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Check Off These 4 Technical Enhancements to Boost Your Rankings

Check Off These 4 Technical Enhancements to Boost Your Rankings

Last year Google had six algorithm updates and four core updates. That’s a lot to keep up with! So we put together a list of 4 technical enhancements to improve your SEO this year. From website speed optimization and mobile-first indexing to crawlability and structured data markup, this technical checklist will help you drive more traffic to your website.

1. Website Speed Optimization: The Bedrock of Your Online Presence

With digital marketing and SEO, think of website speed optimization as the foundation. This is the first thing to check off your list because the speed of your website not only plays a critical role in your search engine rankings but significantly influences the user experience. Google recommends a server response time of under 200ms for SEO performance. To check your website's current standing, you can use tools like Google's PageSpeed Insights or Google Lighthouse. If your site exceeds the recommended threshold, I would recommend immediate action. 

Optimizing server response times begins with choosing a good hosting provider known for reliability and speed. Beyond the server, further optimization of your website will be essential. Practices like these can dramatically improve your site’s loading time:

  • Compressing images
  • Minimizing the size of your code
  • Implementing caching strategies
  • Utilizing Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) 

Each of these steps not only contributes to a better search engine ranking but ensures a smoother user experience. Prioritizing your website speed optimization today sets the foundation for your digital success tomorrow.

A two-second delay in web page load time doubles the bounce rate

Website Speed Optimization: The Bedrock of Your Online Presence

2. Mobile-First Indexing: Preparing for the Future of Search

Mobile-first indexing represents a shift in the way Google is approaching its ranking process. An overwhelming majority of online searches are conducted with mobile devices. So Google prioritized this user experience by choosing to focus on the mobile version of content during their indexing process. This underscores the absolute necessity of your web developers to adopt a more comprehensive approach when designing and creating your website. 

You’ll want to make sure your mobile sites are of course operational but also at the same level of the desktop counterparts. Think in terms of content richness and quality. It’s important to be consistent with the mobile and desktop versions in terms of metadata and structured data. 

Also, you can evaluate your site's mobile performance with tools like Google's mobile-friendly test.

Mobile accounts for approximately half of web traffic worldwide

3. Crawlability & Indexing Check: Ensuring Search Engines Can Find You

Crawlability is the search engine's ability to access and crawl through a website's content. Indexing is the process by which search engines organize information after a crawl, preparing it for display in search results. To facilitate this, a well-structured robots.txt file is critical. This guides web crawlers on which pages should not be processed or scanned. Additionally, leveraging XML sitemaps can significantly help search engines in understanding your website's structure. 

Many CMS platforms offer plugins that automatically generate these sitemaps, simplifying the process. A logical website architecture is beneficial for user navigation but it also enables search engines to crawl more efficiently. A clear hierarchy will make sure that both users and bots can easily find the relevant information. 

You can use Google Search Console to confirm that your pages are being crawled and indexed by Google. It will give you reports on indexing issues, and help you identify and fix any obstacles that could be hurting your SEO performance. Take time to make your site crawlable and indexed so your content is visible and competitive in search engine results.

4. Structured Data Markup: Enhancing Your Search Presence

Structured Data Markup is a coding language that communicates website information to search engines in a structured format. This optimization plays an important role in how search engines interpret and display content, enabling enhanced search results through "rich snippets," like stars for reviews and images for products. 

To effectively leverage this, I suggest the use of schema.org vocabulary to tag content with specific properties, identifying types of data such as products, reviews, or events. You can validate structured data using the Schema validation tool or Google's structured data testing tool before implementing it in your website's source code. Though meticulous, this allows search engines to understand and display additional information directly in search results, and this will improve your online visibility.

The Key Takeaways

Let’s sum this up. The landscape of SEO in 2024 demands a meticulous approach to technical enhancements. Focus on website speed optimization, mobile-first indexing, crawlability and indexing, and structured data markup. Taking time to prioritize these will make your website not only accessible and efficiently indexed by search engines but will also provide a better user experience. Meet the evolving standards of digital marketing! Implement these strategies, position your business to achieve higher search rankings, drive more traffic, and ultimately, secure a competitive edge. 

Need some help with this technical checklist? We’ll help bolster your online presence and propel your business forward.