Technical SEO 101: How To Optimise Your Website In 2022
Updated on: 11 February 2022
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the trending keyword that all digital agencies and marketers seem to throw around. It’s more than just a buzzword, for SEO has almost become the lifeblood of a digital marketer’s job. While there probably are aspects of their job that includes creative elements, understanding Google and its ever-changing algorithm can mean the difference between a successful campaign and not.
SEO just means how well we can prime our websites such that people find it when they key in the relevant keywords on Google or any other search engine. So, what do I need to know?
On-Page SEO refers to all the content on your website and how you optimise it not just for the algorithm, but also includes the creation of quality content that adds value to site visitors. Okay, I can understand that.
Off-Page SEO talks about the inbound links that get people directed towards your webpages, be it from blogs or referral links. Alright, that’s simple to understand.
Technical SEO is focused on how easily search engine spiders can crawl your webpages and get your content indexed.
… Wait, what?
Google Crawlers (terms used to describe a program used to automatically scan and map out sites following links from a webpage to another) are sometimes called Googlebot. Saying it simply, making the job of these Googlebots easy will be better for the ranking of your website. And if by some chance that’s what you’re here to find out, we’re here to share some technical SEO basics to help.
Technical SEO Checklist
A whole list of factors people check through, almost like a technical SEO checklist of sorts, to ensure that they get that metaphorical A+ grading to boost their website’s ranks. However, even though hints are given as to what Google’s algorithm is looking for, Google has yet to confirm the full extent of the algorithm so that people cannot game the system.
Thus, this list comes from the results of hundreds and thousands of marketing campaign results compiled by the best agencies worldwide and includes but is not limited to:
- The speed your website loads
- Removal of spam, pop-ups and other undesirable elements that provide negative user experience
- Safety and security of your website
- Removing broken links and error pages
- Creating structured data to optimise how your pages are shown in search results
- Making a robots.txt file to show Googlebots what to crawl and what to leave
- Creating a sitemap to provide indexing
And something that is increasingly prevalent but has yet to catch on fully but is increasingly gaining awareness:
- Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly
While it may sound like something simple, there are a whole host of factors that affect your page’s loading page. Something that we might not notice while using high speed internet on our computers might take longer with a slower internet on our phones. You can test your website speed by using page load time assessment tools.
You can improve page speed by:
- Utilising high-performance, dedicated web servers
- Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN), a geographically distributed group of servers
- Optimising pictures without compromising on visual quality
- Reduce number of HTTP requests
- Clean up media library by getting rid of old images
Secure Socket Layers (SSL) are small data files that function by binding a crypto key to an organisation’s information and details. It is used to increase security of a website, allowing secure online transactions, login functions, and data transfers.
You can improve SSL by:
- Purchasing proper SSL certificates that provide different levels of security
- Purchasing SSL certificates from reputable certificate authorities
- Configure your server and websites using proper web design best practices
- Protecting and keeping your Private Keys safe
- Implementing HTTP Strict Transport Security
An Extensive Markup Language (XML) sitemap refers to tags and codes that denote the text in any digital documents. It lists out all your site’s important pages, speeding up content discovery by mainly Google’s crawlers. Essentialy, XML sitemaps are the guiding compass of your website that also updates and reminds these crawlers when new content is updated so they know when to re-crawl and index your site’s content again.
You can improve your XML Sitemap by:
- Using the right tools to ease (or even automatically) generate your sitemap
- Ensuring submission of sitemap to Google
- Indexing your high quality pages through your sitemap first
- Test your sitemap to find problematic pages
- Creating of dynamic XML sitemaps as your sites increase in size
- Keep your sitemap as small as you can instead of including random pages
Structured data refers to a standardised data that helps Google understand the elements on a site. By classifying the page content, google can differentiate between blogs, articles, news sites, cooking blogs and the like.
- Using the proper website structure model that fits with your site
- Use proper heading hierarchy on sites and on blog posts
- Link to relevant pages
- Add and assign relevant parent categories
- Using only 1 category per blog post
- Creation of site map
- Optimising for people, not just for Google’s crawlers
- Keeping things simple and understandable at a first glance
Technical SEO Audit
People often call it a technical SEO audit because they follow Google’s best practices to cater to website optimisation. Checking through every point to identify any technical SEO errors and rectifying them would help you improve your website’s rankings. While some aspects (such as website loading speed) are easy to optimise, others such as creating a mobile-friendly website require higher volumes of data to point out the best practices and allow us to get a better guess as to what Google’s crawlers are looking for.
As such, this is technical SEO 101. Every single one of the factors listed can be an article in of itself but gives a basic overview of what technical SEO entails. If technical SEO optimisation or technical SEO audits are what you are looking for, don’t be afraid to reach out to a digital marketing agency in Singapore that has the experience and expertise provide the necessary changes.
If you are an SME or business owner, you can also check for eligibility for the PSG digital marketing grant that provides up to 70% subsidy off to get you and your business started with digital!