7 Technical SEO Best Practices For Your Website

This article was first published on September 1st, 2022, and was las updated January 2024.

Small businesses have a lot to think about regarding their website. They need to worry about the design, content, user experience, etc. But one area that is often overlooked is technical SEO. 

Technical SEO best practices include all the behind-the-scenes elements that help your website be found by search engines and improve your rankings. Here are some technical SEO best practices for small businesses to keep in mind. And if you’re looking for some help with any of these Technical SEO basics, Let us know and we’ll run you a free audit of your website.

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO refers to the process of optimizing a website’s technical aspects to improve its search engine visibility and performance. While traditional SEO involves content optimization and link building, technical SEO focuses on the underlying structure, code, and technical elements of a website. The goal of technical SEO is to make it easier for search engines to crawl, index, and understand the content of a site.

Technical SEO Best Practices

1) Properly Use Keywords Throughout Your Website Content

Keywords are the foundation of SEO. But what are they, exactly? Keywords are the words and phrases that people use within content to search for information online. When you add relevant keywords to your website’s content, you can make sure that your site comes up when people are searching for topics that are related to your business.

Including keywords in your website’s copy is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your site is visible in search engine results pages (SERPs). However, it’s important to note that adding too many keywords to your copy, or use them in an unnatural way, and you could end up being penalized by Google. As such, it’s important to strike a balance between using enough keywords to be visible in SERPs, without going overboard and risking a penalty.

When adding keywords to your copy, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Use Relevant Keywords: Make sure that the keywords you’re using are relevant to the content on your website. If you’re a plumber, for example, using the keyword “plumbing” on your website is relevant. However, using the keyword “shoes” would not be relevant, and could result in a penalty from Google when your page is being crawled and indexed.
  • Use Moderate Keyword Density: You don’t want to stuff your copy with so many keywords that it becomes difficult to read. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a keyword density of around 1-2%. This means that if your page has 100 words, you should have 1-2 instances of your keyword(s).
  • Use Variations of Your Keyword: In addition to using your main keyword(s), also use variations of those keywords throughout your copy. For example, if your main keyword is “plumbing,” you could also use “plumber,” “plumbing services,” or “plumbing company.” This helps you avoid coming across as spammy, and helps improve the overall quality of your content. To gain more organic traffic, look at adding specific keywords such as local terms or services you offer.
  • Use Synonyms: Another way to avoid sounding spammy is to use synonyms for your keywords throughout your copy. So, if you’re writing about plumbing, you could use words like “pipes,” “water,” or “drainage” instead of repeating “plumbing” over and over again. Synonyms also help improve the quality of your content overall.

Keywords are an essential part of SEO—but only if they’re used correctly. When adding keywords to your website’s copy, make sure that they’re relevant and that you’re not keyword stuffing. Using variations of your keywords and synonyms will also help you avoid sounding spammy and will improve the quality of your content overall.

2) Create Sitemaps and Submit Them to Search Engines

You might have heard of sitemaps but what exactly are they? A sitemap is simply an outline of all the content on your website. It helps search engine crawlers index your website so that it can be properly ranked on SERPs. In other words, a sitemap makes your website more visible and accessible to potential customers.

How Do Sitemaps Help SEO?

Sitemaps help search engines like Google discover new pages on your website and understand your site structure. This is important because it allows Google to crawl your site more effectively which in turn improves your rankings with the search engine. Additionally, sitemaps can also help the Googlebot discover pages that might not otherwise be discovered through traditional crawling methods, especially finding orphan pages.

There are two types of sitemaps: XML sitemaps and HTML sitemaps. XML sitemaps are designed for search engine crawlers while HTML sitemaps are designed for human visitors. XML sitemaps provide detailed information about each page on your website such as when it was last updated, how often it changes, and its relative importance. HTML sitemaps, on the other hand, provide an easy way for visitors to navigate your website.

Creating a Sitemap

Creating a sitemap is relatively simple and there are a number of ways to do it. If you’re using WordPress, there are plugins that can automatically generate a sitemap for you such as Yoast SEO and Google XML Sitemaps. If you’re not using WordPress, you can use online tools like XML-Sitemaps.com to create a sitemap or you can always do it manually.

Sitemaps are an important part of a technical SEO strategy because they help improve the visibility of your website. They also help search engine crawlers index your website so that it can be properly ranked on search engines. Creating a sitemap is relatively simple and there are a number of ways to do it.

3) Use Proper Meta Tagging on All of Your Website Pages

Meta tags are one of the most important elements of technical SEO. Meta tags provide search engines with information about your website, which helps them determine how to index and rank your site.

What are Meta Tags and How Do They Help with SEO?

Meta tags are pieces of code that give search engines information about your website. They are not visible to users, but they are read by search engines when they crawl your site.

The three most important meta tags for SEO are the title tag, meta description, and meta keywords. The title tag is the most important of the three, as it tells search engines what your page is about. The meta description is also important, as it gives users a brief summary of your page’s content. The meta keywords tag is less important, but it can still help search engines understand what your page is about.

4) Set Up Google Search Console for Your Website

How Can Google Search Console Help Improve Your SEO?

Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your website’s presence in Google Search results. You don’t need to sign up for Search Console to be included in Google’s search results, but doing so can give you valuable insights into how your site is performing and how Google sees it.

