The first step into an SEO strategy should be all about improving your technical SEO ensuring that your website is in a good structure with organic traffic, ranking keywords, and conversions. No matter what industry your brand or company belongs to the principles of technical SEO are very important.
Are you noticing a drop in your Google rankings or a significant decline in your page visitors? Then you might be missing something in your technical SEO efforts. It is the most important aspect of off-page SEO optimization. All the SEO issues, mistakes, tips, and recommendations come under the technical checklist. All these elements are important for making your website user-friendly, efficient, visible in SERP, functional, and easy to understand.
Why Is Technical SEO Important For a Website?
Most digital marketers focus on choosing high-ranking keywords, optimizing page content, and acquiring quality backlinks while developing a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. By optimizing the key technical SEO elements, your website values will be determined by the search engine. It also protects your website from other issues that can hinder your page from showing up and ranking in pertinent search results and providing a positive online experience to page visitors.
Besides these, ignoring the important components of technical SEO may result in missed opportunities to convey your brand message. Furthermore, if you have any lacuna in the technical aspect of SEO, your website may be inaccessible to search engines and invisible to online users.
A useful technical SEO audit can reveal tons of duplicate pages, bad Yoast settings, few unique title tags, irrelevant page content, and dozens of attachment pages that prevented the website from ranking in its target keywords, placing canonical tags on the website, removing media attachments, eliminating duplicate content, performing regular technical SEO audits and monitoring Google Search Console for crawl errors, sitemap, and robots.txt issues.
Ultimate Technical SEO checklist
Update your page experience
Google’s new updated page experience signal combined the Core Web Vitals with their existing search signals, including mobile-friendliness, HTTPS security, safe browsing, and intrusive interstitial guidelines. To access a refresher, Google’s Core Web Vitals are comprised of 3 factors;
- First Input Delay (FID) – It measures who is going to interact with the page first. To ensure a good user experience, your page should have an FID of less than 100 Ms.
- Largest Concertful Paint (LCP) – The loading performance of the large content element on the screen is measured by LCP. This should be done within 2.5 seconds to provide a good user experience.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – The visual stability of various elements on your website is measured by CLS. CLS of less than 0.1 seconds should be maintained to let the site strive for its desired pages.
Fix All The broken internal and outbound links
Poor internal and external link structure can cause a poor user experience for both humans and search engines. It will be frustrating for people to click any link flashing on your website and find that it doesn’t take them to any relevant correct working URL.
To fix all these problems, you need to check for a couple of different factors:
- links that are 301 or 302 redirect to another page
- links that go to a 4XX error page
- orphaned pages that mean the pages that aren’t being linked at all
- An internal linking structure that is too deep
Moreover, to fix broken links, you should update the target URL or remove the unnecessary links altogether if it doesn’t exist anymore.
Crawl your site and fix all the crawl errors
For a better result, you need to make sure your site is free from any crawl errors. Generally, crawl errors occur when a search engine tries to reach a page on your website but fails due to perfect SEO operation. There are so many tools as Screaming Frog, Deep Crawl, and Secularity to help you solve these types of errors. For better results, you should look out for instances of redirect chains or loops, where URLs redirect to another URL multiple times.
When scanning for crawl errors, you need to
- a) Correctly implement all redirects with the 301 redirects.
b) Study any 4xx and 5xx error pages and figure out where you want to redirect them.
Eliminate duplicate or thin content
Make sure your website is free from duplicate or thin content. Duplicate content can be seen due to many factors, including page replication from faceted navigation, having multiple versions of the site live, and scraped or copied content. It is essential to present a unique version of your site in front of the Goole index. To give you a deep idea let us show you one example.
The search engines see all of these domains as one website:
You can fix the issue of duplicate content through the following ways:
- Implementing no-index or canonical tags on duplicate pages
- Setting the preferred domain in Google Search Console
- Setting up parameter handling in Google Search Console
- Where possible, delete any duplicate content
Give your URLs a clean structure
Straight from the mouth of Google, “A site’s URL structure should be as simple as possible.” If your URL is overly complex, it will cause problems for crawlers by creating unused high numbers of URLs that point to identical or similar content on your site. As a result, Googlebot may not be able to completely index all the content on your site.
Get your website an optimized XML sitemap
XML sitemaps allow search engines to get your site in a frame and it also decides what to index in the SERP. An optimized XML sitemap should include:
- New content (Articles, blog posts, products, etc.) that is added to your site
- Only 200-status URLs
- Not more than 50,000 URLs.
If you are having some issues in indexing just make sure you have excluded the following from the XML sitemap:
- URLs with parameters
- URLs that are 301 redirecting or contain canonical or no-index tags
- URLs with 4xx or 5xx status codes
- Duplicate content
Add structured data or schema mark-up
Structured data helps to provide useful information about your webpage and its content by giving perfect context to Google about the meaning of a page, and helping your organic listings stand out on the SERPs. The most popular type of structured data is called schema markup. There are many different kinds of schema markups for structuring data for people, places, organizations, local businesses, reviews, and so much more. You can use online schema mark-up generators, such as this one from Merkle, and Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to help create schema mark-up for your website.
Read also: Complete SEO Guide for Beginners