Beginner Guide: An Introduction to Technical Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Technical SEO is currently the most significant aspect of SEO, but that may change in the future. To even have a shot at ranking, webpages need to be crawlable and indexable; nonetheless, the majority of other activities will have a much smaller impact on rankings compared to content and links.
This beginner's guide was written by us to assist you to grasp some of the fundamentals as well as where you should focus the majority of your efforts to achieve the greatest impact. You can learn even more by consulting the supplementary resources linked throughout the text as well as the additional resources listed at the end of the piece.
Check out MediaOne SEO services, that could help you optimise your website's technical aspects, develop its popularity and engage visitors so that search engines rank your page highly. It is MediaOne's goal to ensure that your campaign provides scalable, long-term returns on investment by employing a team of skilled SEO professionals.
Let's get started.
Fundamentals of Technical SEO in Chapter 1
Let's begin with the fundamentals, seeing as how this is supposed to be an introduction.
What exactly does “Technical SEO” mean?
The act of optimising your website in order to make it easier for search engines like Google to find, crawl, comprehend, and index your pages is known as technical SEO. The objective is to be discovered and achieve higher rankings.
How difficult is it to perform technical SEO?
It depends. The fundamentals of SEO are not overly difficult to learn, but the technical aspects might be tough to comprehend due to their complexity. I'm going to attempt to simplify everything as much as I can with this guide.
Understanding crawling is covered in Chapter 2.
In this chapter, we will discuss the best practices for ensuring that search engines can crawl your content effectively.
The mechanics behind crawling.
The content of pages is retrieved by crawlers, which then use the links on those pages to locate further pages. Because of this, they are able to locate content on the web. We are going to go over a few of the different systems involved in this process.
Every crawler must have a beginning point. In most cases, they will compile a list of all of the URLs that they discover through the following links on various pages. Sitemaps that have been established by users or different other systems that have lists of pages can be used as a secondary method to locate additional URLs.
Prioritized and put to the crawl queue are all of the URLs which need to be crawled or re-crawled. This is essentially an alphabetized list of URLs that Google would want to crawl.
The mechanism is responsible for extracting the material from the pages.
Systematization of processing
These various systems are responsible for canonicalization, which is something we will discuss in just a moment. They are also responsible for sending pages to the renderer, which loads the page in the same way that a browser would, and for processing the pages in order to obtain additional URLs to crawl.
These are the cached pages that are displayed to users by Google.
You have a few options at your disposal to exercise control over the content that is crawled on your website. The following are some available choices:
A robots.txt file can be used to instruct search engines as to which parts of your website they can and cannot access.
Just a quick remark. If there are links leading to pages that Google is unable to crawl, Google may index those pages anyhow. If you want to prevent pages from being indexed, check out this tutorial and flowchart, which will walk you through the process step by step. This can be confusing, but it is necessary in order to prevent pages from being indexed.
There is a directive known as crawl-delay that can be used in robots.txt and is supported by many crawlers. This directive allows you to determine how frequently crawlers can access pages. We regret to inform you that Google does not respect this. You will need to modify the crawl rate in Google Search Console in the manner indicated in this article for Google.
Restrictions on Gaining Access
If you want the page to be viewable by certain users but invisible to search engines, then what you definitely need is one of the following three options:
A login or registration process of some kind;
HTTP Authentication, which necessitates the use of a password in order to gain access; IP Whitelisting (which only allows specific IP addresses to access the pages)
This configuration works particularly well for things like internal networks and material accessible only to members, as well as for staging, test, and development websites. It makes it possible for a certain group of users to visit the page, but it prevents search engines from doing so, and the pages will not be indexed as a result.
How to view the activity of crawls
The Google Search Console Crawl Stats report is the quickest and easiest way to gain insight into what Google is crawling on your website. This report provides you with more details regarding the manner in which Google is crawling your website.
If you want to view all of the crawl activity that has occurred on your website, you will need to connect to the server logs and may need to make use of a tool to help you better evaluate the data. This can become really sophisticated, but if your hosting offers a control panel like cPanel, you must have access to raw logs and certain aggregators like Awstats or Webalizer. Both of these can help you monitor your website's traffic.
The crawl budget is a combination of how frequently Google intends to crawl a site and how much crawling your site allows, and it will be different for each website. Crawl budget is referred to as the crawl rate. Those that don't appear to be popular or have many links will be crawled less frequently, whereas pages that are frequently updated and have a large number of visitors will be crawled more frequently.
Crawlers will often slow down or even stop crawling your website if they detect any indicators of stress while they are navigating it. This behaviour will continue until the conditions have improved.
Following the completion of the crawling process, the pages are rendered and added to the index. The index is a comprehensive list of all of the pages that are available to be returned in response to search queries. Let's discuss the index, shall we?
Learning indexing in Chapter 3
In this chapter, we will discuss how to examine how your pages are indexed as well as how to ensure that they are indexed properly.
Instructions for the Robots
A robots meta tag is a fragment of HTML code that provides instructions to search engines regarding how to crawl or index a certain web page. The following format should be used when inserting it into the head section of a web page:
<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex” />
Google will choose one version of a page with several variants to store in its index. This happens when there are multiple copies of the same page. This procedure is referred to as canonicalization, and the URL that is chosen to be the canonical version will be the one that is displayed by Google in the search results. They consider a wide variety of factors before deciding on the canonical URL, among which are the following:
- Canonical tags
- Duplicate pages
- Internal links
- Sitemap URLs
Utilizing the URL Inspection Tool found within Google Search Console is the quickest and easiest way to determine how Google has indexed a specific page. It will display the canonical URL that Google has chosen for you.
Quick wins for the technical side of SEO in Chapter 4
Prioritization is one of the most challenging aspects of search engine optimization (SEO). There is a large number of recommended practices, however certain adjustments will have a greater influence on your rankings and traffic than others will. The following is a list of the initiatives that I believe should be given top priority.
Check to index
Make sure that Google can index any pages that you want people to find on your website. Crawling and indexing took up the entirety of the two chapters that came before this one, and that was no coincidence.
You may find out which pages on your website can't be indexed by looking at the Indexability report in the Site Audit section of the software. Within Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, it is available for no cost.
Reclaim lost links
Over the course of their existence, websites frequently alter the URLs of their pages. The majority of the time, these obsolete URLs are linked to by other websites. Those links will be lost and will no longer count for your pages if they are not redirected to the sites that are currently live. It is not too late to implement these redirects, and doing so will enable you to rapidly reclaim any value that was lost. Consider this to be the quickest method of link development you will ever employ.
Add internal links
Links that go from one page on your website to another page on your website are known as internal links. They contribute to the discoverability of your pages and also improve the pages' rankings. Within Site Audit, we provide a tool referred to as “Link opportunities” that assists you in locating these possibilities in a timely manner.
Add schema markup
Schema markup is a type of coding that improves the way search engines comprehend the information on your website. It also drives the functionality of a wide variety of features that can make your website stand out from the competition in search results. Google provides a search gallery that demonstrates the many search tools available as well as the schema that is required for your website to be eligible.
Let's bring this to a close.
All of this is simply skimming the surface of technical search engine optimization. This should be sufficient to assist you with the fundamentals, and many of the sections provide supplementary links so that you can delve into the topic at a deeper level. If you want to learn more about the many subjects that weren't included in this tutorial, I've compiled a list of resources for you to look at.
May 29, 2023