Technical SEO means preparing your website for search engine crawlers so that they can access, crawl, understand, and index your website properly. Without the site being indexed, ranking is impossible. You must know its importance already.
To help you ensure that your website is easily crawlable, we’ve come up with this technical SEO checklist. It includes all the important parts of technical SEO that can help you improve your website’s performance a lot.
Technical SEO is optimizing your website’s infrastructure. Thus, you might not have any clue if you’re not a technical person. But you’ll get the knack of it if you invest some time.
Let’s not waste more time and get started.
The Ultimate Technical SEO Checklist for Success!
Specify the Preferred Domain
A single domain can be of different variety. For example- the domain seoservice.com can be written in two different ways- http://www.seoservice.com or http://seoservice.com. The difference is one has ‘www’, whereas the other doesn’t have it.
Search engines consider them as different domains. Thus, your primary task is to specify which one you’re going with. Otherwise, search engines will become confused.
Neither of them has SEO benefits over the other. You can pick any of them, but we prefer having ‘www’ as most people expect site addresses to have ‘www’ at the beginning.
You can specify the preferred domain from your website builder’s settings page.
Optimize URL Structure
It is counted as one of the most important parts of on-page SEO too. To save yourself from additional hassles, you can specify a URL structure for all your web pages. Your CMS’s settings page allows you to do that.
For example- WordPress allows you to set a structure where your post title and category are used to design the URL. You can change that to date and post title.
However, your post title is not always the best URL. Some of the URL best practices are-
- Short and precise
- All lowercase characters
- No unnecessary words
- Target keyword inside the URL
Thus, ‘technical-seo-checklist-crucial-steps-to-optimize-your-site-for-success’ is not the best URL. Instead, you can use ‘technical-seo-checklist’.
Add Security Protocol
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a security system that protects your website’s data and users’ data while transferring. Thus, it assures potential visitors that your website is safe for their data.
This is a critical ranking factor considered by Google. So, you must add it.
It’s better to start the website with https://. Though you can migrate from http:// to https:// later, it’s a bit complex.
Optimize Site Structure
Your website’s structure is another important factor affecting your SEO performance.
A carefully structured website is suitable for both visitors and search engines. Visitors can find their preferred page easily when the site structure is perfect. They stay on the site for a long time as they find it easy to explore. Search engine crawlers can understand the site content easily.
So, optimize your website structure to enjoy maximum performance from it. This is an important part of the technical SEO checklist.
Robots.txt is the file that tells search engine crawlers if they have permission to crawl the website or not. If you want to block search engines from entering a few specific pages, your robots.txt file mentions the pages search engines are not allowed to crawl.
You must optimize it to ensure it allows search engines to enter and crawl the site.
How to optimize it?
It’s a long process.
This article from Ahrefs (https://ahrefs.com/blog/robots-txt/) can help.
Improve Website Speed
Slow website speed is a must-fix technical SEO issue for your website. It is often discussed in the on-page SEO checklist as it has an impact on the on-page experience.
But search engines consider this as one of the main ranking factors. Besides, technical changes can fix this issue. So, we’re adding it to this technical SEO checklist too.
We suggest trying Google’s PageSpeed Insight and follow the suggestions.
Enable Breadcrumb Menu
The Breadcrumb menu is the link set that allows users to know where they are. It is typically added to the top of the site.
Besides telling the visitors about their location, it helps search engines understand the site structure. Search engines love this feature. So, enable it.
Mobile-friendly websites are at the top now because most people accessing the internet are mobile users. Search engines prefer sites that offer a perfect experience on mobile devices.
To ensure mobile-friendliness, consider choosing a theme that has a dedicated mobile version. It helps them surf through your website seamlessly using mobile devices. Also, use light and mobile-friendly plugins.
Google’s Mobile-friendly Test will help you gather insights about your website’s mobile-friendliness.
Optimize the XML Sitemap
This is one of the most important parts of the technical SEO checklist.
XML sitemap is an XML file that includes a list of all the available pages, publishing dates, and last-update time. It helps search engine crawlers with an idea about the content on your site.
Sitemaps should include active and important pages of your website that include original content only. The author page, contact, terms and policies, etc. are not that important to include in the sitemap.
Use appropriate tools to create, submit, and check your sitemaps. Also, make sure it gets updated whenever you publish a new page.
Optimize 404 Pages
Replacing 404 pages with a new page is the best thing you can do. But in case you’re handling other issues, keeping them optimized is a great way to minimize its negative effects.
You can edit the theme template to design a nice and light page for 404 errors. Also, you can use a plugin for this. The page should tell the visitors that the article they’re searching for is not available. Suggest an alternative if it has.
Finally, it should allow visitors to back to the previous page or home page.
Test on Different Platforms and Devices
One thing that most people forget is testing the website’s performance. It is crucial part of technical SEO checklist because it helps you understand the actual difficulties your visitors may face while browsing the site.
We suggest testing your site from different devices and platforms. Try entering and browsing your site using as many browsers as possible. Also, use desktops, laptops, multiple mobile devices, tabs, etc. to enter and check the actual performance of the site.
List the faults and search for the reasons. Fix them as soon as possible.
The technical SEO checklist above will help you optimize your website for better rank and more visitors. Each point here has its importance, making it unavoidable if you want your site to rank properly. So, don’t miss any.
Success can’t be achieved at once. So, we don’t say that following these steps will surely rank your site. But you’ll surely see a huge improvement, which takes you closer to success.
For any type of SEO assistance, you can reach us. We have a team of experts ready to maximize your SEO benefits and ROI.