Ultimate SEO guide Part 2

Technical SEO

When we talk about Technical SEO, we're delving into the realm of website and server enhancements aimed at facilitating more efficient crawling and indexing by search engine spiders. Unlike focusing on the content itself, Technical SEO revolves around optimising the behind-the-scenes structure of your website.

The primary objective of Technical SEO is to ensure that your web pages are easily discoverable, well-organized, and prominently featured in search results. Take a look at some of the features offered by Umbraco that fall under the umbrella of these SEO tools.

Use Canonical Tags

Ensuring your website ranks well on search results is vital, and having duplicate content can hinder this. To address this issue, it's crucial to employ canonical tags to designate your primary version effectively. By pinpointing the main copy of a webpage, you mitigate the impact of duplicate content stemming from similar URLs.

Even if you consistently generate unique content for your site, adhering to SEO best practices, the website code might inadvertently create multiple pathways to the same content, triggering a duplicate content concern. Therefore, incorporating canonical tags is key to eliminating this risk.

Create and Update XML Sitemaps

By crafting XML sitemaps, you communicate to Google that your content meets the necessary criteria for indexing your website's pages. As web crawlers assess the information on your site, a content grade plays a pivotal role in determining the performance of your pages in search results for your designated keywords.

To maintain a high content grade, it's advisable to include only pages featuring exceptional landing page content, steering clear of utility pages designed for specific tasks. Regularly updating your XML sitemaps becomes essential as you introduce more high-quality content and internal links to your website, ensuring all pages continue to meet performance expectations.

Noindex and Nofollow

In the realm of SEO, the settings known as Noindex and Nofollow prove to be quite handy. It's possible for low-value content to surface through avenues other than popular search engines, potentially impacting your site's authority. Umbraco simplifies the process by offering per-page settings to effortlessly apply these flags where necessary.

Opting for a Noindex setting implies that the page won't be indexed or accessible through search engines. This can be a strategic move to prevent duplicate content from cluttering search results, and it's particularly beneficial for concealing utility pages, such as admin, login, or thank-you landing pages, from search engine visibility.

On the other hand, a Nofollow setting directs the search engine to disregard a specific page link when it comes to ranking. This instruction can serve as a deterrent against spam and low-quality links, contributing to a more refined SEO strategy.

404 Broken Links

When a requested page cannot be found, a standard 404 error is typically returned. This situation often arises when a link is established between two pages, but the destination page undergoes a relocation. Umbraco steps in to enhance the user experience by maintaining the delivery of the 404 status code for the benefit of website crawlers. Simultaneously, it cleverly showcases a more user-friendly and personalized landing page, ensuring a better overall experience for the site visitor.

Hreflang tags

The hreflang attribute is a handy HTML feature employed to designate the language and geographic target of a webpage. In scenarios where you have various versions of a page tailored for different languages or locales, the hreflang tag comes into play. It effectively communicates to search engines, such as Google, about these diverse versions, aiding in the determination of which one should be presented to the user based on their preferences.

Choose WWW or Non-WWW

Offering a user-friendly alternative to IP addresses, URLs should present clear and valuable information within a limit of 2,083 characters. When crafting your website's URL, the choice between a WWW or non-WWW structure becomes crucial for optimising your appearance in search results.

Once you make a choice, it's advisable to stick with it to prevent confusion for both your readers and web crawlers. While the option to use both is available, incorporating canonical tags is a must to designate the master copy of your page. Failing to do so could lead to penalties for duplicate content, resulting in a significant decrease in your search rankings.

Secure Your Site (HTTPS Support)

Google flags all non-HTTPS websites as "not secure" to enhance internet security. This label triggers a warning for all visitors, alerting them to the potential insecurity of your site. Therefore, it is recommended to bolster your website's security by transitioning to HTTPS or implementing SSL to prevent a decline in traffic.

Through this transition, all data exchanged between your site and the web browser becomes encrypted, heightening the overall security of your website. This, in turn, contributes to enhanced credibility and improved SEO rankings, aligning with your marketing objectives. Additionally, the shift to HTTPS enhances the user experience by safeguarding your site visitors' data from potential threats like packet sniffing and other interception methods.