Technical SEO: Definition, Benefits, and How to Optimize It
Apart from creating article content and making your website look attractive, there are various other elements that you shouldn't miss so that your website appears in Google search.
Technical SEO is one of the three important pillars besides on page SEO and off page SEO in search engine optimization techniques. However, this strategy is often ignored by digital marketers. In fact, this one strategy has an important role to increase the ranking of your site.
What is Technical SEO?
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is an attempt to optimize a website to get a top ranking on search results pages.
While Technical SEO itself is the process of optimizing your website to help search engines like Google find, crawl, understand, index pages and display websites on search results pages or SERP (search engine result pages).
technical SEO is the process of maximizing various technical aspects of a site. Its function is to increase the ranking of the site's pages on search engines. Thus, this strategy does not relate directly to keywords, but to various technical elements of the website architecture that are behind a site, such as XML, secure sockets layer, Hreflang, sitemap, and HTTPs.
Why is Technical SEO important?
It's a shame if your article content is interesting but search engines can't find your website. That is a general description of how important Technical SEO is.
Quality and well-written content will not get organic traffic if search engines do not display it in the SERP. Even a high amount of traffic will also be useless if the audience is not comfortable with the long website loading.
Here are some reasons why technical SEO is so important for you to pay attention to:
- In line with Google Webmaster Guidelines.
- Search engines can browse (crawl) on every web page.
- Prevent search engines from finding pages you don't want displayed.
- Website content is easier for search engines to understand.
- Users feel comfortable when using the website.
- The appearance of the website can adjust to the user's device.
- Loading is much faster thus increasing user interaction on the website.
- Websites are displayed more attractively on search results pages.
SEO Technical Optimization Tips
There are four aspects that will be optimized with a technical SEO. These four aspects are related to how search engines work, namely:
- Crawlability: how easy it is for search engines to crawl the website.
- Indexing: how well search engines understand and index all web pages.
- Renderability: the ability of search engines to render or access, run code, assess content, and understand website layout visually.
- Ranking: how high the website ranks on the search results page.
Here are some tips for optimizing technical SEO that are important to apply to websites:
1. Use an Organized Website Structure
Your website structure is how all the pages on your website are arranged.
In this case, you can consider using a silo structure. Silo structure is a way of organizing your website content by dividing it into various categories and subcategories.
2. Optimizing the URL Structure
URL is a series of characters that serves as the document address of a website page. URLs are used by users or web crawlers to access website pages.
URLs that are created randomly and are not optimized can hinder the crawling and indexing process of the page. Therefore, you must create a simple and understandable website page URL structure.
The following are tips for creating user and search engine friendly URLs:
- Use words that are relevant to the content of the page.
- Enter the target keyword in the URL.
- Avoid using numbers, years, or other things that can change easily.
- Make URLs denser by removing unnecessary words.
- Each word is separated by a dash (-).
- Use lowercase letters so that users don't get confused when typing in the URL.
3. Make sure there is an sitemap XML on the website
There are 2 types of sitemaps, namely HTML sitemap and sitemap XML. HTML sitemap only visitors can access it, while the sitemap XML can be accessed by search engines.
sitemap XML is a file that contains all website page links. The sitemap XML is used by a web crawler, an automatic crawling robot, as a map for browsing and understanding website content.
The role of the sitemap XML file in the crawling process is vital. With this file, web crawlers can browse each page and understand the structure of your website.
In order for the XML sitemap to be used by search engines, you can upload it on Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools. Make sure that your sitemap XML file is always updated when there is new content.
How to create an XML sitemap on a website to optimize technical SEO using the Yoast SEO plugin:
- Install, then activate WordPress SEO from the Yoast plugin.
- Click the SEO menu, click Features, then activate the Advanced setting pages feature.
- This feature can activate an XML sitemap on your website. A new XML sitemap page will appear at the bottom of the SEO menu. In this menu you can set various settings, namely exclude particular posts or pages from the sitemap, max entries per sitemap, and others. Don't change anything, unless it requires a custom WordPress sitemap.
