Link building is an extremely crucial part of SEO. Without quality backlinks, you can’t expect your website to achieve higher rankings in Google SERP. However, before you jump into the pool of link building, it is imperative to ensure that your website’s technical SEO is up to the mark.
The truth is poor technical SEO may harm your link building practices. It means even if you have built high-quality backlinks, your website will still struggle to get to the top. So, before you start with link building, make sure to put your time and efforts in improving technical SEO for your website.
Why Technical SEO Is Important?
For any SEO, the first goal is to make their website crawlable. If your website is too confusing for Google, it won’t perform well in the Google search results. In fact, if that’s the case, the quantity or quality of the backlinks won’t matter at all.
In addition to the website’s crawlability, there are several other factors that you must consider while optimizing the technical elements of your website. Some of these factors include:
Loading Speed is Fully-Optimized
Should Not Have Any Issues With Google Analytics Code
Has Enough WordPress Plugins to Handle Various Activities
Let’s discuss each of these factors in detail so that it becomes easier to understand the importance of technical SEO.
Your Website Should be Easy to Crawl
HTTPS Transition Implementation
If you have recently made the transition to HTTPS from HTTP, there might be a possibility that your site’s technical SEO is compromised. If that’s the case, doing a quick site audit using any of the SEO tools will prove to be beneficial.
The website audit will tell you everything that’s wrong with your website and how you can take the required steps to tackle these problems. To ensure that you don’t face any issues because of the HTTPS transition, be extra cautious while purchasing the SSL certification for your website.
Basically, the goal should be to ensure that the certificate all the subdomains you want it to cover. If that’s not the case, you are most likely to face critical issues in the future. For instance, you may face issues while redirecting the URLs to HTTPs.
So, be mindful while purchasing the SSL certification and make sure to perform a website audit once you have transitioned your website to HTTPS.
No Proper Redirects On Your Website
Speaking of HTTPS transition, it is also important that there are errant redirects on your website. Improper redirects can lead to critical issues and it can get too strenuous for the search engine to crawl your website.
In most cases, people end up redirecting multiple pages to a single URL. This can damage the website’s performance in a severe manner. To avoid this scenario, make sure to maintain 1:1 redirection throughout the website.
It means that every page should redirect to only a single URL. This way the search engine would easily crawl your website without facing any issues.
HTTP & HTTPS Should Not Load at the Same Time
One of the easiest ways to ensure that your website has completely transitioned to HTTPS is to check if both the HTTP and HTTPS versions load at the same time. In case both the versions load at the same time, there’s something extremely wrong with the secured version of your website.
To check if both the versions load at the same time, simply type in the URL in the address bar separately for HTTP as well as HTTPS. If the HTTP page opens separately (and doesn’t redirects to HTTPS), there’s a serious issue with the entire HTTPS transition.
In order to tackle this situation, here’s what you can do:
If you run your website on Wordpress, simply install a redirect plugin to force all the redirects from HTTP to HTTPS
If you run your website on Apache or other cPanel platforms, simply create and run a full redirect pattern in HTACCESS
These are the easiest ways to ensure that the website doesn’t load for both the versions separately and there’s no content duplicacy.
Install a Plugin (If You’re a Wordpress User)
If you run your website on Wordpress, the easiest way to deal with redirect issues is to install a pre-existing plugin. Fortunately, WordPress offers an array of plugins that you can install to force HTTP to HTTPS redirections.
Some of these plugins include:
CM HTTPS Pro
WP Force SSL
Easy HTTPS Redirection
These are only three of the plugins. However, there are dozens of other plugins that you can install and make the entire HTTPS transition as smooth as possible.
Change All Links from HTTP to HTTPS
Even if you have made the redirection using a tool, make sure to manually change all the URLs to HTTPS, especially if the majority of them are absolute URLs. Why? Because Google will crawl all the URLs separately, which can further lead to duplicate content issues.
Now, some people might debate that this is a waste of time, but that’s not true. In fact, when you manually change all the links, you make sure that Google only crawls the version of your website that you want it to.
Once you are done with the redirection, the next step is to check the URL structure of every page. Basically, complex URLs make Google’s job more difficult as it becomes strenuous for the crawler to read and understand the URLs.
So, instead of using,
Try to use something like this,
Here’s how you can optimize the URLs for different web pages on your website.
Make URLs Easy-to-Read
While publishing content or designing web pages, the majority of website owners let their CMS automatically generate the URL. Keep in mind that if you do the same, you can be in big trouble.
Automatically generated URLs usually have different types of pre-defined formats. And, none of these formats are easy-to-read. This can make it extremely strenuous for the search engine to crawl your web pages.
