Technical SEO is an integral component of a website’s successful SEO implementation. Here are the crucial factors that affect technical SEO performance.
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We have uncovered the on-page aspect of search engine optimisation, now we are ready to tackle another vital pillar of SEO, the technical SEO.
What is Technical SEO
Technical SEO is one of the three most essential parts of your search engine optimisation campaign. It centres on increasing the website’s crawlability, search engine visibility, and indexability to achieve optimisation goals.
Just like on-page SEO, technical SEO eyes on improving factors on your business’ website to attain a high search engine ranking position.
In contrast to off-page SEO, technical SEO focuses on generating online exposure through the use of different media channels.
8 characteristics of a technically optimised website?
You will know that your website is technically optimised if it reflects the following characteristics:
- It has an XML sitemap
- It carries a structured data
- It has hreflang (International websites)
- It’s secure
- Crawlable for search engines
- It’s fast
- It doesn’t have multiple dead links
- It lacks duplicate content
A crawl budget is the maximum number of pages that search engines can and want to crawl on your website. Crawling activity varies depending on your website’s health, size, and integrated links.
Crawl Budget = Crawl Rate + Crawl Demand.
Why do search engines assign crawl budgets to websites?
The internet is home to thousands of websites. The crawl budget is assigned to every website because there are just too many websites out there; too few resources to crawl them all at once.
The ratio of websites to resources is overwhelming. Therefore, search engines allocate a budget to ensure that every website gets the crawling treatment it needs.
What comprises a crawl budget?
- All of your site’s URLs
- All of your site’s subdomains
- All of the site’s server requests occurrence
- CSS and XHR requests
- Language version pages with the hreflang tag
- All AMP and m-dot pages (this includes your mobile pages in your crawling budget)
Does Google crawl all websites?
Google doesn’t always crawl every page on your site instantly. Sometimes, it can take days and even weeks. This happens because Google has a Crawl Budget.
The crawl budget is the number of URLs Googlebot can and wants to crawl on a website.
This is one of the key factors in determining how visible your website is on the SERP or Search Engine Results Page.
If your pages don’t get crawled, they won’t be indexed and displayed in the search results.
Crawl Budget Optimisation
Since your site’s crawl budget depends on various factors, you must ensure you make the most out of it.
It matters that you spend it on valuable content because the search engines work on various pages and perform crawling activities to billions of content across the web.
If search engine crawlers will take time to understand your content, they may miss a handful of your most significant content.
Crawlers or bots operate in a short amount of time. So, if you want to optimise your crawl budget, ensure that it is easy and accessible for them to find, crawl, and index your page.
What affects the crawl budget?
Different factors affect your crawl budget. Server and hosting setup, navigation and session identifiers, duplicate content, low-quality content, and rendering are some of the factors that influence your crawl budget.
These factors limit search engines from properly crawling your website. You don’t have to stress over this much as you can improve and update your site based on the points we raise in this article.
How can I improve my crawl budget?
There are many ways you can improve or increase your crawl budget. You may do the following:
- Prevent Crawler from crawling pages with low SEO value,
- Reduce redirect chain,
- Refresh stale content with good performance,
- Review the website’s internal link structure,
- Remove inactive content or pages.
A robots.txt file, a file extension and not an HTML markup code, serves as a tour guide that informs search engine crawlers which part of your web pages they must go to and must not go to.
The Function of Robots Txt
For us to have a better understanding of how robots.txt works, it matters that we see it based on its functions – as a guide and a crawl budget optimiser.
Directions for Crawler
For search engines to get to know your site’s content and offer it to the masses, it entails a clear and straightforward robots.txt file.
This file directs the bots on where and how to crawl your website. Exploring your content can take much of these crawlers’ time, especially if you run a large website.
Robot.txt file is a tool that can bring you closer to search engines. As you set guidelines for their spider to crawl and discover your page’s content, you are helping them also figure out the relevance of your site if it matches the searchers’ queries.
Crawl Budget Optimiser
Aside from giving directions to the bots, another thing that makes the robots.txt file a holy grail is that some web owners can maximise it to optimise their crawl budget.
Optimising your crawl budget for SEO is a crucial move for your website’s overall health. It is a wise move to know which of your page’s content needs the utmost crawling attention and which of your pages need no crawling activities as of the moment.
We know that the crawl budget refers to the number of URLs search engine crawlers can and wants to crawl on your website. It matters that crawling activities centre more on your valuable pages other than irrelevant ones.
