Technical-SEO-Tips-To-Improve-Crawlability-Reckless

4 technical SEO tips to improve crawlability

By Abi Crosbie, SEO Manager at Reckless.

5 minute read

Technical SEO is the foundation of any successful SEO strategy. It’s what allows search engines to find, understand, and rank your content in search results. Without it, even the most engaging and educational content won’t be seen.

In this blog, you’ll learn the most important and actionable technical SEO tips, to make your website easily crawlable, and rankable, on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Technical SEO Optimisations for Crawlability

Running a technical SEO audit will help you find crawlability issues that are hurting your website’s search results. Common problems include:

  • XML sitemap issues
  • Poor site architecture
  • Slow load speed
  • Mobile responsiveness

Once you know what’s negatively impacting your website, you can implement fixes, many of which lead to quick wins. Here’s a breakdown of each of these areas in more detail, and how to improve them.

XML sitemap

An XML sitemap is a crawler friendly list of all the URLs that make up your website. Most off-the-shelf platforms, like WordPress and Shopify, generate XML sitemaps automatically. If you don’t use these platforms, there are alternative sitemap generator tools available. Once you’ve created your sitemap, submit it to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools so they can more easily crawl your site. 

Site architecture

A good site architecture means having a well-structured website that is easy for search engines, and your users to navigate. Effective ways to create a good site architecture include using simple URL structures, internal linking, meta robots and canonicals. Let’s explore these in more detail. 

URL structures

Your URL structure, or folder structure, is how your website’s pages are packaged up and organised. 

To create a good URL structure, imagine your website as a library with folders and subfolders to keep everything organised. You could create a main product folder called “Drinks”, and then include sub folders for “Coffee” and “Tea”. Structuring your site this way makes it much easier to crawl and navigate, improving your ranking in SERPs.

Additionally, keep your actual URLs short, simple, consistent, and use keywords that reflect your content. 

Internal linking

To implement good internal linking (which should be an integral part of your SEO content marketing strategy) strategically place hyperlinks within your content to connect relevant pages. Use clear and descriptive anchor text for these links to guide search engines across your site and show them how your content connects.  This helps search engines understand your website and the relationships between different pages, ultimately boosting your SEO.

Meta robots and canonical tags 

Meta robots and canonical tags provide important information to search engines about how to crawl and index your content. 

Using Meta robots, you can tell search engines to “index” a page so it shows in search results, or use “noindex” to hide it. You can control whether the crawler “follows” the links on the page, or use “nofollow” to stop them crawling the link and passing on any SEO value.

Canonical tags however, specify which page search engines should prioritise when there are duplicates with similar content. This avoids any confusion and ensures that only the most relevant version is indexed. You should only use this when you need to keep multiple similar versions of a page accessible to users, not to manage accidental duplication.

Broken links and 404s

Broken website links stop search engines crawling your content because they can’t access the intended page. They essentially get ‘stuck’ and assume your site is poorly maintained. So, prioritise identifying and fixing broken links to keep search engines crawling smoothly and ensure you’re considered a quality source.

Website speed

Just like you and me, search engines hate slow websites. Use tools like PageSpeed Insights to check how long it takes for your website to load and identify areas for improvement. If it’s slow, one of the easiest ways to speed it up is by compressing images because you don’t need developer support.

Other ways to speed up your website include caching pages, adding lazy loading images and compressing JS/CSS. But these may require additional developer support. 

Mobile Responsiveness

Today, developers build websites that adapt to different screens, instead of making different versions for mobile and desktop. Design however doesn’t always account for mobile, so areas like text size, buffer space around clickable elements and logical navigation layouts get missed. So, make sure your website works on desktop and mobile, and whenever you make changes, check both versions to see how they look.

Summary

Technical SEO is equally as important as content-focused SEO. It’s how your content actually shows in search results, and can earn you some relatively quick wins.

Run a technical SEO audit to learn how your website is performing, identify and fix issues. By regularly running these audits, you can continuously measure performance, improve it and find issues that crop up.

As a specialist SEO agency in Liverpool and Chester, we help companies develop and implement effective technical SEO strategies for long-term growth. If you want a free technical SEO audit on your website, complete the form below and we’ll book you in. 

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