On-page SEO focuses on optimization of various elements of site pages to make them visible to search engines and relevant for visitors. On the other hand, off-page SEO works on factors that enhance the page rankings on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). There is more to it when it comes to SEO types. Welcome Technical SEO!
Index: Technical SEO
As the name suggests, websites require certain technical optimizations that make it easier for crawlers to navigate its pages. Once all the optimizations are complete and are performed with proper planning, care, and diligence, crawling becomes a breeze for search engines.
A thoroughly indexed site becomes a lot more visible to the users. It invariably means lot more eyeballs and with on-page done right, it gains on relevance and reputation. As a result positive reviews and about the site pour in, time spent per page increases and eventually ratings from search engines get a significant boost.
To a large extent, technical SEO involves several nimble changes in the site that will make it SEO friendly. Here is an exhaustive list for you to consider and implement on your site:
Create Search Engine Console
The Search Engine Console is free to create. It provides all the information you require about the performance of your website and its individual pages. This includes all the errors that may occur during the crawl.
With the Search Engine Console, you can submit pages for crawling, fix errors that occur during the crawl, and do much more.
Robots.txt tells the search engines what to crawl on your site and what not. You can even give separate instructions for different search engines, like Google, Bing, etc. Objective is to only allow important pages to crawl and do not let the search engine clog your server with unnecessary requests. So, create it proper care.
Build XML and HTML Sitemaps
XML Sitemap serves as a road map of the site that crawlers use for reference. HTML sitemap is for the reference of users who visit your site. So, add the most important pages of the site, like the pages that provide information about your offerings, in these sitemaps.
As per Google’s ranking guidelines, installation of HTTPS on a site is mandatory for a site to rank high on SERPs. HTTPS enhances the security of the site. So any data that the user submits on the site gets encrypted by a secure connection that HTTPS creates.
You can purchase the SSL from your hosting provider. A few of them give it for free as well.
Have a Mobile-Friendly Site
Along with an On-Page SEO factor, having a mobile friendly site is a n equally important Technical SEO factor. Since 2018, whenever Google indexes a site, it looks for its mobile version first. So, it’s a requirement for companies to have a replica of the site ready for mobile users as well.
However, intrusive pop-ups should be ignored for the mobile site.
Implement SEO Friendly URL Structure and Navigation
When it comes to URL Structure, along with a few pointers we have emphasized in the On-Page SEO page, emphasis needs to be placed on nesting your content. For this segregate your content under subheads like knowledge base, sales, etc.
For instance if article_a is a knowledge base article and article_b is a sales page, the URL structure should be:
https://xyz.com/knowledge_base/article_a and https://xyz.com/sales/article_b
Such nesting helps search engines crawl and index the site more accurately and precisely.
Likewise, a lot of thought must go to ensure that the site’s navigation SEO friendly. A few noteworthy pointers are:
Have meaningful titles for menus and submenus
Implement Effective Internal Links
As an important On-Page SEO factor, effective internal linking keeps the users glued to a site as they explore more and more pages. Similarly, as a technical SEO factor it also allows crawlers to discover new and relevant content quickly and easily.
Noteworthy pointers to consider are:
Optimize the Crawl Budget
Search engines assign crawl budget to every site based on how much crawling can a website handle and which are the URLs that deserve re-crawling the most. It’s the duty of your webmaster to ensure that no crawl cycle goes waste. To do so, he must ensure that:
Add Structured Data to Relevant Pages
Structured Data is like a markup that gives crawlers additional information about the page. Structured Data Types include: Recipe, How-To, Rating, Event, Job Posting, etc.
Use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper, to markup existing pages with structured data.
Avoid 404 Errors
As far as possible, website errors should be avoided. They may occur when the content of the URL has been moved to some other page, or when by mistake the URL is not entered properly or server hosting the site is unreachable.
To fix 404 errors, the best place is the Google Search Console. In addition one can also use tools like Dead Link Checker and W3C Link Checker.
Finally, a few more pointers:
When you spend time and effort to implement these pointers on your site, consider it as an investment in its long-term well-being. This is because, if implemented correctly, these changes have long-term viability.