Technical SEO is about activities that help in meeting the search engine requirements to improve the crawling of website pages. If we are in the industry for quite some time now, we must have observed that these requirements have changed consistently and become more complex to meet the standards of search engine’s criteria, which have gradually become sophisticated with growing market needs. So, in simple words, we can say, technical SEO is continually evolving.

Technical SEO (search engine optimization) is required to make your website more search engine friendly, given the current online environment. The implementation of it starts from the development of websites, that is right from their basic structuring. It is about building a solid foundation so that it can provide your content and links the best possible marketing atmosphere, and it can help you get desired search engine results easily.

In short, this is all about technical SEO.

Here through this blog, we will try to get into details of technical SEO:

What are the Main Focus Areas?

1. Website Speed and Page Load Time
Page load speed that is the time a page takes to display its full content clearly without any glitches also is one of the many important factors that impacts SEO ranking. A faster a website is, better is its performance. So, let us try to understand by recalling the basics of site construction to improve your website load speed and make it user-friendly.

1.1) Keep your Templates Simple
Keeping things simple helps in winning half the race. Simple does not mean ineffective. Simple things have more clarity and openness that connects people easily. There is one rule of thumb when it comes to template design, and that is “less is more”. Therefore, make sure you limit your page entities and make your templates plain and minimalist. Whatever additional component you want on your page layout like plugins, widgets, etc. takes extra time to load. It also includes a code that requires optimization. The more components you add on your page, the longer your audience will have to wait. And making them wait longer will only push them away from your website. An ideal page load time must be within 3 seconds. Maintaining a healthy balance of the minimum number of necessary elements on your page can only help you achieve your SEO goals.

1.2) Optimize Your Visual Elements
Your page must be optimized fully along with the visual elements that it holds. Optimization of images is equally important to maintain the performance of the page. Make your images sharp and adjust their size to the necessary minimum if they are too large. Large images take time to load as they are heavy and badly affects the load time. Use .jpg format for photographs and .png for graphics.

1.3) Limit 301 Redirections
If your page has multiple redirections that are components with external links, it impacts the page load time. The more redirect links the page has, the more time it would take to load. Hence, it is advisable that you avoid too many redirections, and must stick to single redirect on your page. Avoid 404 error pages as much as possible, and try including custom pages in their place. 404 error pages do not create any good impression, so better to avoid them in the first place. If you create a custom page then make sure you try out some creativity in it and add some entertaining, or humourous element to make it user-friendly, so that your audience does not feel hopeless and close y our page rather, ensure that you have links that take them back to you home page or any other important, or most visited sections of your website.

There are many reasons for 404 error. It could happen if the page is removed, or the page is moved to some other location or even if a wrong email is linked. In this situation, a permanent 301 redirection should be implemented. And, if the page cannot be redirected to any related or existing page or section, then a 404 error custom page can ease the situation. Make sure you do not let your users land on your standard 404 error page, as it will immediately make them leave the page and end the session. It is not a healthy sign for a website. Google crawls even the error pages. You can find them in its Search Console. Go to “crawl,” then “crawl errors” to locate the “URL error” report. Here you can check the website’s 404 errors and decide on how to resolve them.

1.4) Browser Caching
Browser caching is the ability of a web browser to store web files right in your local computer, the very first time when users visit a website. When they visit those files or links next time, then the browser loads those files from there. It happens because the browser remembers the cashed version. This reduces the load time of the webpages, and thus significantly improves the overall load time of the websites. Ensure to leverage the browser asset caching to improve your website load speed.

2. SEO Friendly Site Architecture
Site architecture has a big role to play to meet up to the SEO requirements that would help it improve its performance on the SERP. Below we will discuss the importance of a robot.txt file; breadcrumbs, a consistent URL structure; canonicals, secure browsing (that is using HTTPS:// instead of HTTP://), a sitemap, and more.

So, let’s take a look here:

2.1) HTTPS
Choosing the right hypertext transfer protocol is the first step towards the development of the right website architecture. Here HTTPS is the only secure protocol and SEO friendly option you must use. Though Google keeps all its ranking factors secret, it chose to announce this factor in 2014 as a surprise to many. Usually, whatever sources claim to contain the ranking factors are based on assumption and independent analysis by Webmaster. It means, websites running on HTTPS:// would get a boost in search engine ranking. Though it is not very easy to identify how exactly HTTPS influences in the ranking, but it is in practice as a requirement for SEO to maximize the chances of getting better ranks on SERP.

