Search engine optimization, or you might know as SEO, is the topmost priority of online businesses around the world. After all, if you want your customers to find you in the online spectrum and interact with your business, you can’t achieve this goal without a constructive SEO strategy & Technical SEO Checklist. SEO is itself very broad, not something that can be mastered in one day.
But it is always a more useful practice to know what SEO is and how its techniques can be employed to improve your online performance. In the following blog, we’ll take you through some technical aspects of SEO. This blog serves as a checklist for you, helping your business run successfully online.
SSL or most commonly known as SecureSocket Layer is basically a security protocol that can be used to encrypt the data provided to and from a server when the site is accessed. You can know whether your site is encrypted with SSL or not by looking at its web address. Websites having HTTPS instead of HTTP in their addresses are encrypted with an SSL certificate.
SSL is actually very small data files that activate a padlock when installed on a web server and secures the connection from a server to the browser. In this way, customers visiting your site will also have a much safer experience if it is SSL certified. Secure websites also provide data integrity and authentication against possible attacks.
Is HTTPS good for SEO?
Companies offering their services under the banner “SEO Malaysia” will tell you that HTTP is an integral part of SEO. In 2014, when Google released information about its updated algorithms, it was revealed that the search engine favours HTTPS websites slightly more than the HTTP ones.
Eventually, it became apparent that the HTTPS website ranks better if an equivalent HTTP site is ultimately the same in other aspects. In other words, if your site is equal to your competitor’s website on the basis such as speed, content freshness, and mobile-friendliness but it is not HTTPS, then your site will not rank higher.
Better rankings get more traffic. Customers are also becoming more picky and careful about what sites they click-on. Chrome specifically labels sites “not secure” when they are non-HTTPS. Therefore, HTTPS can serve as a good indicator of trustworthiness and reliability of your business. In other words, users trust secure websites more.
Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
It might already be apparent that a mobile-friendly website ensures a more satisfactory user experience. But it is worth noting that this factor also impacts the SEO of a site. SEO Companies had to revamp their strategies in 2013 when Google announced that there would be a penalty against websites producing bad mobile experiences. From that point onwards, the search engine has placed a strong emphasis on a friendly mobile experience.
The major breakthrough came when it was announced in 2015 that mobile-friendly compliance would be a ranking factor specifically for searches undertaken on mobile devices. The main goal of such a rule is to ensure that customers are engaging with sites that are not only appropriate but also of better quality.
In this regard, it is crucial that your site is also mobile-friendly. It can increase the ranking of your pages, show snippets from your website in the results, and also make it convenient for Google to understand the structured data.
Speed your site up
When it comes to SEO, speed is also a critical factor in ranking and conversation rates. Slow speed puts off the users, which means that if you don’t have a fast-paced site, your customers will be more prone to leave the site instead of interacting with it. On top of that, Google also evaluates the speed of the site in order to decide how websites should be ranked.
Accordingly, Google gives preferences to the sites that load more quickly. Top-ranking websites have many things in common, and one of them is fast speed. In this way, these sites also have very low bounce rates.
As per the Google Page Speed Industry Benchmarks, as the load time of a page goes up, the probability of someone bouncing from the page also increases substantially. For instance, if your pages take 6 seconds to load, the chances of someone leaving the site before it even loads is 106%. In other words, page speed matters.
How to Score better on Google Page Speed Insights?
While the strategy to score the top score might differ according to the dynamics of your site, there are some techniques that apply to every website. Firstly, it is important to compress the images. Large images significantly lower the speed of the pages. Browser caching is also a crucial tool to increase page speed, so every time someone visits your site, and it has to fetch the resources, it can happen quickly. Moreover, it is useful to minimize the HTML coding.
Fix duplicate content issues
Duplicate content refers to content across domains, which are totally same or substantially similar. Content can be duplicated, for instance, if it is copied unapologetically. Content curation, which involves the gathering of stories from different places on the internet, can also cause duplication. Content scraping that extracts information from various sites also adds up to the duplication issue.
Duplicated content can create various versions of your site and dilute the link popularity. When Google comes explicitly across similar content, it only shows one website to display on the search results. This means your site might not show up on the results if it has similar content to another website. In some cases, Google might also ban a site by treating the content as spam, abusive, manipulative, or deceive.
How to deal with duplicate content issues?
It is a good technique to do a simple google search and see whether or not you have similar content. You can employ various types of tools like Google Webmasters to alert you about duplication of the content on the site. When writing content for the website, make sure it is truly unique and creative.
What is an XML sitemap and why do you need it?
SEO Agencies also place a significant emphasis on a good XML sitemap. If you want Google to find your important pages and eventually crawl them, then it is essential to have a thorough XML sitemap. It is a list of all the crucial pages on your site. The sitemap shows various “index” sitemaps that makes the structure of the site more understandable.
XML sitemaps are particularly useful for websites with a massive number of pages or rich media content. But it is a good practice to have the sitemap even if your site does not have these features. In doing so, it will be easy for Google to identify and find the essential pages of your site and know when they were last updated.
Consider enabling AMP
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open-source framework, recently launched by Google together with other tech companies. AMP makes it easier for simple mobile sites to launch quickly, almost instantly. Enabling AMP can actually impact the user experience on mobile devices and influence the ranking of your site.
Accelerated mobile pages: are they worth it?
It is speculated that AMP is a ranking factor in Google’s mobile-first index. In this way, there is no issue in making use of the opportunity that comes with AMP and using it for your site. We have already talked about how low page speed can decrease the conversion rates. Therefore, a faster speed of the mobile pages can retain the customers and encourage them to engage with the website.
Add structured data markup to your website
Structured data is data that is constructively organized. From Facebook titles to Open Graph markup, structured data can be employed at many places on the internet. When it comes to SEO, structured data involves the implementation of markup on a webpage. This markup eventually helps the search engine to understand the content and support relevancy signals.
SEO Services pay attention to the structured data to also help the site is benefitting from enhanced results in the SERPs. Structured data has standardized implementations in the form of formats and syntaxes that sites have to be used when designing their SEO strategies. For instance, there are two standard terms that are used with syntaxes. These include the Schema.org and Microformats.org.
Structured data can simply help your site appear in the rich and enriched search results. It can enhance the way your content appears in the search engine results and drive more traffic to your site. It can also improve the click-through rate on your site (CTR).
From site speed to the appearance in the search engine, there goes a lot into crafting a robust SEO strategy. It is crucial to focus on these technical aspects because without them other techniques, such as link building and keyword use, will not be sufficient to boost the ranking of your site. Let us know what you think about these features.