What is technical SEO?
Technical SEO involves improvements to the technical components of a website to obtain a higher ranking in search engine results. Its scope includes the management of elements such as content, crawling, indexing, migrations, mobile usability, page speed, rendering, SSL, site structure, status codes and structured data. Now that you understand technical SEO, below are six actionable tips to improve your technical SEO and boost your search rankings.
Technical SEO tips to increase your website traffic.
If you have difficulties with your technical SEO, you will not get the search ranking you anticipate. Before you launch your website, consider these six tips to help you optimize your technical SEO. These six tips will help you avoid any potential pitfalls and put you on the road to digital success.
1. Use an SSL certificate.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a protocol for creating a secure transmission between networked computers. An SSL certificate helps prevent a hacker from accessing data sent between computers. Since 2014 Google has pushed website owners to create an SSL certificate on their websites. Google’s purpose is to become the most trusted search engine. To accomplish this, Google favors websites with an SSL certificate (HTTPS) in the search results. Any website not using an SSL certificate (HTTP) is marked as insecure and is unprioritized in the search results.
So, not only is an SSL certificate good for SEO, but it also helps with security and trust. You can get a reliable and safe SSL certificate from Comodo, GeoTrust, RapidSSL and Symantec. Most web hosting providers include an SSL certificate in their hosting packages.
2. Make your website mobile-friendly.
What is a mobile-friendly website? A mobile-friendly website is a site that renders web pages correctly on any device. You will also see the term ‘responsive’ used as well. Google’s algorithm increases the ranking signal with responsive websites significantly. In other words, a non-responsive website ranks lower than a responsive one. With Google’s ‘mobile-first’ approach to indexing content, a responsive website is more important now than ever.
3. Speed up your website.
Page speed is a primary ranking factor in search ranking with search engines. The page speed crazy started with Google’s search engine algorithm update “Mobilegeddon” in 2015. Generally, if your page loads within five seconds, it is faster than 25% of all websites. With 68.1% of global users browsing the web on a mobile device, your site needs to load quickly as possible. However, your website should be as fast as possible without undermining the user experience.
There are several ways you can improve your page speed. First, you want a fast web hosting provider and a fast domain name system (DNS) provider. If you are using WordPress, minimize the number of plugins and themes used on your site. Also, keep your image files as small as possible and consider using Google’s webp image format. Finally, you will want to enable gzip compression for your web pages and minify your code.
So, I have done all of this page speed optimization. How do I know if it works or I have improved the load time? You can use services such as PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom and GTmetrix to analyze and measure your page speed. Remember, the goal here is not perfection, but to deliver a positive user experience to your audience.
4. Look for error pages and broken links.
Not only do broken links harm your site’s user experience, but also they can increase your bounce rate. Error pages and broken links limit spiders from crawling and indexing your website. The harder it is for a spider to work; the longer it will take to see results in the ranking. While this could harm your ranking it also informs Google your website is not properly optimized.
You can find any error pages or broken links using Screaming Frog SEO Spider. Screaming Frog is a powerful auditing tool to improve your technical SEO. In the report, you can see entries such as meta descriptions, h1 and h2 tags, error codes, page titles and more. The program does not repair the errors. However, there is no easy button; it is up to you to fix the errors found in the report. Other technical SEO audit tools include SEMrush Site Audit, Ahrefs Site Audit Tool and Lumar.
5. Use schema.
Schema markup is code that you put on your site to help search engines understand your content. Moreover, this code gives search engines more information to give better results to their users. Google’s Knowledge Panel is where the structured data of schema markup provides website owners with big opportunities. Your website and brand can also appear as a solution for non-branded search queries. Schema helps provide more traffic to your site and improves your click-through rate on search engines.
You can learn more at schema.org for a point of reference. Schema markup can be implemented through Yoast, Google Tag Manager or other WordPress plugins. These resources make adding schema markup to your website simple and easy. Adding this markup to your pages not only helps you in the search rankings, but also helps provide a better user experience.
6. Connect Google Search Console.
Google Search Console is a service that allows you to monitor, maintain and troubleshoot your website for search engine indexing. In essence, it is the “eyes” of Google. To submit your website to the console, you will need an XML sitemap for Google to crawl your site. Its tools include mobile usability, viewing site backlinks and accessing search analytics to name a few.
So, you might be asking yourself, “What is the difference between Google Analytics and Google Search Console?” As mentioned earlier, Google Search Console is the “eyes” of Google. While Google Analytics is the “eyes” of the user. Unquestionably, Google Search Console is an extremely powerful SEO resource that helps you see user search queries and more. No digital marketer in their right mind should neglect it.
In conclusion, technical SEO should not take a backseat to on-page and off-page SEO. If your website has technical problems, you will not get the best results from your SEO strategy. Technical SEO is an essential component of a good SEO foundation. To sum up, remember to use these six tips to help you improve your technical SEO and watch for a boost in your search engine rankings.