Technical SEO: What, Why & How To Implement

Written by Rahil Joshi

Rahil Joshi, a seasoned digital marketing expert with over a decade of experience, excels in driving innovative online strategies.

SEO

July 25, 2023

Technical SEO

Hello marketers, we are here to guide you about technical SEO. In this blog you get the whole information about technical SEO with the examples which can make it easy to understand technical SEO.  In this blog you can understand how technical SEO is important because if your pages are not crawled or indexed then your efforts will waste your time. I am sure this blog will clear all your doubts about technical SEO. So starts with the basics:

What Is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is an essential aspect of overall SEO impact that refers to the process of optimizing the technical elements and infrastructure of a website to enhance its visibility and performance in search engine rankings. It involves making improvements and adjustments to the website’s backend, server configuration, and website structure, with the aim of ensuring that search engines can effectively crawl, index, and understand the website’s content.

While Technical SEO focuses on technical aspects rather than the content or external factors like backlinks, it plays a crucial role in Digital Marketing strategies. By implementing technical SEO best practices, websites can enhance the user experience, increase organic traffic, and improve their overall search engine rankings, contributing to the success of their Digital Marketing efforts.

Why Is Technical SEO Important?

Technical SEO is important because it helps search engines, like Google, find and understand your website. Just like a map helps people find a place, technical SEO creates a map for search engines to navigate your site easily. When your website is easy for search engines to explore, they can show it to more people when they search for related topics. It’s like being on the top of the list in a phone book. This means more people can discover your website, leading to more visitors and potential customers. So, by doing technical SEO, you make it easier for search engines to find you and for people to discover your website, which is great for your online business or blog.

All Technical SEO Factors: An Holistic Checklist To Implement

As of now you know how important is technical SEO. Now we will jump into the factors that affects performance your website. Check if following factors are optimized in order to serve your website higher in search engine result pages (SERPs)

Site architecture:

Site architecture, also known as website structure or navigation, refers to the way your website’s pages and content are organized and interconnected. It is the blueprint that outlines how information is grouped, categorized, and linked together, creating a hierarchical framework that guides users and search engine crawlers in navigating your website. A well-designed site architecture enhances user experience, improves search engine visibility, and facilitates the efficient indexing of your web pages.

site architecture, flow chart

URL structure:

URL structure, short for Uniform Resource Locator structure, refers to the format and organization of web addresses that identify specific pages or resources on the internet. It is the unique address that users and search engines use to access and locate content on your website. A well-optimized URL structure plays a vital role in user experience, search engine visibility, and overall SEO performance.

Effective URL structure include:

Descriptive and Readable:

A good URL should be descriptive and easily readable by humans. It should provide a clear idea of what the page is about without having to click on it. Avoid using lengthy or complex URLs with unnecessary characters, numbers, or special symbols.

Example of a descriptive URL:

“https://www.example.com/blog/tips-for-effective-url-structure”

Keyword-Rich

Including relevant keywords in your URLs can provide both users and search engines with valuable context about the content of the page. However, be cautious not to stuff keywords or create spammy URLs.

Example of a keyword-rich URL:

“https://www.example.com/seo-services/technical-seo-checklist”

Short and Concise

Short URLs are easier to remember and share, both for users and in social media. Keeping your URLs concise can also prevent issues with truncation in emails or other communication channels.

Example of a concise URL:

“https://www.example.com/contact”

Lowercase Letters:

Uniformity in URL casing is essential to avoid potential issues with case-sensitive servers and duplicate content caused by URLs with different letter cases.

Example of lowercase URL:

“https://www.example.com/about-us”

Static URLs:

Whenever possible, use static URLs that do not change over time. Dynamic URLs with query parameters or session IDs can be less user-friendly and may not be indexed as effectively by search engines.

Example of a static URL:

“https://www.example.com/services/web-design”

Understanding Crawling & Indexing:

Understanding crawling and indexing is vital for anyone involved in website development and search engine optimization (SEO). These fundamental processes are the backbone of how search engines like Google, Bing, and others discover and organize web content, which, in turn, enables them to provide relevant and accurate search results to users.

Crawling, the first step in the search engine process, is performed by automated bots or crawlers. These bots systematically navigate the internet, visiting web pages and following links from one page to another. The main goal of crawling is to collect information about the content and structure of web pages. Starting with a list of known web addresses (seed URLs), search engine crawlers continuously traverse through web pages, discovering new URLs in the process.

During crawling, these intelligent bots read the code and content of web pages. They analyze text, images, videos, and other elements to understand the context and relevance of each page. The data collected during this process is then sent back to the search engine’s servers for further processing.

It’s essential to recognize that not all web pages are crawled. Some pages may be excluded due to reasons like being blocked by a “robots.txt” file, containing a “noindex” meta tag, or being dynamically generated with parameters not accessible to crawlers.

