Businesses have often misinterpreted the term SEO as a one-time expenditure that generates revenue on its own. However, this is a naïve belief that causes havoc with these organisations later on when the promised outcomes do not materialise.
The majority of firms that approach SEO companies already have a diseased website. Technical SEO difficulties are the sickness here.
Consider your website as an axe capable of chopping down a hundred trees in a single day. The axe may become blunt with time, and you won’t be able to expect much more. It won’t make a difference if you change the handle. The axe needs to be sharpened thoroughly.
The majority of the time, website owners are unaware of this. The website may appear to be lively and illustrious. However, if a site — no matter how award-winning – fails to address the intended demographic, it is useless.
Businesses who invest in on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and content marketing as part of their digital marketing strategy should priorities addressing technical SEO concerns first. The success of all other campaigns you undertake is heavily reliant on the technical soundness of your website.
In this article, you’ll learn about a variety of technical SEO concerns that most websites overlook before launching an SEO strategy. As a result of their early neglect, their SEO approach is hampered, and they are unable to reach their target market.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is a method of optimising websites based on technical best practices in order to increase a website’s organic rankings on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). While optimising a website, there are numerous technical SEO elements to consider. This includes, among other things, speed optimization, redirects, 4xx error pages, responsiveness, indexability, and crawlability.
Technical SEO is a method of ensuring that webpages are easily downloaded and rendered by search engine bots without problems that cause a drop in the organic position of the keywords for which the website is currently ranking. Failure to fix technical SEO concerns can have a significant impact on the site, with search engines deindexing pages as a result.
On the SERP, search engines use algorithms to rank web pages. The Google Algorithm has over 200 ranking variables, and technical SEO is unquestionably one of them.
According to Google’s most recent reports, the company makes over 3,200 algorithm modifications per year, causing variations in website rankings.
Despite their best efforts to develop quality backlinks and content, any website that fails to address technical SEO concerns will lag behind their competition in organic results.
When a website combines technical SEO corrections, on-page optimization, and off-page link building, it has a good chance of ranking at the top of Google’s search results.
8-Step Technical SEO Checklist
There is a common misconception among SEOs that Technical SEO is difficult to work that must be completed by developers. Basic technical SEO fixes, on the other hand, maybe completed in a matter of hours by any SEO. This post will provide you with an overview of such technical SEO improvements so that you don’t have to wait for a professional to help you execute them.
Step 1: Technical SEO Audit
Everything in SEO begins with an audit, whether it’s on-page SEO, off-page SEO, or technical SEO in this case. A technical SEO audit report will reveal the faults and omissions that are preventing your website from ranking on the first page of Google’s search results.
When web crawlers discover technical faults with a site, their crawl budget may be lowered, resulting in fewer pages being crawled and indexed. Furthermore, sites with significant technical flaws may be pushed to the Google SERP’s inside pages, resulting in a lower CTR.
To begin, you can use the SEMRush Site Audit tool (paid) or Screaming Frog (free) to analyse your site’s technical SEO concerns.
Both of these tools are great for identifying issues that need to be addressed right once, such as redirect, crawlability, HTTPS, Performance, and Internal Linking difficulties.
These programmes crawl your website’s pages and look for over 100 different technical SEO elements. After you’ve finished the audit, you can download the report and start planning your improvements.
Step 2: Ensure the Site is Mobile Friendly
Google has stated that its crawlers will now perform Mobile-First Indexing, which effectively implies that Google will rank your website based on its mobile version.
Searches conducted on mobile devices have surpassed those conducted on desktop computers. Google wants to make sure that all sites that are qualified to appear on the first page of search results have made the switch.
Websites that haven’t made the switch to responsive design will be pushed to the bottom of Google’s search results. When Google issued the Mobilegeddon update in 2015, the move to mobile-friendly designs began.
In a recent release, Google stated that their crawlers will no longer fetch and render mobile and desktop versions independently in the future. Instead, for the sake of ranking and indexing, the search engine bot will only consider the mobile version.
As a result, mobile-friendliness is the most important Technical SEO repair on your to-do list. Because it is the most essential ranking element, any flaws with your site’s mobile-friendliness must be addressed first.
There are numerous free tools available to determine whether or not your website is mobile-friendly. Because the majority of websites want to rank on Google, it’s a good idea to run a Google Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your site looks okay in Google’s eyes.
If you discover mistakes during the Google Mobile-Friendly Test, make sure you correct them immediately before moving on to additional optimization tactics. If the page isn’t mobile-friendly, all of your SEO techniques will fail.
One advantage of Google’s free tool is that it provides webmasters with suggestions for making their pages more search engine friendly.
Step 3: Optimize the Speed of Your Website
The lack of speed is one of the most common causes for websites failing to rank on Google’s SERP. One of the SEOs’ least tried with techniques is load speed optimization. Most of the time, optimising a website’s page speed necessitates the assistance of a developer or a high level of SEO skill.
The average load time of web pages on the internet, according to Google, is 22 seconds. This is not in accordance with Google’s suggested page load speed. According to Google, any site that takes longer than three seconds to load has a twofold increase in bounce rate.
