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Today, we would like to share with you some top technical SEO tips as used by SEO professionals to improve your website ranking on Google.
What Is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO means using technical knowledge to optimize your website for search engines e.g. Google. You have optimized the content using keyword research best practices as well as On-Page SEO tips for users. Now it is important to ensure your website is readable by Google using some top technical SEO tips.
If you recall how Google crawls, indexes and ranks your website, technical SEO helps Googlebot crawl, index and rank your website better by perfecting technical aspects like page speed, crawlability, HTTPS, canonicalized pages, 404 redirects, XML sitemap, structured data, international SEO, etc. Therefore, understanding technical SEO is essential if you want to ensure that your webpages are structured for both humans and Google.
Top Technical SEO Tips: Page Speed
Page speed is an ever increasingly important ranking factor on Google search engine because Google wants to serve fast-loading content for users. Therefore, page speed is a crucial aspect of technical SEO.
You may use the following website tools to test your site speed. Most tests will also give you pointers on what to improve.
You can improve your page speed by doing the following.
- Pick a fast theme
- Have a mobile-friendly responsive website
- Use plugins sparingly
- Use a caching plugin
- Optimize images
- Use high-performance web hosting with server-end caching
- Pick a web server close to your visitors
- Use a Content Distribution Network (CDN)
- Use premium DNS
Crawling is a process where search engines like Google send out robots known as crawlers to find content which is discovered by links. Crawlability is the ability of a search engine like Google to crawl your website. Your entire site or a page on your site cannot be crawled and will not show up in the search results under the following circumstances.
- The web server can’t handle all the requests of the crawlers.
- The robots meta tag on a specific page blocks Googlebot from indexing that page.
You can see that making sure your web pages are crawlable is critical when it comes to technical SEO.
Google ranks secure HTTPS websites higher. Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). It is used for secure communication on the Internet. The communication protocol is encrypted using Transport Layer Security (TLS). TLS certificates are files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the HTTPS protocol (over port 443) and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. It secures credit card transactions, data transfer and logins, contact details, and browsing of social media sites.
Therefore, HTTPS websites are important for technical SEO.
According to Wikipedia, the HTTP 404 error message is a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) standard response code to indicate that the browser was able to communicate with a given server, but the server could not find what was requested. The web server will typically generate a “404 Not Found” web page when a user attempts to follow a broken or dead link.
Google doesn’t like dead links. To prevent 404 pages, you should redirect the URL of a page it to a page that replaces the old page when you delete or move it.
You should avoid duplicate content because Google ranks sites with unique content higher for better searcher experience, and shows only the canonicalized page.
Google doesn’t know which page to index in search results when crawling the same content on different web pages on a site. For this reason, you should use the rel=”canonical” tag to help Google better index the preferred page but not its duplicate pages. Canonicalization is an important aspect of technical SEO.
Schema is used to organize your content so that Google understands what elements on your web pages are e.g. what products you are selling on your site and their details. It provides structure to your data and is called structured data.
Besides, it enables special features to accompany your web pages in the SERPs. They are known as “rich snippets” e.g. top stories carousels, review stars, sitelinks search boxes, etc. in the Google search results.
Therefore, HTTPS is another important aspect of technical SEO.
Top Technical SEO Tips: International SEO
As part of technical SEO for websites that have international audiences, international SEO optimization should be taken into account for better international user experience. A multilingual website should have an hreflang tag to tell Google that the site has other languages. A multi-regional website should have a URL structure for each country or region e.g. yourdomain.co.uk or uk.yourdomain.com or yourdomain.com/uk.
As part of technical SEO, an XML sitemap lists all pages of your website for search engines.
To Be Continued……
Now you know many useful technical SEO tips as employed by SEO companies to improve your SEO. In the coming week, we will share with you in our SEO series more SEO topics in layman’s terms to help your SEO. Stay tuned.