Technical SEO: The Definitive Guide for 2021
Technical SEO refers to website and server optimizations that help search engine spiders crawl and index your site more effectively (to help improve organic rankings).
SEO is important because: SEO is not only about search engines, but good SEO practices improve the user experience and usability of a website. Users trust search engines and having a presence in the top positions for the keywords the user is searching, increases the website’s trust.
Why is Technical SEO Important?
Technical SEO Explore by Category. Traditionally, the phrase Technical SEO refers to optimizing your site for crawling and indexing but can also include any technical process meant to improve search visibility.
Technical SEO Tools
1. Website Grader by HubSpot
Your first stop is HubSpot’s Website Grader. This free dashboard asks you to enter the root domain (or subdomain) you want to analyze and returns to you a full report card of that domain’s performance.
The report card given to you by Website Grader shows you site metrics across several categories, including:
Performance Mobile SEO Security
Not only does this tool give you performance data in the above categories, but Website Grader also offers simple next steps to make your site better if you scored low in a particular area. This free tool is a must for all site owners looking to level up their site’s performance.
2. Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) is probably the technical SEO tool I use the most. It has a ton of great features to use when implementing technical SEO. Arguably its most useful feature is its ability to pinpoint 404 errors or pages on your website that are not showing up to website visitors. Because an issue like this can severely hinder your website’s marketing performance, it is important to locate these errors and redirect the 404 to the correct page.
Additionally, Google Webmaster Tools allows you to check your Robots.txt file (a file on your website that prevents search engines from listing certain pages in search results) to ensure none of the important pages are being blocked from search engines.
It also allows you to see if the sitemap of your website is error-free. This is important because a sitemap that is riddled with errors can create an unpleasant user experience for website visitors. Among other things, it also allows you to pick out the duplicate page titles and descriptions so you can go into the website and fix them to avoid ranking penalties by search engines.
3. Google’s Page Speed Insights
As you probably know, faster page load time can help improve your webpage rankings and at least make your website’s experience more enjoyable for visitors. Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool allows you to analyze a specific page’s site speed and user experience with that site speed. It analyzes it on mobile devices and desktop devices. Additionally, it will show you how to fix any errors to help improve the speed or user experience.
4. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool
As of April 2015, Google released an update to its mobile algorithm that would give higher rank to those websites that had a responsive or mobile website. In addition to this, they came out with a mobile-friendly testing tool to help you cover all your bases to make sure your website would not lose rankings from this update. Additionally, if the page you are analyzing turns out to not pass standards, the tool will tell you how to fix it.
The Responsinator is very similar to the Google Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool, but there are some differences. First, it shows you what your web page would look like on all different mobile and tablet devices, landscape, and portrait.
This includes different types of iPhones, Androids, iPads, and Tablets. Although it does not tell you how to fix the issue, it does give you a full representation of what your website looks like across all devices.
6. SEO Browser
SEO Browser allows you to view your website as search engines see it. This allows you to make sure that all your content is showing up the way you want it to and that the search engines are getting everything you are trying to convey. For one reason or another, search engines may not pick something important up and this website will help you figure out what that is.
Why should you optimize your site technically?
Google and other search engines want to present their users with the best possible results for their queries. Therefore, Google’s robots crawl and evaluate web pages on a multitude of factors. Some factors are based on the user’s experience, like how fast a page loads. Other factors help search engine robots grasp what your pages are about. This is what, amongst others, structured data does. So, by improving technical aspects you help search engines crawl and understand your site. If you do this well, you might occur Rewarded with Higher Rankings and Avon Rich Results.
HTTPSThe right site architecture begins with choosing an appropriate hypertext transfer protocol In this case, there is only one SEO friendly choice. You should use the secure protocol – HTTPS Why? On the 6th August 2014, Google announced that HTTPS is Included on their ranking factors list. And that is a rare event as most of Google’s ranking factors are usually kept secret and all the sources that contain them are based on assumptions and the webmaster’s own (independent) analysis So having your website on HTTPS: // will give you a ranking boost. Although it is impossible to isolate what impact HTTPS has conclusively, it’s better to follow all search engine requirements to maximize your ranking chances Additionally, HTTPS also brings some other benefits related to site analytics In Google Analytics, the referrer details can only be viewed if you use HTTPS.
2. Structured Data Markup
Another element of technical SEO to talk about is structured data-rich snippets Only. Google can identify the type of your resource by looking at its content and on-page optimization, but rich snippets will bring it to the next level and help search engines a ton. What are rich snippets? You can see rich snippets in the search results when you type in a specific query. For instance, ask your search engine. How to make a ricotta cheesecake or just type in ricotta cheesecake You will then see the search results along with the beautiful rich snippets. Rich snippets provide you with information ranging from the star rating to the number of reviews. As you can see on the screen below, even this cheesecake’s preparation time and the number of calories is also provided.
3. Make Sure Your Site Is Optimized for Mobile
User experience is the number one priority of Google, and the search engine has been very open about their preference for responsive websites that seamlessly adapt or respond to multiple devices. That said since Google sees not having a mobile-optimized website as a major user experience flaw – and they are always looking to rank the “least imperfect websites in top SERP positions – it can be deduced that having a website optimized for mobile is essential to Google has several resources to help you improve your mobile optimization.
4. Create an HTML Sitemap
An HTML sitemap is a regular page on your website that contains a collection of links intended to help both humans and search spiders navigate your site. Since web crawlers use links to navigate from one page to another, having an HTML sitemap in the footer of every page of your website allows the search spider to enter your site at any page and then, from that page. Systematically discover a significant portion of your other pages quickly via the sitemap. Human users also reference the HTML sitemap and use it to navigate your site, so human – friendly presentation and organization are recommended.
5. Create an XML Sitemap
An XML Sitemap Lists all the pages on your website that you want a search spider to crawl and index. The XML Sitemap is only for search spiders, so it does not have to be pretty, it can just be a one URL per line list of Links saved as a text file. To help ensure that all the important pages on your site get crawled and indexed, it is important that you keep your XML sitemap up to date. While an XML Sitemap does not guarantee that all your pages will be crawled or indexed, it can help.
Why Focus on SEO?
While search engines are getting better at crawling, indexing, and understanding information they are not perfect. And for some reason, they have a hard time figuring out what your website is all about or if you have what searchers want, they will move on. Just creating good content does not matter anymore if nobody can find or see it. Good website content should be complemented by a strong technical SEO foundation.