Technical SEO:Step by step guide (2020)
- Updated 2020-09-07
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What is inside?
Technical SEO is one of the major SEO component. Making your website search engine friendly helps in ranking it #1 in google very fast. Inside this guide I will discuss complete technical SEO process step by step. As always, I will focus my discussion in Nepal’s context in my strategy.
Inside this guide you will learn everything about technical SEO.
Chapter 1: Overview of technical SEO
Chapter 2: Component of technical SEO
Chapter 3: My bonus tips for technical SEO
“If you go inside in to this guide, you will understand technical SEO in depth. And I am sure you will rank your site #1 in google, if you apply these tactics carefully”
We start with basic of technical SEO and go deep in to this to know everything about it. As always, I will focus my strategy in the context of Nepal.
Technical SEO is not only the website development. Making website better understandable by google is the primary task of technical SEO.
I will start with my own case studies…
When I have started my website, I thought my content will be rank better in search engine and I will grow my traffic dramatically.
I have waited for a year’s…but my graph was not changing at all…
And I have struggled for more than 2 years to rank my keyword higher in google…
But it was not at all working…
Finally, I have realized that I have lacking in some technical part…
I was totally nervous….
I was creating the content regularly and posting it through social media…
But again it was upss….
Whenever, I realized that, something is wrong with my site technically…
Then I have stated doing research on that….
And started implementing my learning to my site…
then, do you know what happened within 2 months?
See my graph below…
This is how I have increase my graph….
Today I am sharing with you how it happens?
Then what is technical SEO?
Technical SEO is process of improving the technical aspects of a website in order to increase the ranking of its pages in the search engines. While crawling site by googlebot, it need to understand your page and technical SEO help for that.
Generally, the word technical makes people scary, they think that they need to have coding knowledge. But, it’s not like that. Technical SEO is simple process, which anyone can do it easily.
Chapter 2: Component of Technical SEO
In this chapter we will go through individual technical SEO elements.
Let’s explore 10 major technical SEO component. Once you implement them correctly, you will definitely get better SEO result.
What are 10 components:
- Site Architecture
- Site Speed
- XML site map
- Canonical tags
- Dead Links (Broken Links)
- Mobile usability
- Robot.text files
- Duplicate Content
- Error Code
Let’s go through them one by one and finally we will celebrate the success.
1. Site Architecture
Start with example.
The stone placed here are balanced. So the statue is standing. Of any one of the stone in between is not balanced, then the statue gets crashed.
Same rule applies to your website….
If your site architecture is well balanced, then it will perform better….
Rules for site architecture:
-Make hierarchical architecture
-Maintain category and sub category ratio
-If your post is too much (more then 1000) then try to put it in sub category
Making better URL structure helps strong site architecture. So, organize your URL structure according to your site hierarchy.
In this structure URL structure for the Thimi branch would look like this:
Bad practice of site architecture.
In the below image you can see not uniformity in the site structure. So this types of practice in website architecture is bad from the prospective of SEO and user behavior.
How to check live site architecture?
You can check your site architecture live in Visual site mapper site.
2 Site speed:
If you browse any website to get your answer, how long do you wait?
5 second, 10 second and maximum 15 second, 20 secs right?
If this site does no load within your patient time that is (5 to 20 second) your simple skip and move toward another link.
Study says that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds time to load, you can read more about page load speed here
And the google also recommend that if your page load within 4 second, then it will push for great result.
So, your page load speed is important factor for your site to rank higher in google. And this is important from the prospective of google and user experience.
You can check your website page load speed using page speed insights tool , where you can see the speed score of your site or individual page.
If you site have any issues that harm for page load, it will recommend you with appropriate required action.
Here we go…
Let’s list out some actionable tips that help to increase your page speed.
Golden rule to increase page speed.
1. Use fast hosting
3. Reduce your page’s total size (use compress code)
4. Reduce image size
5. Remove spamy page
3. XML site map
What are XML sitemaps?
–In simple terms, sitemap is a list of a website’s URLs.
-A sitemap is a fast way to get indexed by Google.
You want Google to crawl every important page of your website. But sometimes, pages end up without finding them.
An XML sitemap lists a website’s important pages, making sure Google can find and crawl them all, also helping it understand your website structure:
So, it is recommended to crate site map of your landing page.
Benefit of XML sitemap:
The XML sitemap tells Google to crawl and index your website.
The XML sitemap tells Google what to crawl on your website.
