Optimize Technical

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How Do You Optimize Your Technical?

Technical SEO is about building a strong base and laying a foundation upon which you can improve on the other SEO elements: Content and On-Page, supported by Off-Page.

When bots crawl (go through) your website, they only scan the code. Even images, videos, and audio are all broken down into code and crawled. The person in charge of the bot (Google, Bing, Facebook, etc.) then decides how to proceed based on this information garnered.

This does not mean that you should write a different set of code for the bot and for the user. Google’s all-seeing eye will find out and you will be demoted. In most instances, what pleases the user will also please Google.

Start off by applying robots.txt to any pages you do not want to be crawled by search engine bots.

If you’ve created a new site or page with barely any content on it, your first order of business should be to apply robots.txt to it.

Indexing is when your page shows up in the search engine results. Not every page that is crawled will be indexed. You also may not want certain pages to be indexed. For example, your login page, payment page, and author pages for your blog may not need to be indexed.

You should enable SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) for all your pages to keep them secure. This is the HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) code that appears at the beginning of the URL in the address bar.

Migrate to HTTPS from HTTP. It makes sure that your connection is secure and you also appear more trustworthy to visitors than sites that are only HTTP. Plus, Google gives preference to HTTPS sites.

Internal links are links from a page on your website to another page on your website. Clicking on the links or URLs will lead to one of many things happening, depending on the status of the link or page.

Status codes such as 301, 404, and 503 are rather common and you have probably encountered them during browsing sessions.

These are the status codes and what they mean:

  • 100 series (1xx) – Processing
  • 200 series (2xx) – Success (Working)
  • 300 series (3xx) – Redirection
  • 400 series (4xx) – Client error
  • 500 series (5xx) – Server error

A 404 code indicates that the page was not found whereas a 410 means the page is gone or permanently removed.

Use this to tell Google that there will never be a page with that URL so you won’t get penalized for having too many links leading to a 404 page. These are also called broken links.

You can (and should) also delete any pages you don’t need on your website. This includes pages with lorem ipsum text or default pages.

Delete all unwanted images and fix 404 errors in your links. Take a look at your redirects and determine whether or not they’re relevant, along with if more need to be added.

You should also directly change the links on your site to go to the actual URL than the redirected one. 

When 2 or more pages have the same or similar content, you can apply a canonical code to them to tell Google or other search engines which page is the original.

The canonical code is as follows:

<link rel="canonical" href="Original URL">

This code should be applied in the header tag (<head> or <h>) to avoid a duplicate content penalty.

Creating a strong XML sitemap lets search engines and bots know how your site is structured. You should type “(your company URL)/sitemap.xml” to check if it works and how it looks.

Remember to add rich snippets and schema markup as well, which can be done by manually altering the code or through other means like Google Tag Manager.

Fix your broken links as they will irritate the user. Be on the lookout for links that lead to blank or error pages. It could be caused by a misspelling in the URL or because the page was moved to another location. Either way, rectify the situation.

For pages that are not in English, be sure to add the language code to notify search engines. This way, users searching in that language could also get your pages to show up in their results.

For example, if your page is in French, add the following:

<link rel="alternate" href="example.com/fr/" hreflang="fr-fr"/>

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Browse your website on a smartphone to see how it appears.

Mobile usage is only growing every day and not everyone may have access to a computer when they decide to look you up (like during emergency situations), so pay attention to your mobile view.

Google is also moving to mobile-first indexing, which means sites that look better on mobile rank higher.

You can use the viewport tag to tell browsers how to adjust your page’s dimensions and scaling to suit the device. The tag is as follows:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

Try to fix technical issues on your website as soon as possible. You don’t want Google to notice the errors and lower your rankings.

It is also necessary to resolve the errors while they are small. As your site gets bigger, the problems will only drag you down and balloon out of control.

Once the technical foundations are set, you have a strong structure to build upon. If not, it will take a massive amount of work on the other 3 elements (Content, On-Page, and Off-Page) to get the site to rank.

Further Reading

The Beginner’s Guide to Technical SEO – Blog Post by Quick Sprout

Convert Your Website From HTTP to HTTPS Right Away – Blog Post by Opteamize

8 Technical Aspects Everyone Should Know – Blog Post by Yoast

5 Technical SEO Tricks to Improve Organic Traffic – Blog Post by OnCrawl

For further reading on topics related to Technical on DigitalBull Expert System, check out our information for Schema as well as On-Page.

Need help optimizing your technical or with white-label GMB services and local SEO? Schedule a free consultation with our GMB Expert!

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