After the crawling process, the collected data is organized and stored in a vast database called the index. Indexing is the second step, where the crawled information is added to this database in a structured and organized manner. The index contains a wealth of data about web pages, including keywords, content, meta tags, and other relevant information.

When a user enters a search query, the search engine retrieves relevant information from its index to match the query with the most suitable web pages. The indexing process enables search engines to provide real-time search results quickly and efficiently.

To optimize crawling and indexing, website owners and SEO practitioners should focus on having a well-structured website with clear navigation and internal linking. Providing high-quality, valuable, and unique content is essential, as search engines prioritize such pages for crawling and indexing. Utilizing XML sitemaps and canonical tags correctly helps search engine crawlers understand website structure and avoid duplicate content issues.

By understanding and optimizing the crawling and indexing processes, website owners can enhance their website’s visibility in search engine rankings, increase organic traffic, and provide users with a superior search experience. This knowledge forms the foundation of effective SEO strategies, allowing websites to achieve better online presence and engagement with their target audience.

Errors for Crawling & Indexing:

Crawling and indexing errors that can affect crawling and indexing, such as 404 errors, server errors (5xx errors), redirect errors, robots.txt errors, noindex tags, XML sitemap errors, HTML sitemap issues, and URL parameter problems. Addressing these errors ensures that search engines can accurately crawl and index your web pages.

3XX Redirection Errors:

301 Moved Permanently: Indicates that the requested page has permanently moved to a new URL. This redirect is used when you want to permanently redirect users and search engines to a new location.

302 Found (HTTP/1.1) or 302 Moved Temporarily (HTTP/1.0): Indicates a temporary redirect. It tells search engines and users that the requested page has moved temporarily to a different URL.

4XX Client Error (Redirect) Errors:

400 Bad Request: Indicates that the server cannot process the request due to a malformed syntax or invalid parameters. This error typically occurs when the server cannot understand the client’s request.

401 Unauthorized: Indicates that the user accessing the page or resource needs to provide valid credentials (username and password) for authentication.

403 Forbidden: Indicates that the server understands the request but refuses to fulfill it. This error is typically due to insufficient permissions or access rights to the requested resource.

404 Not Found: Indicates that the server could not find the requested resource or page. This is one of the most common errors users encounter when a page or resource is no longer available or has been moved without proper redirection.

5XX Server Error (Redirect) Errors:

500 Internal Server Error: Indicates a generic server error. It typically occurs when the server encounters an unexpected condition that prevents it from fulfilling the request.

502 Bad Gateway: Indicates that the server acting as a gateway or proxy received an invalid response from an upstream server.

503 Service Unavailable: Indicates that the server is temporarily unable to handle the request. This error often occurs when a server is undergoing maintenance or experiencing high traffic.

504 Gateway Timeout: Indicates that the server acting as a gateway or proxy did not receive a timely response from an upstream server.

XML Sitemap Errors / HTML Sitemap:

XML sitemaps help search engines understand the structure and organization of your website, while HTML sitemaps assist users in navigating your site. Regularly check for XML sitemap errors and ensure they are up-to-date and correctly formatted. Similarly, maintain an HTML sitemap to facilitate user navigation and improve the discoverability of your web pages.

Core Web Vitals:

Core Web Vitals are a set of specific metrics introduced by Google that measure and evaluate the user experience of a web page. These metrics focus on key aspects of web page loading, interactivity, and visual stability, which have a significant impact on user satisfaction and engagement. Google considers Core Web Vitals as important ranking factors in its search algorithm, and websites that provide a better user experience by meeting these metrics are likely to rank higher in search results.

The Core Web Vitals metrics are as follows:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP):

LCP measures the loading speed of a web page by calculating the time it takes for the largest and most significant content element (such as an image, video, or text block) to become visible within the viewport. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within the first 2.5 seconds of the page starting to load.

First Input Delay (FID): 

FID gauges the interactivity of a web page by measuring the time it takes for the page to respond to a user’s first interaction, such as clicking a button or selecting a link. A good user experience requires FID to be less than 100 milliseconds.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): 

CLS evaluates the visual stability of a web page by measuring unexpected layout shifts of visual elements during the page’s loading process. A low CLS score indicates that elements do not move around, preventing user frustration and providing a smooth browsing experience. To provide a good user experience, the CLS score should be less than 0.1.

Disavow:

The Disavow Tool is a feature provided by Google that allows website owners and webmasters to inform Google about any low-quality or spammy backlinks pointing to their site. Disavowing these backlinks means requesting Google to disregard or ignore them when assessing the website’s link profile for search rankings. The Disavow Tool can be helpful in cases where a website has accumulated unnatural or harmful backlinks that could potentially lead to Google penalties or lower search rankings.

