A how-to guide to website setup and migration with an in-depth look at the benefits of technical SEO. By understanding the basics of technical SEO, you can unlock the potential of your website and ensure it is optimized for search engine rankings. Technical SEO requires good skills and good tools but it also requires a good level of compassion for the other people in the team. I URL might have changed and you can drop a quick redirect. Equally, a URL might have changed content. If the nature of the page has changed and the anchor text in the link is no longer relevant then you have to become a diplomat and negotiator within your business – you are responsible for getting the copywriters to change their prose for practicallity!
In this guide I cover importance of website structure, URL structures,and the process of website migration and how to make sure it is done correctly.
Key Components of Technical SEO
Technical SEO is an essential part of any successful search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. It involves optimising the technical aspects of a website to ensure that it is properly indexed and ranked by search engines. Technical SEO focuses on the underlying structure of a website, rather than the content itself. This includes optimising the website’s code, improving the speed and performance of the website, and ensuring that the website is accessible to search engine crawlers.
Cheat: I use WordPress for my website. Out of the box it is a good starting point. Then with the inclusion of a plugin AIOSEO (All In One SEO) a huge amount of the heavy lifting is done for you. Carry on reading to see how to do it manually, or if you don’t use WordPress (for some insane reason).
The key components of technical SEO include:
1. Crawling and Indexing: This involves ensuring that search engine crawlers can access and index all of the pages on a website. This includes optimising the website’s robots.txt file, as well as making sure that the website is properly linked internally.
2. Site Architecture: This involves optimising the structure of a website to ensure that it is easy for users to navigate and search engines to crawl. This includes optimising the URL structure, as well as making sure that the website is properly linked internally.
3. Page Speed: This involves optimising the speed and performance of a website. This includes optimising the code, as well as optimising the images and other elements on the page.
4. Mobile Optimization: This involves optimising a website for mobile devices. This includes optimising the code, as well as making sure that the website is properly linked internally.
5. Security: This involves ensuring that a website is secure from malicious attacks. This includes optimising the code, as well as making sure that the website is properly linked internally.
6. Structured Data: This involves optimising the code to ensure that search engines can properly interpret the content on a website. This includes optimising the code, as well as making sure that the website is properly linked internally.
By optimising the technical aspects of a website, businesses can ensure that their website is properly indexed and ranked by search engines. This can help businesses increase their visibility and improve their search engine rankings.
Understanding the Benefits of Technical SEO
Technical SEO is an important part of search engine optimisation (SEO) that focuses on optimising the technical aspects of a website to improve its visibility in search engine results. Technical SEO is a broad term that encompasses a range of activities, from improving the structure of a website to making sure it is properly indexed by search engines.
Technical SEO is an important part of any SEO strategy, as it ensures that search engines can crawl and index a website properly. Without proper technical SEO, search engines may not be able to find and rank a website, leading to a decrease in organic traffic.
The benefits of technical SEO are numerous. It can help to improve a website’s overall visibility in search engine results, as well as its ranking for specific keywords. It can also help to improve the user experience, as a well-structured website is easier to navigate and use. Additionally, technical SEO can help to reduce the amount of time it takes for a website to load, which can help to improve its ranking in search engine results.
Technical SEO can also help to improve the overall security of a website. By ensuring that the website is properly secured, it can help to protect against malicious attacks and other security threats.
Step 1: Submit your website
Technical SEO involves a variety of activities and it might seem straight to recommend this first but think about it, letting the search engines know you have a website with issues is better than them never knowing at all. We’ll get to website structure, making sure that it is properly indexed and optimising the content for search engine crawlers in a minute
So, when it comes to optimising your website for technical SEO, the first step is to make sure that your website is properly indexed. This means that search engine crawlers can find and index your website’s content. To do this, you need to submit your website to the major search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The first tool you’re going to learn how to use is Google Search Console to submit your website to Google. Here’s a good guide on getting started with Google Search Console. (I’ve not written one myself yet :)).
Once your website is indexed, you need to make sure that it has the right content structure. This means that you need to make sure that your website is organized in a way that makes it easy for search engine crawlers to understand and index your content. This includes making sure that your website is properly organized into categories and subcategories, and that all of your content is properly tagged and categorized.
In addition to optimising your website’s structure, you also need to make sure that it is optimised for speed and performance. This means that you need to make sure that your website loads quickly and that it is optimised for mobile devices. You can do this by using caching and compression technologies, such as Gzip and Brotli, to reduce the size of your website’s files. You can also use minification and concatenation techniques to reduce the number of requests that your website makes to the server. Again, there are many websites with dedicated content on this issue.
Finally, you need to make sure that your website is optimized for search engine crawlers. This means that you need to make sure that your website is properly optimized for the keywords that you are targeting. Keyword targeting is a larger area that I will cover but for today, make sure that thing you would google is the thing that is in the main keyword areas of your page.