With that said, ensure that your robots.txt file directs crawlers to the value-adding content of your website.
Robots.txt file carries various functions to help your website’s SEO implementations.
One of its major functions is to give directions to crawlers. If you have a robots.txt file on your website, it matters that you know how to use it for greater optimisation.
Is a Robots.Txt File Necessary?
Though it is not an essential indicator of a successful and competitive website, a robots.txt file can somehow influence your site’s SEO optimisation campaign.
You may or may not have one on your website to function well, but as indicated in this article, a robots.txt file is a set of instructions on how you want spiders to crawl your website.
If you are looking to learn how you can optimise your robots.txt file, check out our complete robots.txt optimisation guide.
Another important facet of SEO optimisation is your canonicalisation.
This term may confuse and overwhelm you, but it is a simple concept that aims to improve your page rank and authority.
Canonicalisation is a major problem solver for your content duplication issues. This HTML code signals search engines which pages are original and which are duplicates.
Keep in mind that content or page duplication only harms your SEO performance and progress. Though it is an advantage to have your content visible to other parts of the web, ensure that it doesn’t go against search engine best practices.
Why is it essential to have canonical tags?
Duplicate content on your website causes issues that harm your optimisation goals.
But did you know that not all duplicates can jeopardise your SEO optimisation campaign?
As a content creator, you want to attract as many audiences as possible to support and consume your content. This moves you to promote your content on other pages to advertise it more and direct more readers back to your website.
This is where canonicalisation plays its part. Canonical tags head up Google and other search engines that the ‘duplicate’ pages are only second pages and that the first page is still the original content.
Failure to include a canonical tag may result in Google choosing the canonical URL, and it might not be the accurate one suitable for the original version of the content.
When to use a canonical tag?
Here are some instances where you use canonical tags:
- The homepage can be accessible with different URLs.
- Content comes in different versions (print version, PDF, etc.)
- Having parameterised URLs for season IDs (product filters) and search parameters
- Serving the same content at non-www and www variants
- Original content is available on other external sites.
Redirection is a familiar term for all SEO professionals and web owners.
It refers to forwarding users automatically from an old address to a new URL less the need of navigating on so many links to access the page they want or experience a 404.
There are many reasons a website undergoes a URL redirection, but the most obvious reason behind it is always for a better user experience.
Purposes and Uses of URL Redirection
When do you use an URL redirection?
These are the different scenarios in which you must perform a redirection:
- When you decide to upgrade your website from an old one to an entirely new domain. This scenario will push you to redirect all pages you deem valuable to the new domain.
- If you plan to consolidate two or more websites and settle into one final address. In this case, you must redirect URLs from those websites into the domain you want to manage moving forward.
- If you have an E-Commerce store and some of your products are no longer available, are out of stock or have poor market demand, you must redirect those to an alternative page that provides customers with the nearest and closest product substitutes.
- If your store runs a seasonal promotion or campaign. As an owner, you must decide to redirect these pages temporarily to other assets and have it enabled once you need them in full operation again.
- When you decide to renovate the content of your website and delete old pages that you no longer need. If those pages perform well, you might want to redirect them to other pages so as not to lose the SEO impact of it.
These are some of the scenarios that you are most likely to experience currently on your website. Each of these situations differs from one another as they can permanently or temporarily affect your website.
3 Types of URL Redirections
There are different types of redirections that you must get acquainted with to be guided accordingly in your redirection plans.
- 301 – “Moved Permanently.”
- 302 – “Found” or “Moved Temporarily.”
- Meta Refresh
Why Do I need to Redirect my Website?
There are thousands of reasons why one must perform URL redirection on their websites.
The most common reasons are:
- Having duplicate content that can negatively affect your SEO performance.
- Updating a post’s URL. If you want to get rid of the 404 Error, you must ensure that you have to perform redirection of your deleted page to the new one.
- Migrating from an old domain to a new one. You may use 301 redirects to permanently forward your old content to a new one. This practice carries the Google PageRank and page authority.
- Managing two or more domains. If you manage multiple domains, it is wise to consolidate your content than maintain pages that are almost the same. This move will help you better focus on one website and track its SEO performance.
Technical SEO is a series of tests and settings that you must optimise for search engines to properly crawl and index your website.
Once you’ve mastered technical SEO, you won’t have to worry about it again, except by performing periodic SEO audits.
The term “technical” means that some of the tasks require some technical knowledge, but they are vital if your website aims to attain its full potential.
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