Technical search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most fundamental aspects in the field of search engine optimization (SEO).
Even if you write quality content, if your site has unresolved technical SEO issues, you’ll have a hard time ranking it in the top search engine results pages (SERPs).
In 2023, technical SEO takes time and patience, but sacrificing some time to optimize the technical aspect of your site is vital if you hope to be successful with your web project.
In this article, we will explain the main aspects of technical SEO 2023 and share with you 10 practical tips that you can implement immediately to improve the presence of your website on search engines. An SEO Technical Checklist and an SEO Summary will also be provided to you to use as a checklist.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO ( also called On-Page SEO) is the process of optimizing your website for the phases of exploration and indexing by search engines in order to improve the experience of your users and by therefore to obtain a better ranking of your website on search engines.
Simply put, technical SEO is about any SEO work you do outside of content.
In the most basic terms, technical SEO is about improving the technical aspects of your website in order to optimize its ranking in search results. This is a broad area that covers a wide range of SEO topics including:
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
- The creation of Sitemaps
- Crawling and indexing
- Mobile Optimization
- Site loading speed
- The structure and ergonomics of the site
- Site Security (SSL Certificates)
- Image optimization
- Internal and external links
- Canonical URLs (Duplicate Content)
Now that you know what technical SEO is, we suggest 10 tips and techniques that you can use to improve your site’s technical SEO in 2023 and increase your rankings in search results (SERPs) and also your traffic.
Although some techniques are easy to implement allowing you to boost the loading speed of your website and therefore improve its natural referencing, do not hesitate to call on an agency specializing in referencing if you need support. by a professional.
1. Make sure your website is mobile friendly
Having a mobile-friendly site in 2023 is the most basic technical SEO trick.
One of Google’s major algorithm updates in 2015 was to give increased preference to mobile-friendly and responsive websites. In what has been called ” Mobilegeddon “. Several prominent websites have been penalized for not adopting a more mobile-friendly web template.
Google also announced 2 years ago that the indexing of sites will be based on mobile-first (Mobile-First indexing).
So today, having a mobile-friendly website is more important than ever. This is the basis of technical SEO in 2023.
Several free tools are available on the web to check the mobile-friendliness of your website, for example:
- Google Mobile Optimization Test
- Bing Mobile Usability Testing Tool
Google’s Mobile Friendly test will determine if your website meets Google’s criteria for a mobile-optimized website.
It is very easy to use. You only have to insert the URL of your site or the page of your choice.
Google (and the majority of other tools) gives you the result concerning the test and also gives you some advice to correct the problem of your site if necessary.
2. Create and Optimize your XML sitemap
Sitemaps are necessary for Google to find and index your web pages.
Although your site can be indexed by Google without sending a sitemap, it helps to speed up the indexing frequency of your website and at the same time it shows search engines the whole structure and URLs of your site.
Fortunately, it’s easy to create an XML sitemap. If you are a WordPress user, you can generate it using free WordPress plugins like Yoast or Google XML Sitemaps. Otherwise, there are several websites online that allow you to generate your sitemap for free.
Once you’ve created the sitemap, submit it to Google through the Google Search Console.
To do this, log into your Google Search Console account and navigate to Sitemaps -> Add New Sitemap, then press “Submit”.
Once your sitemap is successfully submitted, follow XML sitemap best practices:
- Make sure your pages are not blocked by the robots.txt file (this has nothing to do with your XML sitemap)
- Prioritize high-quality pages in your sitemap
- If you have a large site with over 50,000 URLs, use dynamic XML sitemaps. For example, you can send your site’s rss feed as a sitemap.
3. Speed up your website loading speed
Site speed matters a lot to search engines. Don’t make the mistake. If your site is slow and takes a long time to respond, Google will apply a small penalty to your website. It is an evaluation criterion among the most important Google ranking factors.
This means that even if your content is great, your website will rank lower in the SERPs unlike if your website had a faster loading time.
This is a technical SEO aspect that you simply cannot ignore.
You can use one of the following free tools to test your site’s speed:
- Google Page Speed Insights
If your site takes a long time to load, it can have a serious impact on user experience. Follow these steps to speed up your website:
· Optimize your site images:
Use a compressed image format like JPG in the majority of your posts. Use a tool like TinyPNG to further compress image files.
· Enable browser caching:
This lets you temporarily store certain data on a visitor’s computer, so they don’t have to wait for it to load each time they visit your site.
· Enable compression:
According to Yahoo, enabling compression on your website can shrink HTML and CSS files by 50-70% and dramatically increase site speed.
· Reduce server response time:
- Google recommends keeping server response time under 200ms. It is for this reason that choosing a quality web host is very important for technical SEO.
- Use a Content Delivery System (CDN) – Use a CDN like BunnyCDN or Cloudflare to boost your site speed.
