When it comes to SEO, there are a lot of different strategies and techniques that you can use in order to improve your ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). But one strategy that is often overlooked is technical SEO. Technical SEO refers to all the behind-the-scenes aspects of your website that you may not think about, but which can have a big impact on how well your site performs in search.
To put it simply, if on page is presentation and off page is recommendation then, technical SEO is the foundation of your website.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the practice of optimizing a website for Google’s search algorithm. It’s a subset of SEO that focuses on ensuring that Google can crawl and index your website correctly.
Technical SEO includes optimizing your website architecture, URLs, sitemaps, robots.txt file, and fixing crawl errors. It also involves improving your website speed and mobile responsiveness. By doing all these things, you’re making it easier for Google to understand your website and rank it higher in the search results.
While technical SEO is mostly about behind-the-scenes work, it can have a direct impact on your site’s traffic and ranking. For example, if your site is slow or not mobile-friendly, you’re likely to see a drop in organic traffic.
Fixing technical SEO issues can be complex and time-consuming. But it’s worth it – by improving your site’s technical health, you can improve its overall SEO performance.
Nothing can be built on a weak foundation whether it’s a product, service or relationship…
The same applies to a website as well!
The Benefits of Technical SEO
Technical SEO is the practice of optimizing a website for Google search with the goal of earning higher web traffic levels and improving the visibility of the site.
The benefits of technical SEO are many, but some of the most notable include:
- Increased Visibility in Google Search: One of the main goals of technical SEO is to improve a website’s visibility in Google search. This can be achieved by optimizing various aspects of the site, such as the structure, tags, and content.
- Improved User Experience: Technical SEO can also improve the user experience on a website. This is because Google takes into account factors such as page load time and mobile-friendliness when ranking sites. By optimizing these elements, you can make your site more user-friendly, which can lead to increased web traffic levels.
- Better Search Engine Rankings: In addition to increased visibility in Google search, another benefit of technical SEO is better search engine rankings. This is because Google gives preference to websites that are well-optimized and provide a good user experience. As a result, if you want your website to rank higher in search results, it’s important to focus on technical SEO.
- Greater Web Traffic Levels: Ultimately, one of the main goals of technical SEO is to earn higher web traffic levels. This can be accomplished by improving your site’s visibility and ranking in Google search, as well as making sure your site is user-friendly. If you can achieve these goals, you should see an increase in web traffic levels, which can lead to more sales and conversions.
Various Elements of Technical SEO
Technical SEO is the practice of optimizing a website for Google’s search algorithm. It’s a complex and ever-changing process, but the goal is simple: to make your site more visible and easier to find in search results. While the basics of technical SEO are relatively straightforward, there are always new developments and trends to stay on top of.
Here are some basic terminologies (jargons) and their importance.
Crawling and indexing
Crawling and indexing are two of the most important tasks that a search engine must perform in order to make your website visible in search results.
A web crawler is a program that visits websites and reads their content in order to create an index of all the available webpages on the internet. This index is then used by a search engine to provide relevant results to users when they search for something.
If your website is not properly crawled and indexed, it will not appear in search results, no matter how well optimized it is for keywords. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your website is accessible to web crawlers and that all your pages are being indexed properly.
An XML sitemap is a file that contains a list of all the pages on your website. This file is used by search engines to crawl your website and determine which pages are important.
XML sitemaps help search engines understand the structure of your website and find new pages. They can also be used to indicate the priority of each page, which can help search engines index your site more accurately.
XML sitemaps are not required for all websites, but they can be helpful if your site is large or has a complex structure. If you decide to create an XML sitemap, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Make sure all the pages you want indexed are included in the sitemap.
- Update the sitemap whenever you add or remove pages from your site.
- Submit the sitemap to search engines so they can crawl it.
You can create an XML sitemap using a text editor or a tool like XML Sitemaps Generator, Merkle’s Sitemap Generator or from the ScreamingFrog software. If you are using WordPress then you can use plugins like Yoast SEO or Rank Math SEO
A robots.txt file is a text file that tells web crawlers which pages on your website to index and which to ignore. This is useful if you have pages that are not meant for public consumption, such as login pages or administrative backends.
Creating a robots.txt file is simple. Just create a text file and name it “robots.txt”. Then, add the following lines of code:
This tells all web crawlers that they should not index any pages on your website. You can also specify which pages to index by using the “Allow” command instead of “Disallow”.
