When you optimize your site for crawling and indexing then this process is called Technical SEO. This SEO helps search engines to crawl and access your web content properly.
If you are going to execute your SEO campaign, then the technical SEO becomes more important. Imagine if you some issues with the technical SEO, then these problems will reflect in the SEO campaign. You will never get the expected results. The best thing about technical SEO is once you have fixed all the issues, you hardly have to fix them again. Most of the times those issues are gone forever.
In this article, I will tell you what technical SEO is, the complete process of technical SEO and the checklist of technical SEO. So, let’s get started.
Table of content
- What is Technical SEO?
- Why Technical SEO is Important?
- Best Practices to do Technical SEO
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the process, by which you optimize your website and let search engines get the best crawling and indexing of your web content. As the name suggests, it is not that much technical. You can handle the issues if you have basic HTML knowledge.
Because it does not relate to the actual web content or the actual web promotion, it is called the technical SEO. In other words, it has nothing to do with on-page SEO or with the off-page SO. Basically, the main purpose of technical SEO is to work on the core structure of the website.
Why Technical SEO is important?
Search engines have adopted the approach to deliver the best content and user experience to its users. The user experiences like page speed, site navigation, mobile-friendliness, and broken links hold a very high priority. By improving technical SEO for your website you help Google and search engines to understand your web content better and properly. In return, search engines may reward you with better search engine rankings.
Working on the technical SEO does not mean you just need to please Google and search engines. When you optimize the speed of the website, navigation of the website and apply safety measures to your website, the user of your website will come again to your website. There is no better thing like a returning user in online business.
Best Practices to do Technical SEO
I have explained in detail what technical SEO is and why it is important. Not it is time to learn the best practices to do practical SEO. You can follow the following steps to improve your technical SEO.
The XML sitemap is a list of all web pages of your file in the XML file. It is like a detailed index page of a book where chapter, its topics, and even subtopics are given. You can get to the content of the book from the index page only. XML sitemaps do the same for your website.
A well-designed XML sitemap helps the search engines to crawl to your web content. It is like a road map for search engines. If you have interlinking your web content properly, then you do not need any XML sitemap. But you might miss some web content in interlinking. This piece of web content will never index in search engines.
As the XML sitemap does not make any harm to your site or your site’s ranking, it is always recommended to implement the SEO sitemaps.
Optimize 404 Page
404 error occurs when the user clicks a link and that linked page is no longer available. There might be several reasons for that. But the important thing is to find and handle the 404 error. You can do the error handling for your website with .htaccess file
You should develop a 404 error handling page. When a user clicks on a broken link he should be redirected to this error handling page instead of showing a 404 error. This trick will also help you in reducing your bounce rate.
SSL and HTTPS
Search engines want to give security to their users. Adding SSL is making your site secure and build trust in search engines and your users.
When you have installed the SSL to your website, then it will be accessible through HTTPS instead of HTTP. It will help your user to understand that any personal information like username, password, credit card details, payment wallet details, etc will be shared from the website to server in encrypted form only.
Make sure your website has an SSL installed on it. If it has not been installed yet, then contact your hosting provider to get the SSL. It may cost you extra but believe me it is the money worth investing.
In every SEO guidelines, Google has put stress on the page speed of a website. The faster the speed the better it is for the rankings. Improving page speed is a bit technical. Sometimes you need to change the website structure to improve the speed of your website.
Make sure your website hosting server is running on 64 bits operating system. This server should be upgraded to PHP 7.2 version instead of earlier versions like PHP 5.2
Always use the web-optimized images only on your website. Otherwise, the image files will consume a lot of bandwidth and load a lot slower on the web page.
If you are running your website on the WordPress platform, make sure you are running the minimum plugins. Always use the latest version of WordPress and plugins. Minify the JS and CSS files. Use a good caching plugin to serve the cached website pages to the user.
Nowadays the majority of the users are using the mobile and tablets to access the internet and the websites. So having a website with mobile-friendliness is no more an option now. Your website must have a mobile-friendly version.
Google is providing a tool to check the mobile-friendliness of a website. You just need to put your website URL in this tool and this tool will let you know if the mobile version of your website is accessible or not.
If it is not accessible, you need to install a mobile-friendly version of your website. This task comes under technical SEO, which means once you have done this you don’t have to do it again and again. In simple words, once you installed the mobile-friendly version, you don’t have to take care of this issue ever again.
Robots.txt file is a text file placed on the root of your server. This file does not have anything to do with the user of your website. This file is for search engine bots only.
Let’s understand this with an example.
There might be some pages on your website that you may not want to search engines to index. Suppose you have an education program and you want to show this program to your subscribers only. But how a search engine will know this? To overcome this issue, the robots.txt is used.
In this file, you tell you the bots that which page or directory of your website you don’t want to index in the search engine database. As a protocol, the bots will read the robots.txt file first if it is available to the server before crawling to your website content. If the bots find a few pages are in the no-index list, then it will skip those pages for indexing.
Navigation & site structure
Your website user wants easy navigation and fast loading of content. Search engine bots want to understand your web content to index your web content properly. The objective of both can be achieved with proper navigation and site structure of your website.
Most of the web developers forget this objective in order to improve the conversation rate and ends up in ruining the SEO efforts.
You should make sure that the navigation of your website should be smooth and easier. It will let you enjoy your web content and also helps you increase traffic to your non-ranked web pages. Eventually, those non-ranked web pages will also start getting rank in Google and search engines.
The set of links on the top of your blog or article that allows users to navigate back to the previous page are called the breadcrumbs.
It is very helpful in SEO. If you have installed the breadcrumbs on your website, then the user doesn’t have to press the back button from your browser. Instead, he will use the breadcrumbs to go to the previous page. This will give search engines a signal that your site has followed navigation procedure and your website is having a good structure.
Breadcrumbs are very important for any website. You can understand its importance by the fact that Google has mentioned the breadcrumbs as an SEO signal in SEO guidelines several times.
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You need to optimize a number of settings to do technical SEO. This helps the search engine crawlers to crawl and index your web content better and without any problem. You don’t have to do the technical SEO again and again. In most of the cases one you have set the technical SEO then it’s done. It is recommended to have an SEO audit on a periodical basis to check if everything is working well.
You need some technical knowledge and skill for some tasks like improving page speed, adding SSL, adding structured data, etc. It is advisable to learn these tasks and then do it on your website. With half knowledge, you may not be able to optimize these tasks to its full potential.
You need to have a good level of knowledge and skill in some tasks of technical SEO like page speed, adding SSL, etc. It is advisable to learn before you try to do these technical SEO tasks on your website.
Let’s Encrypt offer free SSL. You need to check with your web hosting company if you are eligible for your free SSL.
There is a free tool like Google Pagespeed Insights & GTmetrix that will allow you to check your page speed for free.
If you are not an SEO guru, technical SEO audit may seem like a long and wild journey. It’s true, SEO audit might be quite difficult to complete if you don’t have the right tools and knowledge. Fortunately, there are several SEO tools that will help you to audit your website much easier and faster.
If you want to learn SEO, According to me the best way to learn SEO is to join a training course because it is not enough to acquire only theoretical knowledge you must know how to use it in real world. You will get proper guidance, in guidance of someone you will able to learn fast. In a free time you can read more about SEO online and try to implement it practically.