Your Technical SEO Checklist for 2020

Over the past few years, search engines have prioritized authentic and quality content, rather than blogs stuffed with keywords, to feature on the first page. One of the ways you can rank higher is through technical SEO. 

Technical SEO

Technical SEO involves improving the ranking of a page outside of its content. It focuses more on, well, the technical side of a website, like its performance and how easily it can be detected by search engines. Technical SEO is always being updated, but here are four tips you should consider applying into your site. 

1. Site speed and authenticity

The performance and security of your site can impact your ranking. The rule of thumb for page speed is 2-3 seconds. If it’s slower than that, your visitors may leave, which increases your bounce rate. Make sure you regularly maintain your website and remove unnecessary items that take up space and affect your site speed. You can check your performance using Google’s PageSpeed. Another element playing into ranking is the security of your site. Ensure that an SSL certificate is issued to prove that your site is secure and can be trusted. 

2. Structured data

One of the benefits of having structured data on your site is that it allows search engines, like Google, to create rich snippets like these: 

Search Engine Land



Pretty cool right?

Having structured data allows search engines to understand the content of your site better. In other words, structured data makes it easier to absorb and read the information. You can use Google’s ”Structured Data Markup Helper” to assist you in creating the data needed for your website. The data can include the author of your post, an image, ratings, date published, etc. This is done by adding additional code into your site to be read by search engines. 

In this example, we are looking into creating structured data for a blog post using Google’s ”Structured Data Markup Helper.” Simply fill out the tags, and copy and paste the JSON-LD markup onto your website! 

You can also test the data structure of your website by using Google’s “Structured Data Testing Tool.” 

3. XML sitemaps and robots.txt

In order for search engines to crawl your site, XML sitemaps and robots.txt need to be implemented. You should also submit your sitemap to the search engine (e.g., Google has “Google Search Console”). The sitemap has the list of URLs on your site. The robots.txt file allows you to control what can be read on your site so it shows up on the search engine. For example, if you have a WordPress site, you wouldn’t want your login page to show up on a Google search. You can prevent this from happening by disallowing the /wp-admin page on your robots.txt file. You should also add the XML sitemap to your robots.txt file. 

4. Check for duplicates

Check the contents of your website to ensure there are no duplicate pages. If there are, use canonical URLs to identify which page you’d prefer for Google to show. This also applies to pages that have very similar content. This will confuse Google, as there will be no way for it to know which page to show in the search results. Our marketing agency likes to use SEMrush to perform site audits, as it detects these items for us. 

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