What is technical SEO? Complete these 10 things to help you rank # 1

Technical SEO is a very important step in the whole SEO process. If there is a problem with your technical SEO then it is likely that your SEO efforts will not produce the expected results.

Therefore, it is important to ensure that you understand what technical SEO is and how to get it right.

The good news is that once you perform a technical SEO audit of your website and fix any potential issues, you won't have to deal with it again.

In this post, you will learn what technical SEO is, the best practices to follow, and how to audit your site's technical with our technical SEO checklist.

What is technical SEO?

Technical SEO refers to the process of optimizing your website for the crawling and indexing stages. With Technical SEO, you can help search engines access, crawl, interpret and index your site without any problems.

It is called online engineering because it has nothing to do with the actual content of the website or with the website advertisement. The main goal of technical SEO is to optimize the infrastructure of a website.

What is SEO?

First, let's recap what is SEO? The simplest definition is SEO is the process of optimizing your website for search engines.

Optimizing in the context of SEO means:

  • Ensure that search engines can access and index your site without any problems
  • Having high quality content that suits the purpose of the searcher
  • Give search engines the right signals to understand the structure of your site
  • Help search engine spiders understand the meaning (context) of your content.
  • Give reasons for search engine algorithms to trust your site and rank it higher than other sites.

When you do all of the above, your site will be SEO friendly and a candidate will appear in SERPS for many searches (related to your content).

How do you start SEO?

If you've read my previous article on how search engines work, you should know that the first step taken by the search engines before answering a search query, is the process of collecting data and indexing.

In the process, search engines are looking for publicly available websites to add to their index.

They discover, read and organize these pages into their databases so that they can then be accessed using their algorithms to provide accurate answers to queries entered by users.

To get the whole picture, look at the diagram below that shows three main pillars of SEO: technical SEO, on-page and off-site SEO.

On-page SEO is related to content and how you can make it more relevant to what users are looking for and off-page SEO (also known as link building), is the process of getting mentioned. (links) from other websites to increase trust in the ranking process.

Technical SEO and SEO

Technical SEO and SEO

As you can see in the diagram above, there is no clear boundary between technical SEO, on-page and off-site SEO because all of them must work together for a fully optimized website.

Best technical SEO practices

Now that we know what technical SEO is, let's look at the best ways to follow. You can use the list below to perform your own technical SEO audit.

Specify the preferred domain name

When setting up your website or blog, you need to specify your preferred domain name. By doing so, you instruct search engines to see which variation of domain name you want to use throughout the life of your site.

Take a look at why you need to do this.

A website by default is accessible by www and there is no www before the domain name.

For example, if your domain name is example.com, your website can be accessed by both http://www.example.com and http://example.com (ie without www).

While this is good for users, it is confusing for search engines because they consider these two different sites.

This means you may encounter indexing issues, duplicate content issues, and loss of page rank.

To solve this problem, you need to set your preferred domain name and notify the search engines of your choice.

www or not www?

One of the questions that many people have is whether to use www before their domain name or go with the non-www version.

There is no SEO advantage from choosing one format over another, It is a matter of personal preference .

I prefer having www in front of my domain names because it seems more natural to me but there's nothing wrong with deciding to use the version. http .

It is important to inform the search engines about your decision and be consistent throughout the life of your site.

In case you change your mind, you can use 301 redirects to convert between different formats, but this is not recommended because there is always a risk of making a domain move.

How to set your preferred domain name

Previously, settings to specify your preferred domain were available in Google Search Console, but Google decided to remove this option and rely on standard URLs.

For more information on standard URLs and how to use them to help search engines understand your preferred domain, read this guide.

Optimize your Robots.txt

Once you've finished setting up your preferred domain, the next step is to test and optimize your robot.txt file.

What is robot.txt?

Robots.txt is a text file located in the root directory of your website, providing guidance to search engines about which pages they can crawl and add to their index.

The format of this file is very simple and in most cases you do not have to make any changes to this file.

Examples of rules not allowed in robot.txt

Examples of rules not allowed in robot.txt

It is important to check and ensure that no wrong blocking will prevent search engine crawlers from indexing your site.

