Technical SEO can be a bit of a mystery for those who are new to the term. It seems like there is a lot of talk about it, but not a lot of information on what it actually is. Here at BroadVision Marketing, our goal is to help you understand the basics of technical SEO so that you can make sure your website is optimized for search engines.
We’ll cover topics like site structure, site speed, and duplication errors to give you a solid understanding of technical SEO and how to fix common issues that could be holding your website back. If you want help with SEO services instead of trying to do them yourself, contact us. We are here to help!
What Is Technical SEO? Why Does It Matter?
Technical SEO refers to the process of optimizing a website for the purpose of improving its search engine rankings. It is a subset of overall SEO, or search engine optimization, activity that focuses on making sure the website is accessible to search engines and easy to crawl and index using both on-page SEO methods and behind-the-scenes SEO tactics. Technical SEO can be considered the foundation upon which other, more cosmetic SEO efforts are built.
While technical SEO is often viewed as a complex and challenging endeavor, its importance cannot be overstated. Search engines are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and they are constantly changing their algorithms in order to better understand and rank web content. As a result, it is essential for website owners and operators to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the world of SEO so they can ensure their site is being properly indexed and ranked.
There are many different aspects to technical SEO, but some common elements include optimizing website structure and architecture, using proper tag markup (such as title tags and meta tags), creating informative and keyword-rich content, and setting up necessary redirects. In addition, technical SEO also involves improving site speed and mobile friendliness, as well as ensuring that the website is secure (HTTPS).
Overall, technical SEO is an important part of any comprehensive SEO strategy. By taking care of the behind-the-scenes details related to your website’s infrastructure, you can create a strong foundation that will help you achieve better search engine rankings and traffic levels.
If you want your website to rank well in search engines, it's important to have a solid site structure. One way to do this is to silo your content using pillar pages and subtopic pages.
Pillar pages are high-level pages that cover a broad topic. For example, if you have a website about health, your pillar page could be titled "How to Achieve Good Overall Health". Subtopic pages are narrower in focus and provide more specific information about a particular aspect of the broader topic. For example, if your pillar page is about health, a subtopic page could be titled "The Health Benefits of Regular Exercise".
Niche topics are even more specific than subtopics. They might focus on a particular disease or condition, for example. If you have a website about health, and a subtopic about exercise, a niche topic could be titled "Exercise Helps with Stress Reduction".
By structuring your content in this way, you can help search engines understand the relationship between your different pieces of content and make it easier for people to find the information they need.
There are a few different types of URL structures that you may come across when working with SEO. The most common type is the traditional www.yourdomain.com/page-name structure. This is the simplest form of a URL and is easy for both users and search engines to understand. However, this type of URL can result in duplicate content if not used correctly.
Another common URL structure is the subdomain structure, which looks like blog.domain.com or shop.domain.com. This can be a good way to organize your website if you have multiple sections or categories that you want to keep separate. It is also great when your goal is to perform technical SEO for eCommerce websites. It can also help with branding if you use a subdomain that matches your company name or product line. However, it's important to note that search engines will treat each subdomain as a separate website, so you'll need to be sure to link them together properly to avoid any confusion.
The last common URL structure is the dynamic URL structure, which uses variables and parameters in the URL itself. These can be helpful for organizing large websites with lots of content, but they can also make it more difficult for both users and search engines to understand what the page is about. As such, it's generally best to avoid dynamic URLs unless absolutely necessary.
While traditional SEO tactics are important for any website looking to rank higher in search engine results, technical SEO is especially critical for large websites with complex architectures. If you have a large website with thousands of pages, it’s important to make sure that each page is properly optimized and accessible to search engines so you can avoid problems like broken links and duplicate content. You want the navigation of the website, no matter how large, to be easy to understand. It factors into the website’s user experience, plus it should also make sense. If customers come to the website but the navigation is confusing and not intuitive, the bounce rate will skyrocket, and the visits will decrease.
Internal linking is one of the most important aspects of technical SEO. It is the process of linking one page on your website to another page on your website. This can be done by adding a link to an existing page or by creating a new page and then linking to it.
Internal links are important for several reasons. First, they help search engines understand the structure of your website and how it is interconnected, enabling them to crawl your site more effectively and index your pages correctly. Second, internal links help to distribute PageRank throughout your website, which can improve your search engine rankings. Finally, well-placed internal links can increase the overall usability of your website by making it easier for visitors to navigate around.
