When it comes to SEO, most people are familiar with on-page optimization and link building, but technical SEO is a lesser-known, and equally important aspect of SEO. Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your website’s backend to improve its functionality, user experience, and search engine crawlability. Technical SEO can have a significant impact on your website’s ranking, which is why it is essential to understand the best practices.
One of the most critical aspects of technical SEO is making sure that your website is crawlable by search engines. Search engines use bots to crawl and index websites, and if your website is not crawlable, it will not show up in search results. This is why it is crucial to optimize your website’s backend to ensure that search engine bots can crawl and index your website effectively.
Another essential aspect of technical SEO is user experience. Google considers user experience to be a critical ranking factor, which means that your website’s usability, speed, and mobile responsiveness can all impact your ranking. By optimizing your website’s technical SEO, you can improve user experience, which can lead to higher rankings, more traffic, and better conversion rates.
10 Best Practices for Technical SEO
Now that you understand the importance of technical SEO let’s dive into the ten best practices for technical SEO.
Conducting a Technical SEO Audit
Before you can optimize your website’s technical SEO, you need to understand where your website currently stands. This is where a technical SEO audit comes in. A technical SEO audit will help you identify any issues that may be affecting your website’s crawlability, indexing, or user experience. Some of the factors that a technical SEO audit will evaluate include site speed, mobile responsiveness, site structure, and schema markup.
Optimizing Site Structure and Navigation
Site structure and navigation are crucial elements of technical SEO. A well-structured website with clear navigation can help search engine bots crawl and index your website more effectively. Additionally, a well-structured website can also improve user experience, which can lead to higher rankings and better conversion rates. When optimizing your site structure and navigation, you should aim to create a hierarchy of pages that makes sense for both search engines and users.
Improving Site Speed and Performance
Enhancing Mobile Responsiveness
With the majority of internet users accessing websites on mobile devices, mobile responsiveness is more important than ever. Google has even switched to mobile-first indexing, which means that it now uses the mobile version of a website for indexing and ranking. To enhance your website’s mobile responsiveness, you should use responsive design, optimize images for mobile, and make sure that your website’s content is easily accessible on mobile devices.
Implementing Schema Markup
Schema markup is a type of code that you can add to your website to help search engines understand your content better. By implementing schema markup, you can provide search engines with additional information about your website, such as the type of content on each page, the author of the content, and the date that the content was published. This can lead to better search engine visibility and higher rankings.
Optimizing Robots.txt and Sitemap.xml Files
Robots.txt and sitemap.xml files are two essential files that can help search engines crawl and index your website more effectively. The robots.txt file tells search engine bots which pages they can and cannot crawl, while the sitemap.xml file provides search engines with a map of your website’s pages. By optimizing these files, you can improve your website’s crawlability and indexing, which can lead to higher rankings.
Enhancing Security and HTTPS Protocol
Website security is a crucial factor in technical SEO. Google has stated that HTTPS is a ranking factor, which means that websites that use HTTPS may rank higher than those that do not. Additionally, a secure website can improve user trust, which can lead to better conversion rates. To enhance your website’s security, you should use HTTPS, install an SSL certificate, and use a secure web hosting provider.
Leveraging Google Search Console and Other Tools
Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google that allows you to monitor your website’s performance in search results. By using Google Search Console, you can identify technical issues that may be affecting your website’s ranking and make improvements accordingly. Additionally, there are many other tools available that can help you optimize your website’s technical SEO, such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz.
Common Technical SEO Mistakes to Avoid
While there are many best practices for technical SEO, there are also many common mistakes that you should avoid. Some of the most common technical SEO mistakes include using duplicate content, using broken links, and failing to optimize images. By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that your website is optimized for search engines and users.
Technical SEO is a critical aspect of SEO that can have a significant impact on your website’s ranking, visibility, and user experience. Let WCN Digital help you get the most out of your website. Contact us today about a website audit.