For more information, you can read: How to optimize and validate your robots.txt file

Optimize your URL structure

The next item on your technical SEO audit list is to modify the URL structure of your website. According to the URL structure, we mean the format of your URL.

Best SEO practices dictate the following about URLs:

  • Use lower case characters
  • Use - to separate words in the URL
  • Make them brief description
  • Avoid using unnecessary characters or words
  • Use your target keywords in the URL without keyword stuffing

In general, once you determine the format of a permanent topology, the only thing you will have to do is optimize your URL when publishing new content.

If you are using WordPress as a CMS, you will notice that when creating a new post, WordPress will take the title of your post and create a URL.

For example, if this is the title of your article. 10 Best SEO Techniques for Beginners, the URL generated by WordPress will be http://www.example.com/10-technical-seo-best-practices-for-beginners.

This is not bad, but you can make it shorter like this http://www.example.com/technical-seo More targeted and easier to remember.

URLS guidelines are SEO friendly

URLS guidelines are SEO friendly

As in the case of preferred domain names, if you decide to change the topology permanently, you can do so using 301 redirects.

While it's not advisable to change the URL of existing points, there is little value in doing so, but you can follow best practices for your new post.

For more information and examples, you can read: What is SEO friendly URL

Navigation and site structure

The structure of a website is a very important SEO factor for several reasons.

Users are more likely to stay on a website longer and find out what they want faster and search engines can understand and index a website more easily.

A big mistake that many webmasters make is in their website optimization efforts to convert, they forget to navigate and structure the site and eventually they ruin their SEO.

A good example is hiding from users their archived pages and having all the content in one category.

In the past, it was thought that hosting pages or category pages could hurt your SEO but this is a bad SEO practice.

Google takes into account the overall structure of a website when evaluating a specific page and this should not be ignored.

Of course, your category pages should be optimized if you want any benefits.

In addition, as Google stated (see screenshot below from their guide), well-defined structure helps webmasters accurately identify the important content of a website, something that will Help to increase rankings in really important pages.

Principles of website structure

Principles of website structure

Add the Breadcrumb menu

Breadcrumb trail - Amazon

About Breadcrumb

The Breadcrumb Menu is a collection of links at the top or bottom of a page that allow users to navigate to the previous page (usually the category page) or to the homepage of the website.

A Breadcrumb menu serves two main purposes: it helps users navigate a website easily without having to press the back button on their browser and it gives another suggestion to search engines about the structure. structure of a web page.

Breadcrumbs are mentioned as an SEO element in various SEO Guidelines because they are highly recommended by Google.

If you haven't activated breadcrumbs yet, make sure they are enabled on your site and that they have an appropriate scheme.

For more information read: Breadcrumbs and SEO

Structured data markup and SEO

google-search-structure

Structured data enhances your website's presence on the SERPS

Structured data is becoming more and more important over the past few years as it is heavily used by Google in Search Results.

What is structured data?

Put simply, structured data is code that you can add to web pages displayed to search engine crawlers and help them understand the context of your content. It is a way to describe your data to search engines in a language they can understand.

How is structured data related to technical SEO?

Although structured data must be relevant to the content of a website, it's part of technical SEO because you need to add code to your site to get it right. Usually, you add a structured data definition once and then you don't have to do anything about it.

For example, in the case of breadcrumbs, you need to configure your structured data once and no further action is required.

Similar to the posts. When you add the exact structured data definition to your CMS, it is automatically applied to new content.

What are the benefits of using structured data?

It can help you enhance your list presentation in SERPS through featured snippets, knowledge chart entries, etc. and increase your CTR.

What is the use of structured data?

There are many ways you can use structured data to describe your content. The most popular are: articles, recipes, events, job postings, local business, and more. You can see the full list here .

For more information on adding structured data to your site, read: What is a Schema Markup?

Check your Canonical URL

What is the canonical url

What is the standard URL

Every page of your website should have a standard URL. This is determined by adding tags , in of your post and page.

What is the standard URL?

It's a simple way to let Google know which version of a page to include when indexing your site. This concept is similar to the preferred domain name where a page is accessible through different URLs.

You can use rel = ed canonical canon when you have pages with similar content, for pagination and to avoid duplicate content issues when you add content to your site from web pages. other.

