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5 Technical SEO Quick Wins for Your Website

Quick wins are great for showcasing SEO value to your manager, client, or other stakeholders. It’s sometimes difficult to find quick wins with SEO. In most cases, SEO requires more time to deliver ROI than other channels.

In this article, I’ve broken down some technical SEO quick wins to leverage on your website. Keep in mind that quick wins will vary based on technical health, tech stack, and other factors.

1. Redirect broken pages with backlinks

Backlinks are crucial for SEO efforts. A strong backlink profile powers the relevant on your website, resulting in greater visibility and traffic.

Broken pages (4xx URLs) with backlinks is a common issue. These pages hold backlink value (or authority) captive, providing no SEO value to your website.

Instantly bump up your site’s authority by redirecting these broken pages to live pages (200 URLs). Redirect to pages that are close matches in terms of topic and use 301 redirects, if possible.

How to find broken pages with backlinks

SEO tools like Ahrefs or Semrush make finding broken pages with backlinks simple. Keep in mind that these are premium tools that require a monthly fee.

Broken backlinks for nytimes.com (Ahrefs.com)

Free options are a bit trickier. One option is exporting 404 page examples from the Crawl Stats report in Google Search Console and cross-checking that with Externally Linked Pages. You could also explore Ahrefs Webmaster Tools, which provides some basic-level website auditing capabilities.

2. Improve your site’s speed

Page speed is becoming more and more important for SEO. It took center stage in summer 2021 with the rollout of Google’s Page Experience update (the Core Web Vitals update).

Speed & performance is complicated because there is hardly a one-size-fits-all-approach. The strategy and execution depends on your website’s content management system (CMS), tech stack, web hosting, and other factors. For example, the tactics you use on a WordPress site likely won’t be viable on a Magento site.

So how do we quickly speed up our websites? Here are a few tried-and-true tips:

  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Deploy DNS prefetch tags for DNS lookups for external resources
  • Preload CSS and font files, where possible
  • Defer render-blocking JavaScript
  • Minify JavaScript, CSS, and HTML
  • Apply image compression and lazy loading
  • Apply GZIP or Brotli compression to text-based resources

Again, how you implement these tactics depends on your website. Talk to your development or tech team to best understand how you can potentially solve this issue.

Google’s PageSpeed Insights makes it easy to find load time-saving opportunities on individual web pages. Simply enter the URL of the page you want to test. PageSpeed Insights will show Core Web Vitals data (if it’s available), Lighthouse speed scores for mobile and desktop, and speed optimization opportunities that are specific to that page.

PageSpeed Insights score for AndrewBurd.com

3. Put important pages in XML sitemaps

Your website’s XML sitemap(s) is a quick and easy method for Google to discover, crawl and index important pages. Include only live, indexable pages in your XML sitemap.

If any important pages aren’t in your XML sitemap, Google has to rely on other sources to discover them (e.g., internal and external links). This may decrease overall crawl frequency and increase the time it takes for Google to crawl and index those pages.

Submit sitemap to Google Search Console

Check your XML sitemap(s) for any issues and submit them via Google Search Console. Doing so puts your sitemap (and its pages) on Google’s radar right away.

You can also see useful information regarding your sitemap such as when it was last crawled, crawling status, and the number of pages Google discovered.

Sitemap index submitted in Google Search Console

Add a sitemap directive to robots.txt

For greater visibility and accessibility, add an XML sitemap directive to your website’s robots.txt file. According to its official documentation, Google requests the robots.txt file quite frequently. If it doesn’t have a cached version from the past 24 hours, Google will request the file.

If your sitemap or sitemap index URL is present in robots.txt, Google will see the URL just as frequently. This makes it easier for Google to discover all of your URLs faster and easier. Use only absolute URLs (full URLs with transfer protocol) for this directive.

For example, here is the robots.txt file of this website:

Robots.txt file of AndrewBurd.com with sitemap directive

4. Fix structured data issues

Structured data tells Google more about your web pages. It helps search engines understand FAQ content, employee bios, your company logo, and other information.

From a technical SEO standpoint, structured data is crucial. It helps you obtain SERP real estate with FAQ drop-down menus, knowledge panels, and more.

The problem is that structured data is easily broken. A single missing or incorrect character can make the entire structured data script invalid.

To see if there are issues with your website’s structured data, visit validator.schema.org. Enter the page or code snippet, and it will provide an overview of any errors or warnings.

Other tools like Google Search Console and Screaming Frog help you find structured data issues in bulk. They break down exactly where the issue lies, providing clear direction for how to fix it.

5. Make sure Google can see all content

JavaScript is an integral part of all modern websites. It’s also a challenge for SEOs, as JavaScript leads to the possibility of Google missing content.

If JavaScript that generates or changes HTML is broken or takes too long, Google may not see all of that page’s content. This affects how much content is indexed, impacting keyword relevancy, rankings, and traffic.

Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, and other tools can help you identify issues with rendered HTML from JavaScript.

To bypass this issue, you can also include important content in the source HTML. While Google has gotten better at processing and rendering JavaScript, it’s not foolproof and experiences a slight time delay. Putting key content in the HTML makes it easier and faster for Google to index your content.

Conclusion

While technical SEO is typically a long-term strategy, quick wins can help you showcase value in the shortest amount of time.

The next time you need some technical SEO quick wins for your website, try some of these approaches.

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