Statistics show that only 9.37% of all websites rank on Google [case study by ahrefs]. What about the rest 90.63%? They do not get traffic to their websites.
Of course, you might think that is odd. There are many factors associated with website ranking. One of these factors is SEO.
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization.
For you to rank and get traffic, you need to do SEO and it is not that easy.
In this blog post guide, we will cover the definition of technical SEO, why it is important, and finalize with a technical SEO checklist .
Let’s dive in!
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the practice of optimizing websites for search engines. The goal is to ensure that search engine crawlers can find, crawl and index your site as quickly as possible.
Technical SEO focuses on the technical aspects of website design, structure, content, and configuration that are necessary to enable crawlers to successfully index and showcase your site in search results.
Technical SEO is a big topic that can be broken down into different categories: Page Optimization, Link Building, and Meta Tags.
Each category has its own set of rules and guidelines that need to be followed in order for it to work effectively.
Why is Technical SEO Important?
You might think that technical SEO doesn’t matter if you’re not building a massive site with thousands of pages, but it’s still important if you want your pages to perform well in search results. Here is why…
1. Technical SEO ensures that your website is accessible to search engines and that they can index and crawl your site efficiently.
2. It improves your website’s click-through rate from SERPs by making sure your titles and descriptions are relevant and enticing.
3. Technical SEO ensures that your website loads quickly, which is a key ranking factor for mobile users and users in general.
4. By doing technical SEO, you improve your website’s security, which is important for both users and search engines.
5. It also helps you to better understand your website’s analytics so that you can make informed decisions about where to focus your marketing efforts.
By understanding the technical aspects of SEO, you can ensure that your website is optimized for both users and search engines, resulting in better visibility and traffic.
Technical SEO Checklist
1. Check How Your Site is Indexed
You just thought of doing technical SEO to your site and don’t know where to start or maybe you are new to SEO. Well, start by checking how your site is indexed on Google SERPs [Google Search Results Pages].
You can achieve this in two ways.
– Use Google Search Operators (site:)
The first way is to use Google Search Operators (you will learn about them in the images below).
The first thing you need to do is to type site: followed by your website domain name. Here is an example for site:zakariagithae.com [note! don’t include spaces]
This search will return all indexed pages on zakariagithae.com.
You can as well target specific pages such as your blog page. Here is an example for site:zakariagithae.com/blog
This search will return all indexed pages on zakariagithae.com/blog.
– Use Google Search Console
The second way is to use Google Search Console. It allows you to capture a lot of information related to your website’s search rankings.
For example, you can see all the pages on your site that Google knows about and review a list of potential issues you can resolve for some quick technical SEO wins.
2. Crawl Your Website and Fix Crawl Errors
Crawling is the process of visiting every page of your site and gathering information to help you identify what’s already working on your site, and what isn’t.
There are several different types of crawl errors. Here’s what they mean:
If you’ve redirected a page or posts off your site, it won’t be indexed by Google or Bing unless it’s been updated.
– Outdated Link
If you’ve recently changed an old link that references an outdated resource, Google may not know about it yet and won’t index it.
– Missing Meta Tag
Tags on pages (like title tags) help search engines understand what information is on each page so they can display them in search results. If you’ve deleted or changed these tags without updating the content on those pages, Google will not know this change has occurred and will not index those pages properly.
3. Make Sure Your Pages Load Fast
It’s no secret that page speed is important for SEO. In fact, Google has stated that site speed is a ranking factor in their search algorithm. But what many people don’t realize is that page speed is also important for technical SEO.
Technical SEO is all about making sure your website is accessible and easy to crawl for search engine bots.
If your pages are slow to load, it can make it more difficult for bots to crawl and index your content. This can lead to your website being penalized in the search results.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure your pages are loading quickly. Not only will it help your website rank better, but it will also make it easier for people to find and use your site.
So if you’re serious about technical SEO, make sure you’re paying attention to your page speed.
How fast should a website load?
Sincerely speaking, you’ll want your website to load within three seconds and even more faster if you have an e-commerce website.
In fact, 40% of consumers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a site.
Is website speed a Google ranking factor?
A simple answer is, Yes.
“You’ll start to see positive effects once you get out of the “poor” area in core web vitals. It’s not a magic bullet, we use lots of factors for ranking, and relevance is still very important.” John Mueller, Google .
