Technical SEO is the most important part of SEO and the one to which the most resources are allocated. That is why this complete guide on this essential part of SEO will be very useful to you. I will teach you how to know in depth what technical SEO is, its importance, and everything you must do to influence it.
Let’s get started!
What is Technical SEO?
When we talk about the definition of technical SEO, we refer to the set of actions, processes, and improvements that are carried out at the level of crawling, indexing, and classification so that search engines find, index, and rank the URLs of a website. It can be included within the On-Page SEO, which is also responsible for the content part.
A person dedicated to technical SEO must know everything about the internal processes of search engines, the crawl budget, indexing, errors to correct, and a world of other things that I will tell you throughout the post.
Why Technical SEO is Vitally Important?
Imagine that you are very much in love and you spend 2 or 3 days writing an email with the best poem you have ever written, to declare your love to that person you love so much. When you finish it and are proud of such a work of art, you write the email address that your friend had given you a few days ago
You hit enter, more with the strength of your nerves than with that of your index finger and you sigh thinking that the job was well done and the ball is on the other side. After 20 minutes you enter the email to see if it responded, and you have a MAILER-DAEMON mail from Gmail that says that the email address does not exist and that it could not be delivered.
Truly heartbreaking! Now imagine that your website is full of wonderful content. A lot of value for your users. And yet, you go to Google and see that there are almost none indexed, that is, not even the parrot reads them. Your efforts have been pretty futile, but luckily, there are things that can be done. Technical SEO is for that, to help you improve the indexing of your site and ultimately it’s positioning.
Why is it important then?
Because it is the fundamental stone on which your website is established. If there is no correct technical SEO, forget about being able to rank and generate income. Everything that technical SEO does is in order to improve crawling by search engines and thus increase indexing and positioning rates.
Steps to Implement Technical SEO
There are some very simple first steps to implement to improve the technical SEO of your niches. They are extremely easy to check and do, and they give a good start to the process of technical improvements.
1. SSL Certificate – HTTPS Version
The SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) explained in a simple way, is a data file that allows secure navigation within your website. This is thanks to the fact that it is capable of encrypting data traffic between a web browser and a website, or between two servers.
It is the famous padlock that you see in the address bar to the left of the domains (like the one you see to the left of seekyourwayout.com)
The SSL certificate adds the “s” to the http, and transforms it into a secure connection. In fact, having this type of certificate is one of the most important technical SEO factors in terms of web positioning in the eyes of Google.
Keep it in mind and if there isn’t one in your niche, then install it.
2. Canonical Version of the Site
If you spent a lot of time without an SSL certificate before making the switch, you may have a lot of indexed URLs that are http:. You must redirect them to the official version that has the https:, thus avoiding duplicate content and a decrease in web positioning.
In fact, maybe you have a version that is with www. and one without it. You should then choose the preferred version of the website and redirect the other versions to it.
3. Meta Robots
Many times there are niches that when starting a niche mark the option in WordPress to “Discourage search engines from indexing” because they consider that they do not have the niche moderately well to be sent to index. It is something that I do not do, but that is also valid.
The problem arises when days go by and they do not find the reason why Google is not indexing anything. And of course, they finally remember and deselect that option.
The same thing happens with content. You are creating content and leaving it in noindex without wanting. Make sure to check that all the URLs you want to rank don’t have noindex tag.
The Fundamental Parts of Technical SEO
It is time for you to know the fundamental parts of technical SEO. Later I will tell you the steps to improve this aspect of your niches or web pages.
Tracking or crawling is called the action of the bots (software) of search engines (and others) to enter the bowels of your website and be able to read the data and follow the links. This allows search engines to be “up to date” with new content and also with updates to existing content.
Tracking is not free and infinite but has a limit. Bots, commonly called spiders, have a crawl budget for each website. It is something that is defined taking into account hundreds of variables that only Google and the other search engines know (if at all).
The truth is that you should try to ease the way and pave it for the crawlers so that they can go through your website without problems. This will have repercussions in that you will be able to track more URLs and know the content of the new ones and the changes of the old ones.
