In the previous article, we have covered On-page SEO and Off-page SEO, which are essential techniques to follow in order to rank better in the search engines. When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, it is also important to optimize for technical SEO which we are going to cover in this article in detail.
The concept of Technical SEO and On-Page SEO is pretty much the same. Because both concepts are done within the website. But technical SEO is focused more on website structure whereas On-Page covers content aspects as well.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO refers to the optimization techniques related to the technical part of the website like the structure of the website, technology used to build the website and so on.
Technical SEO doesn’t have any standard definition, but there are some SEO experts who think technical SEO is something that provides a beneficial platform for making your content rank and brings in success. It ensures that your website is complying with all the guidelines set by the search engines. Technical SEO falls under the domain of the On-Page SEO services framework, but it has been majorly complicated by implying that it belongs to some other domain.
The main objectives of technical SEO are making website technically sound without having any structure and code error.
How Important is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is conducted by website owners or developers for improving their website’s structure. It will eventually help the search engine crawler/indexer bots in finding your website easily and crawl for indexing and ranking its various web pages rapidly.
Interestingly, Technical SEO is not related to the optimization of content on a website like other on-page SEO activities. Its focus lies on having a structural sound,well-planned and cleverly laid out website.
So, in my perspective, technical SEO is the very first action to conduct before starting on-page SEO and Off-page SEO. Because the website should be technically healthy before you start optimizing it.
Technical SEO Checklist in 2020
The very important and essential aspect of every website is its responsiveness. Today, majority of visitors come from mobile phones and tablets combined. Responsiveness fits the website’s content in the best way possible in any type and size of devices. So, make sure your website is 100% responsive.
2) Website Speed
The loading speed of a website is directly related to the users’ experience. So, it is super important to optimize the speed of the website. There are many free tools like GTMetrics, Pingdom Tool, Google Speed Test, etc that you can use to test the loading speed of your website. These tools just do not show the speech result but also tells the area of improvement you can do to make it faster. Taking care of website speed (Loading time) keeping the size minimize is one of the important technical SEO.
3) Setting up Robots.txt
Robots.txt is also called the robots exclusion protocol, which is a standard used by websites to communicate with web crawlers and other web robots. It defines which areas of a website crawlers are allowed to search and also defines certain areas not to crawl.
5) Setting up Sitemap.xml
Sitemap.xml file makes it easy for Bing, Google, Yahoo, and other search engines to crawl your website. This is a file through which search engines find different pages and posts of your website. A Sitemap is an XML file that lists the URLs for a site. If you have installed SEO plugins like Yoast SEO then it automatically generated an XML file for your website. Otherwise, you have to install a Google XML sitemap plugin.
6) Handling 404 Error
A 404 error occurs when there is no content available in the certain URL of the website. This can be due to mistyping of the URL or content is deleted or URL is changed. This page not found error can be easily handled in WordPress or other custom CMSs.
You can create a custom 404 page that will be shown up whenever users encounter a 404 error.
7) Broken Link Fixes
Having broken links on the website is a bad experience for users and so does for search engines. So, time and again you have to keep checking if there exist any broken or dead links on the website. A broken link can be fixed manually by analyzing the Broken Link Checker plugin or using the different broken link checker tools.
8) Data Structure
Data Structure is all about the structure of the content on a website. Structure data plays a great role when it comes to showing the result, especially after the latest Google update. Structure data tells search engines about your data.
Although structured data is part of technical SEO because you need to add code to your website to get it right. It can help you enhance the presentation of your listings in the SERPS either through featured snippets, knowledge graph entries, etc and increase your CTR.
9) AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP concept is developed with the intention of making websites faster by loading only HTML files rather than loading the whole bunch of heavy scripts, CSS files. AMP is not compulsory for a website however, it helps the loading site faster thus making the user experience better. Installing and setting up AMP is very easy in WordPress You just need to install AMP Plugin, and setup some designs what it looks like in the mobile and desktop.
With the official AMP plugin for WordPress, the WordPress ecosystem is provided with the capabilities and tools it needs to build world-class AMP experiences.
10) SSL HTTPs
Https adds up value to a website when it comes to ranking factors. Once you install SSL to your website, it is accessed by https:www.domain.com. This indicates that any information transferred between your website and server (such as usernames, passwords, personal data, etc) is encrypted. Installing and activating SSL is very simple. You can even get free SSL along with the hosting service. So, SSL is a must for every website.
Breadcrumb is a set of links shown on the top or bottom of a page that allows users to navigate from one page or category to another page or category. Breadcrumb is useful for mainly two purposes:
- To help users to navigate
- To let search engines know about the structure of the website
If you don’t already have breadcrumbs enabled, make sure that they are enabled on your website and that they have the proper schema. Google search console also added the breadcrumb feature in the 2019 update so that breadcrumb errors can easily be identified and fixed.
12) Maintaining Canonical URL
Duplicate content is the content that appears in more than one place with different URLs. Appearing the same content in more than one place is not good for search engines. Because search each post must have a unique URL. Content in more than one location can be difficult for search engines to decide which version is more relevant to a given search query.
So, canonical ULS tells Google which one is the original post. It is the technical solution for duplicate content. Using canonical URLs can help to better inform search engines which URLs have identical or highly similar content.
13) URL Structure
When it comes to SEO, permalink plays a great role in ranking. Permalink is the website permanent URL seen in the search bar of any browser. For the WordPress website, you have different choices of how your permalink will look like. But, among them recommended setting for best SEO practice is setting www.yourdomain.com/%postname%/.
One good reason for setting permalink as “postname” is easy to guess what is post is all about and the keyword can also be seen in URL.
14) Meta Title and Meta Description
Meta description is a short description that appears just below the URL link in Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs). Meta description also appears in the homepage as well.
Meta description is also an important factor for SEO as it increases the Click Through Rate (CTR) of the page. People are likely to click more those pages having proper meta descriptions. It is highly recommended to include the primary keyword along with the modifiers like, “best”, “Tips”, “Guide”, “Lates date year” etc.
15) Google Search Console Setup
Google Search Console (GSC) helps you to monitor, maintain and troubleshoot the website’s visibility in Google Search Result Pages. If you have a particular issue with a website then you can identify through Google Search Console.
18) Google Analytics Setup
Google Analytics provides in-depth knowledge of visitors, source of traffic, the platform that visitors using, geography for visitors, session and other valuable insights that can help you to build the success strategy for your business.
16) Image Optimization
Media in any website represents different formats of images and videos. Media adds extra beauty to the overall content of the website. But in terms of On-page SEO, optimizing media is one of the vital tasks.
Majorly, optimizing media on any website includes, optimizing image files. Such as Image alternative texts, Image description, reducing size.
17) Integrate Social Sharing Plugins
In today’s time, social sharing is an integral part of our internet experience. Furthermore, it’s constantly on the rise and becoming popular with older folk as well. Social media became the best way to share any information because many people engage in social media than any other platform. Social media also plays a significant role in helping you find your favorite websites.
So, we highly recommend installing the best social media sharing plugin. We don’t say exactly which one you use because there are lots of best social media sharing plugins. But, what we can say is having a social media plugin is a must for any website.
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