Technical SEO
Web Developers
By  Rank Grow Digital

What is Technical SEO, and why does it matter?

Search engines are starting to use artificial intelligence and actual web browsers in order to understand the value you provide. So search engines understand pages like a human. You can optimize your website by ensuring that search engine crawlers will be able to identify relevant content on every page of your site, including text-heavy pages like blogs or whitepapers. Technical SEO is a foundational part of any successful marketing campaign because it ensures that visitors recognize quality when they see it from both human readers as well as machines!

Technical SEO may seem daunting at first but if done right; you can ensure an organic increase in traffic with benefits for years down the line – investments now often pay off later where other kinds might not have such long term viability

Your website will rank higher on search engines when you provide them with great content and a well-organized site.

How it impacts your rankings

Technical SEO could be complicated with many factors and variables that influence ranking, but these are a few technical aspects and concepts that will either increase or decrease your rank that you can add to your technical SEO checklist:

  1. SSL security – Search engines prefer and award a site with an SSL certificate rather than one without the certificate. The more secure, the higher ranking it receives.
  2. Mobile – Mobile users are quickly surpassing desktops as the most common way people access the Internet. Make sure your website is mobile-optimized so you can take advantage of this trend and secure a lead over your competitors.
  3. Speed – Ensuring that your website is fast– even on mobile devices and desktops alike—will help to make it more efficient, which will, in turn, increase your ranking.
  4. Content – Good, relevant content will gain web traffic. Soul-sucking content (overuse of keywords) or irrelevant content will lose web traffic.
  5. Site Structure – Having a website that is designed to follow SEO best practices and has a good site structure will improve ranking.
Search Engine Visibility

Search Engine Visibility

When you use search engines like Google, they literally cannot tell if your content is any good until it has been read. They have to find it and then parse through the text in order for their algorithm to determine its quality. The following will assist with the technical optimization. Be sure they are in your technical SEO checklist.

Crawling

Search engines will not find your content if you do not create the necessary tools for them to be able to see it. If they can’t, then what’s the point? The most basic of these is known as a robots.txt file and should reside on yoursite .com/robots.txt in order for search engine spiders (or bots) to have complete access while ignoring all other files and directories that are irrelevant or may contain sensitive information–this includes images, PDFs, word docs., etc.).

To make matters worse: mistakes here could lead to having no spider ever visit a page’s URL again due to crawl errors! So be careful where you place this important document because its location has implications across your entire site! However, do remember you can use the robots to block search engines you don’t want that will respect the file.

Google and other Search engines can access your site just as web browsers and visitors do. Search engines crawl everything they can, but basic navigation is all it takes for a search engine to get around, which means they’ll find any content you want them to – including robots files! You also need to ensure your mobile pages can be crawled as well since you could have multiple versions for mobile.

Crawling, Indexing, Results SEO services
Indexation

How do you make sure your content is found? Well, after finding how to get there and locating a few pages, indexation is needed. Besides the basics of crawling the page itself with search engines like Googlebot or BingBot (or other search engines), sitemaps can help by giving specific instructions on where certain sections are located for easy access.

It also helps if grouping occurs–for example: blogs grouped together in one subdirectory; image galleries clustered into another section; blog posts categorized as “latest” within their own directory under that main folder they were created from [and so forth].

Next, your site needs to tell search engines that when they requested the content, it was successful. This is a more technical check and has been seen as metadata by some sources such as Google Webmaster Tools. The most common response for this type of request would be HTTP 200 which indicates success in receiving information from another source like a web page or a web pages link.

Lastly, on the actual page itself you need to ensure that you are telling search engines to index pages so they can crawl along with any other linked pages within them too-allowing for an even better chance at ranking well on important SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This can be done with the robots meta tag.

You should also ensure they know the primary version of the site’s urls with the canonical tag. Be careful as well that you have no broken links!

Rendering

If you want to get your content found, then it needs to be optimized for search engines. This is a pivotal point in the process because what they see can affect how well your site ranks. A great website with bad navigation may not rank as high and could mean less traffic or conversion rates; whereas an average one with responsive design will have increased ranking potentials which means more visibility on Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Search engines understand things more like humans than ever, so a bad user experience can kill SEO.

Now that we know this information about optimization, let’s talk about some of the things people who are searching online might find frustrating while browsing: broken links, awkward UI/UX features such as too many widgets or bloaty pages – all signs that indicate poorly designed sites that don’t perform optimally. This is generally due to excessive javascript resources.

PageSpeed Optimization

Page speed

When looking at SEO as a whole, website speed is one of the other huge factors for SEO, user happiness, and thus conversions. The faster your site loads in search engine results pages (SERPs), the more likely it will be to rank higher on SERP’s due to its perceived relevance. Slower sites are penalized by Google because they make users bounce out from impatience with frustration or boredom while waiting for content to load; you also might stop getting traffic if no one wants what you have anymore!

