The Complete Technical SEO Checklist

Technical SEO widgets
  • James Notaris

    CPA, ESQ. Legal Editor

  • Steve Longo

    Executive Editor

    In Brief:

  • Technical SEO is an overlooked but critical part of optimizing a website.

  • Having a website that performs well technically can give it an edge in search engine rankings.

  • Our complete technical SEO checklist examines everything you need to know!

So, you’ve optimized your meta tags, created killer content, and built quality backlinks. But your website still isn’t ranking well. You run an SEO audit to figure out what’s wrong, only to discover that your site is running very slow and clunky. 

Looks like you’ve forgotten all about technical SEO!

When many digital marketers think about SEO, they think about optimizing header tags with relevant keywords and doing outreach to build backlinks. Technical SEO often gets lost in the shuffle, but has never been more important, especially given the predominance of mobile search in the world today. But how do you make sure your website is well-optimized from a technical perspective?

Our complete technical SEO checklist does just that. We’ve compiled an extensive list of technical SEO items to keep in mind when building and marketing your website. Take a look at our technical SEO checklist below to make sure your website is running quickly and smoothly! 

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO refers to optimizing a website for crawling and indexing in order to improve its performance in organic search. In general, technical SEO strives to make sure a website is fast, seamless, and free of any errors that can hamper its search visibility or disrupt the user experience. 

A woman works on a white laptop performing a technical SEO checklist.

What Should Be on Your Technical SEO Checklist?

How should you go about optimizing your website for technical SEO? Our complete checklist offers a look at everything you need to look at in detail. Let’s jump right in!

Fix Crawl Errors

The first step on any technical SEO checklist should be to find and fix any crawl errors that might prevent Google and other search engines from viewing your website. 

Fortunately, doing this is simple. Just go to the “Coverage” report in Google Search Console to find and address any crawl errors as soon as possible. 

Improve Your Site’s Loading Time and Speed

Having a fast website is crucial nowadays, with Google even saying that page speed is a ranking factor for desktop search in 2010 and for mobile in 2018.

To check how fast your website is, run a quick audit of it on Google PageSpeed Insights to see how it performs. You can take a number of steps to optimize your site’s speed, including eliminating or minimizing render-blocking CSS and Javascript, resizing images, reducing the number of redirects, and eliminating any unnecessary plugins. 

Optimize for Mobile

Just as with page speed, verifying mobile-friendliness should be a key component of any technical SEO checklist, especially in light of Google’s mobile-first indexing policy. 

Fortunately, the Google Mobile-Friendly Test tool makes it easy to see if your site is mobile-friendly in a matter of seconds. If you have trouble making your website mobile-friendly, try taking steps like using a responsive web design, implementing AMP, and creating mobile-friendly web copy and content that consists of bullet points, numbered lists, and brief paragraphs to make it easy for users to read on their mobile devices. 

Use HTTPS 

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) encrypts data on sites and has been a Google ranking factor since 2014. Switching from HTTP to HTTPS can not only improve your site’s security, but also give it an edge in organic search rankings!  

Create an XML Sitemap 

XML sitemaps help Google find and crawl your website efficiently. Creating and submitting it to Google Search Console, especially after a relaunch or major content update, can help the search engine find, crawl, and index your website quickly and efficiently. 

Optimize Your Content

Though you may not realize it at first, optimizing content also plays a key role in technical SEO. 

First and foremost, run a content audit to find and fix any duplicate content issues on your site. Duplicate content is the result of having multiple pages with similar content, which in turn can hurt your SEO by confusing Google and wasting your crawl budget. Instead, fix any duplicate content issues by removing the duplicate content if possible or implementing canonical tags to tell search engines like Google which page to crawl and index. 

In addition to solving duplicate content issues, be sure to further optimize your content by adding internal links and implementing 301 redirects where needed. 

Add Breadcrumbs

Improving your technical SEO can also be a great opportunity to improve your user experience!

Adding breadcrumbs, which can help users visually navigate your website in a logical way, can go a long ways towards not only improving the user experience of your site, but also giving search engines like Google a better understanding of your website’s structure. 

Fix Broken Links

Having broken internal and outbound links can hurt both your site’s user experience and SEO. Using a tool like Screaming Frog can help you find broken links on your site quickly and take steps to fix them. 

Add Structured Data 

It’s also a great idea to add structured data to your site to boost your SEO. Structured data is a special code added to websites that helps search engines like Google understand it better. The Google Structured Data Markup Helper makes implementing and testing your site’s structured data simple and efficient. 

Optimize Your URLs

Finally, no technical SEO checklist is complete without addressing URL optimization. 

Make your URLs both search engine and user-friendly by ensuring that they’re simple, short, include target keywords, and follow a logical structure to them. 

Run Through Your Technical SEO Checklist Today!

Technical SEO plays a key factor in making or breaking a website’s success. Be sure you run through this technical SEO checklist today to make sure your website is in top shape and can succeed in ranking higher organically!

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