- In this step you can create an XML sitemap using the plugin. You can see the WordPress sitemap URL at the bottom of Your XML Sitemap.
4. Security SSL
One of the most basic things in technical SEO is website security, this can be started from SSL and Google itself recommends using HTTPS.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) has become the standard for encryption between servers and clients. Hosting and domain providers usually package this in every purchase.
5. Make sure there are no dead links
Dead link is a hyperlink on a site that leads to a website page that has been disabled. Generally, the page has been moved or deleted.
Actually, every site can have dead links. However, don't get too many of them. Because, the technical SEO of your site can be rated badly by search engines.
6. Improve Mobile-Friendliness
The increasing number of users accessing the website via smartphones has prompted Google to update its mobile-first algorithm more. Websites with a good mobile appearance will rank higher than other websites that are not mobile-friendly.
You can measure how responsive your website looks on mobile devices by using the Mobile Friendly Test from cmlabs. To identify problems and recommendations for improvements, you can also use Google Search Console.
7. Ensure No Duplicate Content
Never underestimate the same content in one site. Because this is one of the failure factors in technical SEO.
Besides confusing users, the same content can also make it difficult for your site to appear on the first page of the SERP. You can check it via Ahrefs or Google Search Console.
8. Make Sure There Is No Orphan Content
Orphan content is content that has no parents or no internal links. If you add internal links to the content on your website, the chance for a top website on the SERP will be even greater.
The more internal links that lead to your website pages, the more Google will think that these pages are important. Not only search engines, website visitors can also find it when opening your page on the internet.
Thus, the distribution of your content will be more effective. So, make sure your website does not have orphan content.
9. Avoid Thin Content
Do you have a web page with very short content? This type of content is classified as thin content.
Thin content is content that has little or no value to the user.
Google considers doorway pages, low-quality affiliate pages, pages with very little content to be thin content.
This is not a problem for only some of your website pages. But thin content can hurt your site's overall ranking. So, it's worth finding and fixing it.
Use hreflang to inform search engines about the various language variations on your website – if you are doing international targeting.
11. Increase Website Loading Speed
This technical SEO is very important for you to pay attention to. When web crawlers browse slow website pages, some of your website content may not be indexed in search engine databases. The slowness of a website makes the crawling process ineffective.
From the user's point of view, a slow website will certainly not provide a good experience for them. Thus, users will leave the website faster so that the website's bounce rate increases.
Here are several ways to increase website speed so that technical SEO is more optimal:
Reduce Unnecessary Plugins
Remove any plugins that you don't think you should install. Choose a number of plugins that you think are important and have a good effect on the website.
Reduce Image Size
reduce the pixel size of the images on your website. For example, an image is 780x420, after checking GTMetrix it should be 300x162.
try to choose an image with a size of less than 1 MB. If it's heavy, then your website loading will be slow.
Use Caching Plugins
Caching is the process of temporarily storing data coming from a website. The goal is to speed up the website loading process and optimize technical SEO.
Enable Gzip Compression
You can use a WordPress plugin called Check and Enable GZIP Compression to enable Gzip Compression. The goal is to reduce the file size. Thus, loading the website will take place faster.
Minify is the process of removing characters that you don't use in your code structure. Thus, the code file becomes lighter and can be executed quickly. Website loading is also faster and technical SEO is more optimal.
Use Hosting with High Speed Levels
First check the hosting you are using has speed problems or not. If there is a problem, you should immediately move all of your website data to a faster hosting service provider.
12. Make use of Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs can be a secondary navigation system to show the location of visitors on a website. Tracing links can help visitors to your website to track their tracks. Starting from the page you are currently on go to the home page of your website.
13. Use Structured Data
Structured data are lines of code that contain information about the content of a page. Structured data is made to tell the content explicitly to search engines so that it can understand a web page better.
Building structured data is an act of helping Google understand your website content through creating detailed site descriptions in language (code) that Google can easily understand.
For example, your structured data might include content or article titles, descriptions, and other elements embedded in code (schema) that Google likes.
You can try accessing Structured Data Markup Helper from Google to find out more about structured data.