Technical SEO – A Valuable and Authentic Guide for Beginners

Search Engine Optimization is a technique that gives visibility to your content, website, or products on the internet. The absence of SEO can make you doubt even on the existence of the website no matter how amazing design or theme you buy for it. Over the time, search engine algorithms have become smarter and dodging isn’t possible anymore. To compete your competitors’ digital marketing strategy, you need a smart and creative SEO strategy that gives you higher ranking as well as prevent all sorts of Google penalties.

What It Technical SEO?

There are three main types of SEO, i.e. On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO. All types cover different aspects and have their own benefits. In this blog, we will discuss technical SEO that is the third type of SEO and involves all technical points require to index your website.

Technical SEO checks the performance of the website, helps the crawler find your website, and ensure to rank the website higher. Don’t forget that technical SEO isn’t an option, but a mandatory part of SEO and the foundation of your website.

Importance of Technical SEO

Google and other search engines believe in providing highly relevant search results to its users and never compromise over content quality. There are different factors considered by search engine robots crawls to evaluate the page relevance and efficiency, i.e. user experience, page load speed, website structure, etc. If it meets the maximum standards of technical SEO, Google crawlers will rank the website higher. On the other hand, if you commit serious technical SEO mistakes, your website won’t generate expected traffic or higher ranking. You can also face permanent website blockage from the search engine.

Let’s discuss the major factors of technical SEO one by one.

1. Crawling

The purpose of crawlers is to index and find out the requested website or content. They make link by link search and send data back to Google servers. If we see the technical side of the crawlers, then you get to know that you need an optimized website so crawlers can find out and index your website. A well- structured website having important pages within the three clicks of homepage is very easy to crawled. Make sure, there are only two to three pages on your website can be crawled as making every page crawled can affect your budget.

You can easily decide the pages you want to be crawled by using the following technique:

  • Robots.txt

The file informs Googlebot to ignore a certain section or page of the website.

  • Robots Meta Tags

Use ‘no index’ tag in the header to not index a page.

  • X-robots-tag

It also assists you in controlling the indexing and you can do this task via .htaccess, .php, and server files.

HTML and XML sitemaps are used for the indexing the website and they provide information about the update of the content on your website pages.

How Technical SEO Helps to Fix Crawl Errors?

Crawler errors occur when Google can’t reach the page on your website. It’s important to fix it as early as possible to restore website ranking and prevent Google penalty. The best way to prevent crawling error is to keep the redirect chain shorter so crawler can easily reach the desired page. These errors can easily be identified with the help of Coverage section present in Search Console. ScreamingFrong or Sitebulb are some other good sources to check crawler issues in the website.

2. Mobile

Mobile phone users are increasing exponentially. People prefer to search thing on mobile phones instead of laptops and personal computers. Google has made mobile optimization mandatory for every business website which means your website should display all features and content perfectly on smartphones.

For this purpose, Google introduces a term responsive web designs which help you display the entire design effectively. JavaScript-adaptive and meta name =“viewport” tag are some other valuable features that tells browser how to adjust the content.

Here are some best practices which you can follow to meet Google’s responsive website requirements:

  • Make two versions of the website, i.e. one for the desktop and second for mobile phones.
  • Use same content for both versions.
  • Use structured data and make sure page title and meta descriptions are present on both versions.

A responsive website doesn’t display well on every type of device, but also offers faster page load speed. To improve the speed of the website, you can take care of the below-mentioned points:

  • Optimize content as well as images.
  • Avoid landing page redirects
  • Priories landing pages and reduce server response time
  • Remove unnecessary codes such as render-blocking JavaScript
  • Reduce server response time

Advanced Techniques of Future SEO: AMP & PWAs

Technology is improving over the time and the same trend can be seen in mobile SEO trends. AMP and PWAs are the advance approaches to optimize mobile SEO and both types helps to improve user experience by giving faster page load speed.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): Google and Twitter designed this project to ensure faster, seamless, and compelling page load speed to user.

Progressive Web Apps (PWA): These are web applications which are used as native applications and acts faster than a traditional website.

3. HTTPs (SSL)

Security is another factor Google is very much concerned about. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and HTTPs are the two types of protocols which are used to transfer data or set up communication on the internet. HTTPs are an adaption of HTTP and known as a safer and SEO-friendly URLs.

Unlike the HTTP, HTTPs are secure against hackers and HTTP/2 supported. Moreover, they are trusted by the visitors, support AMP, and preserve referrer data.

Why to Migrate to HTTPS?

  • It’s private and secure and develops user’s trust that is a major goal of every business.
  • It offers some amazing benefits such as fast speed as it’s supported by many browsers
  • Google and other search engines prefers HTTPS and offers many incentives to websites running on HTTPS

 SEO Considerations to Prevent Unnecessary Errors

 Here are some important factors you should consider carefully to keep the migration process seamless:

  1. Prevent crawling and indexing issues by revising your robots.txt. Make sure HTTPS pages are also not restricted.
  2. Do check the HTTPS pages for any unnecessary nonindex tags.
  3. Prevent unnecessary redirect chains to improve [age load speed
  4. Fix the mixed content issues such as open graph tags, internal JS and CSS files, and HTML code.
  5. Social media counters

Process of Migration from HTTP to HTTPs

Being an SEO expert, you have to handle these things during migration process:

  • Update the internal links to HTTPs
  • 301 redirect from http to https
  • Update the sitemap

4. Structured Data

Data organization in different patterns is called structured data. In SEO, a well-structured data gives more exposure to the content and give valuable and knowledge rich information to the user.