One basic thing to start with is a site audit with Google pagespeed insights.

Mobile Page Speed Optimization
Mobile Page Speed

Over 50% of users are on a mobile or tablet-like device as of 2019, and that grows roughly 2-3% every year! That means there is a 1 in 2 chance of mobile users, and soon 1 in 3 chance of desktop users visiting your website. That is why Google has started getting more serious about adding mobile as a significant ranking factor. It is so vital that page speed optimization now is more about speeding up mobile rather than making desktop priority. Being fast on the desktop should be implied!

You can also use Accelerated Mobile Pages to improve mobile site speed.

Cache

A cache is a mechanism to download, process, or otherwise compute a webpage before storing it for later use. However, in some cases, the content can be stored indefinitely and reused when needed without any additional computation necessary.

This is possible because of caching mechanisms such as browser caches which are one of the most popular types for this specific purpose. One excellent way to manage these files quickly is by using CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) that store copies on servers around your environment so they deliver faster than you could ever hope! With cache, you can improve performance and decrease page load time improving site speed.

Content optimization

Content Optimization

You know you’ve got a good idea when it can be described in one sentence. The Internet is always changing and evolving, but some things never change: Content optimization will always matter. It’s the next subgroup of tasks that will give your website better chance at being shown to more people searching for what they need from or about you — whether its products or services! Your content must not only be pleasing looking at, easy to read, relevant & informative – but also without redundancy. Watch out for the following points while optimizing your content.

Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is something you want to keep an eye out for. It can be as small or simple as copy/pasting and it could mean a lower quality score on your page if there are more than just one of the same words in succession, but even copying someone else’s post-word-for-word might lead to duplicate content issues. If this happens and search engines like Google finds that they’re not authentic when reading them, then don’t get surprised if all those articles disappear from search results altogether! So watch out for creating duplicate pages.

KISS Pages

“KISS: Keep it simple, stupid.” This acronym applies to any design you have on your website as well as the content in order for people to be able to read and understand what they are looking at without getting too distracted or confused by anything else happening on the page. The search engines also take into account how complicated a webpage is when ranking them because they think more like people these days rather than machines; if something feels overworked with lots of clutter and no clear direction, searchers will feel this way about that site which could lead potential visitors away from clicking through altogether. A minimalist website design with your content prominently displayed often works best.

Images

One of the easiest ways to make your website speed faster is by reducing file size. Whenever you upload a new photo, be sure that it’s at least 2MB in size and has been optimized for web quality (JPG). If not, then visitors will have an unnecessarily long wait time while they download large images from your site.

As a mobile user, you may have noticed that your data can be used up quickly if the images on your site are too large! Luckily, there is an easy way to optimize them. For example, a WordPress website has settings for compressing and optimizing image size after uploading – this could really help save bandwidth and storage space!

You might want to take some time before uploading any pictures so you know how big they’ll need to be in order not to end up with expensive overages from using all of your monthly allotment right away.

Mobile Usability

If you want the best user experience, it is imperative that your website has a mobile-friendly site. Not only does this make browsing for content much easier and faster on smartphones; but also, more importantly, it will ensure people cannot see anything other than what was intended to be seen by Google crawlers when they go through your website in search engine results pages (SERPs).

By optimizing our sites with responsive design techniques such as “mobile-first” development or just designing/building them from scratch with mobile devices in mind we can prevent desktop users from experiencing any of these issues themselves and ensure mobile-friendliness. You can also ensure low page load times with this process. Using the site audit tool in the google search console can assist with finding any mobile issues.

Site structure

No two websites are built the same. Each one has its own personality and goals, which means every site must have a website architecture uniquely to match those needs. There is a right way of doing things that will get more visitors coming back for seconds (not just your content).

The first step on this path starts with organizing each page according to what search engines want when they review it – keywords in headers, text links at the bottom of articles or posts instead of navigation bars cluttered up top where people might actually land from their searches…and so much more!

It’s important not only because users can’t reach all pages if their hands barely fit onto the screen but also because no website wants to go through several extra steps before getting any results out there.

To further help search engines, you can use structured data markup also known as rich snippets in your website’s code so they can better understand what your content is. Other basics are robots meta tag and the canonical tag.

All this can impact your ranking factor and thus search engine rankings. Don’t forget your mobile pages either as it can determine if you are mobile-friendly!

Do know that you can see how people are navigating your site with a tool like Google analytics. You can also use the site audit tool in the Google search console or Bing webmaster tools.

Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are one of the most basic navigational elements, besides a menu. They give you context to know where you’re at in site, as well as how deep down it is that you’ve gone. It also will usually be a set of links so that when there are no more breadcrumb trails left for your brain to follow and/or if Google wants some fodder while crawling your page (which I’m sure happens sometimes), they can always just go back up on their own accord and find themselves elsewhere with ease! This ability for search engine crawlers to crawl your site via breadcrumbs will ensure that things are not missing in your search results.

