Last Updated: August 5, 2021
If you’re looking to rank higher on Google, you need to ensure your website is up to snuff from a technical SEO standpoint as well. Following are 11 tips for success that will help improve your search ranking.
Make Sure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
Not only does the Google algorithm give preference to mobile-friendly sites, but it has even penalized several top websites for not adopting a more mobile-friendly web design. Enough said. Having your site responsive to all types of screens is almost a requirement now! Also you need to make sure that there are no intrusive pop-ups that hamper the user experience.
There are many free tools you can use to check your site against Google’s criteria for mobile friendliness:
Create and Submit XML Sitemap
These can be created using Yoast SEO plugin or the Google XML sitemaps plugin if you’re using a WordPress site. The plugin automatically updates your XML sitemap whenever you create a new post or a page, a link is added in the sitemap file.
If you do not use a WordPress site, no problems! You can use third party tools like Xenu or Sitemap generator to create XML sitemap of your website. Once it is created, please make sure that you take a look at it and if everything looks good, it’s time to let Google know about it!
To submit your sitemap to Google, go to “Google Search Console” and login to the account. On the left sidebar, you’ll see “Sitemaps”, after clicking on it, you need to enter the URL of sitemap of your website which usually will be “yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml” & hit submit. Great job!
Having a sitemap is essential in order for Google and other search engines to find and index your web pages.
Page Load Speed
Your website may have top-notch content and an awesome theme but if it loads slow, it will rank lower in Google’s SERPs regardless. Working on the page load speed is one of the technical SEO strategies that can affect your website ranking directly.
Here are some ways to speed up your website:
- Optimize the site images
- Enable browser caching
- Enable compression
- Reduce server response time
- Use a Content Delivery System (CDN) like Cloudflare or MaxCDN
- Remove 3rd party scripts that are not necessary as they impact negatively on your page load times
Fix On-Site Errors
To rank well on Google, you need to make sure that all the basics of On-Page factors are followed as On-Page SEO is one of the most important practices to improve your search ranking. Include your keyword at the beginning of the title tag, make sure to have a variation of the same, is in the H1 tag, have LSI keywords 2-3 times in the content of your page.
Take advantage of internal linking if you’re having trouble generating backlinks from external authority sites. You can use exact keywords (anchor texts) to link to your internal pages that have high priority. It is a great way to let the crawlers know about your most important pages on the website.
Use Canonical URLs to Avoid Duplicate Content Issues
Canonical URLs are especially useful if you’re running an E-Commerce website which may have a high number of identical pages for various products, with a little different content on them.
E.g. Let’s say you’ve a website that sells shoes & a product page is set up for “Sports Shoes.” Depending on the stock you have for these, every size, colour and variation will result in different URLs! Uh oh!
By using Canonical tag, you can let the search engines know that the sports version of the product page is the main one and all others are its variations.
Optimise Your Image Alt Text
Because Google and other search engines use metadata, such as the image file name and the image alt text to determine what the image is all about, it is a good idea to include keywords in your image alt text and make it descriptive.
Spy on Competitors
Yes! Find and collect the URLs of your competitors that they already rank for your target keywords. Also, gather all the other related keywords that URL ranks for in Google. Unfortunately you’ll want to use third party SEO tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush etc., to find these opportunities as Google doesn’t give you this data. Though this doesn’t necessarily fall under Technical SEO checklist, it basically is finding out the keywords opportunities and using those into your on-page changes!
Check and Fix Crawl Errors – Google Search Console
Checking for crawl errors in Google Search Console weekly and fixing them promptly is the best way to ensure that the performance of your website is not hindered and your ranking remains unaffected.
Having a clean website structure helps search engines crawl your website one hundred percent! Structure means how all the pages of your website are organized and every page of the website is only a few clicks away from the other page. Having said that, it is also super useful to have consistent and logical URL structure as it helps users to understand where they are on your website.
Use Schema Mark-Up
Schema markup gives SERP listing more prominence as it gives Google extra, crawlable information on the content of web pages and advanced information regarding the theme and contextual purposes.
This mark-up helps the search engine to understand your page better and may help in boosting your rankings. It also may prove beneficial to help feature your website in rich snippets, allowing you to get a few more clicks thus boosting your CTR. It’s a good practice to use standard schemas like Logo and Local Business.