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Technical SEO 2023: Optimizing for Voice Search, AI, and Beyond
Why should you optimize your site technically?
In the 1990s, the first search engines appeared, such as Yahoo and AltaVista. And then, the owners of web platforms began to use various tricks to improve the ranking of their websites in search engines and take a leading position. Stuffing pages with keywords or buying links artificially boosted rankings, but it was considered a “black hat” SEO practice.
With the advent of Google, the game's rules have changed significantly. And this was facilitated by algorithms that provided users with more useful and relevant results. Google developed rapidly and began punishing sites that used the "black" SEO.
Smartphones appeared in the late 2000s, and site owners had to adapt to new user behavior. People began to use their gadgets more often to surf the Internet, leading to the development of local SEO and the emergence of virtual assistants with voice search. Companies have continued to optimize website architecture with geo-location, small screen optimization, faster page loading, and easier navigation.
In the early 2020s, the SEO evolution was filled with new trends and technologies. Keywords are still important, but they are not the only focus of SEO. Search engines process and rank web page structured data using machine learning and artificial intelligence. There are new algorithms that understand the essence of search queries and give users more personalized results.The new era of SEO is user experience, qualitative content, and relevancy. All this is aimed at providing a more valuable result.
CM & SMM, with UX, CRO & ORM)
SEO tools may audit you, but if you have to "do the work", you should practice doing it.
What are the characteristics of a technically optimized website?
An ideal technically optimized website should be accessible, responsive design, mobile-first indexing, secure, fast loading times, and SEO-friendly.
Let's look at all these points in more detail to understand how technical SEO impacts website speed, adaptation, content, accessibility, etc.
- Accessibility. Your website must be understandable for search mechanisms. They mark your pages and identify important content, but you must have the right internal link structure. Applying the robots.txt file, you (the developer) may direct search engine robots: they may or may not show certain pages on your web resource.
- Speed. Unfortunately, many users are very impatient and will leave the page if the site takes a long time to load. In 2022, a study showed that 1 in 2 visitors leave if the page does not open within 6 seconds. And this trend has continued to this day. If your platform is slow, then people will get frustrated and go to competitors, and you will lose your traffic.
- Adaptation. Many modern people rarely use a PC; more often, it is a smartphone or tablet. Your site must be responsive to any screen size. The mobile variant or (progressive web apps, PWA) should have all the features and functionality of the full-length version. But it should be convenient to work with the help of a sensor (the size of buttons, links, text input, and the ability to purchase or enter payment). Apply AMP, accelerated mobile pages so that the mobile version loads faster, even at slower speeds.
- Content. A website should have an amiable design and authentic content. The purpose of technical SEO is to optimize the entity of your pages so that there is no analogous content. Certain technical aspects cause content to be duplicated at various URLs. You may easily fix it by applying the canonical link element, where you specify which webpage you want to grade in search engines.
Serpstat is invaluable in addressing duplicated content and performing thorough audits. By leveraging its advanced functionalities, our platform offers practical assistance in conducting comprehensive website assessments.
Beyond detection, Serpstat provides actionable insights on resolving duplicated content issues.
Additionally, Serpstat's audit feature comprehensively evaluates your website's performance. It identifies technical SEO issues such as broken links, crawling errors, and XML sitemap problems. By flagging these concerns, Serpstat helps you identify specific areas for improvement. For instance, if your website has broken internal links that hinder user navigation, Serpstat's audit will highlight these issues, enabling you to take corrective actions.
- Safety. To protect all data on your site, use implementing HTTPS. This will guarantee that no one will intercept your data and users' personal information. Find out if your HTTPS platform is available; there should be a lock in the top line of the browser (if yes, then the website is secure; if not, then you have one more job to do).
To call your site SEO-friendly, you need to use all the points that we described above. But it's also important that your resource has unique titles and descriptions for all web pages, properly formatted URLs, quality images, and a meaningful structure for each page.
A technically optimized web platform should be indexable and error-free.
Voice Search and AI
Many people want to save time, so they prefer multitasking. It is easier for them to call an intelligent voice assistant and get the necessary information while doing other important things. It's easier and faster than entering a query into the search bar. But SEO voice search optimization is quite difficult because the spoken language has more nuances and features.
Voice recognition became popular only when artificial intelligence and various intelligent assistants (Alexa, Siri, etc.) appeared. Voice search identifies and distinguishes users' voices by assessing their accent, voice frequency, and other parameters. Voice recognition works with automatic speech recognition (ASR) programs.
Why do users like voice search, is it being actively implemented in virtual platforms and affects SEO?
- This type of search is more accurate and faster. It lets you receive the needed information 3.7 times faster than typing it.
- It is more personalized because people are made to communicate, and it's easier for them to talk than to write. With any chatbot, communication is simpler and more friendly, inspiring more trust.
- Voice search optimization makes finding information easier for people with low mobility or visual impairment. Some people cannot use their hands or see a screen but can interact with the Internet.