As a general rule, you should specify one standard URL for all pages on your site.

The easiest way to check if your website provides the main URL is to visit any of your pages, right-click anywhere on the page and select VIEW SOURCE. Search rel = canonical and investigate value.

If you can not find any reference about classic then you can use plugins to automatically add (if you are into WordPress, you can use it Yoast SEO ) or hire a developer to make the necessary changes to your code.

As with other technical SEO factors, once you set your site to export the URL correctly, you don't have to do anything else.

Optimize your 404 page

A 404 page is displayed to users when the URL they visit does not exist on your site. The page may have been deleted, the URL has been changed, or they entered the wrong URL in their browser.

Most modern WordPress themes have 404 pages optimized by default, otherwise you can easily make your 404 page SEO more friendly by using plugins or editing your theme templates. yourself.

What is an optimized 404 page?

An optimized 404 page should:

  • Have the same structure and navigation menu as your website
  • Tell visitors in the friendly language the page they are looking for is no longer available
  • Give them alternatives (suggest other related pages)
  • Help you easily return to your previous page, homepage or other important pages

How to check your 404 page?

Check that your 404 page looks very easy, just open a new browser window and enter the URL on your website that doesn't exist. What will be displayed in the browser is your 404 page.

Don't spend too much time optimizing your 404 pages, just make sure that when a page is not found, it will return a custom 404 page.

Optimize your XML Sitemap

XML Sitemap example

XML Sitemap example

One of the most important elements of technical SEO is optimizing XML sitemaps.

An XML sitemap is an XML file that lists all the pages / posts available on your site. Besides their title, it also includes the date of publication and the date of the last update.

Search engines can use XML sitemaps as a guide for them when crawling websites.

How to optimize your XML Sitemap?

Optimizing an XML sitemap is very simple, just include in your sitemap important pages for your site. In most cases, these are your pages, posts, and categories.

Do not include in sitemap tag pages, author pages, or other pages without original content.

Make sure your sitemap is updated automatically when a new page is published or when a page is updated.

Use the Google search panel and Bing Webmaster tools, to submit your sitemap to Google and Bing and check the status.

Add SSL to create HTTPS of your website

The latest trend on the Internet is security. HTTPS is a known ranking signal and is an additional way to establish trust with your users.

When you install SSL on your server, your website can be accessed using https, not http. This indicates that any information transferred between the site and your server (such as usernames, passwords, personal data, etc.) is encrypted.

In the past, SSL was very important for eCommerce websites, but nowadays, every website on the Internet must have SSL installed.

If you do not have SSL installed, the first thing to do is to contact your hosting provider and ask them to enable SSL on your account and then you need to follow the migration process to activate it. Activate SSL on your site without losing rankings.

Adding SSL is similar to moving to a new domain, so you will have to follow the process carefully.

Read my previous guide: How to move your site to https without losing SEO for step-by-step instructions.

Site Speed ​​- Faster is better

A ranking signal known as site speed. Google is referring to the importance of speed in all of their SEO recommendations and research confirming that faster websites perform better than slower websites.

Site speed and bounce rate

Site speed and bounce rate

Handling site speed is a technical issue and it requires changing your site and infrastructure for good results.

Your starting point is to test your speed with three tools: details about google page speed, Pingdom tool and google mobile speed tool.

The above tools will give you some suggestions on what you need to change to improve your speed but as I mentioned above, this is a technical issue and you may have to rent a house. Developed to help you.

In general, what you can do to make your site load faster is as follows:

  • Upgrade your server to use 64 bit operating system
  • Upgrade to PHP 7.4 -> this will give you major improvements in speed compared to PHP 5.2.
  • Optimize the size of your image. There are tools to help you do this without losing quality.
  • Minimize the use of the plugin
  • Upgrade WordPress and all plugins to the latest version
  • Do not use heavy pre-made themes. They add a lot of unnecessary code, better invest in a custom theme.
  • Optimize and minimize your CSS and JS files
  • Use caching plugin to serve cached pages for users
  • Avoid adding too many scripts of your site
  • Use asynchronous javascript load

If you are using WordPress, you can also read my previous article: How to speed up WordPress website for more useful tips.

