Technical SEO: An A-Z guide on how to optimize Technical SEO

Technical SEO: An A-Z guide on how to optimize Technical SEO

Technical SEO, On-Page SEO (search engine optimization of individual web pages), and Off-Page SEO (search engine optimization of external links) are the three primary activities you must constantly complete while pursuing search engine optimization (SEO) for a website.

The problem is that nobody provides in-depth instructions on how to use Technical SEO correctly. For this question specifically, you should always seek the most precise response possible. If that’s the case, your search ends here.

Here, in the most up-to-date and comprehensive guide to Technical SEO available, Share Tool’ll teach you all you need to know, including:

Also, this. Then use this tutorial as soon as possible to make sure your Technical SEO is up to par.

Basic information about Technical SEO you need to know

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is the process of ensuring a website meets the technical requirements of search engines with the goal of improving organic rankings. Important elements of Technical SEO include crawling, indexing, rendering, and website structure.

Ways to Improve Technical SEO

As I said, “Technical SEO” is not just crawling and indexing.

To improve technical website optimization, it is necessary to take into account:

  • Javascript
  • XML sitemaps
  • Site architecture
  • URL structure
  • Structured data
  • Thin content
  • Duplicate content
  • Hreflang
  • Canonical tags
  • 404 pages
  • 301 redirects

And I’ll cover all of the above (and more) in the rest of this guide.

Important foundational knowledge for Technical SEO

Site Structure and Navigation

In my opinion, the “First Step” of any Technical SEO plan is the establishment of a website structure. Because challenges with crawling and indexing frequently arise from inadequate website design. In other words, you can rest assured that Google will index each and every page of your site if you take this step in the right direction.

Second, the structure of your site has an impact on all of the other optimization factors, such as the URLs, sitemaps, and robots.txt files you utilize.

The takeaway here is that a well-structured website makes technical SEO much simpler.

I will not keep you waiting any longer; here are the instructions:

Structure your website in a flat, hierarchical fashion.

The structure of a website refers to the overall layout of its pages.

A “Flat” structure is the norm and is recommended. That is to say, no two sections of your site should be more than a couple clicks apart from one another.

Flat-site structure
Flat-site structure

With a flat structure, all of your pages will be easily accessible to Google and other search engines.
For small businesses or personal websites, this is not a major concern. In contrast, a flat structure is the most crucial component of a massive online store housing 250,000 individual product pages.
A well-organized website structure is also important.

Put differently, you shouldn’t organize your website like this:
As a result of the disorganized structure, many posts end up as “orphan pages,” meaning they have no internal links.
It’s also a pain to find indexing issues and repair them.

The “Site Audit” function in Ahrefs is useful for taking a bird’s-eye view of your website.
Good to know. However, that is not what will make or break your website. Check our Visual Site Mapper for a pictorial representation of your site’s navigation.

This free software provides an intuitive navigational map of your website’s structure.

Consistent URL structure

If you’re running a modest website, you probably don’t need to give much thought to the URL structure (like a blog). Accordingly, URLs should always be organized sensibly. This is a big aid to visitors in finding their way around your website.
If you divide up your pages into distinct categories, you’ll be able to provide Google with additional information about what each page is about.

Breadcrumbs Navigation

Everyone knows that Breadcrumbs Navigation is great for search engine optimization. Due to the fact that breadcrumbs include links to your site’s subpages and categories mechanically.
As a result, your website’s framework will be improved. Plus, Google now uses URLs as breadcrumb-style navigation in search engine results pages.
This is why I advocate employing the Breadcrumbs Navigation.

Crawl, Render, and Index:

Here I will demonstrate how to track down and repair crawl issues, as well as how to direct search engine indexes to the site’s innermost pages.

Ways to help you index

Method 1: Coverage Report

With this method, you will first go to “Coverage Report” in Google Search Console. This report tells you if Google can’t index or fully display the pages you want to index.

Method 2: Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is the most famous crawler in the world because it’s really good. So, after you’ve fixed any Coverage Report issues, I recommend running the entire crawl with Screaming Frog.

Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog

Method 3: Ahrefs Site Audit

Ahrefs has a tool called SEO site audit

Ahrefs Site Audit
Ahrefs Site Audit

My favorite aspect of this tool is the fact that it provides valuable insight about your website’s Technical SEO health as a whole.
Website performance in terms of page load times.