Structured data

Content structured data can be used to provide extra details about a page or specific content. It is also called rich snippets. It allows you to identify the type of information that’s on your website, such as people and their reviews, products in stores for sale, etc.

Structured Data helps search engines show rating numbers or contextual information when they scan past it; this may help them rank higher with search rankings in particular searches since Google analyzes text-based snippets like these more thoroughly than simple HTML pages with no additional benefits associated with them at all! All of this can show up in search results for users, better keeping them informed and increasing conversions.

To check your structured data, you can use the Google search console and get a site audit.

Internal links

Internal links are the perfect way to get more web traffic from within your site. The premise is simple: when you talk about or refer to other things that you also have content for, just link them! These internal links will help visitors find new information on your website they may never have been able to see before. This connects back with taxonomy; what’s an effective way of categorizing all this great data and making it easier for people like me? That would be linking related pieces together so I can easily search through everything in one place!

Status codes

When you search for a term, what do you want to see? An error message or an explanation of why the content wasn’t found. This is where HTTP Status Codes come in handy: they tell your browser whether there was any issue and also let Google know if it has been fixed.

HTTP status codes are metadata that accompanies responses from web servers about pages requested by browsers (known as HTTP requests). The five different classes of these messages vary depending on their meaning but generally provide information like successful completion, redirects, client errors etcetera. These standardized codes allow us to quickly determine how we should proceed – both when making our request and viewing them afterward! The HTTP code classes are:

  1. 100-199 = Informational responses
  2. 200-299 = Successful responses
  3. 300-399 = Redirects
  4. 400-499 = Client errors
  5. 500-599 = Server errors

The goal is always to make sure that you don’t have any pages returning bad or wrong status codes. These negative codes will prevent your content from being seen by both users and search engines!

The ultimate goal with this strategy is to ensure that there are no errors in the code of a page, which all result in an error notice when someone visits them. If you see anything other than 200 (meaning successful) as one of the numbers on these notices, then they should be fixed quickly!

The Google search console can help you find HTTP errors on your site.

Redirects

When a webpage has moved, it is often necessary to redirect visitors to the new location of the content. This can be done with either an HTTP 301 or 302 status code depending on whether we want this change to be permanent.

It’s crucial that when there’s no match for content that doesn’t exist and someone hits “404” in their browser, they’re redirected back up if possible after being given immediate feedback about what happened so as not to leave them stranded on your site without any information at all (such as 404) which wouldn’t make sense from a user experience point-of-view.

SSL secure sockets layer

SSL

SSL is a type of security that ensures your website won’t be hacked and personal information will stay safe. When you check the address bar in most browsers, if it has https:// before an URL then this means that the site provides SSL protection to its users.

The secure sockets layer (SSL) protocol ensures websites handle any sensitive data with care by encrypting all web traffic on either end so hackers can’t get their hands on anything they shouldn’t have access to once inside one’s system.

In the past, it has been stated that an e commerce site or a banking website should have SSL or otherwise not be trusted to enter your personal information. However, many people do not know what exactly this means for them in practice. In recent years though there has been a push from popular media outlets to encourage these types of services to provide encryption as standard instead of an optional security measure – which is just common sense!

It may sound like such a big deal but encrypted data keeps you safe by preventing snoops from looking at anything they shouldn’t see on their way through while sending/receiving any sensitive data back and forth with customers entering for example payment information in their browser for things like eCommerce websites.

You’re not alone in the battle of saving your website from being compromised. The search engines are making this a requirement for privacy because everyone is vulnerable to getting their personal data hacked with someone who has enough tech-savvy and an internet connection!

The need for user privacy on websites means that even if you don’t have SSL, it won’t be long before Google makes visiting your site impossible without one.

Google has been making it clear that mobile-friendly websites are a ranking factor for them. Now, they want to make sure you’re using secure sites with SSL certificates as well!

Sites without an SSL certificate will not be showing up in search results and the ones who do have these secured certifications can bypass this issue by upgrading their site security!

SEO Migration
SEO Migrations

Migrations

Migration is the process of moving your website from one hosting provider to another, or even sometimes to a new domain. Sometimes this can be an essential technical or business move for various reasons. You do need to ensure that during these transitions, your SEO stays consistent and redirects don’t break while you migrate; otherwise, there will be issues with site errors on both domains! If changing domains make sure all internal links are updated as well so they reference their corresponding pages on the new domain rather than old ones-that way everything flows seamlessly without any hiccups along the road.

Wrapping it up

If you’re trying to develop a successful online business, it is important that your website take advantage of all the modern technical SEO best practices. You want an optimized site structure and content so that Google can easily crawl your pages for search engine visibility purposes. Your web pages should also be loading quickly on mobile in order to make sure people don’t bounce from your site before they have time to convert into customers because their internet connection was too slow or unreliable. We are happy to help with any aspect of this process or other technical SEO issues if you need assistance!