You can check the robots.txt file of any domain by simply adding /robots.txt to the domain name on the search bar.
A well-structured URL is important for two main reasons: first, it makes your website more understandable for both users and search engine crawlers; second, a good URL structure can help improve your website’s SEO. When it comes to mobile friendliness, your website’s URL structure is important. A well-organized and easy-to-understand URL structure can help users and search engines access your content more easily.
Here is a screenshot from WordPress which consists of several types of URL structures:
Generally, the URL structure most adopted by several websites is the “Post name” URL or “Custom Structure”
This helps SEOs to inject the URLs with keywords and help improve the rankings. If you are using WordPress and want to change your URL structure then refer to this guide.
When it comes to technical SEO, one of the most important aspects to consider is canonical tags. A canonical tag is an HTML element that tells search engines which version of a piece of content is the original. This is important because it can help prevent duplicate content issues, which can hurt your SEO efforts.
There are a few different ways to specify a canonical URL. The most common is to use the rel=”canonical” link element, which you can add to the section of your HTML code. You can also use the HTTP header field X-Canonical-Url.
If you’re not sure which version of your content is the original, you can use a tool like Google Search Console to help you figure it out. Once you’ve determined the correct canonical URL, be sure to include it on all versions of your content.
If you’ve ever clicked on a link and been taken to a page that says “404 Not Found,” then you’ve encountered a 404 error. A 404 error is an HTTP status code that means that the page you were trying to reach on a website couldn’t be found on their server.
There are many different reasons why 404 errors can occur, but most of them are related to the server or the content itself. For example, if the server can’t find the page you’re looking for, it will return a 404 error. Similarly, if the page exists but there’s an issue with the content, such as a broken link, it will also result in a 404 error.
In some cases, 404 errors are intentional and can be used as part of a marketing strategy. For example, some companies will create custom 404 pages that include links to other parts of their website in an effort to keep visitors engaged.
At its core, a 404 error is just another way of saying “this isn’t what we were expecting.” It’s an important part of technical SEO because it can help identify issues with your website that need to be fixed in order to improve your search engine ranking and ensure that your visitors have a positive experience.
301 redirects are one of the most important technical aspects of SEO. They are used to permanently redirect one URL to another, and they are critical for ensuring that your website’s visitors are directed to the correct pages. 301 redirects can be used to redirect traffic from an old website to a new website, or to direct traffic from a non-www version of your website to the www version. They can also be used to redirect traffic from one page on your website to another page.
The benefits of using 301 redirects are many. They help improve your website’s search engine rankings by making sure that all of your website’s traffic is directed to the correct pages. They also help reduce the number of 404 errors that your website experiences, which can improve your website’s overall user experience. Additionally, 301 redirects can help you avoid duplicate content penalties from search engines.
If you’re planning on redesigning your website or changing your domain name, it’s critical that you set up 301 redirects to ensure that your website’s traffic is not disrupted. Likewise, if you’re launching a new website or adding new pages to your existing site, you should also set up 301 redirects to ensure that users are directed to the correct pages.
In short, 301 redirects are an essential part of any well-optimized website and should be part of your technical SEO strategy.
Duplicate content is a problem that can occur on websites when the same content appears on more than one URL. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including:
- A website has multiple pages with identical or very similar content
- A website has been migrated to a new domain and the old URLs are still being indexed by search engines
- Content from another website has been copied and published on your website without permission
If you have duplicate content on your website, it’s important to take steps to fix it. Duplicate content can confuse search engines and lead to lower rankings in search results. It can also result in decreased traffic to your website.
There are a few ways you can fix duplicate content issues on your website:
- Use 301 redirects to redirect old URLs to new ones
- Remove duplicate pages from your website or merge them into one single page
- Add canonical tags to specify the original source of duplicated content
- Use unique and original content on your website
Thin content is a major issue for many websites. It can be defined as content that offers little to no value to the reader. This type of content is often generated by automated means, or copied from other sources without adding any new information.
Many times, thin content is used as a way to fill up a page and make it look like there is more information than there actually is. This can be deceiving to readers, and cause them to waste their time on something that isn’t really worth their while.
In addition, search engines do not index thin content as highly as they do thicker, more valuable content. This means that your website will likely rank lower in search results if you have a lot of thin content on your site.
