What is Technical SEO? Best Practices for Higher Rankings
Technical SEO is the technical optimization of your site so that search engines can quickly search it. This is a must for a successful SEO strategy.
As specialists, we can immediately see where the site is properly optimized for technical SEO and where it is not. The difference between the two is huge. You don't need to know all the technical details in-depth, but even a basic understanding of these technical SEO tactics will definitely give you an advantage.
Below, our web development company will explain exactly what technical SEO is, and what technical SEO practices you need to follow.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the process of improving your website's technical aspects to meet the new technical requirements of search engines.
As a result of proper on-page technical optimizing, your website will be indexed faster and more effectively by the search engines and get higher rankings.
Website owners need to constantly monitor the technical SEO requirements as the search engines constantly modifies the way they crawl your website.
Technical SEO includes:
Technical SEO is called "technical" because this optimization concerns a website's infrastructure and not the contents of the website or link building.
Why is technical SEO important?
Today, search engines have become very smart, but they are still robots and are programmed to perform only prescribed actions. If your site has even one small technical problem, search engines may not read your site index either.
As a result, your site will not appear in search queries, even if it contains all the necessary information. A proper technical SEO setup means your site is easy to crawl for search engine robots, will be highly ranked, and get more traffic.
How to improve your technical SEO?
To improve your site's technical SEO and boost your search rankings, you should consider the technical SEO practices below. Use them as needed, depending on the pain points of your site.
14 Best Technical SEO Practices
Here are 14 active technical SEO practices that you should apply.
1. Mobile-friendly website
Google has already officially confirmed that those sites that do not have a full mobile version will be ignored by Google.
If your desktop site is perfectly tailored to all requirements, but it does not have a mobile version, it will not show up in SERPs. The new rules will be in effect from March 2021. Check if your website is fully responsive and works nicely on mobile.
2. SSL certificate
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It encrypts the data transmitted between a web server and a browser to make sure that hackers cannot intercept it. This has been an important ranking factor since 2014. Having an SSL certificate means that your site is safe; you can trust it and not be afraid to enter personal data.
To make your website, you need to install an SSL certificate and redirect your website's HTTP version to HTTPS.
3. XML Sitemap
This is a vital URL source for Google. An XML sitemap is like road markings for search engines. Search engines will or will not index your site based on the date you specify in your site's XML sitemap.
In simple words, an XML sitemap is one file that contains all the information about your site:
- each page of your site
- when you last changed them
- what priority each page has
- how often do you update it
4. Website Speed
Site speed has been a killer ranking factor for years. The faster your site is, the better for you and your customers. Try to do everything you can to make your site load faster.
Top tips to speed up your website:
- Use a fast hosting provider
- Optimize the images
- Use a caching plugin
- Enable GZIP compression
- Use CDN
- Minify script and style files
5. Internal links
For some reason, internal links are forgotten most often when it comes to technical SEO. An internal link is a link that leads to other pages on the same site. This kind of internal linking has a positive effect on SEO, including helping search engines build your site's hierarchy and structure.
Robots.txt is the file that search engines target when they read your site. It provides them with information about which pages on your site should be crawled and which shouldn't. In order to check the Robots.txt of your site, you need to enter:
If you don't have one, then be sure to create it. For example, this can be done using special plugins.
7. Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is the same content on multiple pages of your website. Regular visitors to your site may not see the difference, but search engines will be puzzled by the presence of duplicate content.
Be careful to avoid duplicate content on your site. To do this, you can use ready-made tools like Semrush, Google Search Console, and others. You can also use the canonical link element to show which page is the original.
8. Enable AMP
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is a procedure to improve UX on mobile devices, and more specifically to make them load faster on mobile devices. This is all done using a particle of AMP HTML code.
Google likes AMP pages and tries to help them in every way. Accordingly, with fast loading pages on mobile visitors will: stay on your page longer, and you will have fewer failures and exits.
9. Schema Markup
Schema Markup is an additional part of the code, which is a kind of hint for search engines and helps them better understand your content.
If you use schema markup on your site, it will definitely have a positive effect on technical SEO. After you add the rich snippet markup, you are more likely to appear in rich snippets. Rich snippets show info about star ratings, reviews, and a short description.
10. Hreflang tags
Another important element of technical SEO is hreflang tags. For those who have a multilingual website, this will be especially important. Hreflang tags help search engines delineate which languages you submit your content in and which countries you want to reach.
This tag shows which country the page was created for so that users will see the version of the site configured for their geographic location.
11. Broken Links
Broken links or dead links are those links that for some reason do not work and do not redirect users to the desired location.
The presence of a large number of broken links badly affects not only the user experience but also the SEO rank of the site.
You definitely need to fix such a 404 error on your site. Our web developers or plugins can come to help you.
12. URL Structure
The next step you should take to improve your site's technical SEO is to work out your URL structure and appearance.
For the URL to be as SEO-friendly as possible, you should:
- use only lowercase letters
- use "-" to separate words
- use keywords
13. Breadcrumb Menus
Adding a navigation menu is necessary not only for the convenience of navigation for your site visitors but also for a better understanding of the site search engines' structure.
This is why breadcrumbs are considered essential elements of technical SEO. Add breadcrumbs to your site to improve your site's SEO.
14. Google Search Console
To not use this service is a crime. Google Search Console should be the best friend of everyone who has a website. This is a free tool, so after you launch your site, be sure to submit your XML sitemap to Google Search Console. It will help crawl your entire content more thoroughly.
In addition, there you can see:
- performance of your site
- backlinks leading to your site
- spammy links
Technical SEO Checklist
It is impossible to conduct technical SEO only once and have a successful site. From time to time, there are new requirements to which you should adjust your site.
We bring to your attention a checklist of technical SEO practices to follow.
- Mobile-friendly website
- SSL certificate
- XML Sitemap
- Website Speed
- Duplicate Content
- Enable AMP
- Schema Markup
- Hreflang tags
- Orphaned links
- Broken Link
- Google Search Console
- URL Structure
- Breadcrumb Menus
- Internal Links
- Image Alt Text