So, rather than letting the CMS generate the URL automatically, step-in and manually update the URL. There are several benefits of updating the URLs manually. For instance, it gives you the opportunity to perform URL optimization by adding the target keywords.
In addition to this, the URLs are easily readable, which means:
Any user who sees easily readable URLs in Google search results is more likely to click on it because it exactly matches the thing they were looking for. On the other hand, if your URL is too complex, the user may not want to click on it.
Believe it or not, but search engines actually consider the page URL while relating it to a specific search query. So, when you write well-optimized URLs, it becomes easier for the search engine crawler to index and display your web pages for the right search queries, giving your website the desired online visibility it deserves.
Keep in mind that poor URL structure can lower the user-engagement. So, make sure that every URL on your web page has a well-optimized structure.
Duplicate content is one of the major issues from an SEO perspective. While there are several scenarios where duplicate content issues can arise, duplicate URLs are the most common issue among all.
Duplicate URLs mean when different URLs display the same piece of content. In this case, the search engine gets confused, which can further hurt your website’s performance in SERP.
While duplicate URLs may not seem too much of a problem, it is necessary to pay attention to them and optimize them as soon as possible (ASAP).
Avoid Dynamic Parameters
Even though dynamic URLs aren’t bad from an SEO perspective, they don’t do any good for your website’s search engine rankings. In fact, dynamic URLs can lower the click-through-rate (CTR) for your website.
When a user sees a dynamic URL in the Google search results, he’s less likely to click on it as it will not relate to the keyword or his search query whatsoever. As we mentioned earlier, poor readability of the URL is not a good sign for your site’s performance.
So, make sure to avoid dynamic URLs as much as possible. Instead, rely on static URLs where you can also insert the target keyword and make the URLs search engine friendly.
Avoid Lengthy URLs
From an SEO point-of-view, shorter URLs are better than lengthy URLs. Not only shorter URLs are easy to read and understand, but even Google prefers them. In fact, Google has even mentioned that between a longer and shorter URL, that has the same content, the latter one would be displayed in Google search results.
So, if your website has too many longer URLs, make sure to optimize them into short & concise URLs so that your web pages get displayed in the search results.
Page-Loading Speed Issues
One of the major technical issues that you need to tackle before building backlinks is to optimize the website speed. Believe it or not, the page loading speed is one of the major Google ranking factors.
Slow-loading pages are less likely to be preferred by Google. Moreover, web pages that take too much time to load aren’t preferred by users as well. In general, a user waits for three seconds for a website load.
If it takes more than that, he’s likely to go back to SERP, giving an unwanted boost to the page’s bounce rate. This can further harm the website’s ability to ranking in the Google search results.
Here are a couple of issues that can lower the page loading speed of a website.
When you have too many images on your website, it is imperative to perform image optimization so that they don’t harm the website loading speed. When your website is stacked with too many images, make sure to compress their size.
Images having larger file sizes take longer to load, which can increase the overall loading speed of the website. So, make sure to compress the image size before uploading so that your images don’t increase the page loading speed.
Poorly Coded Site Design
When you have a poorly coded website, it is most likely to affect the website’s loading speed as well. In fact, a poorly coded website can also lower the user’s browsing experience & engagement. This is why it is necessary to perform the required code-optimization for every website.
If you have a team of in-house web developers, ask them to go through each element and ensure that everything is up to the mark. Even a small issue can lead to drastic issues in the future. So, it’s imperative to pay attention to everything.
The last, but certainly not the least, plugins play an important role in boosting the technical aspect of a website. However, there are some scenarios where these plugins can also harm the site’s overall performance.
Some of the plugin-related issues include:
Having Too Many Plugins
No doubt, it is necessary to have sufficient plugins to keep your website up and running, but having too many plugins can put your website’s performance in jeopardy. When you don’t manage the website’s plugins properly, they can cause severe technical issues.
Keep in mind that every plugin you install will send an additional SQL database query. Now, when there are too many plugins, there’ll be too many database queries as well. This will eventually slow down the page loading speed.
So, while adding plugins, make sure to be extra cautious. Only add plugins that are extremely necessary.
Plugins Can Cause Website to Crash
In addition to slowing down your website, plugins can also cause the website to crash, especially if your plugins auto-update. When the plugins update automatically, it is most likely that one plugin can come in the way of other plugins and make the website to crash.
This is why it’s always advised to keep a check on the plugins you have installed and removed the ones that frequently cause issues.
The Importance of Dealing With Technical Issues-Final Words
Before building backlinks, dealing with the technical issues of your website will help you a lot in the long run. So, before you jump into link-building, make sure to take your time and do a thorough technical SEO audit for the entire website. This will display all the technical issues your website’s suffering from.