Search engine optimization (SEO) has become an integral part of any website willing to attract visitors. Before promoting your content, you need to have your website optimized to rank in search engine results. You have to ensure the website is indexed and can be easily crawled by search engines. This represents technical SEO and below you can find the key factors to pay attention to.
This is a table of the contents on your website. The sitemap is easy for search engines’ crawlers to retrieve and understand the navigation around your site.
Usually website platforms have plugins that generate a sitemap for you. Still, better safe than sorry, so do check if your website has a sitemap submitted to search engines. At worst, you should at least have a static one that you can create through free tools.
Maybe you have seen this error when conducting an audit of your website. Robots.txt provides instructions to the search engines on what pages of the site not to index. By default, search engines will inspect and index all they find on your website. However sometimes you don’t want to index certain pages like the error pages.
In case you don’t want to impose any restrictions on search engine indexing, make sure this file:
- Is accurate.
- Is valid in Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
- Doesn’t accidentally block important content from being indexed.
404 pages are easy to forget because they are used only when there technical difficulties. It’s a good idea to have a customized 404 page and put some information on it. You wouldn’t want to lose a visitor just because you had a standard 404 and the visitor assumed your website maybe is indefinitely closed.
You should create a 404 page that includes helpful links, navigation, site search functionality, and contact options.
Besides having a mobile-friendly and speedy website, having a secure one is just as important. If your website misses a SSL certificate users will be diverted before they even get to your website, because browsers do flag pages without proper security measures.
This should be done by default and it automatically instills trust in your website and who is behind it.
Having a clear structure and hierarchy of your pages will make navigation more intuitive. This will benefit your users and will score positive points with search engines.
Right before building out your website, it’s a good idea to step back and map out your site structure. It forces you to think about your content, how you prioritize certain aspects of your site and how you want your users to navigate through it.