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Technical SEO Factors

technical seo factors

You might wonder what technical elements we are talking about and what to be optimized, but there are some factors which their optimization results in ranking higher and these are considered as Technical optimization.

Technical SEO relates to the parts where there is no content, but still considered to be an important part of SEO. It is a ranking factor and it helps crawling and indexing the webpage/website.

Technical optimization is done inside a website and there is a technical question whether it is a part of On-page SEO or not. In order to know the answers for that sort of complicated and technical questions, stay with us and read the blog till the end.

In this blog, there is a primary but comprehensive knowledge of what Technical SEO is, factors of Technical SEO, how to implement it, and all the necessary information you need to know regarding Technical SEO.

Read the blog till the end and expand your knowledge of Technical SEO. Let’s go on.

What is Technical SEO?

What is Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the practice of optimizing technical aspects of a website to rank higher at the SERP. It improves the technical elements of a website to make it easier for search engine crawlers to discover the page and index it

In addition, it improves websites for the users so that they can find information they need in the website and stay more inside the web.

Technical SEO plays a vital role in your visibility online because optimizing technical elements result in better understanding of your website for search engine crawlers and also users. 

For instance; A well-structured data and sitemap helps crawlers better understand your website and index it soon. Moreover, page load time will affect user behavior and optimizing page speed causes users to easily navigate your website and look for what they need in your website.

Technical SEO can be considered a part of On-page SEO due to the fact that it generally deals with the optimization of elements inside a web. It includes optimization of the factors which are in our hand and enhances the ranking of our website.

Most of the elements we optimize for Technical SEO are one-time and for the whole website, but we apply on-page optimization for each post and page separately.

Why Technical SEO is Important?

While On-Page optimization and Off-page optimization are the two main key branches of SEO and implementing all of their factors will result in high-ranking organically, Technical SEO factors also enhance the ranking of your website and even it is considered as the most important area to be focused on.

 You cannot rank at the top of search engine result page (SERP) even if you have highly rich quality backlinks and well-optimized meta tags. It is because you have underestimated the importance of Technical SEO.

Technical SEO provides a well-structured website to the crawlers which is very easy to understand and it gets indexed soon. Additionally, providing a visually attractive, eye-catching, beautiful appearance, and fast speed website for users entices them to click and land on your website

It increases their dwell time and click-through-rate which give a signal for search engines that the website is high-performance and should be ranked high.

Factors of Technical SEO

Technical SEO factors which is also called Technical SEO Checklist are mentioned: below:

  • Sitemaps
  • Robots.txt Files
  • Canonical Tags
  • Broken Links and 404 Page
  • Redirections 
  • Schema Markups
  • Open Graph
  • Page Speed Optimization
  • Mobile Optimization
  • W3C Validation

1: What is sitemap?

what is sitemap

This is the map of your website which presents the complete data of what is in your website. It is a list of website’s URLs that acts as a roadmap to tell search engines and audiences what and where content is available. 

Search Engines like Google read those files and crawl them efficiently. In addition, it gives clear information to the users about what is available on the website and they can find it easily.

Do you really need a sitemap for your website? 

The answer differs based on your website. If you have a large website which contains lots of pages, contents, and rich media like images and videos, you probably need one in order to better lead the crawlers to discover your page and help audiences find the information or product in your website. 

If your webpages do not have quality and quantity backlinks to lead crawlers for it or it is not properly internal linked, Sitemaps will be very useful because it appoints every important page for the crawlers to discover and index. 

If you have a small website with proper internal links and external links, there is not any necessity to generate and upload sitemaps, but if you do, it is always recommended.

Be careful that not having sitemaps does not mean no crawling and indexing, it just eases the process of discovering and finding for search engines and users. It is an optimization factor and recommended, but if you do not possess one do not really worry until there are indexation issues.

There are two types of sitemaps which one is assigned for search engines and the other is allocated for users.

Sitemap.XML: 

sitemap.xml

it is a file that lists the URLs of the important pages in your website for search engines to crawl and index. It makes search engines understand your website structure and easily navigate the pages you want to be indexed.

You can submit an XML sitemap through WordPress and if it is a non-WordPress website you can generate XML sitemaps in different sitemap generator websites and upload them through cpanel. 

To check the status of a website whether it has an XML sitemap or not you can simply put in the search bar  https://www.example.com/sitemap.xml.

