Mastering all the fundamentals of SEO helps you becoming an expert or grow your website with organic traffic loads. In such case, you should understand the complete guide on technical SEO.
Most experts say, Don’t optimize for search engines, optimize for users. But how does a web page rank, if they are not crawled by search engines?
Start with the above question, as you’re going to learn the complete concept behind the technical robustness of a website, and it’s role in SEO.
What Is Technical SEO?
The process of optimizing the technical components of the website that requires webmaster skills are known as technical SEO.
It starts from working on codes, XML sitemap, robots.txt for crawling, indexing, and rendering to hosting and page experience.
The basics of SEO starts with crawl accessibility, and then the keyword and SEO-optimized or helpful content are important. In recent years, Google is estimating real-world user experience as one of the top ranking factors.
Thus, from 2021, SEO world has seen updates like Core Web Vitals, and Page experience for mobile and desktop.
Even in the recent core updates happened in May and September 2022, the prime focus was provided to usability of web pages.
Technical SEO Importance
You can never be a pro SEO professional or agency without developing the core skills to work with technical components of website.
Even as a business owner, you should be careful on choosing an SEO agency like us who have vast knowledge and experience in technical aspect of a website.
Before moving forward, you should split technical stuff behind SEO into
- crawl accessibility,
- user or page experience.
Here are few importance of technical SEO that you should employ in your website today.
- You can have great content, quality backlinks. But, if you’re page is not crawlable or indexable by search engine, it’s just a futile web page on internet.
- To optimize crawling, you should understand the concept of optimizing robots.txt, XML sitemap, and robots meta tag.
- No CMS plugins will help your web pages to recover from page indexing issues like crawled-currently not indexed, discovered – currently not indexed.
- Since mobilegeddon update on 2015, Google search engine perform mobile-first indexing. So, it’s mandatory for any web page to be mobile friendly (usability).
- Most of SEO professionals think, Google search console is to check organic traffic from Google. But, it’s one of the best technical SEO tools that provide viability on
- page indexing issues,
- mobile Usability Issues,
- page Experience and Core Web Vital status,
- rich results,
- manual actions and security issues.
- Mobile usability, HTTPS, Core Web Vitals are vital Google ranking factors.
- Since 2021, Google shares equal potential to usability of web pages with good content and authority backlinks.
- The faster the web page loads in mobile (less than 2.5 seconds), the greater the chance of ranking higher in SERP (search engine results page).
- Proper optimizing on structured data (schema markup) can get good results in SERP.
- We have seen a huge drop in Google organic traffic on the web pages that failed in Core Web Vitals.
Technical SEO Guide
To know more on best practice to optimize the technical components, we have decoded into various chapters for better and detailed understanding.
Technical SEO Tools You Should Know
To make your practise ease, you should have ample experience and understanding on the technical SEO tools available in the market. Most tools I am going to discuss are free, yet will increase your skills by 5x when you use them holistic.
1. Google Search Console
In this list, Google search console comes as first choice of technical SEO tools. GSC helps you to get a 360 degree view on coverage/page indexing, Page Experience, enhancement (rich results) status and issues.
Apart from this, you can also check advanced details like crawl stats, manual actions, and security issues.
Under page indexing sections, you get two options—Indexed, and Not-Indexed. Indexed web pages don’t have coverage issues. In contrast, Not-indexed web pages would be affected by any coverage issues, you should check each issues, and the affected web pages.
Page Experience section provide you the visibility of the issues on core web vitals, HTTPS, mobile usability.
2. Mobile Usability Test
It is another free tool from Google to check whether your web page is mobile-friendly. It’s mandate to validate each and every web page whether they pass mobile usability.
As Google prefers mobile-first indexing, your web pages should be well optimizied for mobile screens.
3. Page Speed Insight
Page speed insight tool is used to analyze the lighthouse components— Core web vitals and other web vitals. When your website has ample of organic traffic, you get the details of both lab (chrome) and field (real-world) data.
Page Speed insight highlights the details like,
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- First Input Delay (FID)
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
- First Contentful Paint (FCP)
- Total Blocking Tine (TBT)
- Time to First Byte (TTFB)
- Speed Index
- Next Interactive Paint
- Time to Interactive.
Same time, you can get the details of issues, opportunities, and diagnostics for any poor web vitals.
With these details, it gives a clarity for developers and SEO experts to resolve the issues.
