Here are a few useful tutorials and references I’ve found for tackling technical SEO. Technical SEO is a big subject, I’m sharing links only for tasks I’ve had to do. So I have found resources for redirecting pages and avoiding 404 errors. And I’m beginning to build up helpful resources for website speed.
Redirects and Regex
Sometimes you have to delete a page on your website, for reasons. In that case, you usually want to redirect visitors to another URL on your site. One reason to do this is that it makes a better experience for your visitor since they are likely to find the content they came for. It’s also crucial to SEO. Google will transfer the old page’s SEO ranking to the new page, provided the new page has similar content.
If you’re maintaining a WordPress site, then consider The Redirection WordPress Plugin. I like the 404 logs Redirection will keep. You can group the errors by User Agent, which makes it easy to see which are caused by bots. You can test your redirects as you go, except for those using Regex (see below).
Sometimes it makes sense to write the redirects in the .htaccess file at the root level of my website, which runs on an Apache server. This file contains a series of commands that lets you redirect users to another page, among other server configurations. A word of caution, you can take the whole site offline with a typo. I do this work at a low-traffic time and make multiple backups just in case.
If you have deleted a page, and there is no logical page to redirect those links and visitors to, then it should return a 410 “gone” error. Here’s a handy guide to forcing a URL to return a 410 using the .htacess file.
You can use Regex (Regular Expressions) variables to redirect multiple similar URLs in one line of code. I depend on references like these when I write Regex to redirect web pages. The Redirection plug-in supports Regex as well.
A Beginner’s Guide
Test your redirect at redirect.li. As of this writing, the minimal “about” text says that this is a free service for now, and wants us to be nice.
This Looks Amazing, but I haven’t tried it yet.
@lilyraynyc has used AI to write Regex. Genius! https://twitter.com/lilyraynyc/status/1605238442337632257
Are external links disappearing? See Dealing with Dead Links
Speed and Performance
I am still a student of website speed. I’ve had some successes. This is a great explainer from Google if your site is suffering from Least Contentful Paint Issues. The Core Web Vitals tutorial is on my to-do list.
I like the GTMetrix performance tests, the suggestions are the clearest of the tests I’ve tried. If you create a free account, you can download PDFs and compare tests. The Page Speed Insights test is more thorough. I use both when trouble-shooting speed.
I’m still tracking the results of work I’ve done to speed up the site. Like other SEO projects, it might take months to determine if the effort has paid off for the websites I manage.
About This Looks Useful
I was posting links to social media, to give a shout-out to the people who shared the helpful information. Also believing that I could always go back to my feed to find them again. Corporate takeovers being what they are, I have moved the links I’ve found to my own website.
If you find any of these things useful, thank the people who posted them in any way you can. A kind word, a tip for a cup of coffee, or even a shout-out on social.
I’ll be updating these as I run across more useful links.