October 9, 2018 Last updated October 9th, 2018 2,799 Reads share

Top 5 Technical SEO Tactics To Boost Your Organic Rankings

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A technical website audit is still a vital aspect of an SEO audit of a website. The technical aspects of a website draw parallelism with the first couple of layers of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. That is, by not implementing them, you will not get any edge, but by not implementing them, you are at a loss.

What is Technical SEO?

When it comes down to SEO in general, it’s really how your website is built, how great your content is and how many links are you getting. Those are kind of three ways to think about the overarching aspect of SEO. It’s your content, how great is that? Then there is linking and external factors like social media. In the case of local SEO, it’s a little bit different because there are different signals there.

The biggest issues for most websites inside of Google are that they’re blocked because of invalid URL parameters or the Google removal tool. Perhaps, they are blocked by a robots.txt’ file, or have ‘rel canonicals’ going to the wrong place. Maybe, there are no-index, no-follow URLs in the wrong area.

Chances are, they are getting content indexed in the wrong area, have their international SEO incorrect,  have ref link tags in the wrong place, might have their pagination set up incorrectly or don’t have ‘rel next’, ‘rel prev’ and rel canonical going from one place to the other.

All those things that I mentioned are all technical SEO issues and you probably don’t even know what most of those are. The issue is Google has made it complex for websites to get indexed inside of their index properly. So much that they’ve created this entire field called technical SEO.

Why Technical SEO is Essential?

Your website is blocked, it’s not getting any traffic from Google, some of your pages aren’t being indexed properly, and you’ve got weird URL parameter set. If those were the cases with your website too, its technical SEO is in disarray. In fact, technical SEO is one of the main issues that hold back large and small websites from ranking in Google. In this blog, I am going to tell you why technical SEO is important and what are techniques you use to improve them.

Technical SEO Techniques to Increase Ranking of Your Website

Although there is an extensive range of techniques for optimizing a website, I will talk about six of them.

#1. Robots.txt

Robots.txt is a very basic on-page element that most people are familiar with. Essentially, the content of this file will determine which pages of your website can be indexed and which can’t be. Crawlers or robots from different search engines will check Robot.txt file and, accordingly, will index pages on your website.

It’s important to have the file in place because not only it’s the first port of call for Robots that are going to index your site, but also how they can access the site and what is in there to index.

The opening statement in a robot. txt file should be “user agent:”. It issues commands to Google bots, Bing bots, or whatever it is. If you want the user agent to be applicable everywhere in the website, add a ‘*’. You can allow or disallow a particular directory. To disallow, you write “disallow:” followed by the directory on your website.

#2. Sitemap.xml

A robots.txt file contains a link to the sitemap because the robot file is the first port of call. You need to specify the path of the sitemap on the website followed by “sitemap:”, which will tell search engines the location of the sitemap(s).

The format of sitemaps is xml, a file format that search engines can read to locate every page on your website. In addition, you can add markup information which pages have priority over other pages in terms of relevance.

#3. HTML Validation

HTML is a fundamental part of any website. If your website has elements of HTML and CSS, you can use validator tools such as W3Cvalidator. You open the tool in your browser, enter the web address and click Go. It’ll return HTML and CSS errors on your website as well as how to fix them.

Minimalistic and error-free HTML and CSS codes are important website performance matrices. They improve the way your website renders and, thus, load times. It could be a homepage menu that doesn’t render correctly in Mozilla Firefox or a couple of images that aren’t loading correctly in Google Chrome.

At the end of the day, such glitches negatively affect user experiences.

#4. Google Analytics Code

It is important to place the Google Analytics tracking code at the correct location. In most cases, the code is either at the bottom of the page or at the very top.

Google advises to place the code near the closing head tag. The idea is to load the tracking code as soon as the website loads.

#5. Website Performance

Did you know Google Webmaster Tools have an entire section dedicated to website performance? There are all sorts of graphs and charts to demonstrate the speed of your website.

In addition, many free tools are available on the web to calculate a website’s loading speed and other vitals parameters. Here are few tricks to improve a website’s performance.

  • Combine Files

If you have multiple JavaScript or CSS files, you can group them together. That is. You can combine JavaScript files with other JS files and CSS files with other CSS files, but not the other way around or nothing will work. This will reduce a website’s load time as Google or a web browser will only have to load one file in order to get that information.

  • Improving CSS

You can start by eliminating redundant codes, white spaces, gaps, etc. You can check CSS for errors with the validator tool I mentioned above and should combine CSS files together if you haven’t already.

Enclosing entire CSS setup inside a stylesheet rather than mixing it up and putting some CSS on page and some on the style sheet significantly boost performance.

  • Reducing Image Size

There are many ways to reduce an image’s size. Of course, you can always resize an image to decrease its size. A smarter way is to compress an image or to use a software other than Photoshop. Paint and Snagit, for example, remove the additional code that is created when exporting images to JPEG from PSD in Photoshop or a similar photo editing tool that adds mark-up information to exported files. Removing that information can reduce file size up to 70% in some cases.

Alternatively, file archivers such as WinZip and WinRAR compress images and other files for you. As a result, a smaller file will transfer from the hosting to the web browser, which will improve load time of a website.

  • Redirects

If you’ve got hundreds of redirects, they will hamper your website’s performance. You must reduce the number of redirects running on your website. While removing a webpage, remove its redirect as well and make sure no other pages links to it. In addition, check a webmaster tool to ensure these pages aren’t appearing with broken links or error 404s.

Final Thoughts

This is a simple overview of the technical SEO aspects of a website and what to look for when running a website audit. These are vital, fundamental aspects of a website. Getting them right from the start will generate less problems for you later on.

Aditya Modi

Aditya Modi

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