Stay Ahead of the Curve: Technical SEO Checklist for 2021 and Beyond
In the ever-evolving world of search engine optimization (SEO), it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve. Each year, Google introduces new algorithms and updates that can significantly impact your website’s visibility and rankings. To ensure your website remains at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), it’s important to implement technical SEO strategies that align with current best practices. In this article, we present a checklist of key technical SEO elements to consider in 2021 and beyond.
1. Optimize for Core Web Vitals:
With the introduction of Core Web Vitals as a ranking signal, it’s crucial to focus on user experience. These key indicators measure your website’s loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability. Elements like website speed, mobile optimization, and efficient code structure all contribute to better Core Web Vitals scores.
2. Mobile Friendliness:
Mobile traffic continues to dominate, making mobile optimization a non-negotiable aspect of technical SEO. Ensure your website is responsive, loads quickly on mobile devices, and provides an excellent user experience across all screen sizes. You can utilize tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to assess your website’s mobile compatibility.
3. Schema Markup:
Schema markup provides search engines with additional context and information about your website’s content. Implementing structured data through schema markup can enhance your website’s appearance in search results, potentially leading to higher click-through rates. Leverage structured data for various content types like articles, FAQs, events, products, and more.
4. SSL Certificates and HTTPS:
As data security becomes increasingly important, Google prioritizes websites with SSL certificates and the HTTPS protocol. Ensure your website is secure by obtaining an SSL certificate and migrating to HTTPS. This not only helps with rankings but also instills trust in your visitors.
5. XML Sitemaps:
XML sitemaps act as a roadmap for search engines, making it easier for them to crawl and index your website. Generate an XML sitemap and submit it to search engines like Google and Bing. When you update your website, remember to regularly update and resubmit your sitemap to reflect the latest changes.
6. Engaging Meta Tags:
Meta tags remain significant for SEO, as they provide concise information about your web pages. Make sure your meta tags, including title tags and meta descriptions, are engaging, accurately representative of your content, and contain relevant keywords. Well-crafted meta tags can entice users to click on your website in search results.
7. Optimize Images:
Images can contribute to a positive user experience and enhance your SEO efforts. Optimize image file sizes to improve your website’s loading speed, use descriptive filenames, and add alt tags that accurately describe the image content. These practices not only help with accessibility but also contribute to better search engine rankings.
8. Error Monitoring and Broken Links:
Regularly monitoring your website for errors and broken links is crucial for maintaining a positive user experience and SEO performance. Utilize tools like Google Search Console or third-party crawlers to identify and fix broken links, server errors, or other issues that may hinder crawlability and user experience.
9. Technical Site Architecture:
A well-structured website architecture aids search engines in properly understanding and indexing your content. Ensure logical hierarchy, easy navigation, and interlinking between relevant pages. Pay attention to URL structure, avoiding unnecessary parameters and dynamic URLs.
10. Website Accessibility:
Website accessibility is not only a legal requirement in many jurisdictions but also improves user experience for all visitors. Optimize your website to ensure it is accessible to people with disabilities. This includes providing alt text for images, proper heading hierarchy, and enabling keyboard navigation.
By implementing these technical SEO considerations, you’ll be well-prepared to stay ahead of the curve in 2021 and beyond. Remember that SEO is an ongoing process, and staying up to date with the latest trends and algorithm updates is crucial. Regularly review and update your technical SEO checklist to ensure your website remains visible, user-friendly, and optimized for search engines.