What is Technical SEO?
Before we discuss how to do Technical SEO correctly, we need to understand what it is and why it is crucial.
Technical SEO is a way to optimize your site’s technical aspects so that search engines rank your website higher. There are a lot of things that cover this area, most of these require some coding experience, especially if you are not using a CMS platform like WordPress.
If you do a quick technical analysis of your website, you will see that there will at least be a few SEO mistakes you need to correct. Below are the top ten search engine best practices that directly or indirectly affect your technical SEO score.
Keyword in The Start of The Domain
In the past, this used to be one of the significant SEO parameters. However, over the years, the importance of this has gone down. Many people now think that you don’t need to have a keyword in the domain. Recent studies have shown that websites with a keyword in the stat of the domain, outrank the ones that don’t have it.
You can’t only depend on this; you also need to write your content keeping the keyword in mind and use it throughout your content naturally. Include it on H-tags whenever smoothly possible.
The Ideal Domain Length For SEO
A short domain name outdoes long domain names any day. There are technical and non-technical advantages of a short domain name. From a technical SEO point of view, a short domain name should result in shorter URLs, and shorter URL’s perform better on search engines.
The top 100,000 sites on an average have nine characters or less in their domain name; this should be enough for you to look for a short domain. However, there is also user-experience involved. People tend to remember shorter domain names much easier when compared to longer ones.
Because of these reasons, shorter domain names are rarely available, and when you find one, it is most probably highly-priced. So, if you find a short domain name at a reasonable price, get it.
When buying a new domain, whether from a reseller or a company like GoDaddy, always check the history of the domain. Just like a man’s past can impact his present, the history of a domain can influence how it will perform on search engines.
Check if the domain was ever in use and if it was, about what was the website. Check if there are any known violations against the domain. What kind of backlinks does it come with, and are the backlinks adding value or not?
There are many ways to check these things; the first way is to ask the reseller about the domain. However, asking the reseller about the domain may not always give you the full story. So, it’s better to research the domain yourself.
How to check the domain history?
- Check if there are any live pages by searching for the domain name in Google.
- Add “site:” in front of the domain name and search for it; if you do not see any results, that means there are no live pages for the domain.
- Now search for the domain on archive.org; if there were ever a live page for the domain, it would show up here.
- Check for backlinks; you can do this by making use of many free and paid tools like Aherf, Moz, Smalltools, etc. You can also check the quality of the backlinks on some of these tools.
- Check the spam score for the domain; you can do this on Moz, and other similar tools. The spam score should be 0-5; anything over that suggests that the domain could be flagged for spam.
Checking to make sure that the domain you are buying is clean is essential.
Public Vs. Private WHOIS Data?
Let me say that Google has never said that it prefers if you hide or show your information to its search engine. Google has said that this is not a part of their ranking algorithm. However, hiding your information does look a bit strange when you are not doing anything wrong.
Matt Cutts, the current administrator of United States Digital Service, and a previous part of the Google search quality team, said; He found it highly unusual when WHOIS for websites is hidden. He says that this alone is not a worrying factor, but this, along with a few others, can suggest that webmaster for the site might be a different kind of webmaster.
When you allow your WHOIS information to be visible by search engines and users, it means you have nothing to hide. This transparency can have a positive impact on user experience, which in turn helps your SEO efforts.
Best TLD Extensions For SEO
TLD extensions impact SEO; this has been made clear by all search engines out there. .com, .net, .org, .gov, and .edu rank higher in the global market when compared to other TLDs. So, if you are a global company, you should look to get one of these TLDs for you.
However, if you are a local business that only services an area or audience only from a specific country, getting a country TLD can give you an advantage. Studies have shown that local search engines rank country TDs higher than global TLDs.
So, choose your TLD according to the company or business you are running.
Website Speed Matters
The first thing you need to do is check how your website is doing when it comes to speed; there are sites like google seed insights, gtmetrix, and others you can use. You can also get a full analysis of your website from us by submitting your website on our homepage.
Once you have your results, you will get instructions on how to speed your site up, but before you even run a diagnostic of your site. There are things you can do to help your website;
- Keep the website light by optimizing your images and videos.
- Get a trusted and fast hosting service.
- If you are using a CMS, get a fast theme, and avoid using plugins whenever you can.
Mobile-Friendly Sites Are SEO Friendly
More than 50% of all sites around the world are accessed via mobile phones, and this number is only going up every year. Recently, Google has announced that it gives mobile-friendly websites an advantage in their rankings. Not only this, mobile usability impacts the user experience of the site, which also affects its SEO score.
So, if you have a website, you should have it optimized for mobile phones. Even if you already have a mobile app for your business, there are still people who will access your website from their phones, and you want to give them a good user experience.
Most CMS sites have responsive themes that you can use to make your website mobile-friendly. If you are not using a CMS, make sure to tell the developers to make the site 100% responsive, as today there are far too many screen sizes for which you have to cater.
Content to Code Ratio
While building a website, always try to keep the content to code ratio at 60-70% content and 30-40% code. Doing this, you keep your website light, which makes it fast. Also, search engines prefer websites that have more content for frontend users than code for the backend.
Keeping this content to code ratio is easier when you are building a website from scratch using any programming language. If you are using a CMS like WordPress, Magento, or Joomla, the content to code ratio becomes harder to manage. There CMS frameworks have a lot of coding sitting there, even if you do not use it, it can slow down your website.
It is for this reason, most large-scale businesses avoid using CMS’s, and instead go with hand-coded websites.
The Presence of Sitemaps
There are two types of sitemaps that websites should have, one is an XML sitemap; this sitemap is there so that the crawler bots that search engines send can travel across your site faster. A frontend user does not see this sight map at all.
The other is an HTML sitemap; this is a page on your website that has all the pages of your site listed there. It is a map of your entire site, and this map is visible to a frontend user and crawler bots alike.
These sitemaps help your SEO efforts by mapping the entire website for bots and regular users.
SSL certificate is what makes your website URL look like https://, instead of http://. What this means is that your website is trusted and secure. In the past, only financial sites made use of this, but now it has become a common practice.
Search engines like ranking secure sites, so it gives a preference to sites with an SSL certificate installed. You can easily get this from your domain or hosting provider. It is mostly a paid service, but there are free SSL certificates that you can use as well.
Before you start with on-page and off-page SEO, you need to make sure that your website’s technical SEO is covered. You can follow the above pointers to rank higher on search engines; you can also use the countless tutorials available on the net. However, if you do not have time to do this, you can also get in touch with us, and we can do it for you.