If you are an online business, you just cannot do without search engine optimization (SEO). They are essential for your business, just like the other operational strategies.
So, it can be a bit frustrating if you frequently encounter technical SEO problems.
In this guide, you will learn about some of the most common technical SEO issues that you get to come across often with your business website.
But before that, let us start with what technical SEO is.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the strategy that you use to improve the technical aspects of your website. It can enhance the ranking of your website on search engine pages.
Technical optimization of your website ensures faster loading, better navigation, and improved user experience. A technically optimized website is easier to crawl and is also easily read by the various search engines.
However, sometimes there are issues with technical SEO. The common technical SEO issues are easy to fix, yet they are mostly overlooked. Once fixed, SEO tactics can be a crucial factor in enhancing your visibility online.
This article talks about the common technical SEO issues and how they can be fixed.
List of Common Technical SEO Issues
1. Secure Your Website With HTTPS
Your website security is of utmost importance. If it is not secured, Google will recognize security issues and display them with a "not secure" warning. Needless to say, even if you have visitors coming to your website, they will immediately move away once they see the warning sign. It will directly impact your rankings on the search engine pages almost immediately. Hence you should ensure the complete security of your website all the time.
How to Fix the Security Issue?
The quickest way to fix the security issue is to integrate an SSL certification from a certifying authority. You can buy the certificate and install it. Once the installation is complete, your website becomes secured.
The URL of your website will change to https://yourwebsitename. The "s" in HTTPS signifies your website as a secured one. Visitors tend to trust those websites more that have SSL certificates installed in them.
2. Index Your Website
All the pages of your website should be properly indexed on Google. If they are not indexed, it simply means Google is not able to read through those pages. And unless Google crawlers read a page, it doesn't exist for the search engines. If you want to make your web pages rank on Google and other search engines, you must index them.
Find out whether all your website pages are indexed on Google by this simple procedure:
Type "site:yoursitename.com" and hit enter. You will be able to see the number of indexed pages for your website on Google.
What if Some of your Web Pages are Not Indexed in Google yet?
If you do not find your site indexed on Google, you need to add your website URL to the search engine giant's page. Ask your website developer to add it for you. If your web pages are not making it to the search engine rankings, it can be because of the robots.txt files. It can affect the search engine results significantly. You should verify whether any of your website pages are blocked by the robot.txt file or not. Your website developer can also monitor it.
3. Beware of Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is one of the most common issues that often bug webmasters. Of course, there are many ways to check whether there is duplicate content on your website. Duplicity can slow down the Google bot crawlers and hence is an issue that can hit your website badly in terms of SEO. Hence, duplicate content is a strict no-no for any website.
Stay Away from the Duplicity of Content
Ensure high-quality, valuable content on your website. Run a plagiarism checker for any duplicity before uploading the content on your website. Do not use spun content. Use appropriate rel=canonical tags. These tags can let Google know whether your webpage is original or not. And what kind of important information it holds for the relevant visitors.
You can also check the source code of your website. Ask your web developer to make changes to the rel=canonical tags for your website if needed. Whether you need those tags depends on the content structure of the website. It also depends on the platform on which your website is hosted.
4. Does Your Website Have the XML Sitemaps?
The XML Sitemaps are dictionaries for your website. They help Google search bots understand what your website is all about so that the bots can do their job efficiently and effectively. If you do not have XML Sitemaps for your website, you might get to see an error 404 page.
How Do you Fix the 404 Page Error for your Website?
Type "website name/sitemap.xml" on Google and hit enter. If you do not see a search result, you need to get in touch with a web developer to create an XML sitemap for your website. There are also XML sitemap generator tools available on the web. You can take help from those tools. But it is always preferable to let your web developer do the needful.
Any random visitor has a very short attention span when it comes to website browsing. There are so many options available, and hence no one wants to wait for a website to load. Whether your users will continue visiting your website or go elsewhere depends a lot on the speed of your pages. A website should load quickly, in fact, within 3 seconds. Site speed directly impacts the user experience.