Once the bot has gone through all the corners of your website, or at least as far as it has been able or you have allowed it to arrive, it is time for indexing. The URLs that are in the crawl queue are analyzed and go through the indexing process.
In it, Google looks for relevant information that gives signals that this content has to be in its index and be shown in the SERPs or not. Some of the data that Google analyzes of each URL are: the meta robots, the content that there is, determines if there are canonicals, page rank, etc. Google, I have to tell you, does what it wants most (or at least many) of the time.
3. Classification, Ranking and Clickability
Once the URLs of your site are indexed, it is time for Google to start classifying your content. It begins to prioritize it taking into account many factors such as authority, popularity, geolocation, links, and much more.
So, that’s where your content can start to rank. Once on the first page, it’s time to improve clickability. This is achieved with good titles, descriptions, and schema markup.
17 Steps to Improve the Technical SEO of your Site
Enough of theory, now I’ll show you what you can do and what you can influence to improve the technical SEO of your website.
1. Website speed
The speed of the web is of the utmost importance for Google to rank and prioritize your site. In fact, it is estimated that if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, it will already lose half of the users that reach it. After 10 seconds almost everyone will be gone.
Loading speed is essential as it is a ranking factor that Google takes into account. In turn, a bad experience in this aspect makes users run away from your page.
To improve it, you can minify the codes of your website, optimize the images, and the number of plugins, use CDN and much more.
Cache Plugin: One of the fastest ways to improve the loading speed of a WordPress website is to use caching plugins. The best, although paid, is WP Rocket. It will give you a much higher loading speed than any other plugin for the same purpose.
2. Core Web Vitals
Another of the main web positioning factors is the Core Web Vitals, and they are closely related to the previous point of loading speed.
It is very important that the website is functional in the shortest possible time, that it is stable, and that its largest element does not take so long to load.
3. Mobile Friendly
A long time ago Google began to consider the value of a website much more from mobile devices than from desktops. It makes sense since most searches today are done from smartphones. It is imperative that your website is Mobile Friendly and responsive.
Google Mobile Friendly Test tool is one such free tool that can help you to check the status of your website.
4. Web Architecture
A good web architecture will make the bots glide through your site much more natural, pleasant and effective. They will reach more places and connect with more URLs.
A tip is that you do not have important URL’s beyond the 3rd level of depth. In other words, to get to them you don’t have to do more than 3 clicks from the home page. It’s also not a big deal that there are 4 levels, but the closer to the root, the better.
Sitemaps, whether xml or html, also benefit search engine crawling and indexing.
What they do is list the pages with the index attribute and leave them on a tray for the little spiders so they can find everything as quickly as possible.
6. Image Optimization
Correct image optimization will also help you improve the loading speed of your site. But not only that, including the ALT text in an image is considered very important as it is read aloud by screen readers used by visually impaired users, displays in place of an image if it fails to load, and is indexed by search engine bots to better understand the content of your page.
Please make sure there are no PNG images as they are too heavy.
7. Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is another reason why many times we do not finish ranking content. There is already another one like it.
There may even be several versions of the web (with www., without www. with http:, with https:, etc.) or of a page that conflict due to their similarity of content. You need to find them out and fix them.
One of the things we can do to avoid this duplicate content is to use canonical tags.
With it we can tell Google which URL is the one that should be indexed and positioned and which one should not.
9. Broken Links
Broken links is something that should be improved for technical SEO. Simply because they do not lead to any valid URL of your site. You may even be losing authority.
You will often have to redirect those URLs and do everything possible to remove the links that point to them.
10. Redirect Chains
Redirect chains are also very harmful to the health of a site. A redirect loses a few moments in loading speed because it must follow a path that has a previous step.
The strings themselves are even more damaging, as they often loop or are very long. You need to avoid them and correct them if it exists.
Popups or emerging windows often cause web content to be blocked from the user’s eyes and often interfere with the Googlebot.
You have to make a correct selection of when, where, and how to place them so as not to make the user or Google angry.
If your website is in several languages, it is imperative that you correctly indicate the hreflang tag. This will make Google and other engines understand what content and URLs corresponding to each language.
