Of course, generating excellent content after doing thorough keyword research greatly aids in search engine optimization and offers a fantastic user experience. But what if some technical SEO problems cause your optimized page to be hidden from search engines?
We've heard from publishers who claim that Google's search engine results page doesn't display their published web pages (SERP). Some believe that a black hat SEO strategy they employ has resulted in Google penalties.
We've prepared a technical SEO tutorial to make things simpler for you and explain how it makes sure Google crawls and indexes your web pages.
indexing and Crawling
Start with some straightforward definitions.
Table of Content
Technical SEO: What is it?
Why is technical SEO so crucial?
How do websites function?
How a website is transferred between a server and a browser
HTML: What a website says
CSS: How a webpage looks
Client-side rendering as opposed to server-side rendering
5. Tips for Technical SEO:
Look for problems with indexing
Consistently structure your URLs
Add noindex tags to pages that are redundant or thin.
Use Google Search Console to inspect URLs
Cut down on the size of web pages by deleting third-party scripts
Verify your sitemap in XML
Make breadcrumb navigation available
For overseas websites, use hreflang
Check for broken links on your website.
Pages with noindex tags and categories
Boost the speed of your website
Advice on how to annotate your pages:
Technical SEO is the process of making sure your website complies with the technical standards of contemporary search engines in order to raise its organic ranks. The most crucial elements of technical SEO are website construction, rendering, indexing, and crawling.
You can have the best website and the best content, as we just discussed. However, you won't rank if your technical SEO is ineffective. At the most fundamental level, search engines must be able to locate, crawl, render, and index the pages on your website.
However, that only scratches the surface. Your website's web pages must be safe, suitable for mobile devices, devoid of duplicate material, and quick to load in order for your site to be properly technically optimized.
You must have a fundamental understanding of what you're optimizing before you can optimize your website for search!
The path taken by a typical website from getting a domain name to being completely rendered in a browser has been described. Perhaps you're asking why this is significant. Here are some of the causes:
Understanding how a website functions can help you speed up page loads, increase dwell time, and boost search engine rankings.
Therefore, it employs what is known as an Internet protocol (IP) address, a set of numbers (ex: 127.0.0.1). We'll need to employ a DNS to connect those machine-readable numbers to those human-readable website names.
Requests are made by your browser. Your browser performs a DNS lookup request to translate our domain name to its IP address when it gets your request for a web page. The source code used to create our website is then requested from the server by the program.
The requested resources are sent by the server. The server sends the files for our website to your browser so it can put them together when it receives this request.
Our website is put together by your browser. Although your browser has now gotten the necessary resources from the server, it still needs to assemble and render our website before you can see it. The browser builds a Document Object Model (DOM) as it organizes and decodes every resource on the online page.
Lastly, your browser sends requests. Only after all required code has been downloaded, parsed, and performed by the browser will a web page be visible. The browser will send a separate request to our servers if it needs any more code to display our website.
Let's now examine the elements of a website or the source code (programming languages) that creates our web pages.
Every website is built on HTML, or hypertext markup language. It defines things like headings, sentences, lists, and content.
The relevancy of your document to a given query is determined by how search engines crawl HTML elements.
Your web pages' fonts, colours, and layouts are decided by CSS, or cascading style sheets. It was a game-changer when CSS was introduced because HTML was created to describe content rather than style it.
You can check to see if Google shares your visitors' perceptions of the world. To see how Googlebot sees your page, use the "URL Inspection" feature in Google Search Console.
Then click Test Live URL after pasting the URL of your webpage into the search bar.
After Googlebot has re-crawled your URL, click View Tested Page to check how your page is rendered.
In the More Info tab, Google also displays a list of any sources they were unable to find for the URL you supplied.
Knowing how websites operate creates a strong foundation for the following section, which discusses technical adjustments to make it easier for Google to understand the pages of your website.
How each page is arranged depends on the website's structure. You want your site to have a "flat" structure, which means that each page should only be a few links away from another.
A flat structure may be easily crawled by search engines. This isn't a major deal for a blog or a website for a neighborhood pizzeria. What about an eCommerce site with 100,000 product pages?
Additionally, you want your structure to be well-organized. "Orphan pages" are typically a result of an unorganized structure (pages without internal links pointing to them). It also makes it challenging to find and fix indexing issues.