How to Maximize Website Loading Speed?
With simple image optimization and cache improvement, you can maximize the website speed. Improve the server response time, and the website speed might become quicker. There are several on-page SEO tricks that you can apply to your website so that the speed improves. Also, it is vital to make your website mobile responsive. That way, it becomes quicker and provides a seamless user experience for your visitors.
6. Fix Broken Links on Your Website
When you have both internal and external links, it simply means your website has good quality content. But make sure there are no broken links within your website. Links can break for several reasons, such as if the external link page no longer exists. Having broken links leads to poor user experience, which can affect the ranking of the page.
How to Fix Broken Links?
Every time you remove a page from your website, you have to ensure that the internal links to that page are removed too. For ensuring that the external links are in working condition, you have to run website audits regularly. Replace the broken links with new web pages within your website. For external links, go back to the external website and request them to keep up the user experience for your visitors.
7. Does Your Website Have Missing Alt Tags?
Missing alt tags simply mean missing SEO opportunities for your website. The alt tags act as a text alternative for the images within your website. When tagged with alt tags, the photos help the search engine bots learn what your website is all about. It can boost the value of your website to a huge extent.
How to Fix the Issue?
Conducting regular SEO audits can identify missed alt tags for the images within your website. If there are missing alt tags, you must ensure they are added as they can impact the search engine ranking for your website.
8. Does your Website Have Properly Structured Data?
Structured data is also known as schema markup. Schema shows up on the search engine pages as rich snippets, which gives your website a visually appealing feature. The search engine crawlers find it easier to crawl and organize the content of your website when it has structured data in it. A fine example would be - you have a cooking recipes website. It is good to add the term "ingredients" within the content because recipes would require ingredients. It makes Google's bot understand that your website talks about recipes and cooking. Needless to mention, it also enhances the user experience of your website.
How to Add Schema Markup to your Website?
When you add new content to your website, you have to identify areas to add structured data. Deploy structured data to your website and regularly monitor your website to ensure there is no issue with your content on Google.
9. Is Your Website Mobile Optimized?
More people browse the website on their tabs and smartphones nowadays over desktops. Thus, it is crucial to make your website mobile responsive so that the user experience for your visitors is seamless. Turn your website into a mobile responsive one so that your website remains in the spotlight.
How to Make your Website Mobile Responsive?
Redesign your website in a mobile responsive theme and get it indexed on Google. Update the metadata on the website so that they are a good fit with both the desktop and the mobile versions.
10. Use Optimized Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are unique blurbs about your content. Meta descriptions help the search engines in indexing your web pages. Besides, they show a glimpse of what your content is all about to the users. When the meta descriptions are written comprehensively, they can create interest among visitors.
How to Optimize the Meta Descriptions for your Website?
Add unique meta descriptions with proper keywords to all your web pages to ensure they are indexed and appear on search engines.
11. Is the Robots.txt Missing from Your Website?
If robots.txt is missing from your website, it is a warning sign for you. The function of a robots.txt file is to tell the search engine crawlers which pages of your website are worthy of a crawl. So, if this critical program is missing from your website, it will not be visible on the search engine pages.
Find out on Google whether your website has the robots.txt program running by typing: yourwebsitename/robots.txt". If you see "user-agent: *disallow:/," then you have a problem with the robotx.txt of your website. Reach out to your web developer and get it fixed to solve the issue.
12. Is there NOINDEX Configured for Your Website?
With NOINDEX or ‘no follow’ configured for your website, it means certain web pages are not as important as others. Remove the NOINDEX tags from your website. Or else Google will consider all the web pages with NOINDEX as unimportant and, hence, remove them from search engine pages. Your website's visibility will be lost because of this technical issue.
How to Fix It?
Check the source code of your website and remove any "no-follow" links from your website. The 'no follow' links would mean Google will overlook your website and not crawl it. You wouldn't want that to happen.
