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The Complete Guide to WordPress Technical SEO

Contents:

First of all – What is Technical SEO and why do we use it?

Technical SEO refers to optimizations for a website and server to improve search engine crawls and indexing, leading to higher organic rankings. We use it to improve Google Ranking. To rank number 1 means your page has landed at the top of the Google Search Results, and this is the highest ranking you can achieve, and makes your webpage the most likely to be clicked by viewers (potential customers). If your page was to rank at 11, this would mean viewers would only find your page if they clicked on the second page of Google’s Result Page which makes it very unlikely for viewers to find your webpage at all. Therefore aiming for number 1 on the results page should be your ultimate goal, however,  anywhere below 5 is still classed as good.

Continue reading to find out how you can implement a high ranking on your webpage.

Category Pages vs Tag Pages:

What are Category Pages?

Category pages are a way to organize similar content on a website, such as grouping recipes by meal type, making it easy for users to find relevant information and for search engines to understand the website’s structure.

Continue reading to find out how you can implement a high ranking on your webpage.

What are Tag Pages?

Tag pages, in contrast to category pages, are used to add extra labels or keywords to content. For example, tagging a recipe with “chicken” and “pasta” if it contains those ingredients, makes it easier for users to find related content, but it can also lead to duplicate content if the same tag is used on multiple pages.

How do you add categories or tags in WordPress?

Tag pages, in contrast to category pages, are used to add extra labels or keywords to content. For example, tagging a recipe with “chicken” and “pasta” if it contains those ingredients, makes it easier for users to find related content, but it can also lead to duplicate content if the same tag is used on multiple pages.


Click here to read the full article

Category example
Yoast SEO Plugin - WordPress SEO Plugins - Tillison Consulting

Yoast SEO

The Yoast SEO plugin offers a comprehensive set of tools to optimize all pages on your website. Both the free and paid versions are effective, with the premium version offering additional features such as suggestions for internal linking, an automatic redirect manager, and no ads.

Redirection

Redirection is a simple and efficient solution for fixing 404 errors. It eliminates the need for manual copying and pasting of broken links by allowing users to upload a CSV file containing hundreds or even thousands of links. This feature saves a significant amount of time and effort and works seamlessly.

Redirection - WordPress SEO Plugins - Tillison Consulting

Smush

Smush is a useful tool for condensing image sizes. It optimizes, resizes, and compresses all images on your website with just a click. This will ultimately lead to faster loading times, better efficiency, and improved overall page performance.


Click here to read full article

Smush - WordPress SEO Plugins - Tillison Consulting

301 Redirect Guide

What is a 301 Redirect?

A 301 redirect is a server instruction that tells browsers and other servers that a page has permanently moved to a new location. It ensures that backlinks to the original page will still count toward the website’s backlink profile.

301 Redirects and SEO

Google’s ranking algorithm takes into account the backlink profile of each page on a website when determining its value or authority. By implementing a 301 redirect, the value of existing backlinks pointing to the old URL is retained, known as “301 redirect link juice”, thus preserving the value of external links to the old page by redirecting it to the new one.

301 Redirects: Benefits

  • When you use 301 redirects, Google will transfer the authority of the old pages to the new pages on your site. This can improve the ranking of the new pages and increase organic traffic. 
  • Not having a redirect in place and having a 404 page instead is detrimental to both user experience and organic ranking. It also ensures that visitors and search engines that have links to the old pages will be directed to a relevant new page.

Here’s an example, for reference: 

https://tillison.co.uk/about/curry-business/ – it redirects to a slightly different page address on our site. The old URL still works and any links around the web that reference it still has value.


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How to Fix Redirect Chains and Loops in WordPress

What is a Redirect?

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. This is done to avoid 404 errors and retain the search engine ranking of old pages. By redirecting old URLs to new pages, the user’s journey and the search engine’s crawl is not disrupted. This is useful when you change website structure or URLs and want to ensure that old links still work and keep the ranking of old pages.

How to Fix Redirect Chains

Redirect chains occur when a page redirects to another page, which redirects to another page, and so on. This results in a loss of value for each redirect and can cause issues with the crawl budget. To fix this, update the links pointing to each page in the chain to redirect to the final destination page, and update any redirects to point directly to the final destination page. This will ensure maximum value is passed and the crawl budget is not wasted.

Redirect Chain Example

Redirect Loops and How to Fix

A redirect loop happens when a website redirects to another page, which then redirects back to the original page. This creates a never-ending loop that can cause the website to not work at all. It happens when page A redirects to page B, page B redirects to page C, and so on, creating a loop. To fix this, the redirects should be checked and corrected to ensure they lead to the correct page.

To resolve a redirect loop, locate the redirect that starts the loop and redirect it to a page that is not part of the loop. This will result in a redirect chain, which can then be fixed by following the above steps.