If you want your website to succeed, it’s important to focus on creating high-quality, valuable content that will appeal to your target audience. Take the time to plan out your content and make sure it provides real value before publishing it on your site.
When it comes to technical SEO, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the use of the noindex tag. This tag tells search engines not to index a particular page, which can be useful for a number of reasons.
For example, if you have a page that is only accessible to logged-in users, you may want to use the noindex tag so that search engines don’t index it and display it in their results. Or, if you have a page that contains duplicate content, you may also want to use the noindex tag so that search engines don’t penalize your site for having duplicate content.
In general, the noindex tag should be used sparingly and only when absolutely necessary. However, if you do need to use it, it’s important to make sure that you also add a canonical link to the page so that search engines know which version of the page they should index.
Breadcrumbs are a form of navigation that help users understand their location within a website. They are typically displayed above the content on a page, and show the path that the user has taken to get to the current page.
Breadcrumbs can be a valuable tool for both users and search engines. For users, they provide a way to backtrack their steps and navigate to different parts of the website. For search engines, they can help improve the crawlability of a website and provide context for the content on a page.
When implemented correctly, breadcrumbs can be a helpful addition to any website. However, there are some things to keep in mind when using them.
Here are a few tips:
- Keep breadcrumbs concise and easy to understand. Too much information can be overwhelming for users.
- Use consistent formatting for your breadcrumbs. This will make it easier for users to scan them and quickly find the information they need.
- Make sure your breadcrumbs are updated regularly. If pages move or change, your breadcrumbs should reflect these changes.
- Don’t use breadcrumbs as your only form of navigation. Breadcrumbs should supplement other forms of navigation, such as menus or site maps.
When used correctly, breadcrumbs can be a helpful way to improve the usability of your website. Keep these tips in mind to make sure your breadcrumbs are effective.
Internal links are hyperlinks that point to other pages on the same website. They help visitors navigate a website and find the information they’re looking for. They also help search engines understand a website’s structure and hierarchy.
When adding internal links to your website, it’s important to:
- Use descriptive anchor text.
- Link to relevant pages.
- Use a reasonable number of links per page.
- Add new links gradually over time.
- Avoid linking to the same page multiple times.
- Avoid using the same anchor text for all links.
- Use a mixture of dofollow and nofollow links.
- Monitor your links regularly to ensure they’re working properly.
Content Delivery Network
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers that deliver webpages and other web content to users based on their geographic location. The goal of a CDN is to improve the performance of a website by reducing the time it takes to load content from the server nearest to the user’s location.
There are many benefits of using a CDN, including improved website speed, reduced bandwidth costs, and protection against denial-of-service attacks. CDNs are often used by large websites that receive a lot of traffic from around the world. However, any website can benefit from using a CDN.
If you’re interested in using a CDN for your website, there are many options to choose from.
Structured data aka Schema Markup
Structured data is a type of code that can be added to a website to help search engines understand the content on the page. This can be used to add information such as the price of a product, the location of a business, or the time of an event.
Adding structured data to a website can be beneficial for technical SEO as it can help search engines understand the content on the page and provide relevant results to users.
You can check what type of schema markup is presently available on your website using this Rich Results Test by Google as well as generate basic schema markup using Merkle. Advanced users might prefer using Schemantra to help generate more complex schema markups.
Search engines use the hreflang attribute to determine which language a piece of content is written in. This is important for search engine users who are looking for content in their native language, as it ensures they will see results that are relevant to them.
The hreflang attribute tells search engines that the page is available in several languages, and provides the URL of the those versions of the page. You can specify multiple languages for a single page by including multiple hreflang tags.
If you have a multilingual website, it’s important to use the hreflang attribute to ensure that users are directed to the correct version of your site. Using hreflang also helps improve your website’s SEO by ensuring that search engines index the correct version of your pages.
Avoid these Black Hat Technical SEO Practices
There is no definitive answer to this question since black hat SEO can refer to a variety of activities, all of which are designed to circumvent the standard rules and practices set forth by search engines. These activities may temporarily boost a website’s search engine rankings but they will eventually be penalized by the search engines once they are discovered. That’s why it’s important to avoid using black hat SEO techniques if you want your website to maintain a good ranking in the long run.
