The Simplest Manual for Technical SEO

Up until it isn’t, technical SEO is the most crucial component of SEO. A page must be crawlable and indexable even to stand a chance of ranking, but many other factors will be insignificant compared to content and links. 

What is Technical SEO?

The process of optimising your website for search engines like Google to find, crawl, understand, and index your content is known as technical SEO. The objective is to increase rankings and be seen.

Technical SEO: How complicated is it?

It varies. Although the principles aren’t particularly challenging, technical SEO can be confusing and tough to grasp. With this guide, I’ll try to keep things as easy as possible.

How crawling works

Search engines employ crawling to gather information from pages and leverage the links on those pages to find even more pages. You may manage how your website is crawled in a few different ways. Here are some possibilities.

  • Robots.txt – Search engines can only access certain website areas if you have a robots.txt file.
  • Crawl Rate – Many crawlers include the crawl-delay command in robots.txt, which you can use to control how frequently pages are crawled. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t take this into account[1]. To modify the crawling pace for Google, go to Google Search Console.
  • Access limitations – You probably want one of these three options if you want some users to be able to access the page but not search engines: 
    • a login system of some sort;
    • HTTP Authentication (which requires a password to access);
    • Whitelisting of IP (which only allows specific IP addresses to access the pages)

This approach is ideal for internal networks, content only accessible to members, or staging, test, or development sites. A limited number of users can visit the page, but search engines cannot find them and will not index them.

How to see crawling activity

The “Crawl metrics” report in Google Search Console, which gives you more information about how they’re crawling your website, is the simplest way to know what Google is mainly crawling.

You will need to view your server logs and perhaps use a tool to analyse the data more thoroughly if you want to see every crawl activity on your website. If your hosting company uses a control panel like cPanel, you should have access to raw logs and some aggregators like Awstats and Webalizer because this may get relatively complex.

Crawl Adjustments

A website’s crawl budget varies depending on how frequently Google wants to crawl it and how much crawling your site permits. Pages that seem less popular or poorly linked will be crawled less often, whereas pages that are more popular and change frequently will be crawled more frequently.

Crawlers often slow down or cease crawling until conditions improve if they notice signs of stress while examining your website.

Following a crawl, pages are rendered and added to the index. The index is the central list of pages that can be retrieved in response to search queries. Speaking of the index:

Indexing

  • Robots directives – An HTML snippet called a robot meta tag instructs search engines how to crawl or index a specific page. It appears as follows and is inserted into the head> section of a web page: 
  • Canonicalisation – When a page has many versions, Google will choose one to keep in its index. Canonicalization is the procedure involved, and Google will display the URL selected as canonical in search results. They choose the canonical URL based on a variety of factors, including:
    • Duplicate page 
    • Canonical tags 
    • Internal links 
    • Sitemaps URL
    • Redirects 

Using the URL Inspection Tool in Google Search Console is the simplest approach to see how Google has indexed a page. You will be shown the canonical URL that Google has chosen.

Quick wins in technical SEO

Prioritisation is one of the most challenging tasks for SEOs. There are many best practices, but some adjustments will affect your rankings and traffic more than others. Here are a few of the tasks I suggest giving priority to.

Check Indexing

Make sure Google can index the pages you want visitors to find. Crawling and indexing were the main topics in the preceding two chapters, which was no coincidence.

Reclaim lost links

Over time, websites frequently alter their URLs. These outdated URLs often contain links to other websites. These links expire; stop counting for your pages if they are not sent to the current pages. You still have time to implement these redirections, and you may easily recover any value that was lost. Consider this your fastest link-building effort to date.

Add Internal Links

Internal links are those that connect pages on your website one to another. They improve page rankings and make it easier for people to find your pages. You may find these possibilities easily with our internal Link Opportunities tool in Site Audit.

This tool searches for references to keywords that your website already ranks for. Then it offers them options for contextual internal links.

For instance, the tool displays a reference to “faceted navigation” in our duplicate content guide. Site Audit proposes we add an internal connection to the page regarding faceted navigation since it is aware of its existence.

Add schema markup

Many elements that can make your website stand out from the competition in search results are powered by schema markup, code that makes it easier for search engines to interpret your content. The numerous search functions and the schema required for your site to be eligible are displayed in Google’s search gallery.

All of the projects we’ll discuss in this chapter are worthwhile endeavours, but they might be more time-consuming and less fruitful than the quick win projects from the previous chapter. This is only to provide you with guidance on prioritising different tasks; it does not imply that you shouldn’t complete them.

Experience signals on a page

  • Core Web Vitals –  The speed parameters that makeup Google’s Page Experience signals, which are used to gauge user experience, are called Core Web Vitals. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), and First Input Delay are the metrics used to quantify visual load, visual stability, and interactivity (FID).
  • HTTPS – Your browser and server’s communication is shielded by HTTPS from being eavesdropped on and altered by hackers. The great majority of current WWW traffic has access to confidentiality, integrity, and authentication, thanks to this. Your pages should be loaded via HTTPS rather than HTTP.
  • Any website using HTTPS will have a lock icon in the address bar.
  • Mobile Friendliness – This determines whether web pages are usable and adequately displayed on mobile devices.

How can you tell if your website is mobile-friendly? Check Google Search Console’s “Mobile Usability” report.

  • Interstitials – Interstitials prevent access to content. These popups cover the primary information and may require user interaction before disappearing.

General maintenance

Although they won’t likely impact your rankings much, these tasks should typically be improved for user experience.

  • Broken links – Links on your website that lead to nonexistent resources are known as broken links. The links here can either be internal (pointing to other pages on your website) or external (i.e., to pages on other domains.)
  • Redirect chains – A chain of redirects between the origin and destination URL is referred to as a redirect.

Key conclusions

  • Search engines won’t find your content if it isn’t indexed.
  • Fixing a problem that affects search traffic may be a top priority. You’re better off investing time in your content and links for most websites, though.
  • A lot of the technical initiatives with the biggest effects revolve around indexing or linkages.

Learn more about your website’s technical SEO; our team at D’Marketing Agency can assist you. With more than ten years of experience in the field, we are skilled at optimising websites and raising Google search rankings.

Want to join a community of other marketing experts & business owners to share, learn, and talk shop around all things accessibility? Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

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