When adding internal links, it is important to use relevant keywords and descriptive text in the anchor text (the text that is linked). This step will help search engines understand what the linked page is about and will also help users who are looking for specific information. Avoid using generic phrases such as "click here" or "more information" as anchor text, as these will not be very helpful to either search engines or users.
One of the most frustrating things for a website owner is finding broken links, or dead links, on their site. Not only are they an eyesore, but they can also lead to lost visitors and potential customers.
There are a few ways to find dead links on your website. The first is to manually check each page. However, this can be time-consuming. Unfortunately, it's the best way to find broken links that may have been missed by other methods.
The second way to find dead links is to use a tool like Screaming Frog. This tool will crawl your website and find any broken links for you.
Once you've found the dead links on your website, you'll need to fix them. One way to do this is to redirect the old URL to a new one. You can do this by using an .htaccess file or through your CMS.
If you don't want to redirect the URL, you can also delete the page entirely. Just make sure that you add a 404-error page so that visitors know they've reached a dead end.
Indexing is one of the most important aspects of technical SEO. It helps search engines find and index your website so that it can be displayed in search results. There are several ways to improve indexing using tools like SEMRush, Google Search Console, and site maps.
SEMRush and Google Search Console are powerful tools that can help you improve your website's indexing. It allows you to track your website's progress and see where there are opportunities for improvement.
XML sitemaps are also a good way to improve indexing, as they help search engines understand your website's structure and content.
Google Search Console Coverage Report
Google Search Console is a free tool that allows you to see how your site is performing in Google search results. The Coverage Report shows you which pages on your site are being indexed by Google, and which pages are not.
If you see that some of your important pages are not being indexed, you can submit those pages manually to Google for indexing. You can also use the Coverage Report to debug problems with your website's crawlability.
SEMRush Site Audit
SEMRush Site Audit is a technical SEO tool within SEMRush that analyzes your website for potential issues that could be holding it back from ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). The report generated by SEMRush Site Audit provides actionable insights on how to fix those issues, so you can improve your website's overall performance.
Your website’s XML sitemap is a file that tells search engines about the structure of your website and which pages are most important. Think of it like a roadmap for search engines, helping them to crawl your site more effectively and find all your content. Creating an XML sitemap is a key part of technical SEO. Here’s what you need to know about XML sitemaps, including how to create one for your website.
What is an XML Sitemap?
An XML sitemap is a file that contains a list of all the pages on your website, along with some additional information about each page (such as when it was last updated). XML stands for “extensible markup language” – it’s a type of code that is easy for both humans and computers to read. Sitemaps written in other languages can also be read by search engines, but they may not be as effective.
Why Use an XML Sitemap?
XML sitemaps give search engines more information about your website, which can help them to index your content more effectively. They can also be used to provide information about specific types of content on your site (such as video or images), and can even be used to tell search engines when you have new content available.
What Should I Include in My XML Sitemap?
Your XML sitemap should include all the pages on your website that you want search engines to index. This should include your most important pages, as well as any pages that you think might be difficult for search engines to find.
You can also include other types of content in your XML sitemap, such as images, videos, and news articles. However, you should only include content that you want search engines to index – there’s no need to include every single image or video on your website.
How Do I Create an XML Sitemap?
There are a few different ways to create an XML sitemap:
- Use a plugin: If you’re using WordPress, there are a few plugins that will automatically generate an XML sitemap for you. Yoast SEO is one of the most popular plugins, and includes an XML sitemap feature.
- Use an online tool: There are several online tools that can generate an XML sitemap for you, such as xml-sitemaps.com.
Schema is the code that helps search engines understand the content on your website. It allows you to label your content so that it can be presented in a more useful way to users. For example, if you have a recipe on your website, you can use schema to markup the ingredients, cooking time, and other relevant information. The markup makes it easier for users to find the information they're looking for, and it can also help your website show up in rich results in search engines.
Find Duplicate Content
There are a few different ways to find duplicate content on your website. The first is to use a tool like Copyscape, which will search the web for any content that matches or is similar to the content on your site.
Another way to find duplicate content is to do a search on Google (or another search engine) using quotation marks around your content. If there are any results that match exactly what you've searched for, then those may be duplicates.