Moreover, there are other benefits of using HTTPS as your hypertext transfer protocol. In Google Analytics, only those using HTTPS has the privilege to view the referrer details. However, the site containing HTTP protocol will just have the referrer data included in “Direct” traffic source, but besides the numbers, there is no specified data to view. This is because Google restricts websites without the security protocol from identifying the sources of the traffic.

Additionally, with HTTPS protocol sites get extra security and protection, making the choice even more beneficial.

2.2) Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are another very essential part of site architecture. It tells the users about their location on the website they are visiting currently. A type of website navigation, breadcrumbs are very beneficial for users to make them aware of their exact position and the direction of the pages and links from their location on a website. It is very transparent in presenting the hierarchy of different pages in a site and also indicates the exact position of the user while navigating. Moreover, when users want to go back to homepage or any other page in the hierarchy or a different section altogether or even to the higher level from their current location, they can do it in fewer clicks. It helps in reducing the numbers of clicks and actions for a user to navigate around a website.

Breadcrumbs are secondary navigation of a website and usually implemented in big websites with too long hierarchy and too many sections and categories for a clear structuring. Very much suggested for eCommerce websites that have multiple sections and different product categories and subcategories. It is additional navigation but in no way can it substitute the primary navigation.

2.3) URL Structure
A clear, consistent and user-friendly URL structure is also one of the top demands for an SEO-friendly website. URLs are readable texts that replace IPs to help users open websites with ease. IPs are number-based addresses used by computers to identify certain resources. URLs are a description of webpages that are used both by the search engines and the users. Here we are talking about URLs because they play a vital part in improving the ranking of the webpages. So, it is recommended that they are made as clear as possible. The idea is to make users understand what the pages running on those URLs contain, just by seeing them.
Additionally, make sure that you add the targeted keywords in the URL of the given page. If this could be done, then it will increase the relevance of the pages and help search engines categorize them under search ranking for that targeted keyword. Also, the words used in the URLs must be separated by a hyphen. Though putting too many words in a URL is not advisable so ensure to keep the word count in URLs to the minimum possible. The size must not exceed 2,048 characters mark. Else, it will impact the page load time.

2.4) Robot.Txt Files
Robot.txt files are elements of well-planned site architecture. How does robot.txt help in search engine optimization? It controls which pages of a website to be accessed, by the search engine crawler. Whether a page is crawled, or not, is controlled by robots meta tag, but to make this page visible page has to be crawled. However, if there is any problem in crawling of the page or if the website owner does not want the page to be crawled for some reason, then robots. txt file can be used to restrict the crawling. Therefore, robot.txt is a text file that directs web robots which pages on your website to crawl and which pages not to crawl, which is again a beneficial factor in the ranking of websites.

This is not everything about website architecture for technical SEO. We will discuss everything in detail and in a more structured way. Keep visiting us for more updates with relevant information on website development and search engine optimization.

3. Structured Data Markup
Structured data-rich snippets, is another very important element of technical SEO. What are rich snippets? You can see these rich snippets in Google search results when you try to look for a specific query, for example, type in How to Make Emirati Khameer, or you can just enter Emirati Khameer. And you will see the result displayed in beautiful rich snippets. The information will include everything from star rating to total number of reviews, the preparation time, number of calories and ingredients too, clicking on which take users to their dedicated pages. All the information displayed is structure data markup.

Rich snippets have higher click-through rates, as user prefer to click on links that have more information. Thus, increasing traffic to websites and in the long run, it can even influence the search engine ranking.

4. Duplicate Content and Canonical URLs
Duplicate content is another very serious issue that causes major damage to website quality and reputation. Avoid poor quality and duplicate content. Keep checking your website. You can go to Google Search Console in order to detect problems on your website. While checking if you come across any case of duplicate content, then get rid of it as soon as possible. The other way is to rephrase the content. Though rephrasing is a time-taking task, if you like the content, then it will be worth rephrasing than losing it by removing it. Another way is to add canonical URL – to pages with the duplicated content. Canonical URLs tell search engines that the specific page represents the master copy of a page, or certain URLs of a website are actually same. Canonical URLs prevents the damages that can cause from identical duplicate content appearing on multiple URLs.

We will discuss canonical URLs in detail later.

Technical SEO covers a broad range of subjects that are concerned with the requirement of elements for the optimization of the website as per the guidelines set by search engines. What we have discussed above is not everything about technical SEO. We have given just a brief idea about the major issues that would be of great help for the beginners now.