How Can You Use Google Search Console?

There are a number of ways that you can use Google Search Console to improve your site’s SEO. Perhaps the most valuable way is to use the search analytics report to find out which keywords users are searching for to find your site, and then make sure that those keywords are included prominently on your site. You can also use Search Console to submit sitemaps, which will help Google index your pages more quickly and thoroughly.

Google Search Console is a powerful tool that can help you understand and improve your site’s ranking in Google search results

5) Redirect Any Broken Links to Working Pages on Your Website

The Importance of Redirecting Broken Links on Your Website

One way to improve your SEO is by redirecting broken links on your website. But what exactly are broken links and why are they important?

Simply put, a broken link is a link on your website that no longer works. There are a number of reasons why this might happen, but the most common is that the page you’re linking to has been moved or taken down altogether. When this occurs, anyone who clicks on that link will be taken to a 404 error page, which can be frustrating for users and make your website seem less credible.

Why Should You Redirect Broken Links?

Besides being frustrating for users, broken links can also negatively impact your SEO. That’s because search engines view links as votes of confidence—the more high-quality links you have pointing to your website, the better. So when one of those links is broken, it signals to search engines that your website might not be as trustworthy as it once was. Redirecting broken links helps to mitigate this problem by ensuring that all links on your website are working and up-to-date.

How Do You Redirect Broken Links?

The process of redirecting broken links is actually pretty simple. If you’re using WordPress or one of many good site builders out there, there are plugins or widgets available that can do it for you automatically. If you’re not using one of those builders, you’ll need to edit your .htaccess file to add the appropriate code snippets. You can find instructions for doing this online—just make sure you back up your .htaccess file before making any changes!

Broken links might seem like a small thing, but they can have a big impact on both the user experience and SEO of your website. Redirecting broken links is an easy way to fix both of these problems, so if you haven’t already, be sure to take care of it as soon as possible.

6) Audit Your Website Regularly for Any Technical SEO Errors or Issues

Why Do You Need to Audit Your Website Regularly?

Search engine optimization is a complex and ever-changing field. As a small business, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest SEO trends and best practices. One area that’s often overlooked is the technical SEO audit.

While most businesses are only focused on creating keyword-rich content, optimizing their titles and meta tags, and building backlinks, they’re often forgetting about the technical foundation of their website. And that’s a big mistake. After all, if your website isn’t technically sound, none of your other SEO efforts will matter. 

That’s why it’s so important to audit your website regularly for technical SEO issues. Not sure where to start? Here are four key areas to focus on.

  • Site Speed

One of the most important technical SEO factors is site speed. Simply put, if your website is slow, visitors are going to click away before they even have a chance to see what you have to offer. And when visitors click away, that signals to Google that your site isn’t relevant or useful. As a result, your search engine rankings will suffer. 

To check your site speed, you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Just enter your URL and you’ll get a report detailing things like server response page load time and page size. From there, you can start making changes to improve your speed (like compressing images and minifying JavaScript and CSS).

  • Mobile Friendliness

Another key technical SEO factor is mobile friendliness. With more and more people searching the web from their mobile devices, it’s more important than ever to make sure your website looks great—and works well—on all screens. To see how your website fares, just enter your URL into Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. If your site doesn’t pass with flying colors, don’t worry—there are plenty of resources out there to help you make it more mobile-friendly.

  • Security (SSL)

In addition to being fast and mobile-friendly, your website must also be secure—especially if you’re conducting any eCommerce transactions. That’s where SSL comes in. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a type of security protocol that encrypts data exchanged between a server and a browser. 

These days, it’s not enough to just have an SSL certificate; you also need to make sure it’s properly configured. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools out there—like Qualys SSL Labs —that can help you audit your SSL setup and identify any potential issues.

  • Structured Data/Schema Markup

Last but not least, you’ll want to make sure your website is using structured data or schema markup. Structured data is code that helps search engines understand the information on your web pages. 

Schema markup is one type of structured data that uses specific vocabularies (like JSON-LD) to provide additional context about your content. Using structured data can help improve clicks through rates from SERPs as well as voice search results. Not sure if your site is using schema markup? Just enter your URL into Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

A regular Technical SEO audit should be an integral part of any small business’s overall SEO strategy. By regularly auditing key areas like site speed and mobile friendliness, businesses can ensure that their website is technically sound—and that their other SEO efforts aren’t going to waste.

Technical SEO with Summit Scout

Technical SEO may seem like a daunting task, but it’s important to keep in mind all the little details that go into making sure your site is accessible and visible to search engines. By following these basic technical SEO best practices listed above, you can make sure your small business site has a solid technical foundation that will help you rank higher in search results and get more visibility online. Advance ahead of your competitors with Summit Scout today and learn more from our technical SEO consultants!

Ansley Merrill

Ansley is the Content Marketing Manager at Summit Scout. Since graduating from Utah State University with two degrees in Communication Studies and Journalism: Public Relations, Ansley specializes in creating engaging and informative SEO content for readers, customers, and partners through different marketing channels. Along with creating new content, Ansley works to keep content organized and creates and executes new content strategies. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, visit National Parks, and loves all things Disney.