Sitemap.HTML: 

sitemap.html

It is a file that lists all the important pages in your website so that users can find the main pages in your website easily. It helps users to understand the structure of your website and find the page they are looking for.

You can generate an HTML sitemap through WordPress by using a plugin or you can just normally create a page in your website, list all the important pages’ URLs, and then internal link it.

Sitemap.HTML appears in a website and it is a ranking factor. In order to check the status of a website for HTML sitemap you can simply put  https://www.example.com/sitemap.html.

2: Robots.txt Files

robots.txt file

It is a file that contains the URLs of certain pages we do not allow search engines to crawl and index. It manages the crawlers traffic to your website and those pages will not appear at the result page.

We use robots.txt file to restrict the crawlers from some of the pages which are unnecessary to get indexed and appear at the SERP. By implementing this technique we save time and lead crawlers to find and store our important pages rather than those which are not important. 

Robots.txt files are important and must be implemented with full attention because if you add an important page to that file , it avoids its indexation and ranking which is pretty damageable and it will be blocked accidentally.

You can add a robots.txt file through WordPress and for non-WordPress websites follow these steps:

Write a format like this:                User-agent: * 

                                                     Disallow: /URL Slug/

                                                     Disallow: /URL Slug/

                                                    Disallow: /URL Slug/abc/

                                                    Allow: /URL Slug/abc/def/

The star represents search engines and it means you do not allow any of the search engine crawlers to index that page. You can also specify a search engine by writing its name and its crawlers will be restricted only, not others.

You can simply copy that code and upload it through cpanel in your website and the file must be saved by the name of robots.txt file. Be careful not to capitalize ‘r’ and do not forget ‘s’ at the end. txt must also be written in lowercase letters.

3: Canonical Tags

canonical tag

A canonical tag is an HTML element that specifies to the search engines the primary or master copy of a webpage. It indicates that a group of pages which are similar or duplicate prefers one specific URL to be indexed. 

Canonical tags avoid duplicate content and indexation of many versions of a single page. This results in high traffic and page authority in which one version is indexed and will be ranked. 

Canonical tags are used if you have similar or duplicate contents under different URLs and you want to choose the main URL for them to be indexed and the page will only be visible in that address. It redirects all the other URLs to the main and primary URL.

Canonical tags are important because search engines must know which version of the page to be indexed. It specifies the chosen and primary one and provides it to the search engines for indexing.

It saves your crawl budget and prevents crawlers from wasting time. It also affects your ranking since search engines will not understand which version of the page to be ranked for the relevant keyword and it damages your ranking. By specifying the primary URL, you improve crawling, indexing, and ranking of your content.

You might think that you do not need canonical tags because you do not publish duplicate content in your website, but there is a problem which is prevalent among e-commerce websites. Sometimes your website generates URLs by itself and search engines crawl the URLs and index them (that is why we submit a sitemap.xml).

In order to get sure you must check the amount of your indexed pages which are visible at the SERP. If there are more indexed pages than the pages in your website, it is called canonical issues and the only reliable and easy way to solve the problem is to add canonical tags in the head section of your pages.

How to Apply Canonical Tags:

Setting a canonical tag for your page is an easy process. It is always recommended to choose the absolute and correct version of the domain as your canonical tag. For instance; it is better to use https://www.example.com/ rather than www.example.com. 

You can set a canonical tag for WordPress websites through WordPress plugins and for the non-WordPress websites the developer adds the following code to the head section of the page.

<link rel=“canonical” href=“https://example.com/sample-page/” />

An example of canonical tags could be if you search the domain name example.com, it directly opens the homepage of the website for you and takes the primary URL of the page which is https://www.example.com/. This shows a successful canonicalization.

4: Broken Links and 404 Page

broken links and 404 page

A broken link is a page which cannot be found or accessed by a user for various reasons. It is a page which does not exist on our website. 

Broken Links can damage user traffic because they will land on a page where they do not want and cannot find the page they are looking for.

There could be several reasons why a page is not accessible:

  • The URL address has changed without any redirection
  • The  page is deleted
  • The image or content you search its URL to enter the page is changed or deleted.

There are two types of broken links: 1: Broken Links from your page or website  2: Broken Backlinks

You can check for any broken link in your website through SEO tools and also Google Search Console.

404 page: 

it is an error page which appears when a requested web page is not available. 

