experience for mobile users, increase engagement, and ultimately improve search engine rankings. This can lead to increased traffic, higher conversion rates, and ultimately more revenue for businesses.
Structured Data Markup and SEO
In the last few years, structured data has become more and more important because Google uses it a lot in Search Results.
What is structured data?
Simply put, structured data is code that you can add to your web pages that helps search engine crawlers understand what your content is about. It’s a way to talk about your data in a way that search engines can understand.
How do structured data and technical SEO fit together?
Even though structured data is about a website’s content, it is a part of technical SEO because you have to add code to your website to make it work. Most of the time, once you add the structured data definition, you don’t have to do anything else.
For example, you only need to set up your structured data once for breadcrumbs and then you don’t have to do anything else.
Articles are the same. Once you add the right structured data definition to your CMS, new content will automatically use it.
Why would you want to use structured data?
It can help you improve the way your search engine results page (SERP) listings look by using featured snippets, knowledge graph entries, etc., and increase your CTR.
XML Sitemap Optimization
The optimisation of an XML sitemap is one of the most important parts of technical SEO.
The pages and posts on your website are listed in an XML file called an “XML Sitemap.” It also shows when they were first published and when they were last changed.
When they crawl a website, search engines can use the XML sitemap as a guide.
How to make your XML Sitemap work best?
To optimise your XML sitemap, all you have to do is include only the pages that are important to your website. Pages, posts, and categories make up the majority of these.
Don’t add tag pages, author pages, or other pages that don’t have their own content to your sitemap.
Make sure your sitemap is updated automatically whenever a new page is added or an existing page is changed.
Use the Google search console and Bing Webmaster tools to send your sitemap to Google and Bing and check on its status.
SSL and HTTPS
Security is the new thing on the Internet. HTTPS is a known ranking signal and another way to show your users that they can trust you.
When you put an SSL on your server, people can go to your website using HTTPS instead of HTTP. This means that any information (like usernames, passwords, personal information, etc.) that is sent between your website and server is encrypted.
In the past, SSL was only important for websites that sold things online, but now every site on the Internet should have an SSL.
If you don’t have SSL installed, you should first contact your hosting company and ask them to enable SSL on your account. After that, you need to follow a migration process to turn on SSL on your website without losing your rankings.
Adding an SSL is a lot like moving to a new domain, so you will need to carefully follow the steps.
Technical SEO is a set of checks and settings that you need to tweak so that search engines can easily crawl and index your website.
Most of the time, once you get your technical SEO right, you won’t have to worry about it again, unless you want to do regular SEO Audits.
The word “technical” suggests that you need some technical knowledge to do some of the tasks (like optimising page speed, adding structured data, etc.), but you have to do them or your website won’t be as good as it could be.
If you need more information about any of the tasks, our SEO Courses go into detail about every aspect of technical SEO and walk you through the process step by step.