Search engines are among the most powerful components on the internet today. Statistics suggest that 68% of internet interactions begin with these tools. For instance, most users find it easier to search Google for information because of its convenience. It’s also worth noting that only 0.63% of these searchers go beyond the first search engine results page (SERP).
Therefore, optimising your business website to rank among the top results in search engines like Google is vital. Generally, most search engine optimisation tricks, including those in this article, focus on Google’s ranking policies.
Conclusively, it’s the most popular search engine, boasting an 85% market share, while Bing and Yahoo enjoy 8.85% and 2.59%, respectively. So, Google can help you capture a bigger audience than its rivals.
With that out of the way, here is everything you need to know about technical SEO.
What Is Search Engine Optimisation?
Generally, SEO refers to adjusting your site’s design and content to enhance its position on SERPs. It includes creating high-quality content that attracts potential clients and investing in a website design that encourages these users to return. SEO also involves marketing your website on digital channels like social media to reach a broader audience.
The leading SEO types include technical, on-page and off-page. Have a look:
More on this later in the article. But first, it’s vital to remember that all three SEO strategies mentioned above work towards the same goal. Therefore, an excellent SEO strategy should include all of them in one way or another.
The Ultimate Guide to Technical SEO
On-page and off-page SEO are often the leading techniques in any digital marketing arsenal. Ask anyone about their strategies, and the first answers will include keyword research, backlinks, and meta description.
Unfortunately, technical SEO rarely makes the top list, but its significance in SEO is undeniably huge. Although it involves behind-the-scenes elements, you can argue that it creates a base for the other two strategies to succeed.
Some of its key areas include:
But why do you need to optimise these technical elements?
Importance of Technical SEO
Here are the main reasons why you should consider investing in this type of search engine optimisation:
Optimising these technical elements allows search engines to understand your site’s content and structure better. It can lead to better visibility in search results and increased organic traffic to your website.
Website speed and mobile responsiveness are among the leading technical SEO metrics. They’re also vital elements in online user experience. Therefore, investing in them can make it easier for users to navigate and interact with your site.
Remember, excellent user experience always attracts a massive portion of returning clients.
Technical elements such as structured data markup and XML sitemaps help search engines understand the context of your site. As a result, they can lead to improved rankings in search results.
Improved visibility in search results can lead to more organic traffic to your website. And as your web pages continue appearing higher on SERPs, you can attract more visitors and increase the chances of generating leads for your business.
Technical SEO Checklist
Now that we’ve covered how technical SEO can benefit your website, this section discusses essential tips to consider to ensure your site is in tip-top shape for better lead generation:
Website speed refers to how fast your website loads and responds to user requests. It’s critical for technical SEO since, as noted earlier, it influences user experience. For one, slow page speeds can reduce user engagement and retention, leading to a higher bounce rate. It can also lower conversion rates regardless of your content’s quality.
It’s also an essential factor from a search engine perspective since Google uses it as one of the main ranking factors, with slower sites appearing on the lower end of SERPs. That said, improving your site’s speed through technical optimisation is essential.
Some of the technical aspects to consider include the following:
Another critical part of your technical SEO checklist is ensuring your site is free from crawling errors.
Crawling is the process of using automated bots or spiders to discover and index web pages on the internet. Google, Bing, and Yahoo use crawlers to systematically scan and gather information from various sites.
These bots start by visiting the home page and then following links to other pages within the website. The crawlers add any new page they discover to the search engine’s index – a list of potential future search results.
During crawling, crawlers collect data about each page, such as the page’s title, meta description, headers, and images. Search engines then use this information to determine a page’s relevance and authority, which can impact its ranking on SERPs.
Understanding Crawl Errors
Crawl errors occur when search engines encounter issues attempting to access your web pages. These errors prevent the bots from fully crawling and indexing your pages. As a result, search engines may not rank your site for relevant queries and matching keywords. It can significantly influence your site’s SEO performance, and you won’t enjoy high organic traffic.
What are some common types of crawl errors?
Eliminating these errors as soon as possible will allow crawlers to index your site and rank it accordingly. It can also improve user experience by ensuring all web pages are accessible.
Checking your site for crawl errors
Here’s a brief guide to help you check and identify crawl errors and indexing issues on your website:
It’s vital to regularly crawl your website to ensure that search engine crawlers discover any new pages or changes to your website. You can set up automated crawls or perform manual crawls regularly to optimise your website for search engines.
How to Fix Crawling Errors
The process of fixing crawl errors depends on the specific error you encounter. Here are some general steps you can take to resolve common types of crawl errors:
Once you have fixed the crawl errors, resubmit your sitemap to search engines to ensure the updated pages are crawled and indexed. Monitor your website regularly to remedy the issue immediately.
HTTPS (HTTP Secure), the secure version of the HTTP protocol, encrypts the data transferred between a user’s browser and a website’s server, ensuring the information is private and secure. And in 2014, Google officially announced using HTTPS as a ranking signal. Therefore, websites that use HTTPS would receive a boost in search engine rankings compared to those that don’t.
So, how do you migrate from HTTP to HTTPS? Follow the steps below.
Step 1: Obtain a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority (CA). You can purchase a certificate from a commercial CA or use a free certificate from platforms like Let’s Encrypt.
Step 2: Install the SSL/TLS certificate on your web server. The installation process may vary depending on the web server you’re using.
Step 4: You also have to update any external links pointing to your website to use the HTTPS protocol- prioritise links from social media, online directories, and other external websites.
Step 5: Update your sitemap to reflect the new HTTPS URLs of your website pages.
Step 6: Check for mixed content and update any HTTP references to HTTPS. Such instances occur when your website has both content types on the same page, which can cause warnings or errors in some browsers.
Step 7: Finally, test your HTTPS site thoroughly to ensure all pages and functionality work correctly.
This process is straightforward, but you must follow each step carefully to avoid errors. Additionally, you should monitor your website’s traffic and rankings after the migration to ensure everything works as expected.
Technical website elements are vital to the success of your SEO strategy. They include page speed, mobile responsiveness, and website architecture. To improve your technical SEO performance, it’s best practice to increase page speed and check for crawling errors. Moreover, migrating from HTTP to HTTPS can also be beneficial now that Google considers HTTPS a ranking factor.
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