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    What is technical SEO? - Blog UP&More

    When delving into technical SEO, we enter a world where details determine the success of a website. It’s here, in the hidden nooks and crannies of a site’s code and structure, that the battle for better search engine rankings plays out. Technical SEO isn’t just optimization, it’s a strategic game with algorithms to make our site as clear and effective as possible in the eyes of search engines. Learn how to properly customize our site to make it not only functional, but also preferred by Google.

    What is technical SEO?

    Technical SEO refers to the process of optimizing a website’s infrastructure and structure to make it easier for search engines to index and understand a site’s content. Its main goal is to improve a site’s performance, accessibility and usability in the context of search engines. This includes a wide range of activities, from optimizing the URL structure, to ensuring fast page loading, to improving the usability and accessibility of the site.

    Where to start with technical SEO for a website?

    The technical optimization of a site should always be preceded by an a SEO audit, which is prepared by an SEO specialist.  The prepared document contains a list of elements and errors on the site that need to be improved. Cyclical creation of the audit is a recipe for effective technical SEO and improvement of the site’s position in the search engine. 

    Technical seo – checklist

    Technical site optimization includes many aspects you need to pay attention to. To make it easier for you to go through, we’ve created a list so you can check what’s going on in your site.

    Page loading speed

    Page speed is one of the most important aspects of SEO. Currently, Google takes it into account when ranking pages.  Page loading time depends on the quality of the site code, format and size of images, etc. Here you can see what errors affect page speed and how not to fix them under technical SEO: https://pagespeed.web.dev/

    Mobile Responsiveness

    Mobile responsiveness is crucial from a technical SEO point of view primarily because of the “Mobile-First Indexing” policy used by Google. This means that Google mainly uses the mobile version of a site to index and evaluate its quality. If a site is not optimized for mobile devices, its position in search results may be negatively affected, as Google strives to provide the best experience for users using mobile devices. In addition, due to the growing number of mobile users, responsive sites have a better chance of increasing engagement and reducing rejection rates. Therefore, it is imperative that you make sure your website is well suited for mobile devices.

    Page structure and URLs

    Page structure and URLs are important for SEO because they help search engines understand the hierarchy and content of a page. Clear and logically organized URLs that reflect the structure of the page make it easier to index and can improve ranking in search results.

    Examples of page structures:

    1. Linear structure – Simple and sequential, suitable for smaller pages where each page leads to the next in a specific order.
    2. Hierarchical structure – Similar to a tree with the main page as the root, branching into subpages and further subcategories. This is common in online stores and large portals.
    3. Network structure – Each page is connected to many others, which is typical of Wikipedia pages, where content is heavily linked internally.
    4. Silo structure –  This is an advanced way of organizing content on a website, which is also important for SEO. In this structure, content on the site is organized into clearly defined categories (silos) that are thematically consistent with each other. Each silo focuses on a specific group of related topics or keywords, creating a deep, hierarchical structure.

    URLs should be short, contain keywords and be understandable to users. 

    For example, a site that sells hoodies with an automotive theme should have in the URL the keyword of the phrase being positioned on the site, i.e. motorization hoodie:

    www.domena.com/ubrania/bluza-z-kapturem-motoryzacja/

    instead 

    www.domena.com/category/product23564-34

    Site map

    The sitemap is important for SEO because it makes it easier for search engines to index and understand your site’s structure. It makes it easier for indexing robots to discover and index all the key pages, which is especially important for new or large sites with many sub-pages. A correctly built sitemap provides search engines with information about the hierarchy and importance of individual pages, which can positively affect their visibility in search results. In addition, regularly updating the map when new content is added or existing content is changed helps keep the search engine index up to date, which is crucial for effective SEO.