4. Use HTTPS Everywhere
Back in 2014, Google announced that the HTTPS protocol was a weak ranking factor.
This was confirmed by John Mueller, Google “HTTPS is not a factor in deciding whether or not to index a page, at all. We do use HTTPS as a lightweight ranking factor, and having HTTPS is great for users. A free certificate from Let’s Encrypt works just as well.” 
This doesn’t mean you should completely ignore encrypting your website domain name. Statistics show that will not conduct any kind of transaction or payment if your website is not secure.
For WordPress users, you can get a free SSL certificate or HTTPS by using Really Simple SSL plugin.
Example of a secure website using HTTPS
Otherwise, some hosting providers provide it for free or paid depending on your hosting [What I use].
5. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
If you want your site to rank well in search engines, it’s important to make sure it’s mobile-friendly. More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to search the web, so if your site isn’t optimized for these devices, you’re missing out on a lot of potential traffic.
In fact, a report by Hitwise shows more than 60% of all searches happen on mobile devices.
You can use tools like the Mobile-Friendly Test tool to see how mobile-friendly your web is.
There are a few things you can do to make sure your site is mobile-friendly:
– Use responsive design: This means your site will automatically adjust to fit the screen size of the device it’s being viewed on.
– Use large font sizes: Make sure your text is easy to read on smaller screens.
– Use short, concise paragraphs: Mobile users have shorter attention spans, so keep your content concise and to the point.
– Optimize your images: Large images can take a long time to load on mobile devices, so make sure they’re optimized for the web. You can use a tool like Photoshop or an online service like TinyPNG or ShortPixel to compress your images without losing quality.
By following these tips, you can make sure your site is mobile-friendly and improve your chances of ranking well in search engines.
6. Make sure your URLs have a clean structure
If you’re running a website, it’s important to make sure that your URLs have a clean and well-organized structure.
This is especially true for websites that are heavy on content. A clean URL structure can help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), and it can also make your website more user-friendly.
Here is how you can optimize your URLs automatically on WordPress. Dashboard > settings > permalinks > post-name and optimize as shown in the image below.
This step will help you optimize your URL structure so it appears as the title. Here is an example of a bad and good URL structure.
The two links will take you to the same page, but you can see that the first is well optimized for Google and even users. It is easy to understand what you expect.
What to Consider?
There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re structuring your URLs.
✔ First, use keyword-rich URLs [e.g. on-page SEO from image above]. This will help your website rank higher for those keywords.
✔ Second, keep your URLs short and sweet. Long, complicated URLs are more likely to produce errors, and they’re also harder for users to remember.
✔ Finally, use a consistent URL structure throughout your site. This will make it easier for both users and search engines to navigate your website.
By following these tips, you can make sure that your website’s URLs are clean, user-friendly, and search engine friendly.
7. Get rid of any duplicate or thin content
Another important aspect of technical SEO is making sure that you don’t have any duplicate or thin content on your site.
Duplicate content can occur for a variety of reasons. Maybe you have multiple pages with very similar content, or maybe you have some content that is copied from other sources.
Either way, this can hurt your search engine rankings because it confuses the search engines and makes it difficult for them to determine which page is the most relevant.
Thin content is also a problem because it doesn’t provide much value to the reader. If a page only has a few sentences of text, it’s not going to be very helpful to someone who is looking for information.
This can also hurt your search engine rankings because the search engines will view your site as being low-quality and not worth showing in their results.
To fix these problems, take a look at your website and see if there are any pages with duplicate or thin content.
If so, rewrite or remove the content so that it is unique and provides value to the reader. This will improve your technical SEO and help your website rank better in the search engines.
Learn from Google? Spam policies for Google web search
Suggested Blogs? The Ultimate Blog Post Guide for 2023 (Beginner to Pro)
8. Optimize Your Site XML Sitemaps
Yet on our list, another important aspect of technical SEO is creating and submitting XML sitemaps. XML sitemaps help search engines index your website more effectively and can improve your website’s ranking.
What is an XML Sitemap?
An XML sitemap is a file that contains a list of all the pages on your website. It helps search engines find and index your pages more efficiently.