Use Ahrefs' "Site Audit" feature to get a bird's eye view of your website's structure. You can use Visual Site Mapper to see your pages' connections more visually. You may view the architecture of your website in real-time using this free tool.
Finding pages on your website that are challenging for search engine spiders to explore is the first step.
Your first port of call should be the "Coverage Report" in the Google Search Console. This report will inform you if Google cannot render or index the pages you want to be indexed.
The reason Screaming Frog is the most well-known crawler in the world is that it's amazing. After you've rectified any problems in the Coverage Report, we advise performing a full crawl using Screaming Frog.
If you manage a tiny website, there's no need to overthink the format of your URLs (like a blog). You do need a sensible, consistent structure for your URLs. This truly aids visitors in locating themselves on your website.
By classifying your pages into several categories, you can give Google more details about each page inside each category.
Pages with duplicate content will be present on the majority of websites. It's alright. However, this becomes a problem when those duplicate content pages are indexed. The "noindex" tag should be added as a fix in this case. Search engines are told not to index the page with the noindex tag.
Verify that your noindex tag is configured properly by using Google Search Console's Inspect URL tool. Click Test Live URL after entering your URL in the text box.
The noindex tag is wrongly configured if you get the notice "URL is available to Google."
The noindex tag is active if you get a notice that reads, "Excluded by "noindex" tag." Google may need to re-crawl the pages you don't wish to be indexed for a few days or weeks.
Does your website contain any URLs that are not indexed?
You can determine what's happening by using the Inspect function of the Google Search Console. It will explain the reason a page is not being indexed.
However, you can observe how Google displays indexed pages. By doing so, you can confirm that Google can access and index each and every piece of content on that website.
Every third-party script on a page adds 34 milliseconds to its load time. However, some of these scripts are necessary (such as Google Analytics). It never hurts to take a look at the scripts on your website and see if there are any that you can get rid of.
Even in the era of mobile-first indexing and AMP, Google still needs an XML sitemap to locate the URLs on your website. XML sitemaps are the "second most significant source," according to a Google representative, for finding URLs.
To confirm that your sitemap is functioning properly, visit the "Sitemaps" section of the Search Console.
The advantages of breadcrumb navigation for SEO are well established. This is due to the fact that breadcrumbs automatically provide internal links to your website's categories and subpages, strengthening the structure of your website.
Not to mention the way Google transformed URLs into breadcrumb-style navigation in the SERPs.
Does your website have distinct versions of the same page for various locales and languages? The hreflang tag can be very helpful in that situation.
Hreflang tags are challenging to set properly, though. Additionally, Google's usage instructions aren't precisely clear. Use Aleyda Solis' Hreflang generating tool. To create hreflang tags for numerous nations, languages, and areas, use Aleyda Solis' Hreflang generator.
If your website has a lot of dead links, it won't make or break your SEO. Google claims that broken links are "not an SEO concern."
What if, though, some of your internal links are broken? It may be more challenging for Googlebot to identify and crawl the pages on your website if there are broken internal links. Therefore, we advise performing a quarterly SEO assessment that involves fixing broken links.
Almost every SEO audit tool, such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Screaming Frog, may help you detect broken links.
If WordPress powers your site, we strongly advise not indexing category and tag pages. (Except, of course, if a lot of people visit those pages.)
These pages typically don't offer users much in the way of value. They might also lead to problems with duplicate material. If you utilize Yoast, you can quickly noindex these pages with just one click.
There are various techniques to make your website faster:
Utilize rapid hosting.
Use a fast DNS service.
By limiting the use of plugins and scripts, you can lower the number of "HTTP requests."
Use a single CSS stylesheet rather than several CSS stylesheets or inline CSS.
Your website's pages should be smaller (using a GZIP tool ).
Further technical SEO advice
Think of yourself as a search engine spider reading a 1000-word page on a cycling product. How can you locate the seller, the cost, the details of the goods, or the customer reviews?
Here, schema markup is relevant. By spoon-feeding search engines, you can provide them with more precise categories for the data on your page.
Schema is a system for categorizing or arranging material that helps search engines comprehend the meaning of the various parts on your web pages. There is no connection between Schema and first-page ranks, according to a study into search engine ranking parameters.
