Technical SEO is the process of optimizing a website for the search engines with the goal of improving the visibility of the site and its ranking in the search results. Technical SEO includes a wide range of activities, from optimizing the code and structure of the site to improving the server performance and speed. It's a complex and ever-evolving process, but there are a few basics that every website should do to ensure that their site is as search engine friendly as possible.
Now that we know what technical SEO is, it's time to sort our checklist.
Detect your mistakes
The first thing you should do to get started with your technical SEO audit is to spot your mistakes. This will give you a roadmap to fix what is broken. Technical errors most often result in crawlers not indexing your pages. The browser won’t index your page. Correcting these errors is a compulsory first step in any technical SEO audit.
Have a Good Website Architecture
Build a website architecture that shows how information is structured on a website. Websites with a good architecture don't make you waste your time browsing, and search engines rank these websites higher on results pages. To make your website have a good architecture, First, make sure your website has an XML sitemap. Then, you should organize your website URLs so they make sense. For example, your domain should be first, and then your category, and then your subcategory. This way, the new URLs will fit this architecture. Once this is done, make sure the URL structures are optimized for search engines. Basically, put your main keywords closer to the root domain, and don't make the URL too long (over 60 characters).
Avoid Duplicate Content
This content is content that appears on multiple pages. Duplicate content issues are also important for technical SEO, but they're not malicious and you won't get penalized by Google. Yet, you must fix such content. There are several main reasons for this. Browsers need to be able to identify the original or canonical page of a given web page, otherwise they won't know which result to show in a search. So, your webpages will not get the rankings it deserves on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Also, your web pages could be in a lower order than the value it was filtered for.
Use HTTPS Servers used to run on Hypertext Transfer Protocol
This method was a fast way to send system data, but it wasn't safe. HTTPS is a better option because it encrypts data and uses the secure socket layer to transport it securely on the web. In 2014, Google announced that it will recognize HTTPS as one of the ranking factors. This method is one of the best ways to protect users’ data.
Use the Browser Caching Feature
This feature speeds up the opening of your website by caching images and other resources. This way, browsers do not have to load images and other resources on the site again and again. When searchers enter a website after their first visit, browsers will pull these resources from cache for a certain period. Thus, users view the site much faster. When bots come to a webpage, they have to wait for static resources to load even if they've been there before. You can speed things up for them by setting an expiration date or maximum lifetime in HTTP headers for static resources. These settings tell browsers to load already downloaded resources from the local disk, and not resources on the network.
Technical SEO is a broader and more technical discipline that encompasses the entire website. While on-page SEO is important, it is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to optimizing a website for the search engines. Technical SEO should be seen as a complementary strategy to on-page SEO, and the two should be used together to achieve the best results.