A Step-by-Step Guide to Technical SEO

If you get your site’s technical SEO wrong, everything else is lost. Get it right, and you’ve probably solved the number-one problem of site optimization and conversion.
In one study, 59% of SEO enthusiasts named on-site technical optimization as their most effective SEO strategy. For enterprise and mid-tier companies, this figure rises to 65.4 and 66.7% respectively.

What’s more?

Forty-seven percent of site users expect a page to load within two seconds.
Going from one second to ten seconds loading time will probably send your bounce rate to 123%.

For every second delay in loading time, your page conversion drops by 12%.
Google will de-rank your site if users visit and return to search engines in less than five seconds.

You’ll probably agree: you need to understand what technical SEO is and how you can do it properly.

What is technical SEO?

Search engines give priority to websites that display specific technical features, such as responsive design or fast loading times – over those that don’t. Getting your technical SEO right ensures that your website appears in search results.

Technical SEO is a set of practices for optimizing the structure and content of your website so that search engines and human visitors can use it without problems. If you do an excellent job, the search engines:

Find the site
Access content
Explore the pages
Correctly interpret the site’s content and structure
Index the site’s pages so that they appear in search results.
You’ll benefit from better search results and higher rankings. More people will find you, interact with your content and convert into leads.

Technical SEO also works the other way around.

If you make technical mistakes on your site, they can cost you and your business. You won’t be the first to prevent search engine spiders from crawling your site by unintentionally messing things up in your robots.txt file.

So you need to know what you’re doing.

Index your site’s pages

An index is a name for the database used by Google, Yahoo or any other search engine. These indexes contain details of all the websites that search engines can find.

If a website isn’t in a search engine’s index, users won’t find it. As a result, no organic traffic. And organic search traffic is vital to the growth of your website and your business.

Forty-nine percent of marketers say that organic search offers the best return on investment of all marketing channels.

How to index your site’s pages

Let’s explore how to index your site on Google, Yahoo and Bing.

How to submit a URL to Google

Before you start, type site: yourdomain.com into Google. No results will appear if your page is not indexed.

Use Google’s URL inspection tool.

Use the URL Inspection Tool option to find single-level page entry errors. You can find this tool in Search Console.

Server errors

A server error means that Google was unable to load a page due to a server problem. Server errors can occur when your website is overloaded with traffic that the server can’t handle.

However, resolving a server error depends on the type of server error you get. Common server errors include:

Connection reset
Truncated headers
Connection rejected
Connection failed
Connection timeout
No response
For more tips on how to correct each of these errors, you can check here.

Robots failure
A robots failure means that Google was unable to retrieve your robots.txt file, located at yourdomain.com/robots.txt.

If you get this error, you should double-check how you configured your robots.txt file. Find out which pages you’ve asked Google not to crawl.

Also triple-check Disallow: / line and make sure the line DOESN’T EXIST – unless you don’t want your website to appear in Google search results.

404 or not found errors.
This error occurs when a search engine has requested a URL on your site that does not exist. While seeing many “404 or not found” URLs in your crawl error report can be worrisome, it’s not as bad as it sounds.

Note on Google’s guidelines that 404 errors do not affect your site’s indexing or ranking. On that note, you should know that repairing your 404s depends on the cause. It could be as simple as

Correcting typos in an internal link

Adding a page

Redirecting the URL to other relevant content on your site if it’s a URL people think exists
If it’s a page you don’t want to revive, you can 301 redirect it to the most relevant page.

Access denied to errors

These errors occur when a search engine is denied access to a particular page. Access denied errors are generally caused by:

Pages prohibited by the robots.txt file
Password protecting the page
Your web host blocks Googlebot
If you want blocked pages to appear in search results, you’ll need to fix what’s blocking the search engines. In addition, you need to:

Remove the login requirement from the page
Remove the URL from your robots.txt file
Use the robots.txt tester to check the warnings in your robots.txt file.

No-follow errors

Not to be confused with a “no-follow” link instruction

No-follow” errors mean that Google was unable to follow this particular URL. These errors often occur when Google encounters problems with Flash, Javascript, cookies or redirects.

To correct this error, use the URL inspection tool or the Lynx text browser to display the site as Google would. You can also use a Chrome add-on such as User-Agent Switcher to mimic Google when browsing pages.

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