    To properly create a sitemap:

    1. Choose a format: Most commonly sitemaps are created in XML format, but HTML or TXT formats are also available. XML is preferred by search engines.
    2. Include all important pages: Make sure your sitemap includes links to all key pages of your site. There is no need to include every single page if they are not SEO relevant.
    3. Update it regularly: Update the map regularly, especially after adding new content or removing old pages.
    4. Limit the number of links: For a sitemap in XML format, it is recommended to limit the number of links to 50,000. For larger sites, you may need to create several maps.
    5. Submit sitemap to search engines: After creating a sitemap, submit it to Google using Google Search Console and other search engines that require it.
    6. Maintain readability for users: If you create the sitemap  in HTML format, make sure it is easy to navigate and understandable for users.
    7. Check readability for search engine robots: Use sitemap testing tools to make sure your sitemaps are properly built and readable by search engine robots.

    Robots.txt

    The robots.txt file is important in the context of SEO because it allows site owners to control how search engine robots should index their site. By determining which parts of a site can be crawled and which should be excluded, robots.txt helps optimize the indexing process and prevent the indexing of irrelevant or private sections of a site. This, in turn, ensures that search engines focus on the most important content, which can positively impact SEO rankings. However, inappropriate use of it can lead to search engines overlooking important pages, so its proper configuration is crucial.

    Server and SSL certificate

    Server and SSL certificate play an important role in technical SEO for several reasons:

    1. Server:
      • Loading Speed – An efficient server ensures faster page loading, which is an important ranking factor in SEO. Fast loading also improves user experience.
      • Availability – A reliable server with high availability ensures that your site is constantly available to users and search engine robots. Frequent downtime can negatively affect SEO rankings.
    2. SLS certificate:
      • Security and Trust – SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) provides a secure connection between the user’s browser and the server. Sites with an SSL certificate are marked as “secure” by browsers, which increases user trust.
      • Search engine ranking – Google has confirmed that the use of HTTPS encryption (requiring an SSL certificate) is a ranking signal. Sites with HTTPS can be favored in search results over those using an unsecured HTTP connection.

    Directions and canonical tags

    To properly use redirects and canonical tags in your SEO, you should follow these steps:

    1. Redirects:
      • Apply 301 redirects (permanent) – Use them when you permanently move or delete a page. 301 redirects will transfer most of the SEO value to the new address.
      • Use 302 redirects (temporary) – When a site is temporarily moved. Remember that they do not transfer the full SEO value.
      • Avoid redirect chains – Too many redirects in succession can slow down page loading and negatively affect SEO.
      • Provide technical correctness – Make sure your redirects are technically correct and do not generate errors.
    2. Canonical tags:
      • Indicate preferred version of URL – Use a canonical tag (<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.przyklad.com/strona" />) to indicate to search engines which version of a duplicate or similar URL should be indexed.
      • Prevent duplicate content problems – Help you avoid duplicate content problems, especially on URL parameter pages.
      • Apply on every version of the page – Any page with potential duplicates should include a canonical tag indicating the preferred URL.
      • Be consistent – Make sure the indicated canonical URL is consistent with the page’s content and meta tags.

    The correct use of redirects and canonical tags will allow you to maintain consistency in the structure of your site, optimize indexing and avoid duplicate content problems, which will positively affect your SEO.

    Meta title and meta description

    To effectively optimize your meta tags for SEO according to Google’s latest guidelines, there are a few key rules to follow:

    1. Meta Tag Title:
      • Clear and concise – The title should clearly state the topic of the page. It is recommended that it should not exceed 60 characters in order to be displayed fully in search results.
      • Include key phrases – Place the most important key phrase at the beginning of the title, but avoid overuse. The title should sound natural and be understandable to users.
    2. Meta Tag Description:
      • Attractive and descriptive – The description should encourage clicks while providing accurate information about the content of the page. Recommended length is approximately 160 characters.
      • Use key phrases – Include relevant key phrases, but remember that the description should be helpful to users first and foremost.
    3. Compatibility with page content – Make sure your meta tags reflect the actual content of the page. Incorrect use of meta tags can lead to poor user experience and lower rankings.
    4. Uniquenessfor each page – Each page on your site should have a unique meta tag title and description to avoid duplicate content problems.