Mobile friendly

Having a mobile-friendly website is not optional. Chances are most of your users are using mobile phones and with the introduction of the first index on Google's mobile device, if you don't have a fast, mobile-friendly website, Your rankings will be affected.

Mobile friendliness is part of technical SEO because once you have a mobile-friendly, properly configured mobile theme, you don't have to deal with this problem anymore.

This is also a task that requires technical knowledge on how to set it up.

The first thing to do is to test your site's mobile friendliness with this tool from Google.

If your website does not pass the test, you have a lot of work to do and this should be your top priority.

Even if it passes the test, there are a few things you need to know about mobile and SEO.

  • Your mobile website should have the same content as the website on your desktop computer. With the introduction of the first mobile index, Google will try and rank mobile websites based on their mobile content so that everything you have on the desktop is also available on the device. mobile (including any internal links or other elements available on your desktop website).
  • Your mobile website will load in less than 6 seconds (when tested on 3G).
  • Having a mobile conversion rate (compared to desktop) is normal, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try and optimize your mobile website as much as possible.
  • Avoid using pop-ups on mobile devices
  • An AMP site does not replace the need for a fast mobile website. Even if you have enabled Accelerated Mobile Pages on your site, you still need to have a mobile friendly and fast site. The first index on mobile does not take into account AMP pages to replace mobile-friendly pages.

If you already have a responsive website, then you probably won't have to worry about the first mobile index, but if you have a separate mobile website on a subdomain or directory, then make sure it has the same content as you desktop website.

Review accelerated mobile pages (AMP)

Accelerated mobile pages are a relatively new concept introduced by Google in an effort to make mobile web faster.

Put simply, with AMP, you provide a version of your website with AMP HTML, which is a shortened version of regular HTML.

When you create AMP pages for your website, they are hosted and served to users through special Google cache, load faster (almost immediately) than pages that are designed for you. be mobile.

AMP sites are only accessible through Google Mobile results or through other AMP providers like Twitter.

There is a long-standing debate in the SEO community about whether or not you should apply AMP pages, which have both advantages and disadvantages when using this method.

The most important advantages and disadvantages of AMP are:

AMP advantages

  • Make your mobile pages faster
  • Ability to increase your CTR (from mobile users)

Cons of AMP

  • Not easy to implement. Even on WordPress AMP plugin activation is not enough
  • You cannot use AMP pages for email marketing purposes
  • You need to hire a developer to help build a decent AMP website
  • Your analysis and reporting will be confusing when you have to maintain and take into account statements from two different websites (your normal website and your AMP website).

Currently, Google claims that there is no SEO benefit from adopting AMP (beyond speed), but this may change in the future.

If you decide to add AMP support to your site, you can read my previous guide: How to set up AMP on WordPress

Advanced SEO topics (Multilingual and multilingual websites)

The last two items on your technical SEO audit list are paging and multilingual websites.

Both are very technical tasks and you only have to deal with them if they apply to your site.

Pagination

Pagination is used when you want to split a long page into many shorter pages and when you enable pagination in your catalog pages.

To avoid duplicate content issues and to integrate links and page rankings into your main page, you can use the The link rel = has next and Rel = Feedback before để nói với các công cụ tìm kiếm rằng các trang tiếp theo là trang tiếp theo của trang chính.

Khi Google tìm thấy các liên kết rel = ED tiếp theo và Rel = Hay trước đó trong mã, nó sẽ hiểu đó là trang chính và nó sẽ sử dụng liên kết đó cho mục đích lập chỉ mục.

Nếu bạn đã kích hoạt phân trang trên trang web của mình, hãy đọc hướng dẫn này từ Google.

Trang web đa ngôn ngữ

Nếu bạn có nội dung trên trang web của mình bằng nhiều ngôn ngữ, thì bạn cần sử dụng thuộc tính hreflang để cung cấp cho Google thêm thông tin về cấu trúc và nội dung trang web của bạn.

Điều này sẽ giúp họ phục vụ nội dung phù hợp cho người dùng (nghĩa là hiển thị nội dung của người Thụy Điển bằng tiếng Thụy Điển) và nó cũng sẽ giúp bạn tối ưu hóa SEO của mình bằng cách tránh các vấn đề trùng lặp nội dung và lập chỉ mục.

