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The Definitive Technical SEO Checklist for 2021 Every Marketer Should be Aware Of

Is your website equipped with a robust foundation in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques? This technical SEO checklist encompasses the finest practices and crucial technical SEO elements essential for achieving digital triumph in 2021!

Over the last ten years, the digital marketing landscape has undergone profound transformations. Moreover, 2020 proved to be a remarkably challenging year for market participants and business proprietors due to economic contractions and a global trade deceleration. We encountered numerous hurdles that demanded marketers to remain vigilant, including shifts in consumer behavior and preferences, evolving market trends, more stringent industry regulations, and unexpected algorithmic updates.

Have you observed a drop in your search rankings or a significant dip in your page traffic? If so, there might be a few gaps in your technical SEO endeavors. Technical Search Engine Optimization is often a neglected facet of website optimization, as most individuals channel their attention towards web design, on-page, and off-page optimization. Many marketers overlook the pivotal role that SEO technical practices play in augmenting website performance and delivering the optimum user experience (UX).

Make sure you have your technical SEO checklist at the ready to ascend back to the zenith of search results and reclaim your lost search traffic. Our technical SEO specialists at Leadshouse have identified the primary technical SEO components that warrant focus in establishing a sturdy website foundation.

In this discourse, we will delve into:

  • What constitutes technical SEO
  • Why your business necessitates technical SEO services
  • How technical search engine optimization operates
  • Common technical SEO challenges
  • Vital technical SEO ranking criteria for 2021 that demand scrutiny

Now, as the year draws to a close, it’s imperative to brace yourself and be better prepared to ensure you stay at the forefront. Read on to grasp more about what technical SEO entails and how you can leverage it to your advantage.

What Constitutes Technical SEO?

We understand that high-quality content is the linchpin for securing prominent search rankings. However, content alone isn’t sufficient to unleash your online potential. You require a robust SEO underpinning to assist search engines in discovering and comprehending your site’s content, as well as aiding visitors in navigating your web pages.

Technical SEO accounts for approximately 10 percent of Google’s ranking factors and it forms the bedrock of an SEO strategy.

Technical search engine optimization involves optimizing your site’s infrastructure to ensure that search engine crawlers can traverse, index, and interpret your website proficiently. The objective of technical SEO strategies is to elevate your site’s rankings in pertinent search engine result pages (SERPs) and guarantee that your target audience can locate your content online.

Technical SEO spans a wide spectrum, encompassing aspects such as site speed, broken links, meta tags, and site security. All facets of technical SEO revolve around enhancing your website’s crawlability and indexability.

Crawlability concerns a search engine’s capacity to access and navigate through your web pages. Indexability, conversely, enables search engines to scrutinize and store your page content within a colossal database, ready to be presented as a result for pertinent search queries.

Poor crawlability and indexability constitute technical SEO issues that can impede your search engine rankings early on. If your website grapples with crawlability and indexability challenges, web crawlers may struggle to access your content. This is because web crawlers adhere to a crawler budget, allocating a time limit for traversing each website. If web crawlers expend excessive time and resources on navigating your site rather than indexing your page content, your site might not get indexed. Consequently, it won’t feature in SERPs and, even worse, could incur penalties from Google.

To secure lofty search rankings and sustain a vigorous digital presence, investing in the right technical SEO services is crucial. Let’s delve deeper into the pivotal role of technical search engine optimization in your business’s online triumph.

Why Is Technical SEO Important?

While formulating a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, most marketers concentrate on selecting high-ranking keywords, optimizing page content, and acquiring high-quality backlinks. While the significance of these on-page and off-page SEO techniques cannot be overstated, it’s equally imperative to accord due attention to technical SEO. This ensures you surge ahead of the competition.

Search engines are software, and making sure your website speaks the language that the search engines speak helps make the process of getting indexed correctly and quickly faster and efficient.

Search engines accord priority to web pages that are pertinent, responsive, and easily navigable. By optimizing your key technical SEO elements, you empower search engines to ascertain your website’s value. Additionally, it safeguards your website from technical SEO quandaries that can obstruct your appearance and ranking in pertinent search results, while also providing a positive online experience to page visitors.

At its worst, neglecting crucial components of technical SEO may result in missed opportunities to convey your brand message. Furthermore, it renders your website completely inaccessible to search engines, rendering it invisible to online users.

To provide you with a deeper grasp of the importance of executing SEO website technical audits, consider the following example:

A medical cost-sharing ministry in Houston, TX conducted an exhaustive SEO technical audit to assess site performance and pinpoint areas for enhancement.

The technical SEO audit revealed an abundance of duplicate pages, improper Yoast settings, scarce unique title tags, incongruous page content, and numerous attachment pages, all of which hindered the website’s ranking for its target keywords.

They began to incorporate canonical tags on the website, eradicating media attachments, eliminating duplicate content, conducting routine technical SEO audits, and monitoring Google Search Console for crawl errors, sitemap issues, and robots.txt matters.

Just three months later, they managed to amass 2.82k clicks and garner 216k impressions. The graph below delineates a clear comparison of the client’s site performance over the preceding 16 months.

In October 2020, the client’s organic SEO traffic soared by an impressive 165.98 percent. Moreover, the website saw a remarkable 173 percent surge in new organic search users. All these triumphs can be attributed to technical SEO for WordPress. Our technical SEO analysts didn’t implement any additional optimization endeavors apart from the janitorial work on WordPress.

