Technical SEO can be a real pain for non-techies or anyone without prior programming background. But technical SEO is absolutely essential to rank well on search engines and protects you from getting hit with a Google penalty.
More importantly, it helps ensure Google can find and crawl your website. This is fundamental to your website being found – search visibility. In the post, I’ll show you 6 easy Technical SEO tips to boost your website’s search visibility.
#1. Diagnose your Crawl Report on Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free webmaster tool by Google, to help you monitor and optimize your website’s performance on Google’s search results.
It’s one of my favorite tools as it provides heaps of valuable insights about how Google sees your content. If you haven’t already created a free account on Google Search Console, stop reading this and do it now.
Further Reading: Google Support guide to walk you through step by step how to set up a Google Search Console account.
Next, find your crawl report by going to Crawl > Crawl Errors. Look out for any site errors detected and fix any that were found. You want to look out for broken links (status code 404) and server errors, which should be fixed ASAP.
#2. Add XML sitemap to help guide web crawlers
A sitemap is a document that contains all URLs on your website.
It tells search engine crawlers which pages to crawl and index.
Most CMS systems have built-in sitemaps, which is automatically generated by their servers and always kept up to date with your website information.
For instance, modern CMS like Wordpress, Wix and SquareSpace come with sitemaps. So you don’t need to create one manually.
On Wordpress, you can install plugins like Yoast and add your website’s sitemap in a single click on Google Search Console.
Further Reading: Submit Your Sitemap to Search Engines (Yoast)
#3. Internal linking with keyword-rich anchor text
Google needs direct, crawlable links interconnected between all your pages to navigate your entire site.
You can improve your site’s internal linking structure by adding a few internal links from your other pages.
Imagine if you’re creating a new blog post, simply add a few hyperlinks to your other existing articles.
For example, in my article on How to Squeeze Maximum SEO Traffic from an article, I made sure to add a few links pointing to my other articles too.
Also, my anchor text is keyword-optimized with my targeted keyword, “seo strategy”.
#4. PageSpeed Optimisation
Is page speed a ranking factor on Google?
In 2010, Matt Cutts from Google mentioned the importance of fast loading sites for users because it affects user engagement on the search engine.
Now in July 2018, Google looks at mobile page speed and how fast your site loads on mobile devices, and uses that as a ranking factor on mobile search results.
First, test your site’s page speed by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool.
Look out for the ‘optimization’ suggestions at the bottom of the report. The most important thing here is not the score, ha. Though getting a green tick from Google is nice.
The most important result is server response time. How long does it take for your server to respond to a request.
Usually, you want to keep it under 200ms.
First, make sure you’ve got a good web hosting provider.
In my experience, using Siteground has greatly improved my site speed to under 300ms. I’ve never had any problems with their customer support and its built-in caching plugin helps reduce load time as well.
Second, install some useful plugins.
I highly recommend Page Speed Optimisation plugins like WP Rocket ($39), W3 Total Cache (free), WP Super Cache (free).
These help take care of some critical page speed optimization elements without touching a single line of code.
#5. Image Optimization
Image optimization can have a huge impact in improving your website performance.
Overly large images (more than 150KB) increases the load time on your server.
This causes slow page speeds and in turn hurts user experience.
To fix overly large images, make sure to compress them before uploading to your site. This can be done with some diligence – using Photoshop > save for web > save in .jpg.
But using a handy image optimization plugin like ShortPixel for WordPress, you can compresses al your images with one click. Or you could upload up to 50 images to online compressor and optimize them.
#6. URL Structure
Last but not least, optimize for SEO with clear and user-friendly URLs.
Be consistent and descriptive in telling what your page is about in the URL, but be as brief as possible. Google tends to favor shorter URLs.
Ideally, they should be human-readable. So remove any tracking parameters and query strings.
Make them clean and easily readable, so that a user can understand what the page is about before even clicking on it.
Add a keyword in the URL which your content targets. This helps boost the overall relevancy of the page and helps search engines understand what the page is about as well.
Leanne Wong teaches SEO, content strategy and inbound marketing for entrepreneurs and bloggers who want to grow an audience and make a profitable business online.