There are a few things you can do to optimize your XML sitemap:
✔ Make sure it’s up-to-date
✔ Include all the important pages on your website
✔ Use the correct format
✔ Submit it to search engines
Submitting your XML sitemap to search engines is also important. You can do this by adding a link to your sitemap in the robots.txt file on your server. You can also submit your sitemap directly to Google and other major search engines.
Suggested Blog? How To Index Your New WordPress Website On Google
9. Fix broken internal and outbound links
To rank well in search engines, it’s important to have a solid technical SEO foundation. A key element of technical SEO is making sure that your internal and outbound links are working properly.
If you have broken links on your website, it can hurt your search engine rankings and make it harder for visitors to find the information they’re looking for.
Fortunately, fixing broken links is relatively easy. For internal links, simply update the URL in your blog post or page to point to the correct page on your website.
For outbound links, you can either update the URL or add a redirect so that visitors are automatically redirected to the correct page.
Example of Broken Links
Here are 4 examples of broken link structures you should fix.
✔ Links that are 301 or 302 redirecting to another page
✔ Links that go to a 4XX error page
✔ Orphaned pages (pages that aren’t being linked to at all)
✔ An internal linking structure that is too deep
Taking the time to fix broken links on your website is a worthwhile investment that can pay off in higher search engine rankings and more engaged visitors.
10. Optimize Your Site robots.txt file
If you want your website to be found and indexed by search engines, it’s important to make sure your site’s robots.txt file is optimized.
What is a robots.txt file?
The robots.txt file is a text file that tells search engine crawlers which pages on your website they should index and which they should ignore.
If your robots.txt file is not properly configured, it can prevent search engines from indexing your entire website, which can hurt your website’s visibility and organic traffic. In this article, we’ll show you how to optimize your site’s robots.txt file for better SEO.
First, let’s take a look at what a typical robots.txt file looks like:
This file tells all search engine crawlers (represented by the “*” user-agent) that they should not index any pages in the /wp-admin/ directory, but they can index pages in the /wp-includes/ directory.
If you want search engines to index all of the pages on your website, you would need to remove the “Disallow:” directive for the /wp-admin/ directory. However, if there are certain pages on your website that you want to index, then “Disallow:” them.
Here is an example of a robot.txt file.
How do you actually find robot.txt file?
If you are a WordPress user like me, then I recommend plugins like Yoast SEO or AISEO as they automatically create this robot.txt file for you and submit them to search engines like Google and Bing. Learn more
If you just launched your new website, then I recommend other high-priority factors like creating high-quality content and link building (acquiring more and more links to build authority) among other factors.
11. Add structured data or schema markup
For the Search “this coffee cake is awesome and perfect for parties” shown above, you can see how to google structured the data. This is because the schema markup of the website in the SERPs [Search Engine Results Pages] was well structured when editing.
This makes it easy for Google to understand it and display the results in SERPs. Well-structured schema markup can increase your click-through rate by up to 50%.
Adding structured data or schema markup tells search engines more about your website and helps them understand your content better. As a result, your website is more likely to show up in relevant search results.
Adding structured data or schema markup is a relatively easy process. You can either add it yourself or use a plugin or tool that will do it for you. Once you’ve added the structured data, be sure to test it to make sure it’s working properly.
This guide by Semrush will help you structure and test your Schema Markup.
What is Schema Markup?
Schema markup (schema.org) is a structured data vocabulary that helps search engines better understand the information on your website.
There are a number of schema markups out there. Out of all, Google understands at least 32 of them. Here is a few of them [after image]:
Types of Schema Markup
Software app (Beta)
This guide has highlighted some of the most important areas that a technical SEO practitioner can focus on in order to optimise web pages for their target search engines and audiences.
Whilst this list is far from exhaustive, it covers many of the basics of technical site optimization that every site should be compliant with as best practice.
Most importantly, these recommendations are things that you can implement within your existing workflow – fitting them into an already existing process and configuration will require little effort to integrate.
What is a Technical SEO Audit?
A technical SEO audit is an in-depth analysis of your website’s technical aspects that could be affecting your organic search visibility. This includes factors like your site’s architecture, code, sitemaps, robots.txt file, and more. Conducting a technical SEO audit can help you identify areas where your website needs improvement so you can make the necessary changes to optimize your site for search engines.
Thanks for reading.
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Have A Nice Day.