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Are you looking for ways to improve your website’s ranking on Google? Want to ensure your site is technically sound and able to perform on search engines?
Brafton shares its technical SEO tips in this infographic.
Here’s what makes their list:
- Search-friendly URLs
- Optimising page speed
- Ensuring mobile friendliness
- Promoting accessibility
- Applying schema markup
- Fine-tuning the user experience
- Performing a site crawl
- Removing duplicate content and toxic backlinks
Check out the infographic for more information.
In the ever-evolving landscape of online marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) remains a crucial factor for the success of any website.
While the content and backlinks are essential components of SEO, technical SEO plays an equally important role. Technical SEO involves optimizing your website’s infrastructure to enhance its visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through a 10-step technical SEO checklist that every website owner should follow to ensure their site is well-optimized for search engines.
By implementing these steps, you can improve your website’s indexing, speed, mobile-friendliness, accessibility, user experience, and more, ultimately boosting your search engine rankings.
Indexing refers to the process by which search engines like Google crawl and store your website’s pages in their databases. Proper indexing ensures that your content can be found by users when they search for relevant keywords. Here are some key indexing considerations:
- XML Sitemap: Create and submit an XML sitemap to search engines. This file provides a roadmap for search engine crawlers, helping them discover and index your pages more efficiently.
- Robots.txt File: Configure your website’s robots.txt file to specify which pages should and should not be crawled by search engines. Be careful when using this file to avoid accidentally blocking important content.
- Canonical Tags: Implement canonical tags to indicate the preferred version of a page if you have duplicate content or multiple URLs pointing to the same content. This helps prevent duplicate content issues.
The structure and format of your website’s URLs can impact your SEO efforts. Follow these best practices to ensure search-friendly URLs:
- Descriptive and Readable: Use descriptive and human-readable URLs that reflect the content of the page. Avoid using cryptic or dynamically generated URLs with numbers and special characters.
- Hyphens, Not Underscores: Use hyphens (-) to separate words in URLs instead of underscores (_) as search engines tend to treat hyphens as word separators.
- Avoid Dynamic Parameters: Minimize the use of dynamic parameters (e.g., “?id=123”) in URLs whenever possible. Static URLs are more search-friendly.
Optimising Page Speed
Page speed is a critical ranking factor, and it also impacts user experience. Slow-loading pages can lead to high bounce rates and lower rankings. Here’s how to optimize your website’s page speed:
- Image Optimization: Compress and optimize images to reduce their file size without compromising quality. Use appropriate image formats (e.g., JPEG, PNG) for different types of images.
- Content Delivery Network (CDN): Use a CDN to distribute your website’s content across multiple servers worldwide, reducing server response times and improving page load speed for users across different regions.
Ensuring Mobile Friendliness
With the increasing use of mobile devices for internet browsing, Google and other search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites. Ensure your website is mobile-responsive by:
- Responsive Design: Use responsive web design techniques to ensure your site adapts to various screen sizes and devices, providing an optimal user experience on smartphones and tablets.
- Mobile-Friendly Test: Utilize Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to check if your website meets mobile usability standards.
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): Consider implementing AMP for your content, especially for news articles and blog posts, to provide lightning-fast loading times on mobile devices.
Web accessibility is not only important for inclusivity but also for SEO. Search engines reward websites that are accessible to all users. Here are some accessibility considerations:
- Alt Text for Images: Add descriptive alt text to images to make your content accessible to visually impaired users and improve image search rankings.
- Semantic HTML: Use semantic HTML elements to structure your content properly. This not only improves accessibility but also helps search engines understand your page’s content hierarchy.
- Keyboard Navigation: Ensure that your website can be navigated and used entirely with a keyboard, as this is crucial for users with disabilities.
Applying Schema Markup
Schema markup, also known as structured data, provides search engines with additional context about your content. Implementing schema markup can lead to rich snippets in search results, increasing click-through rates. Consider these steps:
- Identify Relevant Markup: Identify the types of schema markup that are relevant to your content. This could include products, reviews, recipes, events, and more.
- Structured Data Testing: Use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to validate your schema markup and check for errors.
- Monitoring Performance: After implementing schema markup, monitor your search engine results to see if your rich snippets lead to improved click-through rates and visibility.
Fine-Tuning the User Experience
A positive user experience is not only essential for SEO but also for retaining and converting visitors. Here are some user experience (UX) tips:
- Clear Navigation: Ensure that your website has clear and intuitive navigation menus to help users find what they’re looking for easily.
- Mobile-First Design: Prioritize mobile users in your design and layout choices to create a seamless experience on smaller screens.
- Page Layout and Readability: Use readable fonts, proper line spacing, and well-organized layouts to make your content visually appealing and easy to consume.
- Reduce Intrusive Pop-Ups: Minimize the use of intrusive pop-ups and interstitials, as they can negatively affect user experience, especially on mobile devices.
Performing a Site Crawl
Regular site crawls help you identify and fix technical issues that might be hindering your SEO efforts. Here’s how to perform a site crawl:
- Use SEO Tools: Utilize SEO auditing tools like Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to perform comprehensive site crawls.
- Check for Broken Links: Identify and fix broken internal and external links to prevent user frustration and improve crawlability.
- Review Redirects: Ensure that your redirects (301 and 302) are correctly set up and do not create redirect chains.
- Analyze Indexability: Check for pages that should not be indexed (e.g., duplicate content, low-quality pages) and use robots meta tags or noindex directives to exclude them.
Removing Duplicate Content and Toxic Backlinks
Duplicate content and toxic backlinks can harm your website’s SEO performance. Address these issues as follows:
- Duplicate Content: Use canonical tags, 301 redirects, or rel=”nofollow” attributes to consolidate duplicate content and prevent search engines from indexing multiple versions of the same page.
- Toxic Backlinks: Regularly monitor your backlink profile using tools like Google Search Console and disavow toxic or spammy backlinks to protect your site’s reputation.
Technical SEO is a fundamental aspect of ensuring that your website is visible and accessible to search engines and users alike. By following this 10-step checklist, you can enhance your website’s indexing, search-friendly URLs, page speed, mobile friendliness, accessibility, schema markup, user experience, and more.
Remember that SEO is an ongoing process, and it’s essential to stay updated with the latest algorithm changes and best practices. Regularly audit and optimize your website’s technical aspects to maintain and improve your search engine rankings, ultimately driving more organic traffic and achieving your online goals.
The post A 10-Step Technical SEO Checklist for Website Owners to Follow appeared first on Red Website Design Blog.