4. Correct your site’s errors by performing technical SEO audits
You need to fix your On-Page SEO issues by running a technical SEO audit regularly if you want to rank your site higher in the SERPs and keep the position.
So how do you perform an audit to optimize your technical SEO?
- Several tools on the market can help you carry out your audit.
- SEMrush, Moz, and Ahrefs are all great tools. But are all paid and expensive.
- We recommend the free (limited) version of SEMrush. The tool is user-friendly and easy to use. The free version allows you to analyze up to 50 pages for free. If you are starting with a small site, this may be sufficient.
- To analyze your website by SEMrush, just create a new project and select the number of pages you want to analyze by SEMrushBot.
- SEMrush, or one of the other featured SEO tools, will scan your website for errors, warnings, and issues, then provide technical SEO recommendations and tips to fix those errors, always to improve the overall technical health of your website.
- Sample SEMrush Dashboard. Otherwise, the tool offers you a host of SEO features.
- Otherwise, you can combine some free Chrome extensions for SEOwhich can offer you interesting features in the technical analysis of your site.
5. Optimize internal links
An internal link is a hypertext link that points to another page on the same website.
6. Include Your Main Keywords in Image Alt Text (ALT)
Google cannot see the content of an image. Instead, it uses metadata such as image file name and image alt text (ALT) to determine the content of an image.
7. Use Canonical URLs to Avoid Duplicate Content Issues
You should always be sure to analyze your website and remove duplicate content on your site.
So, to avoid duplicate content and a Google penalty, configure a canonical URL using the rel-canonical tag. You can add the rel-canonical tag through the Yoast SEO plugin if you are using WordPress.
8. Install an SSL certificate for your website
Google confirmed in 2014 that SSL (HTTPS) certificates are now a ranking signal. Today, this is no longer an option. If your site is not secure, do not delay. The majority of hosts offer the certificate for free with your hosting.
9. Check and Fix Crawl Errors in Google Search Console
Check for crawl errors in Google Search Console regularly and fix them quickly as they are serious technical SEO issues that can affect your website’s performance and hurt your search engine rankings.
You can even test your pages in real-time on Google Search Consol.
10. Find and fix broken links on your site
Broken links are not only bad from a technical SEO perspective, but they can also harm your site’s user experience. You wouldn’t want any of your readers to land on a “404 Not Found” page. It just created a bad first impression and the user may never come back to your site again.
This is why you should regularly check for broken links on your site and fix them as they appear.
The majority of CMS offers you tools to detect problem pages.
For example, the Joomla CMS offers you a Redirect plugin that displays all broken links.
For WordPress, you can use the free Broken Link Checker plugin. Once the plugin is activated, it will scan your entire website every 72 hours looking for broken links. You will receive email notifications when the plugin finds broken links on your site and you can quickly fix them.
Otherwise, tools like SEMrush can help you detect and fix broken links. Sample SEMrush report:
Tips and Bonus Resources for Technical SEO
In 2023, technical SEO is a huge subject that requires constant diligence and updating. While we’ll continue to update this article to provide you with more in-depth information on technical SEO, here are some additional tactics you can use to optimize your site’s technical SEO:
- Use Google AMP – AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. These pages are designed to load very quickly on mobile devices. Although Google hasn’t announced that AMP is a search engine ranking signal, Google has pushed publishers to use AMP. If you are a WordPress user, it is super easy to implement AMP. Simply download the Google AMP plugin and you’re set (With page/user experience coming as a ranking factor in 2021, the future of AMP may change).
- Use Schema.org structured data
- Check and minimize the number of 301 redirects for your site: You can use a tool like SEMrush or Broken Link Checker (see #10) to check and reduce the number of 301 redirects on your site.
- Always Prefer Subfolders Over Subdomains: It’s a long ongoing debate, but most SEO experts agree that subfolders rank better in SERPs than subdomains. Google’s advice for webmasters has also touched on this many times.
Technical checklist and SEO summary
Technical SEO often takes precedence over the layout and backlink-building aspects. However fixing technical issues on your site is just as important to improving the health and performance of your website on the SERPs.
To summarize, here is the 10-point technical SEO 2023 checklist to increase your website traffic:
- #1 Optimize your website for mobile devices
- #2 Create and Optimize your XML sitemap
- #3 Increase Your Website Loading Speed
- #4 Fix Your Site Errors and Warnings With Weekly Site Audits
- #5 Optimize internal links and try to get natural external links
- #6 Include your main keywords in the image alt text
- #7 Use Canonical URLs to Avoid Duplicate Content Issues
- #8 Install an SSL Certificate (HTTPS)
- #9 Check and Fix Crawl Errors in Google Search Console
- #10 Find and fix broken links on your site