The XML sitemap tells Google what kind of information is on your website.
The XML sitemap tells Google when your content was updated
The XML sitemap tells Google how important your content is.
How to create XML site map?
There are three steps to create XML site map:
1. Create your XML sitemap.
2. Add your XML sitemap to your website.
3. Submit your XML sitemap to Google.
We can do it in different way. Best way is using google search console tool.
Once you integrated google search console tool for your website, you can easily create site map.
4. Canonical tag and URL
If you have two different url with the same content, then google understand that your pages are duplicate.
For example, you have two url in to your site like this.
In this case google gets confuse which one is your important url. In this case you can use canonical tag to specify one important URL so that google index that one.
A canonical URL is the URL of the page that Google thinks is most representative from a set of duplicate pages on your site.
A canonical tag (rel=“canonical”) is a snippet of HTML code that defines the main version for duplicate, near-duplicate and similar pages.
Using canonical tag is good idea for duplicate page.
How to use canonical tag?
It’s simple html tag, you can use (https://www.semrush.com/blog/canonical-url-guide/) like this.
5. Dead Links (broken links)
-Broken internal links can make it harder for Googlebot to find and crawl your site’s pages.
It’s good idea to redirect your broken link. Or it is also called broken link building.
You can see your url status using screaming frog tool. You can see the error code if any links are not doing well.
Also, you can see using google search console tool.
6. Mobile Usability
What do you use more to browse internet?
Of course mobile right?
Not only you…
Majority of the people use mobile phone to browse internet…
If the text in website is too small or too large or scattered or out of screen…
What do you do?
You simply not going to read this content…
So if this is the case, then your site will not perform well…
Make sure that your site is mobile friendly.
How to check your site is mobile usability?
Google search console is the best way to check if your site is performing well in mobile. You can check in mobility usability report in left site.
7. Robot.txt file
Robots.txt is a text file with instructions for search engine crawler, that tells web robots which pages on your site to crawl and which page not to crawl.
It’s text file uploaded in public folder.
Creating robot.txt file is not much technical, you can simple create this file using text document.
Before going to create robot.txt file we need to understand user agent.
Google: Googlebot (googlebot is user agent for google)
Google Images: Googlebot-Image (Googlebot-Image is user agent for Google Images)
Bing: Bingbot (bingbot is user agent for Bing)
Yahoo: Slurp (Slurp is user agent for yahoo)
Baidu: Baiduspider (Baiduspider is useragent for baidu)
DuckDuckGo: DuckDuckBot (DuckDuckBot is user agent for DuckDuckGo)
Example of creating robit.txt file.
This rule would tell Googlebot not to index the image folder of your website.
You can also use an asterisk (*) to speak to any and all bots that stop by your website.
The “*” tells any and all spiders to NOT crawl your images folder.
8. Duplicate Content
Content you copy from others site is not only duplicate content. It can be within your site too. If your site has different URL but same content in different page, this is also considered as duplicate content.
If content is duplicate, google is not going to prioritize you.
So, make sure you have unique content within your site.
You can check duplicate content using copyscape tool.
9. Error Codes
When you browse site, you might have been observing the page like this:
This error is called page not available or removed.
These are the page error. Understanding them is helpful to make your site SEO friendly.
Let’s understand what error code represents:
1. Status code 200: This means ok or page load is success
2. Status code 404: Page can’t be found, page was removed and no longer exists,
3. Soft 404s: Page is no longer exists but still reruns status code of 200.
4. Status code 500: server error
5. Status code 503: service is not available or server is down or temporary error
If you see these code while browsing, this means your site have some issues. So make sure that, you resolve them.
If your page does not exist or broken, then it is good idea to redirect them. There are three ways to redirect:
1. Permanent redirects (301)
2. Temporary redirects (302)
3. Meta refresh: it is rarely used redirects, this is slower and notices by user.
You can learn about redirect techniques.
If page is not existing or removed, it’s good to redirect it to new page.
Chapter 3: Bonus tips
Let's see some important bonus for you
Tool to check technical issues
2. Google search console
Additional things to consider in technical SEO:
1. Consider enabling AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
-AMP versions of your web pages load extremely quickly on mobile devices.
2. Add structured data markup to your website.
-Structured data markup is code which you add to your website to help search engines better understand the content on it
3. Integrate google search console to your site.
Now, it’s your time?
Have you experience any of those issues in your site?
Do you have any thing to say about technical SEO?
Please feel free to share your thought in the comment section below.