13. Orphan Pages
URLs that do not receive incoming links are called Orphan Pages, as they cannot be optimally reached by crawlers. It is possible that they end their journey on pages of this type.
Orphan pages will also not receive the authority of the linking URLs. Check well that you don’t have URLs without incoming links and avoid major problems.
The robots.txt is also another of the ways that SEOs have, to control the indexing and the route of the Google bots in our niches. In it, you can disable the entry to the search engine bots and tools that you want.
In fact, you can also prohibit them from entering certain areas of your website through which you do not want spiders to pass. It’s an essential tool for controlling your crawl budget and saving Google time.
15. Add Schema Markup
Schema or structured data is very useful to give Google more signals about what your content is about.
If you have a URL for recipes, a product, a book, a scientific article, or just a blog post (among dozens of other types), you can configure the schema in question. With it, you will not only help Google to classify your post, but you will possibly significantly increase the CTR of your results. That converts into visits and visits into profits.
Breadcrumbs are also a great functionality for the user and the crawlers.
With it, you will avoid orphan URLs, and you will give a hierarchy to your main categories. You will help the user to know where he is and you will make him understand and navigate a website hierarchy.
Finally, another of the elements that you can touch and modify in your favor to favor crawling and indexing is internal linking. With it, you will be able to give priority to certain URLs. You do this by sending a greater number of internal links to those pages that interest you the most.
In fact, with good interlinking, you can take the Google bot wherever you want it to go. The internal links are the portals through which the crawlers move. Another important point to check here is that the anchor text is adequate.
7 Technical SEO Tools That Will Help You
I will now tell you about the tools that will help you with the technical SEO of your website.
1. Google Search Console
Google Search Console (GSC) is the most essential Google tool together with Analytics to work on SEO. In the coverage part, you will be able to see relevant information about the valid URLs, the excluded ones, the ones with errors, etc.
As for the excluded ones, it tells you which ones are tracked without indexing, discovered and without indexing, with noindex etc. As if that were not enough, you can see the URLs one by one and see their status, their canonical and much more information. You can also include the sitemaps in GSC to facilitate tracking. In the settings part, you can see crawl statistics and the main crawler.
Use it wisely to improve your technical SEO.
2. Ahrefs Webmaster Tools
Ahrefs Webmaster Tools is another great free tool to improve the On Page and technical SEO of your site. In an extremely simple way, you can audit your site and obtain a lot of information.
3. Screaming Frog
The Screaming Frog is the quintessential tool for advanced technical SEO, on par with Google Search Console. It is an essential tool to know the status of all the URLs of your website. It will provide you with the details of your internal links, broken links, images, and a lot more.
4. PageSpeed Insights
Google PageSpeed Insights is a tool to measure the loading speed of a website. It also offers you a list of the improvements that you can make to improve this section. You can also download the Google Lighthouse extension on your Chrome.
5. Mobile Friendly Test
As mentioned earlier, Mobile Friendly Test is a simple tool from Google that will tell you if your website is mobile-friendly or not.
Test home and some of your main categories to see if it’s mobile-friendly or needs to be adjusted.
GTmetrix is similar to PageSpeed, however, it offers better results and much more complete and visual data.
If you still do not know this tool, you should try it since it will be useful for all your projects.
Finally, there is Semrush, a great all-in-one SEO tool, in which you can carry out SEO audits and find all those errors that harm the crawling and indexing of your website. Semrush is not an inexpensive tool, but it can be used for all phases of SEO and not just the technical part.
As you have seen, technical SEO is extremely important when it comes to positioning a website. It is the initial part and the foundations that will make your website achieve the success you want. It is impossible for a website to reach and remain at the top of Google if its technical part is a complete disaster. I guarantee it.
We must make life as easy for Google as possible since the good readings it makes will depend on whether we go up or down in the SERPs. You do not need to be an expert in technical SEO to put into practice most of the tips that I discussed in this post. However, the better you control all its facets, the easier it will be for Google to lay eyes on your niches and the better technical SEO specialist you will become.