Furthermore, visitors have a short attention span and expect the page to load immediately after clicking on Google.
There are a few useful tools for determining whether or not your page is loading faster. The Google Lighthouse tool, which is part of the Chrome browser, was recently released to check page performance based on real-world user experience. This is the most accurate site speed test you can obtain right now because it uses data from real users.
In addition, you may test the page load speed of your website using tools like Pingdom and GTMetrix.
Step 4: Create a Sitemap
Sitemaps make it easy for search engine bots to crawl and index relevant content. An XML file that is part of a website that lists all of the important pages that have been made available for search engine bots to scan and index is known as a sitemap.
The crawl budget of your website will be used most widely by the search engines if you have a properly configured XML sitemap. Google and other search engines may waste time crawling and indexing pages that are irrelevant to you if you don’t have a sitemap. The crawl budget will be depleted as a result of this.
Furthermore, if the XML sitemap is not optimised properly, pages with mistakes may appear in the search. The most typical blunder made by SEOs is including no-index, no-follow pages in their sitemap. This is of no use because Google will attempt to crawl it and then mark it as noindex. Inadvertently, your site’s other vital pages lose their chance of being indexed.
One of the most essential features of an XML site map is the ability to prioritise pages according to their value.
Make sure to add your optimised XML sitemap to the search console once you’re finished.
When you submit a sitemap to the search console, it will render the file and check to see if the formatting is up to par. For website owners, a sitemap containing errors will cause more harm than good.
Also read: Types of Sitemap in SEO
Step 5: Optimizing the Image Alt Text
Even though Google can recognise images based on their similarities (Google Lens is the finest example), it cannot recognise an image’s context inside the content. As a result, the Alt text of the photos has become quite important in SEO.
Google and other search engines utilise alt text as a type of metadata to interpret and decipher the context of a picture inside the content.
This is also an important aspect of on-page optimization. Despite the fact that updating the alt text for photos is one of the most natural ways to add keywords, the majority of website owners fail to do so.
An ideal alt text should provide information about the image it depicts. Another common spammy SEO approach is stuffing keywords without context. This, too, can derail an SEO campaign by triggering spam.
Step 6: Fix Duplicate Content Issues
One of the most common reasons for websites failing to rank for their target keywords is duplicate content. When a website publishes comparable information under two URLs, search engine bots are unable to determine which one to rank, resulting in both pages not ranking.
Tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs are the best ways to look for duplicate content on your website. Both of these programmes provide a thorough analysis of the site’s duplicate pages. Determine which pages should be kept and which should be eliminated as a website owner.
Yes. The best option for duplicate material is to remove the pages from your website. However, if you believe that both pages have received search traffic, combining the content and then 301 redirecting one is a good option.
If you’re using WordPress, the best technique to ensure you don’t have duplicate content is to utilise the Yoast plugin to add the Canonical tag to the duplicate pages. In this method, Google will realise that just one page should be taken into account for the ranking.
Another advantage of this tool is that it allows you to canonicalize cross-domain items, ensuring that Google receives enough information about the original material and its source.
Websites that publish content from other websites may be penalised by Google. The simplest method to avoid such errors on your website is to use canonical.
Step 7: SSL Certificate
When it comes to ranking web pages on the SERP, Google has taken great care. Google has become increasingly cautious of only including sites that do not hurt their consumers over time. They began to take privacy seriously, and Google revealed in January 2014 that SSL certification is a ranking factor.
If you run a quick search using any phrase, you’ll notice that websites with HTTPS certification rank top. Despite the fact that SSL is simple to apply, some website owners have failed to do so, resulting in a massive loss of organic traffic. SSL.com is one of the best sites to get a premium SSL certificate for your website.
Furthermore, beginning in early 2018, the Google Chrome browser has begun to display a “not secure” tag when opening URLs that do not have SSL certification. Furthermore, Google Chrome will begin presenting a Mixed Content notice to users in 2020. When the pages contain both HTTPS and HTTP content, this warning appears. Users have the option of opting out of visiting the page or loading it at their own risk.
All of this emphasises the significance of an SSL certificate for your website.
Step 8: Check for Errors Within Search Console
The search console is the ideal spot to look for a lot of technical faults that you might otherwise miss. The new Google Search Console is a dynamic tool that generates information based on the performance of your website on a daily basis.
The sections Index Coverage Issues and Enhancements provide a wealth of information about the site’s technical SEO flaws. The improvement report gives you a picture of how your website is performing in terms of site speed and the various Schemas used to show rich snippets, while the Index Coverage issues give you an overview of all sites with crawl faults and indexability difficulties.
Because Schema Markup is prone to change over time, the improvement report is useful in ensuring that the schema is implemented according to Google’s recommendations.
Fixing the problems that surface in the Search Console should be a top priority because they could affect the way Google presents your website on the SERPs.
These are some of the most important things to take to guarantee that your website is free of technical SEO issues that could stymie organic growth.
By recognizing and correcting the frequent problems that appear while implementing these processes, you can ensure that your website is technically ready for the other SEO actions – On-page and Off-page – to produce the best possible results.