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Redirect Loop Example

5 Great WordPress XML Sitemap Generators To Use

What is an XML Sitemap?

A sitemap is a tool that helps search engines understand the important pages on your website. An XML sitemap can help search engines find and crawl pages on your site, especially on large websites or sites with poor internal linking. This can help ensure that all important pages are indexed and visible to users in search results.

What is an XML Sitemap?

  • Yoast SEO: A widely-used plugin for WordPress that offers a variety of features beyond its sitemap capabilities. It includes sitewide SEO options, on-page SEO, and sitemap management, all with an easy-to-use interface.
  • All In One SEO: a popular and well-regarded WordPress plugin that offers XML sitemap generation and other comprehensive SEO services. It is considered a highly customizable solution and is trusted by over 2 million professionals to improve their website’s search rankings.
  • Google XML Sitemaps: A easy-to-use WordPress plugin that offers a simple and efficient experience for generating XML sitemaps. It is the preferred option for those who require a dependable, specific sitemap plugin without the additional features of a comprehensive SEO plugin.


Click here for more Sitemap Generator plugins

Canonical Linking

What is it?

Canonical linking is a way to tell Google that certain pages on a website have duplicate content. It helps to prevent the site from being penalized for this duplicate content. To implement canonical linking, one can use a plugin like SEO no duplicate on a WordPress site. The plugin allows you to add the URL of the main page (the page that is the main focus) as a canonical link on the duplicate pages and update it. To check if the link has been added successfully, you can view the page source and search for the word “canonical”.


Click here to learn more about Canonical Linking

Robots.txt in WordPress

A robots.txt file restricts access to certain pages on a website for search engines. It doesn’t prevent indexing, use no index or password protection.

To manage robots.txt with Yoast SEO:

  • Install Yoast SEO
  • Use the plugin to create a robots.txt file
  • Enjoy easy and free management of robots.txt with Yoast SEO.


Click Here to View Detailed Guide on How to Update Robots.txt

Schema Markup – What is it?

Schema markup is a code that helps search engines understand the information on a web page. It can be added to HTML by developers and improve how information is displayed in search engine results pages (SERPs) with added elements. The use of Schema Markup can make a website eligible for “rich results” or enhanced snippets, which provide more information than regular results and can improve the website’s appearance in search engines.


Click here to read the ultimate beginners guide to Schema Markup

A noFollow link is a type of HTML link attribute that tells search engines not to follow the link and not to pass any link equity (Page Authority) to the linked page. This attribute is used by website owners to prevent the transfer of authority to external sites or to reduce the risk of link spam.

A doFollow link is a type of HTML link that allows search engines to follow the link and pass link equity (Page Authority) to the linked page. This is the default behavior for HTML links and can help improve the visibility and ranking of the linked page in search engine results pages (SERPs).


Click here to read a detailed walkthrough of how to implement noFollow and doFollow links

How to Improve WordPress Page Load Times

  • WordPress Hosting
  • Caching your Content
  • Content Delivery Network
  • Reduce Images Sizes to Decrease Load Time
  • Compress CSS
  • Improving JavaScript
  • WordPress Plugins to Improve Page Load Speed
  • Tools to Test and Improve WordPress Page Load Times


Click Here for a Detailed Manual on How to Improve WordPress Load Times

How to Increase WordPress Image Speed: T-Time with Tillison

Having a fast image speed load time is vital to keep viewers interested in your content. If an image on your website is causing a page to load too slowly, this can cause a high bounce rate (when viewers click off your website without clicking on any other pages or call-to-actions). This is really bad for SEO.

To improve WordPress image speed, consider using the following plugins:

Smush: Compresses images to reduce file size without compromising quality. It can also create multiple versions of images with varying dimensions, improving image delivery speed on mobile devices.

Lazy Loading: Defers loading off-screen images until users scroll, which helps speed up page load times. BJ Lazy Load is one of the plugins that can perform this function.

Note: A page taking 6 seconds to load on mobile vs 3 seconds isn’t a major issue as long as some content appears in the first three seconds.


Click Here to watch an in-depth video full of tips and tricks to improve your WordPress image speed.

Throughout this article, we have covered many areas of Technical SEO. such as; Category Pages vs Tag Pages, Recommended WordPress plugins, 301 Redirect guide, How to Fix Redirect chains and Loops, Canonical Linking, and so much more! 

There are multiple strategies that can be used to improve your Google Ranking and we have included all the tips and tricks to help you optimise your web pages. By implementing these crucial aspects you should be able to see great results over time. Make a note to keep track of your ranking and sales so you can see the improvement!

And don’t forget here at Tillison we are very familiar with a variety of different CMS’, including WordPress. So if you’re looking for more information regarding WordPress technical SEO why not drop a comment below, or check out some of our WordPress-related services, such as our WordPress SEO Agency, WordPress Web Design Team or our WordPress Page Speed Optimisation Service?

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