- Voice search appeals to those who like quasi-conversations. They may be more private when interacting with real people, but their voice assistants seem like real friends they can trust.
The point of voice search is to give you the most accurate answer. But how to get it? There is a certain indicator for this—a scheme. This is structured data schema markup, and its purpose is to make your site's text intelligible for search mechanisms. These schemes strongly influence voice search, used in Cortana, Alexa, and Siri.
To ensure your website is voice-search-friendly, consider the following tips.
Modern chatbots have evolved to include voice recognition capabilities to provide more seamless and intuitive user experiences. By leveraging natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms, chatbots can analyze and interpret the spoken language to understand user intent and respond accordingly.
To recognize voice requests effectively, chatbots utilize a combination of techniques: Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Natural Language Understanding (NLU), Contextual Understanding, Machine Learning, and Training.
This advancement in voice recognition has opened up new possibilities for chatbot applications, ranging from customer support to voice-based shopping experiences.
SEO best practices for website speed optimization and performance
Every year, new algorithms and innovations affect the SEO performance of your pages. The web admins follow the novelties closely, but sometimes they can be disappointed. For example, they discovered that Core Web Vitals couldn’t show them all interaction factors with platform visitors.
Is Core Web Vitals useful for agencies, start-ups, or enterprise resources where hundreds of sites need to be managed? Maybe yes. Because Core Web Vitals seems like a hoop for them: jump in there, and the website will quickly become influential and in demand in the search systems. All its points and factors show the level of page range in search mechanisms. But it is just a report. To get the perfect data, you need to make an effort.
Learning SEO best practices allows achieving your primary goal — to increase the number of customers. American studies have shown that growing the number of customers by 5% will allow you to increase your profit by 25-95%. Monitor the market situation in your direction of the virtual platform to plan a new set of actions to increase conversion.
What are some ways to identify Technical SEO issues on a website?
Technical issues are quite different from the usual components of optimization that you know: analytics, keyword research, etc. Finding simple technical issues can directly affect your platform's position in search engines.
Apart from using tools, check the code, click around the site, and look at it to see if there are any CLS/accessibility issues. See on the search mechanisms if the home page (and what other pages) comes up, check HTTPs redirects, etc.
Here are some ways to identify technical SEO issues:
- Conduct a Website Audit. Perform a comprehensive audit of your website using SEO auditing tools. These tools can analyze various technical aspects of your site, including crawlability, indexing, site speed, mobile-friendliness, and more.
- Check Indexing Status. Ensure that search engines are indexing your website properly. Use the "site:" operator in search engines like Google (e.g., site:yourwebsite.com) to see how many pages are indexed. A significantly lower number than your actual page count may indicate indexing issues.
- Review XML Sitemap. Check if your XML sitemap is correctly formatted and includes all relevant pages. Submit the sitemap to search engines through their respective webmaster tools (e.g., Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools) and monitor any reported errors or warnings.
- Check Mobile-Friendliness. With the increasing use of mobile devices, ensuring your website is mobile-friendly is essential. Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool can evaluate your site's responsiveness and highlight any mobile usability issues that need to be addressed.
- Verify Redirect. Check for any incorrect or broken redirects on your site. Utilize redirect-checking tools to identify redirect chains, loops, or other issues that could negatively impact user experience and SEO.
- Analyze Robots.txt. Review your website's robots.txt file to ensure search engines can access and crawl all necessary pages. Ensure that essential sections of your site are not unintentionally blocked by restrictive directives.
- Analyze Structured Data Markup. If your website uses structured data markup, check that it is implemented correctly. Utilize Google's Structured Data Testing Tool to validate and ensure proper schema markup.
Serpstat also offers page audits to assist you in reviewing pages immediately following the initial fix.
Remember that identifying technical SEO issues is just the first step. Once you identify the problems, it's crucial to prioritize and address them to improve your website's overall SEO performance.
How to prioritize Technical SEO in 2023?
The resource is the greatest importance of technical SEO because, without funds, many websites cannot afford to make changes. Even if updates are implemented, it happens very slowly. If your company lacks resources, then it is important to prioritize tasks.
Our expert defines a technical SEO checklist to follow:
- Migrate to HTTPS.
- Find any crawl errors.
- Optimize XML sitemap (page experience).
- Fix broken links.
- Remove any duplicate or weak content.
- Look if your URLs have a clean structure.
Tools and technologies don't always require huge expenses (Google Search Console is a great example).
It is worth remembering the time that works for you. Some companies delayed the implementation of the site's SEO best practices, which lasted about 12 or even 24 months. Comprehend that technical SEO is marketing that must be implemented and work for your profit. Monitor your virtual platform according to the technical SEO checklist regularly to keep it effective and profitable. Otherwise, your site may fail in search system rankings.
To ensure user satisfaction, handling the technical side of things properly is essential. This involves testing and fine-tuning various aspects of your website, such as responsiveness, loading speed, map, indexing, site security, content, and structure optimization. Fortunately, there are services available that can greatly simplify the technical aspects of SEO, allowing you to handle them on your own.
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