Hidden text or links
This is usually done by using white text on a white background or putting links in the footer of a page (same color as the footer). This is an attempt to trick Google into thinking that your content is more relevant than it actually is.
Doorway pages are another type of black hat SEO technique. These are pages that are designed solely for the purpose of ranking well in search engines. They typically have very little content and are full of keywords and links leading to the main website.
Cloaking is another black hat technique that involves showing different content to users and search engines. This is done in an attempt to trick the search engine into thinking that your website has more relevant content than it actually does.
Overusing Anchor Text
Using the exact same anchor text over and over for a webpage can be harmful. This is a common mistake made by new SEOs. Although, their intention is pure, Google perceives it as spam. Try to use a short brief for your links rather than linking to the exact keyword.
Private Blog Networks (PBNs)
PBNs are websites that link to each other in a circle. They generally consist of 3 or more websites and their sole purpose is to manipulate rankings. Here is how the linking looks like:
Website 1 links to Website 2 > Website 2 links to Website 3 > Website 3 links back to Website 1
When Google does find you, and it will find you! Your website will experience a massive drop in website traffic and keyword rankings if Google is in a good mood. If you are caught on bad day, expect your entire website to be de-indexed (manual action).
How On Page SEO and Technical SEO Work Together
Google’s algorithms are constantly changing and evolving, so it’s important for SEOs to stay up-to-date on the latest changes. In order for a website to rank well, both on page SEO and technical SEO need to be taken into consideration. Here’s a look at how these two types of SEO work together to help a website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
On page SEO refers to the optimization of a website’s content and design for the purpose of better search engine visibility. This includes things like using keywords throughout the site, as well as optimizing titles, metatags, and other elements of the webpages.
Technical SEO, on the other hand, focuses on improving a website’s infrastructure and back-end code in order to make it more search engine friendly. This can involve things like improving site speed, fixing broken links, and making sure the website is properly indexed.
Both on page SEO and technical SEO are important for ranking well in SERPs. However, they often work best when they are used together.
For example, if a website has slow loading times, this can be improved with technical SEO measures. But if the website’s content is not optimized for keywords, then even the fastest loading times won’t matter much for search engine visibility. Likewise, if a website has great content but its back-end code is not optimally configured, then it may have trouble ranking well. In order for a website to really excel in SERPs, both on page SEO and technical SEO need to be addressed.
Benefits and Tips of Implementing On Page SEO and Technical SEO
There are many benefits of using both on page SEO and technical SEO. Technical SEO ensures that your site is properly indexed and ranked by search engines, while on page SEO helps to improve your click-through rate and organic search traffic.
Using both on page SEO and technical SEO can help you achieve the following:
- Improve your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Increase your website’s traffic and organic search rankings.
- Drive more leads and sales from your website.
- Enhance the user experience for your website visitors.
- Boost your brand awareness and online reputation.
- Improve your conversion rate and ROI.
- Generate more qualified traffic to your website.
- Reduce your advertising costs.
- Increase the value of your website.
- Get an edge over your competitors.
Assuming you have a basic understanding of what SEO is and what the difference is between on page SEO and technical SEO, let’s get down to some tips for implementing both types of optimization effectively.
When it comes to on page SEO, one of the most important things to keep in mind is keyword research and placement. Find out what keywords your audience is searching for and make sure they’re sprinkled throughout your content in a natural way – don’t stuff them in there!
In addition, pay attention to your title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and image alt tags, as these are all important factors in on page optimization.
As for technical SEO, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First off, site speed is crucial – if your site takes forever to load, people will click away before they even see any of your content. Make sure your site is as streamlined as possible.
Secondly, take a look at your website’s structure and make sure it’s easy for search engines to crawl and index your pages. This means using a sitemap, having proper URL structure, using breadcrumbs, etc. Lastly, security is always important – make sure your site is HTTPS compliant to ensure a safe user experience.
By following these tips, you can implement both on page SEO and technical SEO effectively and start seeing real results from your efforts!
When you have a strong foundation and great presentation, the recommendations will come naturally!
Technical SEO and on page SEO are two vital pieces of the puzzle when it comes to ranking your website in Google. Technical SEO ensures that your website is accessible and crawlable by search engine bots, while on page SEO optimizes your webpages for specific keywords. Both technical SEO and on page SEO are important for getting your website to rank highly in search engine results pages.