13. Set Your Website Navigation Well
If visitors fail to find what they are searching for on your website, they will never return. Of course, if your website's navigation is poor, it can result in a loss of engagement among your visitors. Poor engagement means low authority for your website. And, the low authority of your website means less visibility online.
If your website is not serving valuable information to your visitors, it will not rank among the top pages of the search engine. It's as simple as that. Search engines are also businesses, and they intend to show the users what they are looking for.
In other words, if your website doesn't have good navigation pathways, it can result in a chain reaction for the SEO. All good things will go for a toss simply because of such a minor issue.
How to Add or Change the Navigation Path on Your Website?
The best way to add good navigation is to add ample internal links between your web pages so that users can easily navigate between pages. It will increase your viewers' engagement time and help them look through what they are searching for.
Besides, it is the best practice to add categories of pages on your home page. It helps to show visitors clearly and precisely which tab contains what information.
14. Use Search-friendly Images
A lot of websites use several images on their home pages that look stunningly beautiful. But more often than not, most websites do not realize that images can also adversely affect the search engine page rankings. To Google, an image is just an image, regardless of what purpose you use it for. Unless you let Google know the purpose of the image on your website, it will not make a mark with the Google bot.
How to Turn Images on Your Website to Your Advantage?
Use SEO-friendly web fonts along with CSS and HTML coding wherever necessary. These small changes to the images on your website will retain the beauty of the images and help your website achieve a better ranking.
15. Are Your Title Tags Effective for Your Website?
Title tags can affect SEO in a variety of manners. There can be missing tags or duplicate tags and short or long tags that are not effective enough for your website. Your website's title tags help your visitors and the search engine bots understand what your page is all about.
How to Use the Most Effective Title Tag for Your Website?
An ideal title tag should be around 60 characters long and must have some targeted keywords in it. Make sure there is no duplicity in the title tag. Ask your web developer to take care of these issues, and nothing can stop your website.
Technical SEO Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Technical SEO Important?
Yes, technical SEO is crucial for your website. Technical SEO can affect the performance of your website. If you improve the technical SEO strategies of your website, it will lead to an increase in the visibility of your website on the search engine pages.
2. What is the Difference Between Technical and Non-technical SEO?
With technical SEO, you can improvise and even manipulate the website design. You can also change the source code, metadata, and internal and external link profiles. All these will help you to get better visibility on the search engine pages.
With non-technical SEO, you make your website visible by implementing specific strategies. Some non-technical SEO Strategies are creating regular blogs, sharing social media content, etc.
3. How Does Technical SEO Work for Your Website?
Improve your website technically to enhance its speed and improve other on-page SEO to get it quickly crawled by Google bots. This task is considered as a technical SEO for your website. Technical SEO makes it easier for the Google crawlers to read your website for relevance and place it on the search engine pages as per user search.
4. What are some best practices for technical SEO?
Multiple factors work for technical SEO. Some of the best practices that you can follow to ensure that your website doesn't fall into the ruts of common mistakes in technical SEO are:
- Keep your website secured
- Check the Robots.txt for your website
- Check your website for non-index tags
- Must have an XML sitemap for your website
- Use a mobile responsive theme for your website
- Optimize the website loading speed for a seamless user experience
- Use unique Meta descriptions for your website
5. What Are the Advantages of Technical SEO?
Using Technical SEO strategies for your website is the best possible way to generate organic traffic. It is a great way to convert leads to revenue. It can improve search engine visibility to a great extent and can strengthen your online presence significantly.
6. How Can Technical SEO Boost Your Website Traffic?
Technical SEO covers a broad range of SEO strategies. It includes on-page optimization and website improvement. When you work on website improvements like installing an SSL certificate or site speed, it can give your website more visibility. Needless to say, that when you have better visibility, you attract more traffic to your website. Adding valuable and informative content can also ensure that your single visitors turn loyal.
Joseph Schneider is the Director of Marketing at Haitna, a Dallas-based SEO Agency. He is an expert in researching complex topics related to Search engine optimization, digital marketing, social media marketing and writes it in an easily understandable way.
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Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.