You can customize your 404 error page by adding an option to redirect users to your homepage or you can add the search bar and some pages to keep users engaged and get them to navigate your website. As a result, they might be able to find a relevant page in your website and it improves user experience.

5: Redirection (301 & 302)

301 and 302 redirections

A redirection is to send users and search engines from one URL to another different one. It redirects you to the new URL which is specified for the prior page. It leads the search engine crawlers and users to the new address assigned for the same content.

Redirections play a vital role in keeping your page authority and traffic. You will not lose your traffic by redirecting them to the correct address and also it saves your backlinks and page authority. 

Redirections are the best ways to handle duplicate content issues and also managing users’ landing on broken links. It saves your page indexation and ranking either.

There are 2 main types of redirection:

301 Redirection:

it signals permanent redirection of a page or website from one URL to another different one. Whenever users search for the old URL, they will be automatically redirected to the new URL and all of your traffic is saved. It also sends all the ranking power to the new URL.         

You can set a 301 redirection through CMS by installing a suitable plugin and        following some easy steps. There are some reason why we apply a 301 redirection:

  • Your web page or website has totally moved to a new URL address.
  • The domain name has changed
  • The ownership of the business has changed
  • There is duplicate page or post
  • You have changed your website from http to https (which is also possible through canonical tags)

302 Redirection:

it signals temporary redirection from one URL to another. We typically apply it when the website is under maintenance or there is not any content in it yet. It is important because it keeps users engaged and they will not face a blank page which is useless. It is possible to set a 302 redirection through CMS and plugins very easily.

6: Schema Markups 

schema markups

It is a structured data vocabulary that helps search engines better understand what is on your website. Structured data is systematic data or language which is understandable for search engine crawlers. It can also be referred to as codes which are used by search engine crawlers to categorize the data.

Schema Markups are one of the important Technical SEO factors and it is displayed at the search engine result page. Not only it provides data for search engine crawlers but also it displays a rich result for the users. It gives a comprehensive summary of your web page that differentiate between you and your competitors.

It is a ranking factor either, because it helps you display more information on the SERP. it makes your webpage unique and a rich result for the relevant keyword. It looks way more attractive than only having URL, title, and meta description displayed at the SERP. 

While meta tags like permalinks, title tags, and meta description are important ranking factors and we consider them as the most important on-page factor for all sorts of websites, what do you think of Schema Markups? Without a doubt it is even more important because it displays your website/webpage very attractive at the SERP and enhances the chances of getting more click-through-rate.

You can create schema markup for different types of contents whether it is a product for selling, a recipe, or biography. There are hundreds of types of schema markups and each is used for a specific purpose. Some of the famous types of schema markups are listed below:

  • Breadcrumb
  • Organization
  • Event
  • Profile
  • Place 
  • Product
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Reviews

Let’s consider this example: you have a content for Pizza recipe and you want it to rank at the top of SERP, you optimize meta tags,but as you see your competitors they use very rich  snippets which can get more clicks and attract consumers.

Now, you must think of creating something like those in order to rank high and enhance click-through-rate. Therefore, you generate schema markup to make your appearance visually attractive and provide a good summary of your recipe. You can add image, cooking time, reviews, and some ingredients and provide an attractive clickable result for the searchers.

We use schema markups for three main reasons:

  • To help crawlers better understand our content
  • To improve the appearance of our website/webpage at the SERP
  • To get more click-through-rate

Rich Snippets and Featured Snippets:

rich snippets and featured snippets

As we learned about rich results and snippets, we must understand that there is a difference between rich snippets and featured snippets.

Rich snippets or results are schema markups we generate, but featured snippets are not generated by us and they are not schema markups.

Featured snippets are added in the SERP for some queries by Google itself and it extracts relevant information for the query from the content. Featured snippets have different structures than schema markups. 

How to Generate Schema Markups?

To generate a schema markup, you need a schema markup generator tool like Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper, Schema Markup Generator, JSON-LD Schema Generator, and etc. Then specify your schema type for your content and fill out the necessary information.

You can add the schema to your website through accessing your website’s HTML and insert it in the head or body section of your HTML. Use the rich results test tool by Google to validate your schema markup and ensure it is implemented correctly. Now, you can update your website and submit the schema to Google and it will be indexed.