Step-by-step guide on how to use the Disavow Tool:
StepActionDescription
1Audit Your BacklinksConduct a thorough backlink audit to identify potentially harmful or unnatural links to your site.
2Prepare Disavow FileCreate a text file listing the URLs of the backlinks you want to disavow, one link per line.
3Format Disavow FileUse the “domain:” prefix to disavow entire domains or list individual URLs for specific links.
4Upload the Disavow FileAccess the Disavow Tool in Google Search Console, select your website property, and upload the file.
5Verify the Uploaded FileDouble-check the disavow file for accuracy and ensure it contains only the intended links.
6Submit the Disavow FileSubmit the disavow file to Google. Be aware that this process is irreversible once submitted.
7Monitor ProgressGoogle will process the disavow file and reevaluate your website’s link profile over time.
8Update the Disavow File (if necessary)Regularly review and update the disavow file to keep your link profile clean and healthy.

Robot.txt

Optimize your robots.txt file to control search engine crawling and access to specific areas of your website. Use it to allow or disallow crawlers’ access to different sections, such as private areas or duplicate content.

robot.txt, screenshot

You can check the proper page or report with the help of Google search console(robots-testing-tool).

robots testing tool, screenshot

Ensure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly

Optimize your website’s design and layout for mobile devices. Use responsive web design principles, ensure proper font sizes, and test your website’s mobile-friendliness using tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, Bing’s Mobile Friendliness Test Tool, and GTMetrix.

mobile friendly design, example, technical seo

Noindex Tag: 

The noindex tag instructs search engines not to index a particular page. Ensure that the noindex tag is used appropriately, avoiding accidental noindexing of critical pages that you want to appear in search results.

Improve Your Page Speed

Enhance your website’s loading speed by compressing images, minifying CSS and JavaScript files, leveraging browser caching, and optimizing server response time. Consider using a content delivery network (CDN) to serve your website’s static files from servers located closer to your visitors.

Use HTTPS / SSL Certificate

Secure your website by implementing HTTPS and obtaining an SSL certificate. This not only provides a secure browsing experience for users but also helps improve search engine rankings. Search engines prefer secure websites and may rank them higher in search results.

ssl certificate, screenshot, example

Find & Fix Duplicate Content Issues

Duplicate content can confuse search engines and dilute the relevance of your web pages. Identify and resolve duplicate content problems by implementing canonical tags, setting preferred URLs, or using 301 redirects when necessary.

Use Hreflang for Content in Multiple Languages

If your website serves content in multiple languages, implement hreflang tags to indicate the language and regional targeting of each page. This helps search engines understand and deliver the correct content to users based on their language preferences and geographic location.

Hreflang tags

Tools Used for Technical SEO

To assist you in optimizing your website for technical SEO, various tools can simplify the process:

Google Search Console 

Google search console, provides insights into your website’s performance in Google search results, identifies indexing issues, and allows you to submit sitemaps.

Bing Webmaster Tools

Bing webmaster tool is similar to Google Search Console, it offers data and diagnostics for websites appearing in Bing search results.

Google Analytics

Google analytics, helps you monitor website traffic, user behavior, and engagement metrics to measure the effectiveness of your technical SEO efforts.

PageSpeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights, analyzes your website’s performance and provides suggestions for improving page speed on both desktop and mobile devices.

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is a website crawler that helps you identify technical issues, such as broken links, duplicate content, and missing metadata.

Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool

Allows you to validate and preview your structured data markup, ensuring it meets Google’s guidelines.

DrLinkCheck scans your website for broken links, enabling you to fix them and enhance user experience and SEO.

Content Delivery Network (CDN):

Choose a CDN as per your choice. If you’re using WordPress you can check our wordpress SEO plugins blog to find one.

Content Delivery Network (CDN) can play a significant role in improving Core Web Vitals. CDNs are designed to enhance the performance, speed, and overall user experience of websites by distributing content across multiple servers located in different geographic locations. By doing so, CDNs can reduce the latency and loading times of web pages, which directly impacts the Core Web Vitals metrics, particularly Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and First Input Delay (FID).

In conclusion, by understanding crawling and indexing, you can identify and address common errors that may hinder search engine bots from properly accessing and indexing your web pages. From 404 errors to robots.txt issues, resolving these errors ensures that search engines can crawl and index your content accurately.

Lastly, utilizing tools such as Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, PageSpeed Insights, Screaming Frog, and DrLinkCheck can simplify your technical SEO efforts and provide valuable insights into your website’s performance and areas for improvement.

Remember, technical SEO is an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring, analysis, and adaptation. Search engine algorithms evolve, and user expectations change over time, so it’s essential to stay updated with the latest best practices and trends in technical SEO.

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