Technical SEO
Problems with the website’s HTML tags.

Problems with the website's HTML tags.
Problems with the website’s HTML tags.

Each of these 3 tools has pros and cons. So if you run a large website with more than 10k pages, I recommend using all three of these approaches.

Internal Link to “Deep” Pages

Most individuals have little trouble establishing a default homepage index. These are examples of “Deep” Pages, or those reached by several clicks beyond the homepage’s connections.
These issues are less likely to arise in the first place in a flat building. You can reach your “Deep” Pages from the homepage in just three or four clicks. Whatever the case may be, a decent internal connection to the “Deep” Page or series of pages you wish to index is important. In particular, if the linked-to page is highly regarded and regularly spidered.

Using XML Sitemap

With mobile indexing and AMP taking precedence, do you ever wonder if Google still uses XML sitemaps to locate website URLs?

One Google representative even said recently that XML sitemaps are the “second most important source” for URL searches.
You may verify the health of your sitemap by using the “Sitemaps” section of Google Search Console.
This will display the sitemap that Google sees when crawling your website.

GSC “Checking”

Is there a page on your site that hasn’t been indexed?

If you’re having trouble figuring something out, use GSC’s Check function. You can see the specific reasons why a page is not indexed.
This is what Google displays instead for pages it has indexed.
In this approach, you can ensure that all of the page’s content is accessible to Google’s spiders.

Thin and Duplicate Content

You won’t have to worry about duplicate material if you create original content for each page on your website. However, any website is susceptible to having duplicate content. Especially if your content management system (CMS) has generated several variants of the same page at various URLs. Here I’ll teach you how to prevent and repair issues with thin and duplicate content on your website.

Use SEO Audit Tool to find Duplicate Content errors

Two fantastic resources exist for identifying instances of duplication and thin content.

Raven Tools Site Auditor is the first.

It analyzes your site for thin or duplicate content and indicates which pages should be revised.

Next, the “Content Quality” component of Ahrefs’ website audit tool will reveal whether or not your website contains duplicate content on other pages.
These services, however, are geared toward detecting and eliminating duplicates from your website. However, it’s important to note that “duplicate content” can also refer to pages that directly replicate the material of other sites. Therefore, I suggest using the “Batch Search” tool on Copyscape to verify the originality of the content on your website.

You can check how widely distributed a set of URLs is by uploading it here.
When searching for a specific phrase on the Internet, use quotation marks around the phrase. The search engine will credit you as the page’s creator if yours appears at the top of the results page.
Take note: Content duplication occurs when someone else publishes your work on their website. Certainly not yours. The only thing you have to be concerned about is whether or not the content of your website has been plagiarized (or is quite similar to the content of another website).

Noindex Pages with non-Unique Content. 100 words

Most websites will have pages with some duplicate content. No problem. This becomes a problem when those pages with duplicate content are indexed.

Solution? Add the “no index” tag to that page. The noindex tag tells Google and other search engines not to index the page.

Technical SEO
You can double-check that your noindex tag is set up correctly by using the “Inspect URL feature” in GSC.

Enter the URL and click on “Inspect URL feature”.

Inspect URL feature
Inspect URL feature

If Google is still indexing, you will see the message “URL is available to Google”. That means your noindex tag is not set up correctly.

Technical SEO

If, however, you find the notice “Excluded by ‘noindex’ tag,” then the noindex tag is successfully excluding the content in question from being indexed.
(This is one of the few instances a red error message in GSC is actually desired.)

It may take Google many days or weeks to re-crawl un-indexed pages, depending on how much money you have to spend on crawling. To ensure that unindexed pages are being deleted from the index, you should look at the “Excluded” section of the Coverage report.
Note that you can prevent indexing altogether by restricting search engine spiders in the robots.txt file.

Use Canonical URLs

The vast majority of duplicate pages won’t have an index tag inserted or have their content replaced with original material.

However, you can utilize it in a different context by employing the canonical URL technique. If many pages have essentially the same information, but for minor details, you should use canonical URLs.

You have a web store selling hats, and one of your product pages is indexed for cowboy hats.
Depending on the website’s configuration, several URLs may be generated for different sizes, colors, and variations.
The good news is that you can use a canonical tag to inform Google that the “major” version is the one displayed on the product page itself. Everything else is just a variant.

