Having your website show up on the first page of Google when an ideal client is searching, is the goal of any growing distributor business.
When doing SEO work, many focus on content and backlinks, which are undeniably key factors. However, the technical aspect of SEO is often overlooked and it’s also critical. In fact, not having this foundation set up correctly can have a negative effect on your site rankings, despite your other SEO efforts.
Maintaining your technical SEO in tip top shape is essential for maximizing usability, search engine crawling, indexing, and ultimately rankings.
These are our top 8 technical SEO aspects:
A sitemap tells the search engines about your site structure and lets them discover fresh content. If you don’t have a sitemap, creating one should be a top priority. If you have one, check it periodically to keep it up to date.
For more on sitemaps, check with Google’s guide.
Most of your site’s pages need to be indexed by search engines. Exceptions are for those that you deliberately want to restrict from them, because they offer no SEO value, such as your terms and conditions page, for example.
3. Duplicate Content
Pages with duplicate content cause a conflict when search engines crawls your site. This also affects pages with duplicate title and meta description tags, even if the content is not the same. This is very common in DIY sites or when the sites are created by inexperienced web designers.
4. Broken Links
Broken links happen when you remove pages from your site but the page URL still remains indexed. A redirect needs to be properly set up so that when such link is clicked it directs to a designated page on your site. This is how you avoid error messages.
5. Internal Links Structure
A logical site structure is not important for users and search engine bots. And it also helps spread ranking power among your pages more efficiently. You want to have a handful of main pages and the rest of the pages nested under the main ones.
6. Encryption or HTTPS
Today, over 50% of page 1 Google search results use HTTPS. Google started using HTTPS as a ranking signal in 2014. It’s becoming a standard for increased security, especially for those sites where transactions take place. Eventually, all sites not using encryption will display an embarrassing message like the one below, when visitors try to access it.
7. Page Load Speed
Google expects pages to load in two seconds or less, and they’ve officially confirmed that speed is a ranking signal. Speed also has a massive impact on bounce rates, slower pages have higher bounce rates and therefore lower conversion rates.
To check if your pages pass Google’s speed test
8. Mobile Friendliness
Mobile search is on the rise, and Google has been experimenting with mobile-first indexing for a while, and they are planning to finally launch it early next year. A ‘mobile-first index’ means that Google will index the mobile versions of websites instead of their desktop version. This literally means that the mobile version of your pages will determine their ranking in both mobile and desktop search results.
To test the mobile friendliness of your site click here
Those are the top 8 aspects of technical SEO
Make sure you run an SEO audit on your site periodically. You can start by testing using the links provided for some of the items, and there are various tools you can use to check the rest of them. But if you are not tech inclined, your best bet is to have an SEO expert run it for you, so they can also take care of the work necessary to fix any issues. Keep in mind that those sites built on templates, or created by inexperienced designers, tend to have incorrect settings that affect the site rankings. Regardless of how awesome they look. It is also recommended after you have a redesign or major update.
If you would like to check your site and are not sure how to do it, let us take care of it for you, take advantage of our free online assessment report.