Welcome back to the CXL Growth Marketing course review.
To give you a brief, I am taking this course on Growth Marketing by CXL. Every week, I publish my review on what I have learned from this course.
In this blog, I am going to walk you through Technical SEO.
The Basics of Technical SEO.
SEO is a massive topic, but technical SEO is best thought of as the foundational piece that supports all other SEO activity. Technical SEO is the process of ensuring that a website meets the technical requirements of modern search engines with the goal of improved organic rankings. Important elements of Technical SEO include crawling, indexing, rendering, and website architecture.
Implementing technical SEO could be the difference between ranking on Page 1…or never being indexed. You need to know how to audit your site for technical SEO needs and improvements so you can get more visitors, leads, sales, and signups for your business.
This course will help you understand:
- The importance of a technical audit and how to start one yourself.
- Be able to optimize on-page content with the right keywords & page structure.
- Understand what a good URL structure is and how you can influence crawl behavior.
- Easily create XML sitemaps to help you better understand content & index rates.
- Be skilled at marking up your content with structured data so it can extract entities.
- Be able to decide on the right domain strategy, URL structure, content & keywords while working across multiple countries.
Why Is Technical SEO Important?
You can have the best site with the best content.
But if your technical SEO is messed up?
Then you’re not going to rank.
At the most basic level, Google and other search engines need to be able to find, crawl, render and index the pages on your website.
But that’s just scratching the surface. Even if Google DOES index all of your site’s content, that doesn’t mean your job is done.
That’s because, for your site to be fully optimized for technical SEO, your site’s pages need to be secure, mobile optimized, free of duplicate content, fast-loading and a thousand other things that go into technical optimization.
That’s not to say that your technical SEO has to be perfect to rank. It doesn’t.
But the easier you make it for Google to access your content, the better chance you have to rank.
1. Technical SEO, the basics
In the first class, we’ll be guiding you through the basics of Technical SEO, we’ll teach you about what a page looks like (its HTML), how it’s made up and what you can immediately improve when you look at a page (meta tags, on-page content).
- What tools can you use to crawl a site to learn more about the technical issues & improvements?
- How does a search engine look at your page and ‘understand’ what it’s about?
- META Tags: Description, Keywords, Robots, Canonical, Open Graph, Twitter Cards, HREFlang.
- Content Tags: Headings, Styling, Paragraphs, Internal Links & Image Optimization, Broken Links.
- Starting a crawl, using tools to crawl your site to learn more about Technical SEO.
2. URL Structures & Indexing
In the second lesson, we’ll go in-depth about how to create a good URL structure and what tools you have to guide crawlers around your site and how to prevent them from accessing certain areas. We’ll talk about how you can streamline what crawlers look at and what kind of tools you have to influence this.
- Pagination: How do you handle pagination for (category) pages.
- URL Structure: What is a good URL structure and what isn’t & how should URLs be build up.
- Robots.txt: How to influence crawl behavior and exclude crawlers from certain areas.
- URL Parameters: Provide signals to search engines on what parameters are actually useful or not.
- Internal Linking: How do you link to other pages, why does it matter and what can you do to improve relevance across ‘silos’ of pages?
3. Crawl Behaviour & Crawlability
Lesson three explores the abilities you have to follow crawlers and what learnings come from that. As part of this class, we’ll talk about the tools you have to influence crawlability.
- Crawl Errors & Crawl Budget
- HTTP > HTTPS
- Status Codes (2xx, 3xx, 4xx, 5xx)
- Redirects (Apache/Nginx)
- Log File Analysis: What does a request look like.
- What does the user agent of Google look like?
- Analyzing data from Headers
Not every page on your site is always visible to a search engine, or what if you add hundreds of pages. That’s where sitemaps come in, they’ll give you the tools to provide search engines with an overview of your content and give you the insights into what pages are being crawled & indexed.
- XML Sitemaps; how to build the perfect XML sitemaps.
- HTML Sitemaps.
5. Structured Data Markup
Does a search engine really understand what your content is about? With structured data, you give the search engines a better idea by marking up your content. It will help search engines understand what a particular entity means and how it relates to others.
- Structured data and how it helps you and search engines.
- Schema.org & JSON-LD: The basics.
- The most recurring Schema.org snippets you’ll need.
6. Improving site/page speed
What is fast and what isn’t? This lesson introduces techniques that can improve site speed and what tools there are that better inform you of this.
- Analyzing waterfalls
- DNS Prefetch/Prerender
- Lazy loading
- Server Requests
7. International SEO
If your organization operates in multiple countries there are certain steps you have to take in order to make sure that you have optimized for all technical aspects. You don’t want a German page ranking for your US customers and vice versa. In this lesson, we’ll talk about tools available to optimize your site for international SEO.
8. The future of Technical SEO
Is AI going to take over the world? In this lesson, we’ll talk about the new technologies (that have been available for a bit) that are steering the way websites will operate in the future.
- SEO Experimentation
- Accelerated Mobile Pages
- Progressive Web Apps
- Edge SEO