Page loading speed

Content to show:

Improving page load speed will help optimize user experience

This content will show you 3 simple ways to speed up page loading:

Reduce Web page size

The use of a content delivery network (CDN) with caching. Downloading at a snail’s pace. Trim down the CSS.

These methods have probably been described to you thousands of times before. Yet, I don’t hear many people discussing the following issues that affect page load time:

Quantity of content on a website.

In fact, the overall page size was found to correspond with load time more than any other aspect when Backlinko conducted a large-scale page performance research.
The take-home messages are:

important page speed factors
important page speed factors

When it comes to page speed, there is no free lunch.

You can compress images and cache them from your website. But if the pages are very large, they will take a while to load.

This is something that a lot of big websites struggle with, like Backlinko’s website. The images are heavily used, high resolution, pages tend to be very large.

The images are heavily used, high resolution, pages tend to be very large
The images are heavily used, high resolution, pages tend to be very large

But they decided to keep it that way. Reason: They prioritize image quality, content over page speed. It can be seen that this affects Backlinko’s score on Google PageSpeed ​​Insights.

Check load times and CDN

Next, you may be surprised when I say: CDN is related to slow page load speed.
This could be because many CDNs are not set up properly. So, if your website uses a CDN, I recommend you to test website speed on webpagetest.org with CDN on or off.

Removed 3rd party script

Did you know: Every 3rd party script page adds an average of 34 milliseconds to its load time?

So all you need to do is see which party scripts should be removed.

3. Tips for Update 2020: Standardize Technical SEO quickly

Implement hreflang for International Websites.

Does your website have versions for different countries and languages?
If not, hreflang tag will be a GREAT assistant for you.

The only problem with the hreflang tag is: It’s hard to set up. And Google’s documentation on how to use it is not so clear.
So you can use Aleyda Solis’ Hreflang Generator.
This tool makes it (relatively) easy to generate hreflang tags for multiple countries, languages, and regions.

Check the website for Dead Links

Having a bunch of Dead Links on your website won’t make or break SEO. In fact, Google even says that Dead Links are “not an SEO problem”.

But what if you have broken internal links? That is another story.

Broken internal links can make it difficult for Googlebot to find and crawl pages on your website.
So I recommend doing a quarterly SEO Audit that includes fixing broken links. You can find broken links on your website using a variety of SEO checking tools, from SEMrush:

Ahrefs:

Or Screaming Frog.

Setting up Structured Data

Have you ever asked the question: does setting up Structured Data directly help website SEO?

Your answer would be: No.

In fact, research into search engine ranking factors found no correlation between Structured Data and first-page rank.

Setting up Structured Data
Setting up Structured Data

But, using Schema CAN give some pages Rich Snippets. Because Rich Snippets stand out in the SERPs, they can dramatically improve your organic click-through rate.

Validate XML Sitemaps (with links to XML Sitemaps)

If you run a large website, it can be difficult to keep track of all the pages in Sitemaps. In fact, many of the Sitemaps I see have pages in 404 and 301 status. But this goes against my and your Sitemaps goal: to show search engines all active pages, want 100% of the links in Sitemaps to point to active pages.

So I recommend running Sitemaps through Map Broker XML Sitemap Validator. Just import a Sitemaps from your website.

And see if there are any broken or redirected links.

Noindex Tag and Category Pages

If your website runs on WordPress, I highly recommend using noindex category and tag pages. (Unless those pages bring in a lot of traffic, of course.) These pages often don’t bring much value to the user and they can cause duplicate content issues.

If you use Yoast, you can easily prevent these pages from being indexed with just one click.

Tested, optimized for mobile devices

Even super mobile-friendly websites can have problems. Unless users start emailing you complaints, these issues can be hard to spot. Therefore, to detect problems with your website, you should use the Google Search Console Mobile Usability report. If Google notices that a page on your website is not optimized for mobile users, it will let you know.

Tested, optimized for mobile devices
Tested, optimized for mobile devices

GSC even gives you the specifics of what went wrong in the page. That way, you’ll know exactly what needs fixing.

Conclusion

Now it’s your turn. These are all my tutorials on Technical SEO. Which of the tips I shared would you like to try?

Will you focus on speeding up your website? Or maybe you want to find and fix deep links?

Either way, good luck!

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