I have already covered technical SEO in-depth through guided series in past. However, through this article, I want to revive the crux of technical SEO. The post is an effort to remind marketers why not fixing glitches and errors in their technical SEO could cost them direly.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is a process to fix the errors occurred in technical elements of your website. It directly impacts the search rankings of a website. Most of the technical optimizations are done to make a website faster and easier to crawl for search engines.
Technical SEO is an integral component of on-page SEO strategies of a campaign. It primary aims at improving website elements to get higher rankings.
Why Technical SEO is Needed?
Whether it’s Google or any other search engine, they focus at offering searchers best possible results for their query. This is why their crawlers visit websites to measure several factors important to enhance the user experience.
Page speed, crawlability of the website, backlinks and content are some of the crucial aspects that need to be checked on frequent intervals. If you manage to find and fix those errors, you can see your web pages ranking higher in search engines.
A technically sound website is one that loads fast and offers clear and comfortable user experience. You should, therefore create a strong technical foundation for your website for better UX.
Top Technical SEO Factors for 2019:
A website should have its technical parameters healthy and up-to-date. Your website’s technical setup helps search engines get a proper idea what your website is all about.
With the article, I am sneaking into some important characteristics of a technically optimized website.
1. Website Speed
People hate websites that takes ages to load. Visitors switched to your competitor’s website if yours is taking more than two seconds to load. A recent study concluded that 53% of mobile website visitors switch from a webpage if it doesn’t open within three seconds.
This means, if your website is poorly loading, people will move on to another website. It will eventually tank your visitor traffic.
Google is quite clear about this. The search giant’s latest page speed algorithm is critical of loading speed. It states that poorly loading websites offer a less than optimal experience. And since user experience is a crucial ranking signal, a slow loading web page may end up losing its search ranking.
If you don’t know how fast your website’s speed is, use various speed testing website tools available. They will give you an insight into your website speed and will also recommend the ways how you can improve.
Search engines have bots (spiders) that crawl websites. They follow your website links to explore the kind of content your website has. Website interlinking is the one way to guide robots through website content. Interlinking tells Google bots about the way your content is spread across and what the most important content on your site is.
There are other ways as well to guide robots on how they consider your site. You can block robots from accessing content that you think shouldn’t come under the purview. In addition, you can also allow robots to scan pages but restrict them from showing in the search results. You may also dictate robots what are the links to follow what links to ignore.
Robots.txt file is used to instruct robots where to go on your sites, what to cover and what to escape. The tool is quite good if used wisely. A minute mistake in giving bots instructions could be fatal. It can prevent search engine robots from crawling your site.
I have seen people mistakenly block robots from scanning site’s CSS and JS files where important codes are written. These codes tell browsers what your site should look like and how it works.
I have a suggestion. Don’t add or alter instructions written in Robot.txt unless you are well versed with how this file works. Instead, ask an expert to do this for you.
4. Dead Broken Links
Another on-page element that needs careful detection and fixing is broken links. Through the journey of a website we tend to move or remove pages from the websites. If these pages are not redirected to the existing URLs, they become orphan pages and lead to 404 error.
For search engines, broken links are the biggest reason behind deteriorating user experience on a website. In addition, increasing number of broken links could skyrocket bounce rate that eventually affects rankings.
You can’t manually find broken links. Fortunately, there are free and paid tools that can help you discovering the instances of broken links on your website. Fixing these dead links is the only way to weed out 404 errors from your website.
To prevent broken or dead links, you should redirect the URL of a page when you delete it or move it. The recommended way is to redirect the dead page to a page that replaces the old page.
5. Duplicate Content
Duplicate content may turn out to be as deadly as broken links are for a website. Duplicate content, whether on your site or on other websites across the internet, may tank your website rankings.
Search engines don’t have a mechanism to distinguish which page is original and which one has copied the consent. Due to the absence of this insight, search engines many a times rank all pages with the same content lower.
If identical content is posted on different URLs, search engines consider them duplicate. To avoid any such embarrassment, use canonical link element to tell search engines what the original page that you’d like to rank in the search engines – is.
These are the 5 important on-site SEO factors that affect your website performance. As soon you spot a glitch in any of your on-page elements, fix them immediately before they break your ranking.