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Technical SEO basics

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Technical SEO is an important part of optimising a website for search engines. At this point in SEO training, it is important to emphasise that we must pay full attention to the elements that make up the structure of the SEO strategy. The basic principles of technical SEO are: the robots.txt file, canonicalisation, protocols, redirection codes and site speed .

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Robots.txt file

The robots.txt file is a plain text file at the root of the website that provides instructions to search engines on which pages to crawl or not to crawl. It is useful if there are pages that you do not want to be displayed in search results or if there are pages that you do not want to be crawled by search engines.

It is not a strong security measure as anyone can see the content of the file and therefore can also see which pages you have excluded from crawling. To protect access to certain pages, it is better to use stronger security measures such as user authentication and authorisation.

Canonicalisation

This is not the process of sanctifying a person, although it does allow us to sanctify our SEO strategy. Canonicalisation is the process of choosing a "canonical" version of a page to avoid duplicate content issues. For example, if a page can be accessed via both"www.occam.com" and"occam.com", canonicalisation involves choosing one of these two versions as the "canonical" version and redirecting to the other via a 301 redirect code.

This is a technique used to avoid duplicate content problems in search engines. When there are multiple versions of a page with identical or nearly identical content, it can be difficult for search engines to determine which is the "correct" version of the page. This can result in decreased site performance in search results and traffic generation.

The canonical tag is an HTML tag that is used to indicate to search engines which version of a page is the preferred version. For example, if you have published the same content in two different locations, you can use a canonical tag to indicate to search engines that the version of the page in one of the locations is the preferred version and should appear in search results. They are not a magic solution to duplicate content. We cannot forget to ensure that the canonical URL is accessible to search engines and that there are no redirects or blocks that prevent access to it. As well as ratifying all versions of content embedded in the redirect to the canonical URL via a 301 redirect code to avoid duplicate content issues.

Protocols

Protocols are rules and standards used to exchange information on the web. Examples of common protocols are HTTP and HTTPS. HTTPS is more secure than HTTP because it uses encryption to protect the information transmitted between the browser and the server. This is especially important when users are sending sensitive data, such as when logging into an account or entering credit card information on an e-commerce site.

Browsers, such as Google Chrome, can mark websites without HTTPS as "not secure", which can decrease users' trust in that site. Therefore, it is recommended to use HTTPS to improve the user experience and protect the privacy of users' data. In addition, search engines such as Google can penalise websites that do not use HTTPS in search results, so using HTTPS can also improve the site's performance in search engines.

Redirect codes

Redirect codes are HTTP codes that are used to redirect users and search engines to a different URL. Common examples are 301 (permanent redirect) and 302 (temporary redirect) codes.

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. In most cases, this is the best method for redirecting pages because it transfers ranking power or "link authority" from one page to another. Therefore, it is important to use a 301 redirect when replacing an old page with a new one, when permanently changing the URL of a page, or when migrating your site to a new domain.

A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect from one URL to another. It is generally used when you want to send users to a temporary page while the permanent page is under construction or under maintenance. It is important to note that a 302 redirect does not transfer ranking power or "link authority" from one page to another, so it should not be used permanently.

It is important to use the correct redirect codes to avoid duplicate content issues and to ensure that search engines and users access the correct URL. It is also important to note that redirect codes can affect user experience and site performance in search engines, so they should be used appropriately.

Site speed

Site speed is important because search engines value user experience and may penalise slow sites in search results. Therefore, it is important to optimise site speed to improve your site's performance in search engines. It affects both search results ranking and user experience. If your site does not load fast enough, users may become impatient and abandon the page, which can increase bounce rate and decrease site performance in search engines.

To improve the speed of your site, you can use tools such as Google's PageSpeed Insights to evaluate site performance and get recommendations for optimisation. You can also optimise site images by compressing them to reduce file size and uploading them at the exact dimensions at which they will be displayed. In addition, there are many other ways to improve site speed, such as minimising the use of scripts and CSS, using caching, and using quality hosting.

In addition, it is important to consider mobile optimisation as more and more users are accessing the Internet from their mobile phones. It is important to optimise the site for mobile devices and ensure that it provides an optimal experience for users. You can use Google's mobile optimisation test to evaluate the site's performance on mobile devices and get recommendations for improvements. You should also ensure that the site has a responsive design and loads quickly.

Taking all of these elements into account, along with the rest of the SEO tips, we will put together a guide to complete the perfect SEO strategy to take our business website to the next level.

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