Understanding Technical SEO: Its Implementation and Importance
Did you know that technical SEO is completely different from on-page and off-page SEO? Let's have a look at what technical SEO is and how it is useful for marketers.
Your website might have amazing organic traffic, however, the conversions may still be very low. Furthermore, there can be a high bounce rate. All these symptoms imply that your website might be suffering from technically weak SEO.
Correctly strategizing and employing technical SEO hacks may positively impact your website, and can not only boost the influx of organic traffic on your website but also the down-the-funnel conversions.
Keeping in mind the importance of technical SEO techniques, we have compiled some techniques that you can apply to your website and that will help boost the down-the-funnel conversions for you.
This post will help you understand the importance of technical SEO and will also highlight the importance of technical SEO techniques.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is a practice of improving the search visibility or advanced organic ranking of your website that meets all the technical goals. Simply put, it is a sub-part of on-page SEO focused on boosting your site rankings elements, generating more audience and increasing conversion rate.
Importance of Technical SEO
Now you know what exactly technical SEO is, let me tell you exactly why it is important for your website.
- Speed – making your website load faster
- Making it mobile-friendly
- Making it understandable for search engines
- Making it easier to crawl and index
For instance: You have selected a niche that you are sound in. You have the most amazing content writers in your team. And they have written extra-awesome content that you feel everyone should read. You launch your website and boom!
Your website is taking time to load, it is not mobile-friendly. The results in this case can be disastrous.
The bounce rate of your website will be high. Furthermore, if the website loading time is high it can further worsen the conditions. The two problems that are apparent in this case are: the website speed and mobile-friendliness! To fix this and rank higher, technical SEO is a must.
What does Technical SEO Include?
Now that the meaning of technical SEO is clear, let’s have a look at all of the essential components included in technical SEO.
Google claims to own 93% of mobile traffic.
A mobile-friendly website is the future of the digital world.
Did you know that more than 51% of your website traffic comes from mobile?
The percentage is likely to surge by 70% in near future (Source: Google).
This simply implies that google has noticed this change and has updated its indexing to mobile-first indexing plans. Thus, designing a mobile-friendly website is an absolute imperative for marketers.
How to build a mobile-friendly website?
- Choose a mobile-friendly domain template
- Track your website loading speed
- Structure the mobile version similar to the desktop version
- Include high-quality images and videos
- Keep it (website design) stupid simple (KISS)
- Avoid unnecessary pop-ups and text-blocking ads
- Use large font size and readable font style
Note: You can build a new website that works for both mobile and desktop keeping in mind the points described above. New businesses can also hire talent from platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr to consolidate their technical SEO skills and to gain higher scalability and visibility among the target audience groups.
Let’s start with elaborating the difference between http and https.
Https can be stated as http with encryption. https uses TSL (SSL) which makes it more secure than http which encrypts the requests and responses of http. Now how can you do it?
To enable your website conversion from https to http, you need an SSL certificate. What is SSL? It is also called TLS which encrypts your internet traffic and verifies your server identity. Here’s why you need an SSL certificate:
- To keep your user data secure
- To verify your website ownership
- Make your website trustworthy
- Prevent hackers from creating a duplicate fake version of your website
This certificate includes domain name, organization’s name, certificate authorities it issued, issued and expiry dates to look and be more trustworthy. How to obtain an SSL certificate?
- Obtain it from a certificate authority (CA – a third party that generates SSL certificate)
- Issue the certificate with CA sign
- Activate and install it on your website server
Note: Nowadays, browsers mark the http sites as “not secure” which can make your website stop working, better to turn it to https.
This point is not new to all marketers: people bounce back if your website takes just 3-10 seconds to load. The audience is impatient and it diverts to the website that loads within fractions of seconds. Wondering if your website loads fast enough?
Tools to check website speed:
- KeyCDN website speed test
- Google page speed insights
- Pingdom speed test
Now when you have checked the speed of your website, and if it is not up to the mark you need to take steps towards increasing your website speed. Let me tell you how to increase your website speed:
- Use adaptive and optimized images
- Enable compression on your content (Use CDN- content delivery network)
- Reduce redirects and improve the response rate of your server
- Keep track of cache
Tip: Upgrading a web hosting package may help a lot in increasing website speed. Furthermore, the ideal website loading time should be not more than 2 seconds.
