Going to the gym regularly might get you fit, but dropping that routine will get out out of shape in no time. The same goes for your website — without a good fitness routine and proper maintenance, it might become a mess. Yoast SEO helps your site with its technical SEO fitness and gives you the tools to help maintain it properly.
Table of contents
- Technical SEO fitness
- Check and improve your site speed
- Check your mobile-friendliness
- Activate XML sitemaps
- Set up canonical links and meta robots
- Battle duplicate content with canonical URLs
- Add structured data to your content
- Crawl errors in Google Search Console
- Have you done our Technical SEO fitness test?
- Work on your SEO fitness
Curious how fit your site’s technical SEO is? We’ve created a technical SEO fitness quiz that can help you figure out what you need to work on!
Take the technical SEO fitness quiz ▸
Technical SEO fitness
Building a site is all well and good, but maintaining and improving it is where it’s at. Turning that site into a success story takes a lot of work. Not only do you have to create the best possible content for it to be noticed, but you also need to make sure that search engine crawlers can reach it, that it uses structured data, is mobile-friendly, and that it’s fast. It should offer your visitors an excellent experience!
Out of the box, Yoast SEO provides sites with a solid technical foundation. We’ve years of experience and know what it takes for every site to get a balanced diet for technical SEO. We use sensible defaults that work well for every type of site, of every type of scale. Also, we provide all the tools needed to finetune your SEO setup for every type of use case.
Our fitness routine doesn’t involve just aspects to get your technical SEO in order, but we also have a Content SEO fitness one. These two go hand in hand. Content SEO fitness is all about getting your content in tip-top shape. You’ll work on your internal linking to create a fantastic site structure, battle keyword cannibalization by analyzing and prioritizing content, and improving your content framework thanks to a cornerstone content strategy.
So, what do you need to work on to get technical SEO fit?
Check and improve your site speed
Google is focussing more and more on site speed, but it has always impacted SEO: the faster Google can crawl your site, the more it will do it, and the easier it is for you to get more indexed in the search engines. With the upcoming Page Experience algorithm update, Google has again underlined the importance of offering a super-fast site that offers a stellar user experience.
Read up on site speed and test your site over on PageSpeed Insights to see how you are doing. Take note of the feedback Google gives and work to improve that.
Check your mobile-friendliness
We don’t have to tell you about the importance of mobile. Your mobile site has to be easy to use, fast, and offer a great user experience. Thanks to mobile-first indexing, Google uses the mobile view of your site to determine how to rank your site. So, it better be good. Plus, it needs to be equal to your desktop view — no hiding stuff on mobile!
This is what you can do to improve your mobile site.
Activate XML sitemaps
XML sitemaps inform search engines about what has changed on your site so they can improve their crawl efficiency by crawling only those pages that actually changed. Yoast SEO comes with a solid XML sitemaps implementation out of the box. This helps Google and other search engines quickly find your content to index and rank it.
Find out why XML sitemaps are so important.
Set up canonical links and meta robots
Managing crawlability is an essential part of technical SEO fitness. Allowing you to tell Google what should and should not be in the index. Yoast SEO automatically removes pages from the index that Google doesn’t want in its search results, like search results pages on your site. Besides, Yoast SEO also lets you determine broadly — or in great detail — what has to be indexed or not.
Find out all about meta robots in Yoast SEO.
Battle duplicate content with canonical URLs
Duplicate content can become a big problem. On many sites, there are so many variations of URLs that have the same or similar content on them that Google doesn’t know what to show in the search results. This could be due to your CMS adding parameters to URLs or maybe a simple HTTP vs. HTTPS duplicate problem.
Whatever the cause, you can fix this by using canonical URLs properly. Yoast SEO can set these up for you. Also, you can redirect the duplicate page with a 301 status code created with the redirect manager of Yoast SEO Premium.
Learn why you should set up canonicals in Yoast SEO.
Add structured data to your content
Structured data is one of the hottest technical SEO topics of the past couple of years. It offers you a direct way of communicating with search engines to describe to them what on it. Search engines can then make connections and might reward you with one of those cool rich results.
Yoast SEO outputs Schema.org metadata for your site automatically, helping Google identify what’s on a page. With the Schema controls, you can determine what that specific page contains on a per post or page basis. With our structured data blocks, for instance, for FAQs and HowTo’s, you can even create powerful Schema.org structured data with straightforward steps.
Don’t forget to update your structured data settings in Yoast SEO > Search Appearance > General > Knowledge Graph & Schema.org. Select if your site represents a person or an organization and upload an image, avatar, or logo.
Our ultimate guide to Schema.org structured data uncovers this hot topic for you.
Crawl errors in Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a technical SEOs best friend. Here, you’ll get so many insights into how your site is doing technically. You’ll see how Google sees your site, and you get actionable advice on stuff to fix. For instance, you might get crawl errors for pages that return a 404 or a 503. Use the Yoast SEO Premium redirect manager to redirect URLs to the proper destination, if necessary
Don’t know where to get started with Google Search Console? Try our beginner’s guide to Search Console!
Have you done our Technical SEO fitness test?
To test your technical SEO fitness, we’ve created a special quiz. Find out if you are an SEO fitness king or queen! And don’t forget to take the Content SEO fitness quiz as well; you might get some more insights into your work. Share the results with your friends and colleagues!
Work on your SEO fitness
SEO is never done. You have to work on it. By doing so, you get new insights, and you learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t. By keeping an SEO fitness routine, you can turn those insights into a great ranking success!
Technical SEO fitness: take our quiz to assess your fitness – Yoast.