You can also use Google's Site Command to check for duplicates. Just type "site:example.com" into Google, followed by the title of one of your pages. If there are any other pages on the internet with the same title, then they're likely duplicates.
Finally, you can check for duplicates manually by looking through your site's code. This method requires a bit more technical knowledge, but it's usually the most accurate way to find duplicate content.
It is important to remember that the noindex tag does not prevent a page from being crawled. It simply tells search engines not to index the page. If you want to prevent a page from being crawled, you must use the "disallow" directive in your robots.txt file.
If you're new to the world of SEO, you may have come across the term "canonical" and been unsure of what it meant. Put simply, a canonical URL is the preferred version of a web page.
There are a few different situations where you might need to use a canonical URL. For example, if you have two versions of the same page (e.g. http://thisexample.com/page and http://thisexample.com/page?utm_source=email), you would want to specify which one is the canonical version so that search engines know which one to index.
Another common scenario is when there is content on your site that can be found elsewhere on the web (e.g. an article that's been republished on another site). In this case, you would want to use a canonical URL to tell search engines that your version is the original and should be given priority in the search results. If you're not sure whether or not you should be using canonical URLs on your site, feel free to reach out to our technical SEO specialists.
Combine Content and Redirect
One of the most important aspects of technical SEO is understanding how to properly combine content and redirects. This can be a tricky process, but it's essential for making sure your website is accessible to both search engines and users.
There are a few different ways to combine content and redirects. The most common method is to use a 301 redirect, which tells search engines that the page has been permanently moved to a new location. Another option is to use a 302 redirect, which tells search engines that the page has been temporarily moved.
You can also use what's called a "canonical" tag, which tells search engines which version of a page they should index. This is useful if you have multiple versions of a page (for example, if you have both www and non-www versions), or if you have pages with similar content.
Google has stated that page speed is a ranking factor, so it's important to make sure your pages are as fast as possible. There are a few ways to improve your page speed:
- Reduce the size of your images. This can be done by using a tool like Photoshop to compress your images before you upload them to your website.
- Minimize the number of HTTP requests. This means reducing the number of scripts, stylesheets, and images that are loaded on each page.
- Use a content delivery network (CDN). A CDN helps to deliver your content from servers that are closer to the user's location, which can improve loading times.
Many websites come to us for marketing and SEO services with their website’s speed at little more than a snail’s pace. However, with some changes, we often get the page speeds to be in the 60s for mobile and 90s for desktop, which works well for both the business and the users.
It is now more important than ever for websites to be mobile responsive. In the past, desktop computers were the primary way people accessed the internet. However, as technology has evolved, people are now using their mobile devices more and more to go online. Today, it is essential for websites to be designed in a way that is easy to use and navigate on a mobile device.
There are a few different ways to make a website mobile responsive. One method is to create a separate mobile version of the website that is optimized for smaller screens. Another approach is to use responsive design, which means that the website will automatically adjust its layout to fit any screen size.
Regardless of which method you use, it is important to test how your website looks and functions on different devices before you launch it. This test will ensure that your visitors have a positive experience regardless of how they are accessing your site.
Reduce Page Size
Images are an important part of any website, and optimizing them can help improve your site's performance. There are a few things to keep in mind when optimizing images:
- Make sure your images are the right size. If they're too large, they'll slow down your page load time. If they're too small, they won't be as visible.
- Use compression to reduce the file size of your images. This will help improve your page load time.
- Save images in the correct file format. JPEGs are best for photos, while PNGs are better for graphics with fewer colors. For even more compression use Webp or AVIF formats.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your images are helping rather than hindering your website's performance.
Third-party scripts are code snippets that are added to a web page from another source, usually plugins and widgets. They can be used for various purposes, such as adding social media buttons or tracking website traffic. While they can be helpful, they can also slow down a website if they are not properly optimized. Technical SEO includes limiting and optimizing essential third-party scripts so that they do not adversely affect the performance of a website.
Technical SEO Done for Your Business
Technical SEO can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it's essential for any business that wants to rank well in Google search results. Fortunately, there are many tools and resources available to help with technical SEO. If you don't have the time or expertise to do it yourself, you can always turn to the experienced technical SEO consultants here at BroadVision Marketing.