Ranking on Google search: Passing Google SEO technical audit - leija.io
  • @undefined- Aug 18

    Ranking on Google search: Passing Google SEO technical audit

    A few months ago I wrote an article called, Webflow vs WordPress: Just go with WordPress if you’re blogging and it’s been ranking well on Google search results.

    To rank on Google search results we need to play by their rules. You need to have a well planned content strategy game and your site must meet Google’s technical SEO standards. In today’s article we’re going over how to score 100 on a technical SEO audit.

    P.S. depending on your system, you might need a developer to make these changes and run Lighthouse tests.

    Technical SEO audit categories

    Google cares about your site passing 3 major categories.

    1. Mobile friendliness
    2. Content best practices
    3. Crawling and indexing
    4. Site performance

    The site performance topic will not be part of this article as it deserves it’s own piece.

    Mobile friendly

    When we think about a mobile friendly site, we typically envision the having a mobile design layout and making sure the content fits within the constraints of the device. Even though that is an important factor and Google will give you cookie points for that; they’ll want to make sure other expectations are met as well.

    Make sure viewport meta tag exists

    A viewport meta tag element lets the browser know that a site is allowed to scale to the width a device. It’s a HTML element that embedded inside the head of a web page.

    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

    If this element is not present than your site will not be a mobile friendly.

    Document uses legible font sizes

    To pass this part of the technical seo audit, make sure the website font size is bigger than 12 pixels. Pretty easy.

    In Google I/O 2018 talk, John Mueller emphasized on mobile friendliness because Google now displays different search results depending on the device.

    Content best practices

    This part of the audit really lets Google know who to cater to. Without these next important HTML elements and attributes your content will be floating in a void.

    Title tag

    The <title> element gives the screen reader an overview of the page, and users rely heavily to determine if the page is relevant to their search.

    The title element would be inside the head element. In between <title> and </title> is where the title of the content would be. For example,

    <title>Webflow vs WordPress: Just go with WordPress if you’re blogging</title>

    The result would be

    Title in search engine result

    Meta description tag

    Meta descriptions are another critical component to a search result as it shows as a little description about the page.

    This element requires 2 attributes. The first attribute is the name which will description and the second attribute is content. The content attribute would have the copy that will display the excerpt in the search results. It would like like this,

    <meta name="description" content="I was frustrated with Webflow development workflow and integration tools. So I went with WordPress as my blogging platform." />

    And the result would like the image below.

    Search engine description

    Descriptive link text

    Adding descriptive text for the link is really crucial to help Google understand your content.

    Valid href lang attribute

    This attribute gets defined in the opening HTML tag.

    <html lang="en">

    This attribute helps Google let know what language or region it should serve the content too.

    Valid canonical

    A canonical URL tells search engines that certain similar URLs are actually the same. Search engines looks down upon duplicate content and this may happen when you have multiple subdomains such as:

    Or when you distribute the same content on other medium platforms such as Medium or IndieHackers. To avoid being penalized add the following HTML element inside the head tag.

    <link rel="canonical" href="https://domain.com">

    Crawling and indexing

    Once you’ve gotten the top taken care of we need to make sure your site can be crawled. This is how Googlebots will be able to learn the content of your site.

    Successful HTTP status codes

    Try to avoid as many 404 or any 500 status codes. Those are not good for Google nor user experience. If a page no longer exists redirect the user to a web page that does exist.

    Good status codes are anywhere from 2xx to 3xx. Bad status codes are 4xx to 5xx.

    Non-blocking pages

    Blocking pages are web pages that require a username and password to access. Sometimes pages like those are required and if that’s the case don’t have them index.

    Valid robots.txt

    The robots.txt is the first line of attack. When Google bots are about to crawl your site it will look at the robots.txt file to let search engines know which URLs on the site it’s allowed to index.

    robots.txt file sample

    This file should live in the root of the domain.

    Add sitemap XML page

    A XML sitemap acts like a roadmap to your website and will lead Google to the important web pages to your site.

    XML sitemap sample

    Finale

    By completing the steps above, it will help Google process the data to pass it to the right users, and it will ultimately give you a better chance to rank well in search results. The next article will be about how I went into strategizing my content for my previous article, Webflow vs WordPress.