There is a lot to know about technical SEO. Technical SEO is the process of making sure that all of the pages on your website can be easily found and crawled by search engines. Over the past few years, however, technical SEO has expanded to include topics such as website performance, mobile optimization, and many others.
Technical SEO is not something most site owners need to worry about a whole lot. (Especially if your site is powered by WordPress). Nonetheless, technical SEO is not something you should ignore. A single mistake could result in the complete deindexing of your website. Here’s a guide to help you get your technical SEO in order without any coding skills.
Use the Google Search Console to verify your website
You can use Google Search Console to monitor the health of your site and its performance on Google. (Fun fact: Bing also offers a version of this tool called Bing Webmaster Tools). In order to access the GSC, you will need to verify that your site is actually yours (Google refers to sites as “Domain Properties”).
With that, you’ll be able to access a powerful tool that shows you how many people see and click on your site in Google’s search results. There’s more to it than that. GSC’s features include the ability to submit sitemaps directly to Google, see what pages are indexed, and a lot more.
Ensure your URL structure is SEO-friendly
There are a lot of people who don’t pay much attention to their URLs. As a result, the URLs look strange. Your site’s URLs play a major role in optimizing its search engine results. Make sure that your URLs follow these guidelines:
- The structure of your URLs is consistent. In this way, Google can categorize your pages. Consider this: if website.com/coffee is your category URL, you need to make sure that any coffee pages would fall under that category: website.com/coffee/french-press. All your URLs can be found at website.com/page-name if you do not use category pages.
- Your URLs should contain keywords. Don’t stuff your keywords. You just need to include your target keyword once in your URL. For instance, website.com/your-keyword.
- Junk should be avoided. The best ranking in Google tends to be achieved by short URLs.
Now the question is:
Would it be a good idea to change your existing URLs?
The decision is clearly yours. However, I generally recommend leaving URLs in place, even if they’re not ideal. Just make all future pages SEO-friendly by creating SEO-friendly URLs.
Make sure the old pages are 301 redirected to new URLs before optimizing old URLs. In the event, the new structure yields similar content on multiple pages, use canonical URLs.
Measure and Optimize for PageSpeed
It’s not just users who are annoyed by a slow-loading website. You may also suffer SEO consequences. “Speed Update” was announced by Google in 2018. Due to this update, slow-loading mobile web pages are being penalized.
As a result, Google does not make you guess whether your site is slow. The PageSpeed Insights tool recently received an update. The tool gives you not only a speed rating but also a list of things you can do to make it faster.
Note: If you receive suggestions, you may be able to improve your site’s loading speed with a number of WordPress plugins. If not, you may need a developer to manually modify your HTML.
HTTPS-secured websites are given a slight advantage by Google in search results. A majority of first-page results are encrypted with HTTPS, and Google Chrome has started displaying a big warning when you visit an unencrypted site.
If your site isn’t secured, I recommend that you do so as soon as possible. When you switch to HTTPS, your pages suddenly have different URLs. Therefore, it is VERY important that all your pages redirect to the same URL.
Most often, I am asked: “Will switching to HTTPS increase my Google rankings?”.
I would say, “Possibly”.
HTTPS does not seem to play a major role in ranking. The HTTPS protocol is considered a “tiebreaker” by Google. For example, moving to HTTPS could move you to #7 if you rank #8.
Site Architecture and Internal Linking
You don’t need to worry about website architecture when your site is brand new and only has 6 pages. But when your site grows to hundreds or even thousands of pages, how you set up your site architecture becomes very important. Organize your pages into categories by creating an organized structure (also known as a “hierarchy”). Next, you should establish internal links from your website to your most important pages.
There you have it. The only other consideration is to ensure that your internal links use keyword-rich anchor text. In other words, if you are linking to a page on your site about car accident claims, don’t use anchor text such as “click here”. Instead, ensure that your anchor text contains a keyword, such as “car accident claims”.
Optimize For Mobile
The goal of mobile optimization has changed from being a “nice to have” to an absolute requirement. It’s because Google’s algorithm now prioritizes mobile. In other words, Google sees the mobile version of your website as the “main” version.
Consequently, if your site is fast on desktop, but slow on mobile, Google will consider it slow. Your site’s mobile usability can be checked in Search Console if you verified your site. You may want to use the “Mobile-Friendly Test” tool from Google if you don’t already have one.
You should pay top priority to get your website mobile-friendly if you discover that it isn’t. If your mobile search visitors arrive from a mobile device, make sure you don’t use “Interstitial Popups.” The use of these types of pop-ups can negatively affect your ranking on Google.
Track Results in Google Analytics
When it comes to SEO, how can you know if your efforts are effective? There’s a single tool that is largely capable of answering these questions: Google Analytics. Here’s how Google Analytics can support your SEO campaigns:
- It is very easy to track (and visualize) the evolution of organic traffic. Charts might indicate that you are on the right track.
- There is a way to determine which pages are most popular with search engines. This will allow you to build on what works.
- You can easily track how website visitors interact with your site with Google Analytics. Your content should meet Google’s requirements based on metrics such as bounce rate and pageviews.
- Plus, Google Analytics even lets you track conversions. This way, you can determine whether the traffic coming from SEO is actually converting into leads and sales.
These 7 tips are worth considering if you want to get your technical SEO in order. If you face any difficulty in handling your technical SEO, you may give a call to SEO SAVVY LAWYERS to do this for you.