Technical SEO refers to site and server improvements that aid search engine spiders in more efficiently crawling and indexing your website (to help improve organic rankings).
Checklist for Technical SEO
Search engines give websites with certain technical character traits preferential treatment in search results — for example, a wired network, a responsive design, or a quick loading time — and technological SEO is the work you have to do to make sure yours does.
A checklist of key actions to ensure your technical SEO is up to par may be found below.
By following these recommendations, you may help guarantee that your site’s security and structure satisfy the expectations of search engine algorithms and that your site is rewarded in search results as a consequence.
1. Make use of SSL
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security protocol that establishes an encrypted connection between a web browser and a server. You can tell whether a website is utilizing SSL since the URL begins with ‘https://’ rather than ‘http://.’
Google said in 2014 that they intended to see ‘HTTPS everywhere,’ and that secure Connection websites will be given precedence in search results over non-secure ones. =
As a result, it makes sense to ensure that your site is safe wherever feasible — this may be accomplished by putting an SSL certificate on your site, whereas most top website builders now incorporate SSL by default.
2. Check to see if your website is mobile-friendly
A ‘responsive’ website design adapts automatically to allow for easy navigation and reading on any device. Google makes it obvious that having a responsive website is a highly important ranking indicator for their algorithms. A flexible website is now more crucial than ever, according to Google’s new “mobile-first” strategy to index information.
As a result, it’s a good idea to make sure your site is totally responsive and displays in the best possible way for mobile, iPad, and desktop visitors.
3. Make your website load faster
Page speed is considered an essential ranking indication by search engines, which favour sites that load quickly.
You may speed up your site in a number of ways:
- Make use of quick hosting.
- Use a DNS (‘domain name system’) supplier that is quick.
- Reduce the number of ‘HTTP requests’ by limiting the use of scripts and plugins.
- Instead of using several CSS stylesheets as well as inline CSS, use a single CSS stylesheet (the code that tells a website viewer your website).
- As much as possible, make your image files as compact as feasible (without being too pixelated)
- Reduce the size of your web pages (this can be done using a tool called GZIP)
4. Resolve problems with duplicating content
Users (and search engine algorithms) might be confused by duplicate material, and it can also be exploited to influence search rankings or get more traffic.
As a result, search results aren’t fond of it, and Google and Bing both recommend that webmasters remedy any duplicate content concerns they detect.
Duplicate material can be resolved by:
- Keeping numerous versions of a page or post from being published by your CMS.
- Using the canonical link element helps inform search engines about the location of your content’s “primary” version.
5. Make a sitemap in XML format
An XML sitemap is a document that helps search engines explore your website and comprehend it. Think of it as a type of “search roadmap,” showing search engines where each page is located.
It also includes helpful information about each of your site’s pages, such as
- When a page was last changed, what importance it has on your site, and how often it is updated are all things to consider.
- Your XML site is produced automatically in BigCommerce; if you’re using another platform, you’ll need to utilize a sitemap builder to create one.
6. Think about activating AMP
AMP is a Google-backed project that uses special code called AMP HTML to speed up the delivery of information on mobile devices.
On mobile devices, AMP versions of your websites load incredibly rapidly. They accomplish this by reducing your content and code to its minimal essentials, keeping text, pictures, and video but removing scripts, comments, and forms.
Because they load so quickly, AMP versions of sites are considerably more likely to be viewed and shared by people, boosting dwell time and the number of backlinks pointing to your material – both of which are positive SEO factors.
Furthermore, Google occasionally features AMP pages in prominent conveyor belts in search results, providing you with a significant search boost.
7. Make your website use structured data markup
Structured data markup is a type of coding that you may add to your website to assist search engines to comprehend the information. This information can assist search engines in better indexing your site and providing more relevant results.
Data that is organized- Structured data also improves search results by adding “rich snippets” – for example, you may use data sets to add star reviews to reviews, pricing to items, or reviewer information to assess and review (example below).
These improved results can increase your click-through rate (CTR) and drive more visitors to your site since they are more aesthetically attractive and emphasize immediately valuable information to users. It’s worth the time and effort to add data sets to your site because websites with greater CTRs are typically deemed to receive preferred treatment in search engines.
8. Set up Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools accounts for your website
Google Search Console as well as Bing Webmaster Tools are complimentary Google and Microsoft devices that enable you to submit your site for indexing to their individual search engines.
When your company is ready to go live, send its XML sitemap to both Google Search Console as well as Webmaster Tools such that they could scan it and start displaying results from it in search results.
These solutions also allow you to monitor your site’s overall performance from a search engine standpoint; additional things you could do with the tools are:
- putting your site’s mobile usability to the test
- gaining access to search analytics
- looking at your site’s backlinks
- rejecting spammy links
- plus a whole lot more.
Resources for Technical SEO
If you want to learn more about technical SEO, check out the following resources:
- Google’s SEO Beginner’s Guide
- Simple strategies to improve your website’s exposure
- Moz’s technical SEO articles
- SEO for Ecommerce
- SEO for BigCommerce (2018)