    Optimize SEO images

    Optimizing images and graphics on a website is a key part of SEO. To do this effectively according to Google’s latest guidelines, it’s worth following a few rules:

    Choosing the right format

    • Modern formats – Use modern formats like WebP, which offer better compression while maintaining quality, which contributes to faster page loading.
    • Standard formats – If you can’t use WebP, use JPEG for photos and PNG for graphics with transparency.

    Compression and size optimization

    • Compression without loss of quality – Use image compression tools that reduce size without significant loss of quality.
    • Adjust size – Adjust the size of images to the dimensions in which they are displayed. Excessively large images slow down page loading.

    Descriptive file names

    • Understandable and descriptive – Graphic names should reflect the content of the image and, if possible, contain relevant keywords. For example, instead of “image1.jpg”, use “house-on-plaza.jpg”. In the name, you should not use other characters or write words together: “dom_na_plazy.jpg” czy “domnaplazy.jpg”.

    Attribute alt (alternative text)

    • Descriptive and concise – Use the alt attribute to provide a brief but accurate description of the image. The alternative text is used by search engine robots to understand the context of the image.
    • Keywords – Including keywords in the alt text can help with SEO, but they should be used naturally and only when they match the image.

    Lazy loading (lazy loading)

    • Optimize loading – Consider using lazy loading, which loads images only when they are visible on the user’s screen, which helps speed up the initial loading of the page.

    Optimization for mobile devices

    • Responsiveness – Make sure your images are properly displayed on mobile devices. You can use techniques such as srcset in image tags to serve different image sizes depending on the screen size of the device.

    Remember that image optimization is not only about improving your site’s indexing and search engine position, but also about providing a better user experience through faster page loading and improved content accessibility.

    Structured data

    Technical elements also include structured data This is formatted information that allows search engines to better understand the content on your site. They are used to generate rich results (rich snippets) in search results, such as star ratings, recipe information or events. Here’s how you can add data to your site:

    1. Select the appropriate format:
      • The most commonly used formats are JSON-LD, Microdata and RDFa. Google recommends using JSON-LD, which is a data format that is stored in JavaScript and placed in the header of the page.
      • The following formats are available.
    2. Identify the appropriate scheme:
      • Visit Schema.org to find the appropriate schema types that match the content of the page. Examples of schemas include “Article”, “Event”, “Product”, “Recipe”, etc.
    3. Fill in the data according to the scheme:
      • Use the recommended properties for the selected schema type to describe your content. For example, for the schema “Article” you can use properties such as “headline”, “author”, “datePublished”.
    4. Add code to page:
      • For JSON-LD: Place the JSON-LD script in the <head>  section of the HTML page.
      • For Microdata and RDF: Integrate this data directly into the HTML page.
    5. Test your structured data:
      • Use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to verify that your data is implemented correctly and that search engines can read it properly.
    6. Monitor and update:
      • Monitor the effectiveness and correctness of structured data. Google Search Console can provide information about errors in this data  on the site.

    Error code 404

    The presence of 404 errors can affect a site’s ranking by losing the value conveyed by links, known as “link juice.” This is especially true when links from high-quality sources lead to pages that no longer exist. This situation results in the potential SEO value of these links being wasted, as the links no longer redirect to active, valuable content. In turn, too many 404 errors encountered by robots can affect the indexing process of a site. Search engines may view numerous 404 errors as an indicator of poor site management or neglect. In extreme cases, if the majority of a site generates 404 errors, this can lead robots to judge that the site is unreliable or of little value, which will negatively affect the site’s positioning in search results.

    In the context of technical SEO, it is worth responding to these errors as follows:

    • repair links – identify and repair broken links within the site. If the links lead to pages that have been moved, update them to point to the new URLs,
    • add 301 redirects – for pages that have been permanently moved or removed, set 301 redirects to the most relevant pages. 

    Core Web Vitals

    Core Web Vitals became part of Google’s algorithm in 2021, which means they directly affect a site’s ranking in search results. Sites that provide a good user experience, according to Core Web Vitals metrics, are ranked better and can achieve higher positions in search results. Therefore, it is important to optimize these on page elements to improve both SEO and overall user experience.

