An effective SEO strategy covers both technical and on-page SEO factors. Yet, many studies still show that numerous websites are still dealing with technical SEO issues. The term technical SEO refers to all the page structure and code that helps search engines see your website. An SEO strategy usually consists of three parts- on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and Technical SEO.
On-page SEO includes optimizing your content to enhance user experience and increase your visibility with keywords, Meta descriptions, titles, etc.
Off-page SEO involves factors that affect your rankings when other websites link to yours or the usage of inbound links.
Technical SEO, which is what we will discuss today, completes the trio. Without technical SEO, search engines won’t be able to access your website at all. It will completely dent your chances of ranking high on SERPs. You have to ensure that your website’s technical side is the best it can be if you ever want search engines to crawl your website.
Fortunately, there are a few technical SEO guidelines and best practices that you can follow. They will ensure that your website’s structure and security meet the search engine’s algorithm’s expectations. Some of these technical SEO best-practices and their importance are listed below;
Ensure You Have a Mobile-Friendly Website
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Nothing does more for your technical SEO efforts than a well-optimized, mobile-friendly website. A mobile-friendly website adjusts itself automatically when viewed on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Google has clear guidelines about having a responsive website. It is a primary ranking and indexing factor when it comes to your online content.
It makes perfect sense to have a fully responsive well-optimized website that provides the same experience to users, regardless of the device people use.
Develop an XML Sitemap
With the inclusion of an XML sitemap into your website, search engines will find it easy to understand your website while crawling it. Imagine navigating a new road without the help of a map. You are bound to get lost with it, right? The same is the case for your website. An XML file acts as a roadmap for search engines as it tells them the location of each of your website’s pages.
An XML file usually contains information about your website, like when you modified a particular page, how frequently you update it, etc.
Improve Your Website’s Speed
While focusing on a responsive website, it goes without saying that website speed is a top-ranking factor. Search engines, especially Google, tend to give fast-loading websites the top spot on their search results. Numerous factors influence the time it takes each page on your website to load. So, there are specific steps you can take to decrease loading times and improve your visitor’s overall online experience. These include;
- Using a faster website hosting service
- Using a speedier domain name service (DNS) provider
- Minimizing HTTP requires, which means keeping plugins and scripts to a minimum
- Using images that have a small file size, without comprising on image quality, of course
- Compressing every page on your website using a compression tool
- Minifying your website’s code, which means getting rid of any unused line breaks or spaces.
Remove Any Duplicate Content
Duplicate content will confuse search engine algorithms as well as your website visitors. People usually take this shortcut to try to manipulate their SERP rankings. Due to this, Search engines such as Google and Bing aren’t too keen on it. They advise web admins to remove any duplicate content from all their webpages.
You can prevent content duplication issues quickly. Do it by proofreading your web copies and manually removing them. Additionally, utilize the canonical link element and control your CMS from publishing multiple versions of your webpages.
You can enable Amp to reduce your content’s delivery times on mobile devices via the help of a unique code referred to as AMP HTML. Your webpages’ AMP versions load up quickly on mobile devices. It is possible by stripping content down to its bare bones, leaving video, images, and text intact. However, comments, forms, tables, and scripts get disabled.
Because your webpages’ AMP variants load fast, visitors are far more likely to read and share them, increasing the number of backlinks and dwell time. Not to mention, Google highlights AMP webpages on carousel search results, providing your website a vital search bump.
Register Your Website with Bing Webmasters Tools and Google Search Console
Bing webmaster tools and Google Search Console are two free tools from Microsoft and Google, respectively. They allow you to register your website with them for indexing. When you develop a website and launch it, it is crucial to submit its XML sitemap to webmaster tools and google search console. They can then crawl it and display it on their search results pages.
Google and Microsoft also let you monitor your website’s general performance through webmaster tools and the Search console. Other capabilities of these tools include; eliminating spammy links, viewing search analytics, viewing backlinks, testing your website for mobile compatibility, and much more.
Include Structured Data in Your Website
To help search engines understand your content, you must add structured data markup to it. Structured Data Markup is code that enables search engines to perform indexing on your website more efficiently and effectively. It increases your visibility when users perform relevant searches.
Furthermore, the inclusion of ‘rich snippets’ enhances search results even more. For instance, you can utilize structured data to add likes and dislikes to comments, prices to products, star ratings to reviews, and so forth. It provides helpful information and is more aesthetically appealing to customers. You can drastically improve your CTR (click-through-rate) and generate more traffic. So, it will be worthwhile to include structured data in your website.
For technical SEO to work in your favor, every member of your SEO team, from web developers to SEO managers, should be on the same page. The primary goal of an effective SEO strategy is to generate higher revenue from online sales. And, improving user experience is one way to achieve this. This guide will provide you a starting point to work on technical SEO.