Technical SEO refers to improving the technical aspects of a website in order to increase the ranking of its pages in search engines.
In previous posts, we addressed the reasons you need SEO for your website, discussed the basics for on-page SEO and how to use link building to help your off-page SEO.
In this post, we will be focusing on technical SEO
5 Factors That Affect Your Technical SEO
- Site speed
- Make your site crawlable
- Dead links
- Avoid duplicating content
- Ensure your site is secure
According to Google’s latest research, the time it takes to load the average mobile landing page is 22 seconds. However, research also indicates 53% of people will leave a mobile page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. – Search Journal.
One of the disadvantages of being in a jet age is the impatience and short attention span. Everyone wants to move on to the next available thing. If your web pages do not load or respond fast, people will leave and when bots notice this, it would affect your ranking.
To check the speed of your site, you can use Ubersuggest
Ensure your website is crawlable for search engines
When it comes to giving crawling commands to robots, you have to be careful because a small mistake might prevent robots from crawling important parts of your site.
Search engines use robots to crawl your website. Robots follow links to discover content on your site. To make it easier for bots to crawl your site, you need to use a good internal linking structure. A good internal linking structure is like a gateway that guides the robots, making it possible for them to understand what the most important content on your site is.
While guiding robots, you can block them from crawling a certain content, you can also make content or link visible by the bots but block users from seeing it. Links that are visible to bots but not to users are called no-follow links.
Other ways you can give special crawling commands are through what we call the robots.txt file. It’s a powerful tool, which should be handled carefully. If you do not understand how it works, it is best you leave it to your developer to handle.
Dead links can affect your Technical SEO
We’ve discussed that slow websites are frustrating. What is even more annoying for visitors than a slow page, is landing on a page that doesn’t exist at all. If a link leads to a non-existing page on your site, people will encounter a 404 error page. When this happens, it affects your user experience.
Search engines don’t like to find error pages either. they tend to find even more dead links than visitors because they follow every link they bump into, even if it’s hidden.
To prevent deadlinks, you should always redirect the URL of a page when you delete or move it. Direct the former URL to the new page that replaces it.
Avoid duplicating content
Another way to ensure your technical SEO is in check is to avoid duplicating content. If the same content appears on multiple pages of your site, or on other sites, search engines will get confused on which of the content to rank. Therefore, all the duplicated content will be ranked lower. Always check your blog posts to ensure you do not have the same content published with different URLs. Also, when guest blogging, endeavour to not just copy and paste from your site.
In some cases, however, it is inevitable to have more than one URL pointing to the same content. For example, you have a post or product that is attached to two categories, thereby having two URLs leading to one content.
In a case like this, you can use what we call canonical link element. This refers to choosing one of the URLs as the canonical URL. This tells Google and other search engines which of the URLs you want to show in the search results and therefore rank for.
How secure is your site?
A website with proper technical SEO should be secure. You need to make your website safe for users. Guaranteed privacy is a basic requirement from search engines.
One of the many things to do to ensure your website is secure is to implement HTTPS. HTTPS makes sure that no one can intercept the data that is sent between the browser and the Site. If your website requires log-in details, an HTTPS website is equipped to keep the credentials safe. Remember that search engines care about users, therefore crawlers will rank secured websites higher than the websites considered unsafe.
To check how safe your website is, take a look at the left-hand side of the search bar on your site. If you see a lock (as seen below), then your site is secure. If you see the words “not secure”, then your website needs some more work.
In addition, have an XML sitemap
An XML sitemap is a list of all the pages on your site. It serves as a road map for search engines on your site. It can be categorized into posts, pages, tags, images and dates for every page.
Ideally, a website doesn’t need an XML sitemap. If it has an internal linking structure which connects all content nicely, robots won’t need it. However, not all sites have a great structure, and having an XML sitemap won’t do any harm.
In conclusion, making your website easier to crawl, faster to access and understandable for search engine crawlers are the pillars for technical SEO. You need to always check and update the content on your site to ensure you meet the on-page, off-page and technical SEO requirements. These can become time-consuming and require more expertise. At Endive, we have knowledge and experience to help you optimize your site and get you more traffic.
Send us a message and let’s get started with you.