An SEO-optimized website is not only fast for users, but it is also easy to crawl for search engine robots. A proper technical set-up can help ‘interpret’ content on a website into a structured ‘machine’ language that helps Google grasp what your pages are about and prevents confusion caused by, for example, duplicate content. For users, technical SEO is also the answer to improving UX by speeding up the website and preventing dead links.
Here is what you need to do to technically optimize your website for SEO:
1. Add JSON-LD
In short, JSON-LD is a standardized format that helps structure data in a page and makes it machine-readable data. This structured data helps search-engine robots understand your website and even your brand and business better. By adding JSON-LD, you help to create a more organized and better web overall, which benefits the page ranking.
Normally, SEO experts use Schema.org – a project that was developed by the big search engines – to structure data in a website. On Schema.org, you can find all structured data markup supported by search engines, among which JSON-LD is the safest one which does not break your site as easily as others do. If you find the process too hard for you to handle yourselves, there are also a lot of tools out there to help you out. So don’t worry.
2. Submit a sitemap
Simply put, a sitemap is a file that contains links to every publicly accessible page on a website. It is often categorized into posts, pages, tags, and other custom types. Submitting a sitemap ensures that Google will never miss any pages of your site.
Normally, a sitemap is not a must if your website already has a nicely established internal linking structure. However, a polished structure cannot be found on all websites on the Internet, especially those which are built by amateurs. A regularly updated sitemap, therefore, is highly recommended in this case. It’s not harmful yet helpful.
3. Get rid of any dead links
Nothing can be more frustrating for visitors than landing on a ‘404 errors’ page. Dead links in some cases can ruin the whole user experience even if any other things are already flawless. And what’s worse? Search engines don’t like dead links. Google and other search engines want to present their users with the best quality of content, so they rank the website based on many factors including website quality and level of relevance. Dead links negatively influence how Google evaluates the quality of your website, which in turn decreases your SEO ranking.
Unfortunately, most sites have (at least) one dead link and this in some cases is unavoidable. To avoid any risks of 404 errors to your SEO score, you can redirect the dead URLs to another page that replaces the old one. This replacement can be your home page and any other custom pages as you wish.
4. Watch out for duplicate content
Duplicate content refers to the same content appearing on multiple pages of a website. While Google understands that duplicated content across websites is inevitable and it does not penalize that, the duplicate content on the same website is not in this case. As search engines always want to reduce spam, if it finds duplicate content on the same website, the SEO ranking of that website will be affected.
Unfortunately, duplicate content is inevitable sometimes due to the fact that different URLs may show the same content for some technical reasons. This may not affect user experience, but it does affect SEO score and SEO ranking because search engines consider duplicate content as spam. Thus, regularly checking for duplicate content on your website is highly recommended to protect your SEO ranking.
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