Stop lagging behind in technical SEO!
If Google can’t crawl or index your site properly, your rankings WILL tank.
Luckily for you, this is the best resource online for you to learn technical SEO.
This guide will help you to learn the following concepts:
- Lots more
Therefore, if you want to get up to speed with technical SEO in 2021, this guide will help you learn the latest technical SEO concepts.
Let’s get started!
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the process of tweaking the background elements that make up your site so that modern search engines can properly crawl it with the aim of improved organic rankings. Site architecture, rendering, indexing, and crawling are the main components of Technical SEO. At the very least, you should set up your site in such a way that search engines like Google and Bing can discover, crawl, index, and render your web pages.
Why is Technical SEO Important?
While most SEO strategies mainly focus on content, keywords, and backlinks, all these efforts can amount to futility if search engines cannot crawl your site.
Search Engines are meant to filter and recommend the best content based on the user’s query. If a search engine cannot distinguish web pages that load slowly and are hard to navigate, users would be more inclined to explore other alternatives because the recommendations they are getting on SERPs fall short in offering the best user experience.
For that reason, Google factors in the user experience when ranking web pages. They prefer to promote the web pages that have the best UX. If the Google Page Experience algorithm finds out that your site has bugs, is sluggish, and overall offers visitors a subpar experience, then the Googlebot will penalize your site and your rankings on SERPs will take a hit.
That is the main reason why having a strong technical SEO strategy contributes positively to your search rankings.
Like all SEO practices, there is no broad-gauge solution that will help your site succeed in technical SEO. It’s a bunch of small hacks that collectively give your business that competitive edge.
How Can You Improve Technical SEO?
Optimize for Multiple Devices
The latest Google Core Update for 2021, demands that websites should be able to render well across all devices, whether that is Desktop, Tablet, Smartphone, or a Smart TV — your site should guarantee a fluid and flexible browsing experience. By including this capability on your site, it means that you can offer your users the best possible browsing experience.
The following are main technical tweaks that you can alter on your site to make it responsive across all devices:
- Implementing responsive web design in your on-page elements — buttons, paddings, margins and fonts.
- Including the viewpoint meta tag in the HTML markup.
- Using the AMP cache.
- Image compression for faster load times.
- Minimizing the size of your UI elements.
When you implement these recommendations, your site will scale dynamically based on device viewports and screen resolutions.
You should also test your site using Google Pagespeed Insights which can give recommendations on where to improve. Remember that page speed is an important ranking factor and it affects how search bots crawl your site.
Having a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate installed on your web server secures user connections such that they can share personal data such as login details, credit card information, and files with your site securely.
SSL provides you with the HTTPS protocol and this secures the data between your web server and the client’s browser so that your communication remains private. An SSL certificate works by binding your domain name and web server using a public key and a private key. This means that even if a hacker is able to intercept your data, they will not have the key to decrypt that information.
Release New Content Regularly
Search engines will tend to crawl your site more often if they find that you are uploading new content regularly. This feature is particularly useful for news sites that need the latest new stories indexed on a regular basis.
By publishing new content regularly, it gives a signal to search engines that your site is uploading new content on a regular basis and that they should crawl it more often so that the intended audience gets the most up-to-date search results.
Optimize Your Page LoadingSpeed
When your website loads fast, it makes for a better user experience. The Page Speed metric is part of the core web vitals that Google uses to score user experience. Optimizing for page speed should therefore be of high priority during web development.
This article recommends that you measure how well your page scores on the Page Speed insight and Web Page Test tools prior to launching the site. Research shows that if your pages take longer than 3 seconds to load, it will lead to a 40% bounce rate.
Test with Search Console
The Search Console gives you an idea of how the Google Search Engine views your website’s content. You can use the “Crawl > Fetch as Google” feature in the Search Console to request URLs from your site and understand how Google Search views them. The Search Console will render the page you select that option is selected.
Google Search Console can also be used to analyze your page content by identifying the presence of AMP, Rich Cards, Structured Data, and Sitelinks.
You can also use the Google Search Console to submit your Sitemap using the “Crawl > Sitemaps” feature. This is an effective way of ensuring that the Google Search Engine is aware of all your site’s pages.
Submit a Sitemap to Each Search Engine
A sitemap is like a blueprint that describes your site structure and it makes it easier for search engines to discover, crawl and index your web pages. Sitemaps tell the search engines the specific web pages and posts on your website that are the most useful.
The sitemaps can be of four types:
- An XML Sitemap: This is the most common type and it’s usually in XML format and it’s used to link all the pages on your website.
- A Video Sitemap: This is used to help search engines to understand the video content on your website.
- A News Sitemap: The news Sitemap helps Google to quickly discover content on Google News approved websites.
- An Image Sitemap: This helps Google to find all of the images that are hosted on your website.
Why are Sitemaps Important?
Search engines use sitemaps to find content on your site. If your website’s pages are linked properly, search bots can crawl most of the content on your website.
It’s not necessary for you to have a sitemap. But it’s recommended for your SEO efforts. So generally it’s better to make use of sitemaps.
A sitemap can also come in handy when your site is brand new because it will help Google find pages on your site faster.
Or even when you have an eCommerce store with millions of pages. Google’s crawlers are going to find it hard to crawl all of those pages. This is where a sitemap can come in handy.
Make Your Content Crawlable
The next step is to ensure that visitors and search engines have access to all your content. You can check the Google webmaster tools for Crawl errors that the Google crawlers failed to access because of a site issue. If the crawlers are unable to access the pages, then they aren’t going to be indexed and they will be inaccessible to most visitors.
You should also double-check your robots.txt file so that it doesn’t accidentally block search engines from finding the content that you want to be indexed. You can use Google’s webmaster tools to view a list of the files in your site that have been blocked from crawling.
We hope that the above checklist is useful and provides the right guidance to help you develop websites that have indexability and crawlability in mind.