    To check whether a site meets Core Web Vitals (CWV), which is crucial for user experience and SEO, you can use various tools offered by Google. Here are ways to check CWV:

    1. Page Speed Insights
      • Allows you to analyze CWV for any site, including competitors’ sites.
      • Page Speed Insights.
      • Provides detailed results for different subsites, which is important because each subsite can have different CWV results.
      • Provides a list of potential problems and suggestions for improving them, which can help reduce page load times.
    2. Google Search Console
      • Allows you to check CWV only for sites you have access to.
      • In the “Enhancements” tab and CWV reports, you will find information for individual sites in both mobile and desktop versions.
      • Reports indicate specific problems on a particular subpage that may affect non-compliance with basic web metrics.
    3. Lighthouse
      • It is a tool that allows you to test CWV in incognito mode, which provides more reliable results, undisturbed by personal browser settings such as plugins.
      • Provides detailed information about a site’s performance, accessibility, best practices and SEO.

    Optimize JavaScript and CSS loading

    Optimizing JavaScript and CSS loading has a significant impact on SEO, mainly by reducing page load times and improving user experience. Faster page loading improves metrics such as Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which are part of Core Web Vitals, affecting search engine ranking. Optimization includes minifying files, removing unnecessary code, using asynchronous or deferred JavaScript loading, and using critical CSS at the top of the page. All of these contribute to faster page rendering, which is crucial for SEO.

    Content duplication

    Content duplication can negatively impact SEO, as search engines may have difficulty determining which version of content is most relevant, which can dissipate SEO value among duplicates. It can also lead to competition between similar pages within the same site for positions in search results.

    To address the problem of duplicate content technically:

    1. Use canonical tags – they indicate to search engines the preferred version of the page, helping to avoid duplicate content problems.
    2. Use 301 redirects – if you have several pages with identical content, redirect them to the one considered canonical.
    3. Avoid excessive content similarity – try to create unique content on each web page to avoid duplication.
    4. Check and manage duplicate content – regularly use SEO audit tools to detect and manage duplicate content on your site.

    Site language version

    To properly set the language version of your site for SEO, use hreflang tags for each language version, informing search engines of available languages and regions, and optimize content for keywords for each language. It’s important to keep URLs consistent for different language versions, avoid auto-redirects based on the user’s location, and offer language selection. In addition, each language version should have proper internal linking and customized metadata, such as titles and meta descriptions. This approach will allow search engines to better understand the site’s multilingual structure and provide a relevant experience for users searching for content in their language.

     For example, <link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/de" hreflang="de" /> indicates that the link leads to a German version of the site.

    Internal and external linking

    Internal and external links have a significant impact on a website’s SEO, as internal links make it easier for search engines to understand a site’s structure and distribute SEO value between pages, which helps determine their hierarchy and importance. On the other hand, external links, especially those coming from reliable sources, serve as indicators of trust and authority, which can significantly increase a site’s authority and ranking. At the same time, skillful linking to other authoritative sites can enrich a site’s content and improve the user experience, which is further valued by search engines.

    Why technical optimization is important?

    Technical optimization is important because it allows you to ensure that all technical aspects of your site comply with search engine guidelines. A technically correctly optimized site makes it easier for Google’s robots to effectively index and understand your site’s content, which is key to achieving high rankings in search results. This includes elements such as page load speed, mobile responsiveness, URL structure and security, all of which have a direct impact on a site’s visibility in search engines.

    Does technical SEO help optimize indexing?

    Yes, technical SEO helps optimize your site’s indexing process by search engines. By focusing on technical aspects of a site, such as improving URL structure, using appropriate meta tags, optimizing loading speed, improving usability for mobile devices, and managing robots.txt and sitemap.xml files, technical SEO makes it easier for search engine robots to efficiently crawl, index and understand a site’s content. This, in turn, can lead to better ranking in search results.

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