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo supports format for providing information while you can use the JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFs formats to support data instead of using hardcoding to wrap HTML.

Structured Data Formats:

There are multiple ways to mark up the structured on the website. A few of them are mentioned-below:

  • JSON-LD is used in page header
  • RDFa is widely being used for highlighting the items and values on page within typeof and property value attributes
  • Itemtype and itemprop HTML attributes can be covered with Microdata.

Impact of Structured Data on SEO

  • It boosts the page speed and makes it more user friendly
  • Structured data has higher CTR and more appeal to SERP
  • Businesses can expect high conversion rate
  • It gives more authority and control to user

5. Migration

Redesign, domain name change, HTTP to HTTPs, and CMS change are four type of migration. It’s a difficult task for an SEO as the risk of losing ranking is higher. To prevent this issue, keep all meta and content same. Don’t make changes in the structure of the content and update internal links, sitemaps, and canonical tags. If you will make a lot of changes in the website, search engine will find it difficult to understand that you are the same website.

Domain Migration

Replicate everything from old website to the new website and use Google’s change of address tool to notify Google to index your website. Here you also have to handle 301 redirect the domain. By following this process, Google won’t affect your current ranking drastically.

Website Redesign

The process involves the entire change of structure, content, and internal links. It’s very difficult to maintain the same ranking in this situation. Testing the results of every step before implementing is recommended to keep process trouble free.

CMS Change

Keep the content and structure same and precisely shift from one CMS type to another.

  • Shifting from HTTP to HTTPs
  • Update the internal links to HTTPs
  • 301 redirect from http to https
  • Update the sitemap

6. Page Speed

Slow page load speed discourages users from visiting the website. To ensure cordial experience to users, Google has set page load speed a necessary ranking factor. High page load speed improves user experience and cast a positive impact on visitors.

Why page load speed matters?

79% of online shoppers say that they never visit website again if they find any issue in the visit especially if the issue is slow page load speed. Likewise, 47% user expect faster page load speed in less than 2 seconds. From the statistics, it’s clear that slow page load speed means losing the customers deliberately. Another survey report reveals, 40% of customers leave the website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load which affects conversion rate and harms the business reputation.

The long term effects of slow page load speed means you are dropping off the chances of potential as well as risking the current customers by giving them poor user experience. Google also discourages slow page load speed and never allows them to occupy top SERP slots.

How to increase page load speed?

Follow these tips to make a positive change in the page load speed:

  • Optimize your images and avoid using heavy images
  • Minimize the use of CSS, JavaScript, and HTML
  • Divide and distribute content by using Content Distribution Network (CDN)
  • Remove rendering codes

7. HTTP Status Codes

HTTPS status codes are used for the communication between browsers and servers. There are different types of codes and checks such as:

  • 1xx – Informational
  • 2xx – Success
  • 3xx – Redirection
  • 4xx – Client error
  • 5xx – Server error

The other types of status codes which have great importance for SEO purpose. Here we are mentioning a few of them:

  • HTTP Status Code 200 gives perfect and expected results.
  • For the permanent redirect HTTP 301 status code is used.
  • For temporary redirect HTTP 302 status code is used.
  • If the page doesn’t found, then HTTP status code 404 provides this information.
  • Internal server error is shown by the HTTP status code 500.

You can use Google Search Console to monitor all the status codes and get respective information.

8. Indexation

Indexing means ranking of the website. Passive, active, and pro-active are the three types of indexing. In the passive indexing, you don’t have to take any action and wait for the search engine to index your website.

On the other hand, you make a sitemap on the website and helps search engine crawlers to find and index your website. In pro-active type, you submit the URL to search engine for ranking with the help of webmasters.

How to pages on your website get indexed?

Here are valuable ways to get your website indexed on search engine.

Use Fetch as Google

  • Log into Google console
  • Navigate to crawl fetch as Google
  • Paste the URL into search bar you want to indexed
  • Click fetch button
  • Click submit to index
  1. Use internal links
  2. Block low quality and thin content pages from Google
  3. Don’t forget to include page into sitemap
  4. Share pages on social media
  5. Share pages on high traffic websites
  6. Structure external links
  7. Ping your website

9. Site Structure

A well-planned and well-structured website isn’t only helpful for users to find their desired content, but also helps search engine in indexing process.

Three Click Rule

According to SEO, an optimized website can make no more than three clicks to reach the requested content of the users. You can make different categories in your website by using the three click rule. Likewise, pay attention to URL structure so users can easily find out the page they are looking for.

Role of internal linking and URL Structure

Don’t ignore internal linking in anyway as they refer to hyperlinked text the links on one page on a website to another and help to maintain a robust structure of the website. Internal links also helps crawlers finding out links deeper in your pages and index them on search engine results. Moreover, you can create a link equity throughout your website to maintain trouble free research process.

Benefits of an SEO Optimized Site Structure

There are many benefits of a well-structured website among which a few of them are listed-below:

  • A well-structured website increases the chances of getting site links which means it shows your website with some internal links on the SERP
  • Good structure improves crawling experience
  • Better user experience is one of the biggest perk of good structured site

Six steps to create site structure

  • Always plan a hierarchy before developing a website and it’s recommended to opt for three click rule to make it logical
  • The number of main categories should be between two and seven
  • URL structure should follow navigation hierarchy
  • The site navigation must be on HTML and CSS
  • Shallow depth navigation structure is ideal for business websites
  • The header should listed the main navigation pages
  • A comprehensive internal linking structure is very helpful for SEO

It’s all that you need to know about technical SEO. By practicing all steps and components, you can understand everything thoroughly.