In 2016, there’s been a lot of speculation on the value of technical SEO. It was called makeup; some of it was proclaimed dead; but ultimately, it was brought back to life gracefully and conclusively with outstanding examples of technical SEO tactics resulting in major traffic boosts.
So why are opinions on this seemingly uncontroversial topic so divided? The problem may lie in the definition of technical SEO. If we refer to it as “the practices implemented on the website and server that are intended to maximize site usability, search engine crawling, and indexing,” then (we hope) everyone can agree that technical SEO is the necessary foundation of top search engine rankings.
In this post, we’ll focus on the seven fundamental steps to technical SEO success in 2017. Some of these have been relevant for a while; others are fairly new and have to do with the recent search engine changes.
Let’s get rollin’!
1. Check indexing.
Let’s start with the number of your site’s pages that are indexed by search engines. You can check this by entering site:domain.com in your target search engine or by using an SEO crawler like WebSite Auditor .
Ideally, this number should be largely proportional to the total number of pages on your site, minus the ones you don’t want indexed. If there’s a bigger gap than you expected, you’ll need to review your disallowed pages. Which brings us to the next point.
2. Make sure important resources are crawlable.
To check your site’s crawlability, you may be tempted to simply look through robots.txt; but often, it’s just as inaccurate as it is simple. Robots.txt is just one of the ways to restrict pages from indexing, so you may want to use an SEO crawler to get a list of all blocked pages, regardless of whether the instruction was found in the robots.txt, noindex meta tag or X-Robots-Tag.
3. Optimize crawl budget.
Crawl budget is the number of a site’s pages that search engines crawl during a given period of time. You can get an idea of what your crawl budget is in Google Search Console: