Are you worried about driving organic traffic to your website? You must be! In the year 2020, the virtual world has undergone technological metamorphosis. So, your SEO strategy needs to be a lot more technical than it used to be in the pre-voice search era when there was little awareness about cybersecurity. As the average user is now much more tech-savvy and concerned about personal security, search engines have shifted focus from their archaic data-based approach to a security-based approach.
Also, the increase in the number of voice searches requires you to revamp your current SEO strategy. According to a recent survey, over 50% of all web searches would soon be carried out through voice search. That increases the difficultly level, making it more challenging than ever to rank higher on the SERPs. Nonetheless, it cannot be neglected because the online space is lush green with countless opportunities, as more people continue to stay indoors.
Therefore, we decided to equip you with seven technical SEO tips that can significantly impact your overall organic traffic, so let us start.
Start with an SSL Certificate
In 2014, Google revealed one of its ranking factors — the HTTPS — and the importance of using SSL certificates was touted all over the internet. However, one thing that is seldom discussed is how to use an SSL certificate to increase your organic traffic. So, would an SSL Certificate that comes free with a shared hosting plan do the job? The answer is a big no! That is because of the SERPs rank webpages and not websites.
The bundled or discounted or cheap SSL certificate that comes with most web hosting plans is the Domain Validated certificate. This type of SSL does not secure all the subdomains of your website. So, you must look for the best SSL Certificate provider and buy a more advanced certificate. So, with just one certificate, you can encrypt all your website’s subdomains and webpages. Therefore, you will rank better than someone using a basic SSL like the Domain validated certificate.
Invest in your hosting
Please do not fall prey to cheap web hosting plans because they come with a lower price tag and a free SSL. Instead, find a web hosting plan that offers a dedicated server or at least VPS hosting. Also, look up for some of the best SSL Certificate providers and treat the hosting and SSL as two separate products to invest in. Your choice of a web hosting plan profoundly impacts your website’s speed and performance, determining the overall user experience. To measure this, Google and other search engine algorithms take various factors into account, like the web site’s speed, downtime, etc.
From the SEO perspective, shared hosting plans are never recommended because web hosts tend to put too many websites on a single server, which affects its performance. If there is a blacklisted website on the server assigned to your website, then you are doomed. That is because SERPs identify sites by their IPs, and all websites on a server share the same IP.
XML Sitemap Submission
Algorithms read and process data very differently from how we human beings understand it. You can make things easier for the SERPs by creating and uploading XML Sitemaps from time to time. If you use WordPress, it is as simple as using the ‘Yoast SEO Plugin’ to create one. You can then submit the link to the search engines.
To create XML with Yoast, you should follow the below steps:
- Log into your WordPress Dashboard
- Install and Activate Yoast Plugin
- Click on SEO on the left-hand side panel
- Toggle the button to ON under XML Sitemaps
- Click on Save Settings
- Click on the question mark above XML Sitemaps
- Now press ‘See the XML Sitemap’ to see it
- Copy and Paste it on the Webmaster tool of the SERP
Speed up your website for different devices
Your website’s speed truly matters as it contributes to your website’s user experience. With the increasing internet speeds and reducing attention spans, speed directly impacts your bounce rate. Unless your website loads extremely fast, the users will bounce off to the next site, which would increase your bounce rate, which tells the SERPs that people do not like your website. As a result, it would impact your search engine rankings.
For a high-speed website, make use of a website hosting plan that provides you with a dedicated server and CDN use. Additionally, make use of next-gen image formats that consume lesser space than older formats like PNG. If you use WordPress to run your website, you can resize your existing images with Smash. Also, using plugins to activate the lazy image loading feature is recommended. This loads the text content before the image, which ensures a better user experience. Finally, make it a point to check your website’s speed for both desktop and mobile devices, and you can do that for free here.
Get rid of Broken Links
When a user enters a search term and navigates to a search result, it does not feel great to come across a broken link. This is something Google’s algorithm looks at; seriously, you must check for broken links on your website from time to time and fix it. To find broken links on your website, use SEO Chrome extension or Google Search Console.
Check for Duplicate Content
Google promotes fair play in the virtual space and therefore does not rank websites that indulge in plagiarism or copied content. So, if you do not check your content on plagiarism checkers like Copyscape before posting them, you must start doing that. If you use more than one domain extension with the same content, you might want to start using canonical tags.
Back in the day, a famous Black Hat practice was to get a ton of backlinks to a website to get the link juice. And surprisingly it worked. Now, the virtual world is far more mature, and so is Google’s algorithm, which is why you need to get links from websites in the same niche and with high domain authority. You can find toxic backlinks using Google Search Console or SEMrush and get rid of them.
From the above-mentioned technical SEO tips, you might have figured out that it is all about delivering superior user experience and eliminating junk from your site. In doing so, you need to consider how and what your website communicates to the search engines.