You can also generate and  add schema markups to your web pages or website through WordPress plugins. Schema Markups are structured data languages that we add to our website and the crawlers see and read the code, but it  appears for users as a rich result.

7: Open Graph

Open Graph

It is an internet protocol that is used to provide rich experiences in social networks using meta data on a webpage. 

It was originally created by Facebook, but then, got popular and every social media platform has a similar to it by their preferred name.

Open graph protocol is used for integrating web content with social media. It is a set of rules which define how data is sent and received over a network.

Basic Open Graph Tags are:

  • Og: title
  • Og: type (website or article)
  • Og: image
  • og:URL

Some other additional tags are:

  • Og: description
  • Og: locale (language and territory)
  • Og: site-name
  • Og: video

X or Formerly Twitter  has twitter cards. These cards are used to define what kind of display you want to show in social media feeds.

8: Page Speed Optimization 

page speed optimization

It refers to the process of increasing and improving page load time. It is one of the main and primary Technical SEO factors which affects user experience and also ranking of the web page or website. Fast loading web pages or websites lead to user satisfaction and enhance the traffic to our website.

 

You will definitely lose user traffic, engagement, and dwell time if your website is loading slowly and it damages your ranking and user experience. In order to prevent any issue regarding page load time, you must optimize the following elements:

  1. Image Compression: keep your images under 100kb because large size images slow down your website and increase page load time.
  2. Use Webp Format: use this format because it depicts images with a high quality and very small size.
  3. Minify JavaScript and CSS Files: remove white blank spaces and unnecessary characters from codes. This strategy reduces file size and increases speed.
  4. Optimize CSS Files
  5. Reduce Redirects: decreasing the number of redirects leads to a fast website because redirections take some extra time which can badly affect the user experience.
  6. Choose the right hosting option: consider your business and website traffic and choose your hosting accordingly to avoid speed reduction.
  7. Apply Content Delivery Network (CDN): it distributes your website’s content across the global servers. It delivers the content to the user from the closest server which decreases page load time.
  8.  Reduce Server Response Time: optimize server side codes and infrastructure to reduce the time it takes a server to provide results for the request.
  9. Enable Browser caching: it allows old users to access your web pages or website quickly and it saves time and speeds up the page.
  10. Defer Large Elements: it is the postponement of heavy-resource components which are not necessary for the immediate display.
  11. Enable Lazy Load: it delays the loading of unnecessary resources until they are needed. For instance; images below the fold which are visible only if the user scrolls down and it will appear then.
  12. Asynchronous loading of JS and CSS files: Loading files asynchronously allows them to be fetched in parallel with other page resources, reducing the impact on page load time. It is recommended for large JavaScript files which are not visible at the beginning.

Optimize your page speed by implementing the above strategies. These are the certified strategies which increase your web speed and performance and result in better user experience. Make sure to check your website speed and performance consistently using different tools and solve any arising problem.

9: Mobile Optimization:

mobile optimization

Mobile optimization is considered to be an important Technical SEO Factor. It refers to the process of ensuring that a website is designed and structured to provide an ideal experience for users on mobile devices. 

Google considers mobile optimization an important ranking factor due to the vast majority of users and mobile usage across the globe. It even prioritizes mobile optimization and ranks the websites higher which are mobile friendly.

If you want your website to rank higher at the SERP and achieve more traffic, do not ignore mobile optimization and set a mobile friendly version for your website. Here are some element you must take into account:

  1. Responsive Design: Ensuring that your website layout adjusts dynamically to fit different screen sizes and resolutions, providing a consistent user experience across devices.
  2. Mobile Page Speed: Optimizing page load times for mobile devices, considering factors such as image optimization, server response times, and minimizing render-blocking resources.
  3. Mobile-Friendly Navigation: Designing navigation menus and user interface elements that are easy to use on touchscreens and smaller screens, improving usability and user engagement.
  4. Mobile-Friendly Content: Structuring content to be easily readable and digestible on mobile devices, avoiding large blocks of text and optimizing font sizes.
  5. Mobile-Specific Markup: Implementing structured data markup (e.g., Schema.org) for mobile-specific features, such as click-to-call buttons and mobile app deep linking.

10: W3C Validation:

w3c validation

W3C stands for the World Wide Web Consortium. It is the process of checking website’s HTML and CSS codes to make sure they follow the proper coding guidelines and syntax set by World Wide Web Consortium. 