<title>My First Web Page</title>
<meta name="keywords" content="html, web page, basic">
<h1>My First Web Page</h1>
<p>This is my first web page. I am using HTML to create it.</p>
<p>The keywords for this page are HTML, web page, and basic.</p>
In addition to the
keywords meta tag, there are a few other places where keywords can be included on a web page. These include:
- The title tag
- The alt text of images
- The body text
- The heading tags
Strategies for Website Setup and Migration
Website setup and migration can be a daunting task, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the process. Fortunately, there are several strategies that can help ensure a successful website setup and migration.
The first step in any website setup and migration is to plan ahead. Before beginning the process, it is important to determine the scope of the project, the timeline, and the resources needed. This includes identifying the content that needs to be migrated, the hosting platform, and the domain name. It is also important to create a backup of the existing website, as this will be essential in the event of any issues during the migration process.
Once the planning phase is complete, the next step is to configure the hosting platform. This includes setting up the server, installing the necessary software, and configuring the database. Depending on the hosting platform, there may be additional steps that need to be taken, such as setting up security protocols and configuring email accounts.
If you are using a CMS try to find hosting that specialises in that CMS. If not, try to get VPS (Virtual Private Server).
A virtual private server (VPS) is a virtual machine (VM) that runs its own operating system (OS) and provides its own set of services. It is a type of cloud computing that provides a more isolated and secure environment than shared hosting. VPSs are often used for websites and applications that require more resources than shared hosting can provide.
VPSs are typically more expensive than shared hosting, but they offer a number of advantages, including:
- More resources: VPSs have their own dedicated resources, such as CPU, RAM, and disk space. This means that they can handle more traffic and more demanding applications than shared hosting.
- More control: VPSs give you more control over your server. You can install your own OS, configure your own settings, and install your own software.
- More security: VPSs are more secure than shared hosting because they are isolated from other servers. This means that your website or application is less likely to be affected by attacks on other servers.
Once the hosting platform is configured, the next step is to migrate the content from the existing website to the new one. This includes moving the files, images, and databases. It is important to ensure that all of the content is properly migrated, as any errors could cause the website to malfunction.
The difference between 301 and 302 redirects
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. This means that the old URL will no longer exist, and all traffic to that URL will be redirected to the new URL. A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect from one URL to another. This means that the old URL will still exist, but all traffic to that URL will be redirected to the new URL for a limited amount of time.
The main difference between 301 and 302 redirects is that 301 redirects are permanent, while 302 redirects are temporary. 301 redirects are used when you want to permanently move a page to a new location, such as when you change your domain name. 302 redirects are used when you want to temporarily redirect a page to a new location, such as when you are working on a page and don’t want visitors to see it yet.
301 redirects are better for SEO than 302 redirects. When you use a 301 redirect, search engines will transfer all of the link equity from the old URL to the new URL. This means that the new URL will start to rank higher in search results. When you use a 302 redirect, search engines will not transfer any of the link equity from the old URL to the new URL. This means that the new URL will not start to rank higher in search results.
Testing, Monitoring and Troubleshooting
The final step in the website setup and migration process is to test the new website. This includes testing the functionality of the website, as well as the security protocols. I highly recommend Screaming Frog – it’s been going for years and a great tool for technical SEO. Once the website is tested and functioning properly, it is ready to be launched!
But it doesn’t end there, monitoring and troubleshooting technical SEO performance is an important part to the ongoing success of your SEO strategy. With the best will in the world you can’t know every piece of content on the website, every line of code, every innocuous change that has been made without your knowledge. Technical SEO is the practice of ONGOING optimising of a website for search engine algorithms therefore automated monitoring is very much in your wheelhouse.
Monitored and troubleshooting use a variety of tools and techniques. These include analyzing website structure, optimising page speed, analyzing content, and monitoring website performance.
Website structure is an important factor in technical SEO performance. It is important to ensure that the website is properly structured and organized so that search engine algorithms can easily crawl and index the website. This includes ensuring that all pages are properly linked, that all URLs are properly formatted, and that all page titles and meta descriptions are optimised. If I URL has changed or the name of a page has changed you need to know about it. Regular monitoring will show where you have links pointing to 404 pages and they can then be analysed and you can make the decision to redirect or remove. If the nature of the page has changed and the anchor text in the link is no longer relevant then you have to become a diplomat and negotiator within your business – you are responsible for getting the copywriters to change their prose for practicallity!
Page speed is another important factor in technical SEO performance. It is important to ensure that pages load quickly, as this can have a direct impact on a website’s rankings in SERPs. Page speed can be improved by optimising images, minifying code, and using a content delivery network (CDN).
Content is also an important factor in technical SEO performance. It is important to ensure that content is optimized for search engine algorithms, as this can help to improve a website’s visibility and rankings in SERPs. This includes optimising titles, meta descriptions, and content for keywords.
It also includes optimising the published content from behind the scenes. I’ve talked briefly about compression and minification but it is your job to analyse the published content and question the lines of code or the necessity of a 3mb image that works perfectly well compressed by 50%. Again, discussion and negotiation are key.
By properly optimising a website for search engine algorithms, a website can improve its visibility and rankings in SERPs. This can lead to increased website traffic, improved brand visibility, and increased sales.
If you’d like to hear more and/or talk to someone about technical SEO drop me a line.