9 Technical SEO Tips for the Beginner
Technical SEO is a rapidly growing field. As Google updates and tweaks their algorithm, there will be more and more enhancements to technical SEO. This article will cover the fun side of technical SEO, possibly helping your website rank better in the search results.
1. Page speed is important.
Most think of slow load times as annoying for users, but its consequences go beyond that. Page speed has been a search ranking factor for a while, and Google has even said that it may soon use mobile page speed as a factor in mobile search rankings.
2. Robots.txt files are case-sensitive and must be placed in a site’s main directory.
The file must be named in all lower case (robots.txt) in order to be recognized. Additionally, crawlers only look in one place when they search for a robots.txt file: the site’s main directory. If they do not find it there, they will continue to crawl, assuming there is no such file.
3. Crawlers can’t always access infinite scroll.
And if crawlers can’t access it, the page may not rank.
When using infinite scroll for your site, make sure that there is a paginated series of pages in addition to the one long scroll. It is important to implement replaceState/pushState on the infinite scroll page. Make sure to check your infinite scroll for rel= “next” and rel= “prev” in the code.
4. Google doesn’t care how you structure your sitemap.
As long as it’s XML, you are free to structure your sitemap however you’d like – category breakdown and overall structure is up to you and won’t affect how Google crawls your site.
5. Disallowing pages with no SEO value will improve your crawl allotment.
Pages that aren’t essential to your SEO efforts often include privacy policies, expired promotions or terms and conditions.
If the page is not meant to rank, and it does not have 100 percent unique quality content, block it.
6. Google usually crawls your home page first.
It’s not a rule, but generally speaking, Google typically finds the home page first. An exception would be if there are a large number of links to a specific page within your site.
7. Know everything you can about sitemaps.
- XML sitemaps must be UTF-8 encoded.
- The cannot include IDs from URLs.
- They must be less than 50,000 URLs and no larger than 50 MB.
- A sitemap index file is recommended instead of multiple sitemap submissions.
- You may use different sitemaps for different media types: Video, Images and News.
8. Robots.txt directives do not stop your website from ranking in Google (completely)
There is some confusion concerning the “Disallow” directive in your robots.txt file. Your robots.txt file simply tells Google not to crawl the disallowed pages/folders/parameters specified, but that doesn’t mean these pages won’t be indexed.
9. Half of page one Google results are now HTTPS
Website security is increasing in importance. In addition to the ranking boost given to secure sites, chrome is now issuing warnings to users when they encounter sites with forms that are not secure. And, it looks like webmasters have responded to these updates: According to Moz, over half of websites on page one of search results are HTTPS.