Fix Duplicate Content Issues
Having duplicate content is very common now. It happens, but you will be in a problem if the pages of duplicate content are indexed. Well, how to fix this, what is the solution?
A very simple and straightforward solution to this is adding a “NO-INDEX” tag. Adding this tag will help google to understand that your content is not indexed. How to add it?
- Add the “no-index” tag to the header of your HTML page <head, or
- If you use WordPress, Hubspot, etc just select “NO” from the dropdown menu in the Advanced tab
Note: It may take time for Google to analyze this activity, it is better to perform this while designing the website.
Create XML Sitemap
In the era of advanced AMP does your website need an XML sitemap? As per research, yes! It is a roadmap that will lead google to all the important pages of your site. XML sitemaps are one of the most important parts of SEO. They help the Google search engine to find all the pages on your website quickly even though you have failed to include internal linking perfectly.
In one of the Google documentation, it is stated that if you have a “large website” or a “new website” or a “website with no interlinking” or “website with large archives” then you need XML sitemap.
How to check your XML sitemap?
- In the sitemap section, add your sitemap at the top of the page
- To find your XML sitemap quickly, add it to the Google search console
- For WordPress, find it in Yoast SEO plugins and it will be generated automatically in the SEO section
- Enable it and check your XML sitemap
AMP – (Accelerated/ Amplified Mobile Pages)
Again the point repeats, speed! AMP helps to create an extremely simple website for mobile that will load instantly. AMP is indexed by google to provide fast and completely reliable experiences. It mostly helps you to increase the click-through-rate for your website, which ultimately supports the website SEO.
Accordingly, mobile responses may become clumsy and sluggish if you design your website for desktop because the desktop version contains elements that are not useful for mobile. Also, AMP can work well for all devices, if needed you may check that out!
Implementing AMP in 3 simple steps:
- Create an AMP-friendly template
- Roll them out
- Keep track and analyze
Alternatives to AMP:
- Content delivery network (AMP)
- Fully implements http/2
- Progressive web apps technology
Note: Unless it is critical, don’t apply AMP to your site pages as you have alternatives that you will already apply in another stage.
Structured Data Markup
Also known by the name schema markup, is coding that helps google search engines for crawling, organizing and displaying your content perfectly. The meaning of your data is easily conveyed with the help of structured data markup. Similar to XML sitemap, it helps Google to understand the content of your website, increase click-through-rate (CTA) and boost rankings
How to add schema markup to your website?
- Browse to Google structured data markup helper
- Chose the type of data and enter your site URL
- Highlight the main elements and assign them data tags
- Create Html tag
- Add structured data markup to your site
- Test the data of your website with the schema markup tool
Optimize 404 Pages
Aren’t these error pages? What will they do to your technical SEO? They will help adequately. 404 pages, if customized with relevant internal links, will firstly protect your SEO. Secondly, it will improve the site SEO and provide a satisfactory user experience.
Have you ever noticed if any of your pages are removed or are under design, then google redirects you to 404 pages. To fix this, what you have to do is simply redirect all the 404 pages to the specific and related page. Or redirect all those 404 pages to the homepage because it will make the user easy to browse something else that relates.
Optimizing 404 mean turning the user negative experience into a user positive experience.
Like a master chef is the king of the kitchen, Canonical URL is the master copy of the website. The problem of duplicate content or similar content can be avoided using canonical URLs.
This means it will help boost SEO ranking, so let us know how to make a URL tag:
- Identify the various versions and pages of your website
- Search it in search console homepage or Bing webmaster tools
- Choose the site version you want
- Click on the Gear icon and then click on the Site settings
- Decide the preferred site in the preferred domain section
The robots.txt acts as a selection tool! It helps google search engines (robots) to decide which pages to crawl. It is also known as the robot exclusion protocol or standard. But is it necessary for your website?
Well, it is really necessary! Robots.txt files tell the search engines to decide which site pages to crawl and which not. It should be mainly applied to avoid overloading requests on your site.
How to use robots.txt for your site?
- Select and name the robot (google, yahoo, etc) you want to prefer
- State the URL where you want to block the site access
- Block – duplicate pages, low-quality content and sensitive information
Now that you understand the intricacies of technical SEO, and comprehend the whole recipe of it, it’s your turn you get started with the optimization of your technical SEO techniques! Check, update and speed your website and generate tons of traffic. Comment below on how it boosted your website.