Để biết thêm thông tin về cách xử lý các trang web đa ngôn ngữ, hãy đọc hướng dẫn này .

Công cụ quản trị trang web

Bảng điều khiển tìm kiếm của Google

Bảng điều khiển tìm kiếm của Google

Để thực hiện các nhiệm vụ SEO kỹ thuật quan trọng nhất, bạn cần có sự trợ giúp của các công cụ quản trị trang web. Các công cụ quản trị trang web được cung cấp bởi các công cụ tìm kiếm và có thể được sử dụng để tối ưu hóa một trang web cho SEO kỹ thuật.

Bộ công cụ đầy đủ nhất là Google Search Console , được cung cấp bởi Google.

Với bảng điều khiển tìm kiếm của Google, bạn có thể kiểm tra tệp robot.txt của mình, gửi sơ đồ trang web cho Google và tìm và sửa lỗi thu thập dữ liệu .

Rất khuyến khích đăng ký trang web của bạn với các công cụ quản trị trang web của Google và Bing và định cấu hình các cài đặt cơ bản. Hướng dẫn dưới đây có thể giúp bạn bắt đầu.

Danh sách kiểm tra SEO kỹ thuật

Nếu bạn đã đạt đến điểm này, thì có lẽ bây giờ bạn có một ý tưởng rất hay về SEO kỹ thuật là gì và tại sao nó được xử lý tách biệt với SEO trên trang và SEO Off-Page.

Ngay cả khi bạn đã làm điều này trước đây, thì luôn luôn nên thực hiện kiểm toán SEO kỹ thuật cho trang web của bạn và đây là danh sách kiểm tra SEO kỹ thuật của bạn.

  • Chỉ định tên miền ưa thích
  • Kiểm tra và tối ưu hóa robot.txt của bạn
  • Kiểm tra và tối ưu hóa cấu trúc URL của bạn
  • Sửa đổi điều hướng và cấu trúc trang web của bạn
  • Thêm menu Breadcrumb vào bài viết và trang của bạn
  • Thêm đánh dấu lược đồ cho mẩu bánh mì
  • Thêm dữ liệu có cấu trúc vào trang chủ của bạn
  • Thêm dữ liệu có cấu trúc vào bài viết của bạn
  • Thêm dữ liệu có cấu trúc vào các trang khác (dựa trên loại của chúng)
  • Kiểm tra URL chuẩn của bạn
  • Tối ưu hóa trang 404 của bạn
  • Tối ưu hóa và gửi sơ đồ trang web XML của bạn cho Google và Bing
  • Kích hoạt HTTPS
  • Kiểm tra tốc độ tải của bạn và cố gắng làm cho trang web của bạn nhanh hơn
  • Kiểm tra tính thân thiện với thiết bị di động của trang web của bạn
  • Xem xét áp dụng các trang di động tăng tốc (AMP)
  • Kiểm tra phân trang và cài đặt đa ngôn ngữ của bạn
  • Đăng ký trang web của bạn với Google Search Console
  • Đăng ký trang web của bạn với các công cụ Bing Webmaster

Để kiểm tra thêm mức độ tối ưu hóa của trang web của bạn, bạn có thể thực hiện Kiểm toán SEO chung , bao gồm nhiều kiểm tra vượt xa SEO kỹ thuật.

Conclusion

SEO kỹ thuật bao gồm một số kiểm tra và cài đặt bạn cần tối ưu hóa để giúp các công cụ tìm kiếm thu thập dữ liệu và lập chỉ mục trang web của bạn mà không gặp bất kỳ vấn đề nào.

Trong phần lớn các trường hợp, một khi bạn hiểu được SEO kỹ thuật của mình, bạn sẽ không phải đối phó với nó nữa, ngoài việc thực hiện Kiểm toán SEO định kỳ.

Từ kỹ thuật ngụ ý rằng bạn cần có một số kiến ​​thức kỹ thuật để thực hiện một số nhiệm vụ (như tối ưu hóa tốc độ trang, thêm dữ liệu có cấu trúc, v.v.) nhưng cần phải làm điều đó nếu không trang web của bạn sẽ không phát huy hết tiềm năng