What is technical SEO?
technical SEO refers to improving the technical aspects of a web site in club to increase the rank of its pages in the search engines. Making a web site fast, easier to crawl and apprehensible for search engines are the pillars of technical foul optimization. technical SEO is part of on-page SEO, which focuses on improving elements on your web site to get higher rankings. It ’ s the face-to-face of off-page SEO, which is about generating exposure for a web site through other channels .
Why should you optimize your site technically?
Google and other search engines want to present their users with the best possible results for their question. therefore, Google ’ s robots crawl and evaluate web pages on a multitude of factors. Some factors are based on the user ’ sulfur experience, like how fast a page load. early factors help search engine robots grasp what your pages are approximately. This is what, amongst others, structured data does. therefore, by improving technical aspects you help search engines crawl and understand your web site. If you do this well, you might be rewarded with higher rankings or even rich results .
It besides works the other way around : if you make unplayful technical mistakes on your locate, they can cost you. You wouldn ’ triiodothyronine be the first to block search engines entirely from crawling your web site by incidentally adding a trailing slash in the incorrectly stead in your robots.txt file.
But it ’ s a misconception you should focus on the technical details of a web site merely to please research engines. A web site should work well – be fast, absolved, and easy to use – for your users in the inaugural position. fortunately, creating a solid technical foundation often coincides with a better experience for both users and search engines .
What are the characteristics of a technically optimized website?
A technically phone web site is firm for users and easy to crawl for search locomotive robots. A proper technical foul apparatus helps search engines to understand what a web site is about and it prevents confusion caused by, for example, duplicate content. furthermore, it doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate air visitors, nor search engines, into dead-end streets by non-working links. here, we ’ ll shortly go into some crucial characteristics of a technically optimized web site .
1. It’s fast
Nowadays, web pages need to load fast. People are impatient and don ’ metric ton want to wait for a page to open. In 2016 already, research showed that 53 % of mobile web site visitors will leave if a web page doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate open within three seconds. so if your web site is slow, people get frustrated and move on to another web site, and you ’ ll miss out on all that traffic .
Google knows slow web pages offer a less than optimum experience. Therefore they prefer world wide web pages that load faster. so, a behind web page besides ends up farther down the search results than its fast equivalent, resulting in even less traffic. And, in 2021, Page experience, referring to how fast people experience a web foliate to be, will even become a rank agent. So you better organize !
Wondering if your web site is fast enough ? Read how to easily test your site speed. Most tests will besides give you pointers on what to improve. You can besides take a expect at the Core Web vitals as Google uses them to indicate Page know. And, we ’ ll guide you through common web site amphetamine optimization tips here .
2. It’s crawlable for search engines
Search engines use robots to crawl or spider your web site. The robots follow links to discover contentedness on your locate. A great home connect structure will make surely that they ’ ll understand what the most authoritative contented on your locate is .
But there are more ways to guide robots. You can, for case, block them from crawling sealed contented if you don ’ metric ton want them to go there. You can besides let them crawl a page, but tell them not to show this page in the search results or not to follow the links on that page .
You can give robots directions on your web site by using the robots.txt file. It ’ s a potent creature, which should be handled carefully. As we mentioned in the beginning, a small mistake might prevent robots from crawling ( significant parts of ) your web site. sometimes, people unintentionally block their site ’ mho CSS and JS files in the robot.txt charge. These files contain code that tells browsers what your site should look like and how it works. If those files are blocked, search engines can ’ t find out if your site works by rights .
All in all, we recommend to very dive into robots.txt if you want to learn how it works. Or, possibly evening better, let a developer treat it for you !
The meta robots tag
The robots meta tag is a part of code that you won ’ thymine see on the page as a visitor. It ’ south in the beginning code in the alleged head section of a foliate. Robots read this section when finding a page. In it, they ’ ll find information about what they ’ ll find on the foliate or what they need to do with it .
If you want search engine robots to crawl a page, but to keep it out of the search results for some argue, you can tell them with the robots meta tag. With the robots meta tag, you can besides instruct them to crawl a page, but not to follow the links on the page. With Yoast SEO it ’ sulfur easy to noindex or nofollow a post or page. Learn for which pages you ’ five hundred lack to do that .
Read more : What is crawlability ? »
We ’ ve discussed that behind websites are frustrating. What might be tied more annoying for visitors than a boring page, is landing on a page that doesn ’ t exist at all. If a connection leads to a non-existing page on your site, people will encounter a 404 error page. There goes your cautiously crafted user know !
What ’ s more, search engines don ’ metric ton like to find these erroneousness pages either. And, they tend to find flush more dead links than visitors encounter because they follow every radio link they bump into, evening if it ’ s shroud .
unfortunately, most sites have ( at least ) some dead links, because a web site is a continuous work in progress : people make things and break things. fortunately, there are tools that can help you retrieve dead links on your web site. Read about those tools and how to solve 404 errors .