The ultimate months dedicated to fulfilling SEO website technical requisites led to nearly twice the number of new clicks from search queries. Most significantly, the client’s indexation rate showed a considerable improvement.

These outcomes validate that merely having a website and initiating local SEO efforts won’t automatically catapult you to the apex of search results. You need to adopt a proactive approach to fulfill your SEO checklist and adapt to the evolving online terrain. Completing the SEO website technical audit fundamentals is one of the most reliable methods to ensure this happens.

How Does Technical Search Engine Optimization Work?

Search engines harbor a singular aim: to furnish online users with the finest conceivable search results, contingent on their intent. To achieve this objective, search bots traverse and assess web pages based on a multitude of technical SEO ranking factors to ascertain your site’s content and purpose.

There may be challenges with your technical SEO elements that can be promptly rectified or necessitate further scrutiny — this is where technical SEO for WordPress comes into play. Technical SEO experts scrutinize and enhance your technical SEO elements, encompassing site structure, hreflang, internal and external links, codes, canonical tags, 404 pages, and 301 redirects, to ensure your site is navigable and indexable by search bots.

Technical SEO specialists also engage in routine SEO technical audits to refine your website’s technical facets and guarantee it remains devoid of technical SEO issues. Before delving into the indispensable technical SEO factors, it’s imperative to first comprehend the common SEO blunders that warrant your attention.

The Common Technical SEO Issues You Need To Avoid

Technical SEO complications vary in magnitude. Nevertheless, regardless of the size of the hiccup that disrupted your technical SEO audit checklist, technical SEO missteps can ultimately hamper your search rankings.

Businesses should consistently monitor any factors influencing their website’s page speed and indexations to ensure their web pages do not hinder search engines.

Visualize SEO website technical audit fundamentals as the backbone of your website. Any misalignment on your technical SEO checklist can negatively impact your overall performance. Conversely, a comprehensive SEO checklist, coupled with a robust technical SEO strategy, fortifies your website’s integrity and ensures smooth operation.

Here are the most prevalent technical SEO issues you should be vigilant about:

  • Over-indexing
  • Absent HTTPS security
  • Arbitrary blog tag pages and graphic assets
  • Absent or sub-optimized meta tags
  • Duplicate or absent information
  • Multiple versions of the homepage
  • Low-value pages
  • Subpar navigation
  • Sluggish page speed 
  • Absent alt tags and internal links
  • Lack of XML sitemaps
  • Broken links
  • 404 pages

These issues exert an impact not only on your website’s performance but also on the overall user experience of your site. It’s no secret that user experience is a primary determinant for search engines. By addressing these common technical SEO issues, you pave the way for a more seamless and user-friendly web experience.

The Vital Technical SEO Ranking Criteria For 2021

With the dynamic nature of search algorithms and the evolving preferences of online users, staying abreast of the latest technical SEO ranking factors is indispensable.

In light of the perpetual transformations in search engine algorithms, our technical SEO specialists have compiled the most critical technical SEO ranking criteria for 2021. Take a moment to acquaint yourself with these elements to ensure your website remains in compliance with the latest search engine guidelines.

1. Mobile-Friendly Design

As mobile internet usage continues to soar, it’s paramount that your website is optimized for mobile devices. This includes responsive design, mobile-friendly content, and fast loading times.

2. Page Speed and Core Web Vitals

Search engines prioritize websites that offer a swift and seamless user experience. Core Web Vitals like Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift are now pivotal ranking factors.

3. Site Security (HTTPS)

Websites with secure connections (HTTPS) are preferred by both users and search engines. It’s essential to ensure your site is encrypted for a safer browsing experience.

4. Structured Data Markup

Implementing structured data markup helps search engines understand your content better. This can lead to rich snippets and enhanced search results.

5. Mobile-First Indexing

Google primarily uses the mobile version of a site for ranking and indexing. Make sure your mobile site is just as robust as your desktop version.

6. XML Sitemaps

A well-structured XML sitemap aids search engines in comprehending the layout of your site and ensures that all pages are indexed appropriately.

7. Canonical Tags

Proper use of canonical tags prevents issues with duplicate content, ensuring search engines know which version of a page to consider for rankings.

8. Optimized Images

Images that are appropriately sized, compressed, and tagged can enhance user experience and contribute to better rankings.

9. Internal Linking Structure

A clear and logical internal linking structure helps search engines navigate your site and understand the relative importance of different pages.

10. Avoiding Keyword Cannibalization

Ensure that each page on your site targets unique keywords to prevent competing against yourself in search results.

By aligning your technical SEO efforts with these crucial ranking criteria, you fortify your website’s standing in search engine result pages. These elements constitute the foundation of a robust SEO strategy and are integral to sustaining long-term online success.

In conclusion, as the digital landscape evolves, it’s paramount to maintain a steadfast focus on technical SEO. By prioritizing the vital components outlined in this discourse, you’re poised to overcome common technical SEO challenges and ascend to the summit of search results.

At Leadshouse, our adept technical SEO specialists are poised to bolster your online presence through meticulous attention to technical SEO elements. With a wealth of experience and a proven track record, we stand ready to catapult your website to unprecedented heights. Visit our website today!


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