Technical SEO may not be as glamorous as on-page SEO, but it’s equally important when you try to rank your plastic surgery center in Google. It provides the structure for the on-page content to flourish, attracting visitors and facilitating conversions. Strong technical SEO also makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website correctly, an important aspect to consider when you hire a plastic surgeon SEO company.
Crawling and indexing are two of the most critical and misunderstood components of SEO for plastic surgeons. Crawling means that a web crawler looks at your website’s code, while indexing makes your page eligible to appear in search engine results. Technical SEO optimizes a website for crawling and indexing, so crawlers can quickly analyze and rank your site.
Achieving optimal technical SEO involves constantly adjusting a cosmetic surgery website’s structure to improve performance. That can include adding a secure socket layer (SSL) or making it more responsive to mobile traffic. The key is finding what features a search engine rewards and designing your website around those specifications.
Proper technical SEO makes it more straightforward to crawl your plastic surgery website. Consider the corollary, telling crawlers the parts of your site you don’t want to see. That’s where robots.txt files, or robots exclusion protocol, comes in play.
Preventing crawlers from combing your website may seem counterintuitive, but it has a purpose. Crawlers have a finite amount of bandwidth, known as a crawl rate limit, and too many pages on a site can max out its crawl budget. Robots.txt ensures you put your best content forward when it comes to indexing.
An XML sitemap provides crawlers with an easy-to-read layout of your website. It tells the crawler where each page is and includes additional information about URLs. The blueprints cover entire sites, in addition to videos, news, and images. Some useful pieces of info to incorporate include:
Google documentation recommends XML sitemaps for websites with deep archives or rich multimedia content. The same applies to digitally isolated sites that are relatively new and only have a few external links. You don’t have to include every page in the sitemap. If you want to make something invisible to crawlers, add a ‘noindex, follow’ tag.
You’d be hard-pressed to overstate the importance of website speed. According to Pingdom, 37% of visitors leave a page if it doesn’t load in five seconds or fewer, which leads to less patients booking appointments for botox treatments and breast augmentations. Making matters more complicated, marketers from Unbounce found that only 15% of websites operate at an acceptable speed.
Optimizing page speed allows visitors to get the content they want faster. Superior page speed goes hand-in-hand with better customer experience and increased conversions. Researchers from Small SEO Tools and Strangeloop suggest that improving load speeds by one second can improve sales up to 7%.
A canonical tag, or rel canonical, tells a search engine that a URL serves as the master copy of a page. The tag circumvents potential problems that come with having duplicate content on your plastic surgery website. It tells crawlers which webpages should appear on search engine results.
Crawlers may find your website in multiple ways, such as http://www.sample.com, https://www.sample.com, and http://sample.com. The crawler thinks each of these pages is distinct, which means it can miss out on the content that makes your website unique. Adding the tag establishes a clear homepage and avoids mixed signals.
You can prevent crawlers from reviewing specific pages with meta robots. These tell crawlers what parts of the website they can access and what sections are off-limits. Some common tags are “index,” “follow,” “noindex,” “nofollow,” “noarchive,” and “nosnippet.”
If you want to avoid indexing a page, meta robot tags provide an alternative to robots.txt. Adding the “noindex” meta tags means the next crawlers will deindex the page, and you won’t have to request to take down the URL manually. You can also accomplish this directive with robots.txt.
Duplicate content can confuse both your users and crawlers. Some search engine algorithms may penalize you for too much similar material, which someone webmasters use to manipulate rankings. Both Google and Bing recommend resolving duplicate problems to avoid demerits.
Adding canonical tags is one way to differentiate your content and let crawlers know which pages you want to index. You can also stop your CMS from publishing the same page or post multiple times. Other solutions include: