SEO or search engine optimization has become an important requirement for all websites. Today, your website cannot serve its intended purpose if it does not have SEO. It is no longer optional. There are many factors that make up a good website, but one great factor that you should never forget to think about for your new site is SEO. Search engine optimization forms a great part of digital marketing plans.
Today, website thinking is far beyond the era of “if you build it, they will come.” There are so many website owners who are struggling with implementing SEO. If you own a new site, you need to know the technical SEO checklist that you should use as a website owner. Here is our SEO technical checklist that will help you work through the important aspects of search engine optimization.
1. Make your Site Mobile-friendly
In 2015, Google announced that mobile optimization became a ranking factor for websites. Therefore, if you want better rankings on the search engine results page you need to make sure that your website is mobile optimized.
You might have built your website with a responsive design, but it is always wise to make sure that is actually validated. You need to review how Google mobile crawler does on your website. You should perform as much user experience and quality assurance testing as possible just to be sure that your website truly can be easily accessed by your users on all devices.
2. Optimize the Page Speed
Page load speed matters for the good of your website. Nobody wants to open a site that takes longer to load. We all want a site that loads very fast so that we can access what we want on the website. Load speed also matters for search engines. If your site keeps visitors waiting, they will just leave, and remember Google is using your mobile page speed for ranking. Therefore, you need to check your page speed and improve it to make sure it is optimal.
You can use page speed tool to test the speed of your page. Many SEO tools s able to detect the issues that are slowing down your page and can also give you practical tips on how to address each issue and boost your page speed.
3. Optimize Images
Un-optimized images used in your website can actually slow down the page load times. It is very common for website owners to use un-optimized images especially if they don’t use photo editing software.
When optimizing images you need to make sure you get image sizes that match the exact dimensions and resolution that you need. Image size should be reduced without affecting the visual appearance.
An image contains information that downloads a lot of bytes on a page. This makes the server to take more time loading information than it should. When images are optimized the server perform faster due to the removal of the additional bytes ant too much irrelevant data.
4. Fix Broken Links
Broke links lead to poor user experience and even prevents search engines from properly crawling pages on your website. It is important to identify and fix all broken links on your site because it helps prevent a unit of your crawl budget from going to waste.
5. Build Search Engine Friendly URLs
URLs play a major role in the success of your SEO overall website if you get them right the very first time. Both users and search engines require URLs that are descriptive and have keywords. However, many website owners get URLs wrong and continue to build their websites with dynamic URLs that are not optimized completely.
The URLs are accepted by Google and may seem to work for your site, but at some point, you might be prompted to merge new ones to improve user experience, site performance and the search engine visibility which is actually a lot of work.
Your site should have easy to follow URLs so that you can keep track of them in Analytics and Search Console among others. With poorly done URLs, link building becomes difficult too.
6. Use Secure Protocol-HTTPS
HTTPS protocol has always been one of Google’s ranking factors of sites. HTTPS is an acronym for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. It actually encrypts data and makes it difficult for it to be corrupted or modified during transfer. The data is kept secure from attacks.
By using HTTPS, your website can experience better rankings since it is a ranking factor on Google. Also, your site visitors will feel it is safe to use the site and that the data provided is encrypted for the prevention of the attacks.
Sites that use HTTPS have a lock on the before the URL in the navigation bar. Sites that don’t use HTTPs have an information icon which when clicked displays a message that the connection is not safe, thus a clear indication that the site is unsecured.
7. Be Sure That Your resources are Crawlable
All important resources on your website should be crawlable because uncrawlable resources can negatively influence search engine optimization. Crawling happens before indexing, which makes content visible to the website user.
Crawling is basically first finding your content. Indexing follows and finally, your pages are ranked within the greater index.
8. Use Schema Markup
Schema markup is an important SEO technical checklist to consider because it provides additional structured data to search engines. The structure data improves the context of the content on a page and in various situations, it can change the appearance of your website in the search engine results page.
Schema markup can be used in different sites including review sites, recipe, business and event sites among others. Google offers a software known as Structured Data Testing Tools that can be used to test your page for any issue that might be present in your structured data.
9. Get Rid of Too Many Redirects
Although redirects can eliminate a lot of trouble relating to link equity and broken pages, they can cause lots of issues if you have a lot of them. A huge number of redirects can slower the load times of your website which means that the site’s user will spend a lot of time trying to get to the landing page.
It is recommended to have only one redirect for a page, otherwise, you might find your site having a redirect loop. A redirect loop is basically a chain of redirects for the same page which is absolutely misleading because the search engine will not establish which page to show, this will end up giving an error.
10. Check Your Site Architecture
The architecture of your site is an important SEO technical aspect to consider. You need to build a proper hierarchy and structure especially into the navigation and sections of your site. This is good both for users and search engines and helps present topics and content in an organized manner.
You need to think about mapping out your site structure in a better way. Also, you should take a look at your content, identify how to prioritize the various aspects of your site and how you want to funnel your users.
Optimizing your website take time and it should never be done as a one-time affair. However, you need to get started so that as you go about it, you will be able to learn through the process. By mastering the relevant SEO technical, you will be a better position to set your new website up for success.