W3C Validation ensures that the website contains well-formatted markups and it is an important factor to validate technical quality of a website.

W3C Validation helps improve your ranking at the SERP because errors in your codes can affect your website performance. It improves website’s performance and provides an error free and user-friendly website to the users.

You can validate your website through W3C Validation tools. By validating your website you can improve page load time and adhere to current web standards. It demonstrates professionalism and enhances the website’s reputation and credibility.

How to Perform or Conduct Technical SEO Audit

how to perform technical seo audit

By conducting an all-inclusive Technical SEO audit, you will  be able to get an insight about your website. It is an important SEO Audit section and always prioritized by SEO experts. Moreover, it is essential for noticing any issue and taking steps for solving it.

Technical SEO Audit is the process of evaluating technical aspects of a website to obtain a view about the website performance and identifying opportunities to make it better and rank higher.

Whenever you notice issues in your website performance or sudden decrease in traffic and ranking, perform a Technical SEO Audit because it might have occurred due to Technical issues and must be recognized and fixed.

Importance of Technical SEO Audit

Technical SEO Audit plays a vital role in revitalizing a website and recognizing all the issues and errors it has. It provides a complete insight about our website and makes us take steps for its solution.

Technical SEO is an important optimization factor which must be taken into account. Optimization of technical elements helps search engines find, crawl, and store your data in its database quickly and easily. In addition, it improves user experience and enhances your ranking at the SERP.

We discussed Factors of Technical SEO in this article and acquired a primary understanding of them. Some of them are about optimizing websites for search engine crawlers to better understand it like; sitemap.xml. robots.txt file, Canonical Tags, fixing broken links, and etc…

Some of the factors are about optimizing websites to improve user experience like; sitemap.html, 404 page and redirection, schema markups, and open graphs. In any case, there is a need for a thorough evaluation and assessment of these factors whether they are applied correctly or there are issues to get alert and fix.

Technical SEO Audit Checklist

technical seo audit checklist

The following elements must be checked in Technical SEO Audit and fixed if there was a problem:

  • Website speed or page load time which is highly necessary and the main goal of our audit.
  • Mobile responsiveness which is an important ranking factor and prioritized by Google over the Desktop version of a website.
  • Canonical issues and duplicate content.
  • 404 page and redirections
  • Sitemaps
  • No-index files and robots.txt files

Tools and Duration

SEO tools and duration

There are many tools, softwares and websites you can use to conduct a Technical SEO Audit. You can use screaming frog which is the most famous tool and has been used for many years, ahrefs site audit, page speed insight, seo optimer, and many other tools.

Using Google Analytics and Google Search Console are also the best additional choices to include in your audit process. It helps tracking your website performance before and after audit and provides you with some necessary information regarding your website.

A Technical SEO Audit might take a long time and it is impossible to run an audit in 2 hours and notice all the problems and find the solutions. It differs according to the website’s volume and might take from 48 to 144 hours.

Conclusion:

Technical SEO is one of the important On-page SEO factors which is considered as an important optimization element to rank higher organically. In this blog post we learned Technical SEO, its importance, factors of Technical SEO, and how to perform a Technical SEO Audit. 

It was an ultimate guide to Technical SEO that covered all the aspects of Technical SEO. You can implement Technical SEO factors to rank organically at the SERP and help search engines better understand your website.

It also helps users to interact well with your website and as a result you will experience rapid growth, higher leads & traffic, boost in revenue & ranking, and establish your authority online through organic ways.

Frequently Asked Question:

frequently asked questions

What is technical SEO with examples?

Technical SEO is the practice of improving Technical elements and factors of a website to enhance its ranking at the SERP. Making a website easily crawlable and understandable for search engines, page speed optimization, and improving user experience are the examples of Technical SEO.

What is the difference between technical SEO and SEO?

Technical SEO is a part of SEO that refers to the practices involved in optimizing the back-end of a website. It consists of generating and submitting sitemaps, canonical tags, structured data, and etc.

Why is technical SEO important?

It is important because it makes our webpage/website understandable for search engines to crawl and index it and as a result it will rank high. It improves user experience and get users to choose our website and click on it.

What does a technical SEO expert do?

A Technical SEO expert improves the back, structure, and security of your website which are all Technical optimization factors, correct the errors and flaws in your website, conduct a Technical SEO Audit, and as a result improves your ranking.

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