Characteristics of a Technically Optimized Website
Page Speed has long been a Google ranking factor. In 2010, Google updated their algorithm to include desktop site speed as a ranking factor, in 2018 they announced speed for mobile users would be a ranking factor, and in June 2021 Google began rolling out another update focused on page speed and overall page performance (ie page experience).
An integral part of technical optimization for search engines is to ensure that they can crawl your website effectively and efficiently. Crawlable pages are easy for Google to process, so they can quickly move onto the next page. Google only allows a specific amount of time to crawl each website — this is called crawl budget. So, you want to try to maximize your crawl budget by making their crawl experience as smooth as possible.
It's important to not have any dead or broken links on your website, — whether internal or external — because it will result in a 404 error and can negatively impact the authority and crawlabilty of your site. One easy way to solve this problem for internal links and backlinks (when other websites link to you) is to redirect the broken or deleted page to a new, live page. The three most common redirects are 301s, 302s, and meta refreshes. Click here to learn more about redirects.
Secure browsing is important to both users and search engines. HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user's computer and the site. Google strongly encourages HTTPS as a best practice in their documentation and explains common pitfalls and how to solve them.
Structured data— also known as schema markup — is a machine-to-machine learning language that allows search engine spiders (Search Bots) to contextualize and understand each page's content so that they can accurately index your web pages in search results and amplify them as rich features — like frequently asked questions, ratings, and reviews — which are embedded alongside standard blue links. This page provides a basic introduction to the concept, covers why it is important, and looks at the different options you have to implement it on your website.
To learn more about different types of structured data markup, and to see examples, read Examples of Structured Data.
To learn about how different types of rich snippets can improve clicks, impressions, and CTR for your business in this article.
The Sitemaps allow webmasters to inform search engines about URLs on a website that they want to be indexed into search results. A Sitemap is an XML file that lists the URLs for a site that includes additional information about each URL. It tells Google when a URL was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to other URLs of the site.
According to Google rep, Gary Illyse says, an XML Sitemap is the second most important source for finding URLs after internal links. Users can submit their XML sitemap, remove their old sitemap, and view their current sitemap all in Google Search Console.
If your website targets people from more than one county or language, it's important to be familiar with international SEO. You want to make it easy for international visitors to find the version of your site meant for them. To optimize your content for multiple countries, you want to choose a URL structure that makes it easy to connect specific domains or pages to specific countries (for example, www.example.uk) For multilingual sites it's important to add something called an HREflang tag to indicate to Google that there are multiple copies of a web page in different languages.