Technical SEO Best Practices
Here are the proven strategies you should deploy in daily activities to optimize all potential pages index, and pass core web vitals.
Technical SEO is basically of two types— Crawl accessibility and Page experience.
So, never complicate yourself on thinking too much or assuming technical is never an easy. Once you understand the concept, you can be a true SEO expert.
Start your practise with an Technical SEO Audit.
Technical SEO Audit:
Audit is the primary job an SEO expert/specialist/consultant should do. It helps you to understand the exact reasion, why your website are bleeding their organic traffic.
To do this, you should have a proper SOP or checklist. As these checklist makes your process simple, rapid to diagnose the issues, and fix them with immediate effect.
Your audit process should have the following,
- List of all URL (web pages) that should be indexed.
- Index Status
- Coverage Issues Status (if page is excluded from indexing).
- Check whether Robots.txt block the URl from crawling.
- Is the URL present in XML sitemap.
- Does Robots Tag exclude from indexing
- User-selected Canonical.
- Google-selected canonical.
- Is Google and User-selected canonical same?
- Internal Duplicate Content.
- Does the URL passed page experience.
- Does the web page passed Core Web Vitals?
- Is the web page mobile-friendly?
- Does the hosting has ample storage with 99.9% uptime?
- Do your website has cache system?
and many more.
If you need an expert team to assist you in auditing the technical components of your website, you can reach us for a comprehensive site audit with solutions.
Try to Address Coverage Issues
Most important for any SEO effort is to get the webb page indexed. Because, without indexing, you can’t rank them.
To do this, you can use Google search console for URL inspection
Once you done so, you will get a detaied report containing,
- Last crawl date.
- Which bot crawled
- Crawl allowed (is robots.txt allow to crawl)
- Page Fetch (Doen DNS allows page fetch)
- Indexing allowed— Here you get the reason why the web page is not indexed.
- User-Declared canonical.
- Google selected Canonical.
Once you find the issue, resolve them using techniques we shared in Google index coverage issues article.
Check Whether Robots.txt Blocks Crawlers
You can use tools like Robots.txt Tester to find, whether the web page is crawlable by Google bots.
If a potential page is blocked by robots.txt, then you should fix the disallow directive of the robots.txt file.
Is the Web Page is found in XML Sitemap
XML sitemap helps crawlers to find new web pages, even if they are referred by internal or external web pages. So, its important for any web page to be in sitemap.xml.
Same time, a web page with robots tag “index”, and present in sitemap.xml get a sooner indexation compared to the web page that’s not found.
Is User-Declared and Google-selected Canonical Same?
This is the method to figure out to fix the duplicate content on the website. If Google doesn’t chose the user-declared, then it’s a signal of duplicate content.
If you have any duplicate content in the web page, it’s high time, you need to fix them.
Validate Whether a Web Page is Mobile Friendly
As discussed in the technical SEO tools sections, use mobile-friendly test to understand, whether a web page is mobile friendly.
If they are not mobile-friendly, here are few common reason,
- Clickable elements too closer together.
- Uses incompatible plugins.
- Viewport not set.
- Viewport not set to “device width”.
- Content wider than screen.
- Text too small to read.
Once you get the detail of the issue that cause your web page fail mobile friendly text, fix them according to the guidelines.
Fix Core Web Vitals
Core web vitals is an important SEO ranking factor, and Google provides a high attention towards usability of web pages in recent core updates.
Core web vitals is what now accounts to essential metrics to validate the website loading speed.
There are numerous components you need to fix to pass core web vitals and page experience.
- Use reliable cloud servers with maximum storage and 99.9% uptime.
- Install cache layers.
- Eliminate render-blocking resources.
- Remove unused CSS files.
- Optimize images with less than 100 kb, and use them in new generation formats like webp.
- Use lazyload for images.
- Keep videos under 2MB, and serve in webm format.
- Use proper dimensions for images, and other multimedia
- Use DOM size less than 800 nodes.
- Keep request counts low and transfer sizes small.
- Defer offscreen images
- Avoid enormous network payloads
- Reduce initial server response.
- Minimize main-thread work
- Ensure text remains visible during webfont load
- Reduce the impact of third-party code
- Technical SEO is never an option, it’s always a need. The problem why most avoid is, the lack of knowledge.
- This article has illustrated A to Z of how to understand and perform technical components of the website.
- If you still couldn’t find a solution, book our technical SEO services.