If you have great website content that other sites link back to, you’ll rank highly in search engine results. But that is not enough to ensure success; if your technical SEO is lacking, you’re limiting how well your website will do in Google searches.
That’s why it’s important to get technical SEO right. We’ll examine what technical SEO is and share our top six technical SEO tips for getting high traffic and more conversions.
Google “spiders” crawl hundreds of millions of websites every day to collect the information they need to power search results. The time Google spends on your site is limited, and it’s your responsibility to make the job as easy for these spiders as possible.
You need to do four things to get an advantage:
Ensure that the structure of your website is simple and logical. If it’s easy for your visitors to find what they want on your site, it’s easy for Google, which will reward you by indexing more of your pages.
Follow these tips to help Google understand what’s on every page:
Your website needs to be secure. Make sure you have a secure certificate so that your URL starts with https://.
Your website needs to load fast on any device, so go for a responsive design. [Read related article: How Page Load Speed Affects Customer Behavior.]
All of this sounds more complicated than it is. You just need to put these four factors into your website from the moment you start designing and writing it.
Bottom line: Each search engine has a crawl budget – the number of pages it indexes on a given day. You can get search engines to crawl far more of your site if you take care of technical SEO.
If you’re building a website for the first time or you want to improve your current site’s rankings, follow these six steps:
Selecting a top web hosting service is important for two reasons. First, Google confirmed back in 2014 that site security was an important ranking factor. Given two equal sites – one with secure HTTPS hosting and one without – the site with secure hosting will always rank higher.
Second, website downtime hurts your rankings badly. The first time Google finds nothing there when it crawls your site, each page on your website could drop two ranking spots.
If the search engine’s spiders keep finding nothing to crawl, Google starts visiting your site less often, and it’s really hard to come back from that. Therefore, it’s important to choose a hosting service that has as little downtime as possible.
Here is a GTmetrix assessment of a website with good technical SEO. Source: GTmetrix
Core Web Vitals are metrics that Google uses to assess the quality of a user’s on-site experience. These are the three key metrics you need to get right:
Follow these tips to improve your score on Core Web Vitals:
According to Statista, 51.42% of U.S. web traffic comes from mobile devices, up from 48.84% in 2021. This is why a mobile-friendly website design is not optional anymore; it’s a key SEO requirement that companies need to adopt.
In 2019, Google prioritized indexing the mobile version of new websites first. Although it has not been announced yet, most SEO experts believe that Google will be mobile-first for the entire web soon, so you should start preparing for that to happen. You can use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test to evaluate your site.
The Google Mobile-Friendly Test can help you evaluate whether your website is mobile-friendly. Source: Google
AMP stands for “accelerated mobile page.” Using plugins, you can convert existing pages on your site to AMP pages. However, you make some sacrifices with AMP. For example, there is no visitor tracking ability and no on-page forms, such as one to invite visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter.
The more clicks it takes to find content on your website, the more you’ll be eating up your crawl budget. If it’s more than a few clicks, Google’s spiders will take longer to crawl your website and index your content. To make their job easier, you need to categorize your content in a way that no page is more than a few clicks away from the homepage.
Try to use a silo website architecture, as this helps Google crawl your website much faster. It also helps search engines understand what the content is and how your pages are related. Here are some examples of silo website architecture in URLs:
Google strongly dislikes plagiarized or copied content. It doesn’t dislike duplicate content (the same content on two or more pages of a site) as much, but it can still harm your rankings. Here’s how to find out whether your site has any duplicate content:
Use Siteliner to check for duplicate content on your website. Source: Siteliner
Go to Siteliner – it’s free. Enter your website address, and click “Go.” You’ll see this:
Siteliner shows a summary of duplicate, common and unique content. Source: Siteliner
Then, click “Duplicate content” to the right of the chart. You’ll see this:
Here, Siteliner shows the results of duplicates on usa.gov. Source: Siteliner
Sometimes, duplicate content appears because you have not specified a canonical URL. A canonical URL tells Google that you realize that there are multiple pages on your site with the same content but that there’s one preferred URL that you want Google to index and leave out the rest.
Without this, Google would, for example, consider the following URLs as different pages and penalize you for duplicate content:
Installing this manually can be difficult, especially for those without much experience in creating, uploading and maintaining sites. Look for plugins that can automate the process for you on your WordPress dashboard.
Crawl errors prevent Google from easily searching and indexing pages on your website. The most common crawl error is “not found,” which is caused by broken or incorrect links.
Moz has a detailed guide on fixing these errors. Even if you don’t have any crawl errors right now, check your Search Console account every month just to be on the safe side.
Having a strong technical SEO foundation is important for your site’s long-term traffic-generation strategy.
If you spend a lot of time and money creating great content and building authoritative backlinks, you’re not maximizing your investment if you don’t also prioritize technical SEO.
We’ve listed six of the most important technical SEO steps, but there are more. You also need to consider these factors:
There are plenty of resources with advice on technical SEO. If you’re short on time or you want quicker results, you might want to consider working with an SEO expert, who can build technical SEO into your site and instruct you on how to maintain it as your site grows.