To prevent unnecessary dead links, you should constantly redirect the URL of a page when you delete it or move it. ideally, you ’ vitamin d redirect it to a page that replaces the erstwhile page. With Yoast SEO Premium, you can well make redirects yourself. No need for a developer !
Keep read : What is a redirect ? »
4. It doesn’t confuse search engines with duplicate content
If you have the same content on multiple pages of your site – or even on other sites – search engines might get confused. Because, if these pages show the like contented, which one should they rank highest ? As a leave, they might rank all pages with the same subject lower .
unfortunately, you might have a duplicate capacity return without even knowing it. Because of technical reasons, different URLs can show the same content. For a visitor, this doesn ’ t make any difference, but for a search locomotive it does ; it ’ ll see the same content on a unlike URL .
fortunately, there ’ s a technical foul solution to this issue. With the alleged, canonic radio link component you can indicate what the original page – or the page you ’ d like to rank in the search engines – is. In Yoast SEO you can easily set a canonic URL for a page. And, to make it easy for you, Yoast SEO adds self-referencing canonic links to all your pages. This will help prevent duplicate capacity issues that you ’ d might not even be aware of .
5. It’s secure
A technically optimized web site is a plug web site. Making your web site safe for users to guarantee their privacy is a basic prerequisite present. There are many things you can do to make your ( WordPress ) web site secure, and one of the most crucial things is implementing HTTPS .
HTTPS makes certain that no-one can intercept the data that ’ south commit over between the browser and the site. thus, for case, if people log in to your locate, their credentials are dependable. You ’ ll need a alleged SSL certificate to implement HTTPS on your site. Google acknowledges the importance of security and therefore made HTTPS a rank signal : plug websites rank higher than insecure equivalents .
You can easily check if your web site is HTTPS in most browsers. On the left-hand side of the search bar of your browser, you ’ ll see a lock in if it ’ second dependable. If you see the words “ not secure ” you ( or your developer ) have some work to do !
Read on : What is HTTPS ? »
6. Plus: it has structured data
Structured data helps search engines understand your web site, content or even your business better. With structure data you can tell search engines, what kind of intersection you sell or which recipes you have on your site. Plus, it will give you the opportunity to provide all kinds of details about those products or recipes .
Because there ’ s a fixed format ( described on Schema.org ) in which you should provide this information, search engines can easily find and understand it. It helps them to place your contentedness in a bigger picture. here, you can read a floor about how it works and how Yoast SEO helps you with that. For exemplify, Yoast SEO creates a Schema graph for your locate and has exempt structured data capacity blocks for your How-to and FAQ content .
Implementing structured data can bring you more than merely a better understand by search engines. It besides makes your message eligible for full-bodied results ; those glistening results with stars or details that stand out in the search results .
7. Plus: It has an XML sitemap
Simply put, an XML sitemap is a list of all pages of your site. It serves as a roadmap for search engines on your web site. With it, you ’ ll make sure research engines won ’ metric ton miss any important content on your site. The XML sitemap is often categorized in posts, pages, tags or other custom station types and includes the number of images and the last limited date for every page .
ideally, a web site doesn ’ t need an XML sitemap. If it has an internal yoke social organization which connects all subject nicely, robots won ’ t need it. however, not all sites have a great structure, and having an XML sitemap won ’ t do any injury. So we ’ five hundred always advise having an XML site map on your site .
8. Plus: International websites use hreflang
If your locate targets more than one state or countries where the lapp language is spoken, search engines need a little serve to understand which countries or terminology you ’ re trying to reach. If you help them, they can show people the mighty web site for their area in the search results .
Hreflang tags help you do equitable that. You can define for a page which country and terminology it is meant for. This besides solves a potential duplicate content problem : even if your US and UK locate show the same content, Google will know it ’ randomness written for a different region .
Optimizing international websites is quite a specialization. If you ’ d like to learn how to make your external sites social station, we ’ d advise taking a attend at our Multilingual SEO trail .
Want to learn more about this?
so this is technical SEO in a nutshell. It ’ second quite a batch already, while we ’ ve only scratched the come on here. There ’ sulfur so much more to tell about the technical side of SEO ! Want to learn more ? Check out our detached Structured datum for beginners training. Want to learn everything ? If you get Yoast SEO Premium, you ’ ll get entree to all of our training courses and our configuration workout that helps you configure your site and build a potent SEO foundation .
Keep on recitation : How to learn SEO : A template for all backgrounds »
Take our technical SEO quiz
There ’ mho more ! You can besides take our technical foul SEO fitness quiz if you want to know how burst your web site ’ mho technical SEO is. This quiz helps you figure out what you need to work on and points you in the correct direction to start improving your site .
Read more : WordPress SEO : the definitive guide »
Willemien is the Manager Content of yoast.com. She loves creating user-friendly capacity and making it easy to find for people and search engines .