What is Tech SEO?
It’s the process of optimizing your site so that it’s appropriately crawled and indexed by search engines.
These requirements are always changing, so it can sometimes be challenging to keep current. However, if you’re aware of the factors that influence the search engines the most, you can ensure that your site always has the proper structure.
Even if you’re not a tech SEO, there’s a good chance that you’re already using a few technical SEO tactics in your campaign.
Identify Errors with a Site Audit
One of the first things you need to do is to check your website for crawl errors. Run a crawl report, also known as a site audit. The audit will give you a bird’s eye view of the technical issues that your site has.
Perhaps you have duplicate content. Maybe your site doesn’t load quickly enough. There’s also a chance that you’re missing your H1/H2 tags.
Luckily, there are a variety of tools that you can use to automate this process. Ideally, do this every month to ensure that your website is always correctly optimized.
Our Favorite Site Audit Tools
Switch to HTTPS
If you want to ensure that users and search engines have access to your site, then you must switch from HTTP to HTTPS URLs. If not, your audience won’t be able to see your content. Instead, they’ll find 4xx and 5xx status codes.
And this can have a significant impact on your rankings. Check your Google Search Console error list to make sure that you’re in full compliance.
Submit Your XML Sitemap
XML sitemaps help search engines to crawl your page. Specifically, they act as a map. However, for it to work correctly, you must ensure that they meet a couple of guidelines.
They must be formatted in an XML document, follow sitemap protocol and include every updated page in the sitemap. The best way to submit your sitemap to Google is through the Google Search Console. However, you may also insert it in your robots.txt file.
Decrease Your Load Time
The time in which it takes your website to load is a huge ranking factor. That’s why it’s usually one of the first things that come to mind when someone asks, what is technical SEO? Many websites struggle with pages that load too slowly.
Unfortunately, this can put a damper on the user experience and increase your bounce rate. The good news is Google’s PageSpeed Insight tool can help you to identify your load time. Enter your web address and it will show you how long it takes for your pages to load on both desktop and mobile.
Ideally, it should take your page no more than 3 seconds to load if it’s any longer than that you need to make a few changes to your site to increase the speed.
Our Favorite Site Audit Tools
Make it Mobile-friendly
One of the best ways to improve your technical SEO is to make your website mobile-friendly. Google has a tool for this as well. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test allows you to enter your web address and get insight into how mobile-friendly your website is.
You even have the option of submitting these results to Google so that they know how well your website is performing. Sites that are mobile-friendly include compressed images, large fonts, and embedded videos.
Keyword Cannibalization Audit
Search engines are confused when your website cannibalizes keywords. Keyword cannibalization occurs when several articles on your website rank for the same keywords in the search engines. Essentially, you’re making these articles compete against each other for a position in the results as Google will only show one or two from the same domain.
Keyword cannibalization typically happens when the home page and other subpages get optimized for the same keywords. You can find out if your pages are competing against each other by checking the performance report on Google Search Console. Filter the keywords that you want and consolidate the pages to solve the problem.
Check the Robots.txt File
Have you noticed that only a few pages on your website are indexed or that there’s one that never was indexed? If so, it’s a good idea to look at your robots.txt file. There’s a chance that you may have accidentally blocked individual pages from being crawled by the search engine.
When searching through this file, you need to be on the lookout for “Disallow: /”. This command is telling search engines to avoid crawling a particular page on your website.
Perform a Google Search
When asking, “what is technical SEO?” it’s easy to assume that all the strategies involved are complicated. However, this is far from the truth. For instance, one of the most straightforward strategies involves a simple search on Google.
The best way to find out if your website is indexed is to check Google. Specifically, you should search “site:yourwebsite.com” to get a list of every indexed page. Keep in mind that if your website doesn’t show up as the first listing, you could have a penalty.
Look for Duplicate Meta Descriptions
Whenever you have similar pages, it tends to result in meta descriptions that are the same. Many website owners copy and paste the content from one page to the other. The sites that are most at risk for duplicate meta descriptions are e-commerce websites.
That’s because these large sites tend to have hundreds and sometimes thousands of pages. Research shows that more than half of e-commerce sites are dealing with this issue. Luckily, your website audit should alert you to this issue. Sure, this can take a bit of time to fix, but it’s more than work it in the end.
Length of Meta Description
Not only should you make sure that your website is free of duplicate meta descriptions, but make sure they are the right length too. Though this isn’t a significant ranking factor, it can still improve your click-through rates in the search engines. You’re allowed 320 characters to use in your descriptions. So, this is more than enough space to add your product specs, keywords, location, and any other vital information.
Look for Duplicate Content
Sure, duplicate meta descriptions can be a problem. But duplicate content can be an even bigger problem and is a massive issue for a lot of websites. Research indicates that more than half of the sites online today are dealing with duplicate content issues.
If you want to ensure that your website doesn’t get penalized for this, it’s a good idea to use a tool that will alert you to this type of content. The most popular tool for checking for duplicate content is Copyscape.
You may also consider using SEMrush or Screaming Frog. Once you’ve discovered the offending pages, you can then make changes to content so that you can avoid any problems. You may also consider getting rid of this content altogether.
Search for Broken Links
A broken link can cause a drop in rankings and bad user experience. It can also waste a lot of crawl budget.
When it comes to creating a sound technical SEO strategy, you must include broken link repair. Specifically, you need to identify the links that are broken and either replace them with working URLs or remove the page from your website. Your site auditing tool should be able to alert you to the pages that contain broken links.
So, what is tech SEO?
It’s a process that involves ensuring that the search engines can easily crawl and index your page.
While search engines are becoming more sophisticated with each passing day, it still needs a bit of human intervention. That’s why you must have a sound strategy for technical SEO 2020. The good news is that there are a lot of tools that you can use to automate the process and make it a lot more efficient.
If you would like our team to provide you with a comprehensive SEO audit we’re ready to rock and roll for you.