If you get every other thing right, but failed at technical SEO, your competition might displace you. Technical SEO is fundamental while every other effort depends on it.
Technical SEO refers to the process of optimizing your site's technical elements so that search engines can discover, crawl, interpret, index, and render your content correctly without any problems.
It is a crucial step in Search Engine Optimization process because if there are issues with your technical SEO, Google may not be able to fulfill its task on your content and this will impact your SEO ranking negatively.
It is therefore important to do a technical SEO audit to discover the lapses and fix the errors as the first step toward ranking your website.
The interesting part of the SEO task is that once you fix your technical SEO, you won't have to repeat it.
Learn more about SEO to better understand the bigger picture of SEO and how search engines work.
The ultimate goal of technical SEO is nothing more than to optimize the technical infrastructure and standard of a website.
Best practice quick overview:
In order not to confuse the search engine, you need to specify your preferred domain name while setting up your site.
When you do this, you dictate to the search engine the variation of the domain name you want to use all through the lifetime of your site and search campaign.
By default, your website can be accessible as "https://www.spiralspin.com" or "https://spiralspin.com", so you have to choose which one of the options you want to use for your website.
If this is not established, you may encounter duplicate content issues, indexing problems, and loss of page rank.
Robots.txt is a text file in the root directory of your site that communicates instructions to search engines as to which web pages or directories of your site should be crawled and index for ranking on the search engine. And the pages or directories you don't want the search engine to crawl.
When you generate this file, you will be ok with the simple format and in most cases, you won't have to make any change.
URL structure is important in your SEO effort because it makes it easy for both humans and search engines to place your content by merely seeing your URL.
Best practices for URL structures are:
Follow the checklist above to make a better URL structure.
Google takes into consideration the overall site structure when determining the significant worth of a particular web page and this should not be ignored.
Users on the other hand are likely to stay longer on a website to find what they want if the website is properly structured and easy to navigate through.
Having poor navigation makes surfing through your website look like going through a maze, this is the reason why your website should be properly structured and easy to navigate.
As part of making a great user experience with navigation, adding a breadcrumb menu is a more fashionable way to excite the users on your website thereby scoring more SEO points as a result of longer dwell time on your site.
Breadcrumb menu is a navigation link at the top and bottom of a web page, that makes it easy for users to navigate to the next page, previous page, category page, or home page of a site.
Breadcrumb helps users to navigate a site with ease and without needing to use the back button on the browsers.
Google recommends this and the users love it as well.
Structured data is a block of code you can add to your web pages, which is decodable and readable by search engine bot and it helps the algorithm to understand the category and context of your website.
In simple terms, it is how you interpret your site data to search engines in the language they understand.
Apart from getting the search engine to understand and place your website, structured data will also help you to improve the presentation of your site listings on search engine result page whether through knowledge graph entries, local listing, featured snippets, etc these qualities will increase your Click-Through Rate.
In your structured data, you can choose the category that your website belongs to, some of the popular categories are recipes, events, job listing, articles, local business, and many more.
So that users don't hit a blank page, a 404 page is the default page that will be shown to site visitors when they try to visit a page that doesn't exist on the website.
The existence of a 404 page will serve as a friendly display to users who tried to access a deleted page, a page whose URL has changed, mistyped URL in the browser, etc.
Make sure that your 404 page is optimized in a friendly manner and don't forget to suggest related pages or alternatives.
On your 404 page, communicate in a friendly manner so that the visitor will understand that the page is no longer available.
Create links to the home page and other important pages from the 404 page.
XML Sitemap is an XML(Extensible Markup Language) file that lists all the page or post URLs available on your site. It includes title, published date, and last updated date.
Search engines use the XML sitemap on your site as a guide when crawling your website.
It is easy to set up an XML sitemap, you only have to generate it online and all the important pages on your website will be listed.
In most cases, they include your pages, archives, posts, and categories.
Make sure that you update your sitemap regularly or just activate automatic updates so that you don't have to do it manually when a new web page is published or updated.
Security is the new trend on the Internet. Having an HTTPS protocol is a new norm among the ranking factors an additional quality to affect trust with users.
When you initiate an SSL - Server-Side Layer on your host server, your website will be accessible with HTTPS and not HTTP anymore. This means that any data parsed between your site and the server (name, phone, usernames, passwords, email, etc) will be encrypted.
Installing HTTPS is not a tough task to do, all you have to do is to contact your hosting company to help you figure it out.
Site speed is another crucial ranking factor. Google must have considered speed because it affects users and studies have shown that faster web pages perform better in SERP than slower web pages.
To deal with slower pages, you have to make some technical changes to your websites and sometimes the infrastructure.
There are some free tools online that you can use, but depending on the level of technical difficulties, you may have to hire a developer.
With over 80% of Google users accessing your website through mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly or responsive website is not an option.
Furthermore, with Google's new introduction of a mobile-first index, you cannot survive on SERP if your site is not responsive and your position will tank if your site is quite slow.
Having a mobile-friendly site is technical and should not be hard because developers have been used to this method a while ago except if your website was made 20 years ago.
Finally, to fulfill your technical SEO, most of the tasks are technical and you need a developer if you're not a developer yourself. And you need to optimize your site for this technical stuff so that your website will be preferred by Google.
As mentioned in the beginning, technical SEO is the first step to take when starting with SEO.
Once you get your technical SEO right, you can then move on to on-page SEO and start optimizing your website's content.Learn keyword research.