However, schema adds structure to your data, which is why it is often referred to as "structured data." Because you are using organized code to mark up your content, structuring your data is referred to as markup.
JSON-LD is Google's preferred schema markup, which Bing also supports (announced in May 2016). For a comprehensive list of the tens of thousands of schema markups available, visit Schema.org, and for further information on using structured data, see Google Developers' Introduction to Structured Data.
After implementing the structured data that best matches your web pages, you may use Google's Rich Test Results tool to test your markup.
Schema markup can enable unique characteristics (Rich snippets) to distinguish your pages in the SERPs while assisting search bots in comprehending the nature of your content. They are probably what you saw while you were looking at your preferred coffee makers or your ideal vehicle.
Rich snippets can show up as site link search boxes, review stars, Carousels of Top Stories, and more.
Keep in mind that getting a rich snippet isn't always assured even when you use structured data. Google will eventually offer more categories of rich snippets as schema markup expands.
On a single page, use a variety of schema markups. But you must also mark up the other products on the website if you mark up one element, like a product, and it also contains other products.
Be sure to abide by Google's quality guidelines and avoid marking up information that is hidden from visitors. Make sure the reviews are shown on the page if you utilize review-structured markup.
Google advises using structured markup on other versions of a page in addition to the canonical one.
Your page's structured markup should appropriately reflect its content.
Use just the most specialized kind of schema markup.
You can tell search engines which pages you like by using canonicalization. It can be challenging to choose which page to index in search results when Google crawls identical material on several web pages. The rel="canonical" element is useful in this situation. By indexing the chosen version of the information rather than all of its duplicates, it aids search engines.
This property instructs search engines where to go for a piece of content's original, master version. In essence, you're asking Google to index this original page rather than its duplicates. Therefore, the canonical tag can be useful if you want to republish a web page but don't want to take the chance of producing duplicate material.
Duplicate content should be avoided for a good reason. Instead of rewarding websites with copied content, Google wants to reward those that give original, worthwhile information. Google seldom ever displays multiple versions of the same material to provide users with the best experience possible. It would rather only display the canonicalized version. If there isn't a canonical tag, it displays the version they think is most likely the original.
Given that well over half of all web traffic nowadays comes from mobile devices, it is reasonable to assume that your website should be mobile-friendly and easy to use. In April 2015, Google updated its algorithm to give mobile-friendly pages the upper hand over those that weren't. So how can you ensure that your website is compatible with mobile devices?
Although there are three major ways to do it, Google suggests responsive web design for making your website mobile-friendly.
Google Search Console's Mobile Usability report should be used. Google will let you know if one of your website's pages isn't mobile-friendly.
Google will inform you if your site is not optimized. Even more, they'll go into great depth about the page's flaws for you. That will assist you in determining what needs to be corrected.
One of the main causes of slow-loading websites is the use of large graphics. There are more technical approaches to increase the speed at which photos are shown on your website for users, in addition to image compression and selecting the appropriate image format.
Let's go over some of the most crucial methods for enhancing image delivery:
You can have many versions of your image and then indicate which version should be utilized under what conditions using the srcset attribute. The img> tag (found in HTML) has this code appended to it to generate distinctive images for particular devices.
Offering various and appropriate images to various device kinds is a special technique to enhance your on-page user experience while shortening your image load time.
2. Lazy loading
When visiting a webpage, you may occasionally see a blurry, low-quality version of the image or a coloured box in lieu of the image while the surrounding content loads; the image gets loaded after a few seconds in full resolution.
The full-resolution version loads after the low-resolution version have finished loading. This assists with the critical rendering route optimization as well. In order to explain the situation to users, you show a low-resolution teaser image while the remainder of your page's resources is downloading. For additional details on lazily loading your photos, see Google's Lazy Loading Guidance.
Many experts think that Google will one day be able to fully understand websites thanks to the tremendous improvements in AI, particularly machine learning. Making technical SEO obsolete in the process.
The intricacy of Google seems to be rising annually, but this has just made technical SEO more crucial. Technical SEO, which includes crawl optimization, mobile technical SEO, and classic technical SEO, won't vanish, in our opinion. For the typical publisher, each of these disciplines is growing independently and becoming more complicated.
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Ayushi Mishra is a content writer and proofreader with a flair to juggle between writing and the vision of curating unmatched contentMore Posts By This author
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