10 Technical SEO Issues and How to Fix Them
Do you want to enhance your site’s SEO and give room for continuous growth and improvement? Then you need to fix your website’s technical SEO issues. Read on to discover the common technical SEO issues that your website is likely facing and how you can solve them.
How Can Website Audits Help You Detect Your Site's Technical SEO Issues?
You need to carry out an audit of your website if you haven’t. Website audits play a huge role in increasing the efficiency of a website and in making it found in organic search results. Apart from increasing website traffic and performance, audits also help websites to rank in Google searches. Website audits will allow your company to expand online.
Regularly carrying out website audits is important because you will be sure that your website is performing at its total capacity (even if your website is generating traffic and attracting visitors). Website audits also help you to detect the technical SEO problems that may be endangering the SEO performance of your website. Leaving these issues unresolved could lead to a drop in conversions.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO are the updates that the website or server you control undergo and which also control the crawling, indexing, and ranking of your site. The components of technical SEO include XML sitemaps, page titles, HTTP header responses, metadata, 301 redirects, and title tags.
Technical SEO has nothing to do with keyword research, analytics, the development of backlink profiles, or social media development. This is the first step you need to take if you want your users to have a better search experience. Other SEO tasks need to come after sorting out the technical SEO issues with your website. However, it can be difficult for an enterprise website owner to be ahead of potential technical SEO problems.
Most digital agencies overlook the issues in this guide. However, they need to be fixed so that your search visibility and overall SEO will improve.
What are the Top Technical SEO Issues and How Can You Fix Them?
Your website’s ranking in SERPs depends on how fast your website loads. A website with a fast speed will create a better experience for users. Slower websites end up being penalized and this causes them to be de-ranked in Google search results. When a website is slow, Google will reduce the number of crawlers it sends to the website (especially when the server response time exceeds 2 seconds). This eventually makes fewer pages to be indexed.
The Google PageSpeed Insights tool can help you fix this problem. The tool determines your website’s performance on both desktop and mobile devices. It sends alerts for poorly-optimized pages. One good thing about Google PageSpeed Insights tool is that it shows you what you should do to resolve the problem.
If you are a WordPress user, you can also ask your hosting provider to help fix your website speed. This is why it is advisable to opt for a good WordPress hosting service that has good uptime and speed.
Absence of HTTPS Security
HTTPS is a must-have for your website. A website that is not secure will display a gray background in Google Chrome. In worst-case scenarios, a red background that has a “not secure” warning will be displayed.
These scenarios could scare users away from your website and revert to the other search results.
The first thing you need to do is to check if there’s HTTPS on your website. This can be done by typing your URL into Google Chrome. If you see a “secure” message, then your site is secured. If not, then convert your website to HTTPS. You need an SSL certificate that is issued by a Certificate Authority for this purpose. Your website will be secure after buying and installing your certificate.
Low Text-To-HTML Ratio
The website is not properly indexed
There is a problem with your website’s indexation if you cannot find it after searching for your brand name on Google. Your website will not be found online if it is not indexed (since Google sees such websites as non-existent).
To know if your website has an indexation problem, type “site:yoursitename.com” into Google’s search bar to see the pages that have been indexed on your website.
Add your URL to Google if it is not indexed. If your website has been indexed by Google, you need to check for other results such as old versions of your website that Google indexed instead of the right redirects that should take users to your updated website.
If your site has been indexed by Google but the indexed pages are less than what you expected, you need to audit the content that has been indexed and compare it with the web pages that you intend to rank. You can check Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to understand why your content is not ranking.
Ensure that your robots.txt file does not block the critical pages on your website. Also, verify that you have not implemented the NOINDEX meta tag by mistake.
Low Word Count
Google penalizes websites with a thin or low word count. Thin content entails adding more pages to your website without an increase in the quality of the pages. Although simplicity is desired in marketing, your SEO can be hurt when you have too little text. If you have content with more depth (usually with longer pages), Google will favor your website.
Carry out an in-depth research on the topic you want to write about so that you can find the information that your audience can relate to. Long tail-keywords and keywords in the form of questions can also help to enhance the voice-search efficiency of your web page and your content structure. To get better results, use long-form articles (between 1500 and 4000 words) on your website.
If you have hundreds of pages on your website, then one or two broken links may not be a serious issue. But when you have lots of broken links (such as dozens), then there’s a problem because it will affect how users perceive the quality of your website.
Also, broken links can affect your website’s crawlability. When search bots detect excessive broken links, they move to other websites; thereby making the important pages on your website not to be crawled or indexed.
Excessive broken links also hurt the page authority of your website.
Go to the Google Search Console and click on “Crawl Errors” below “Crawl.” This step is important because it helps you detect the web pages returning 404 responses. 404 errors need to be fixed as soon as possible so that they don’t redirect your visitors to other parts of your site or off your website entirely.
Lack of XML Sitemaps
XML sitemaps enable the search bots to have a better understanding of your website pages. When the search bots understand your web pages, they will be able to crawl your site more efficiently and effectively. To know if you have XML sitemaps, search for your domain name and include “/sitemap.xml,” i.e. “domainname.com/sitemap.xml.”
If your site does not have a sitemap, you can either create one by yourself or hire the service of a website developer. You can easily create a sitemap yourself by using an XML sitemap generating tool. If you are a WordPress user, then you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to generate XML sitemaps for your website.
This is a problem that is faced by many sites since more companies use dynamically designed websites, CMS, and worldwide SEO. Having the same content on different websites can confuse search engine crawlers; thereby preventing the right content to be delivered to your ideal audience.
Apart from negatively affecting your rankings, Google can also penalize your website as a result of content duplication. Your website may stop ranking in the search result pages.
To solve the problem of content duplication, crawl your website for content duplication let Google know the worth of multiple URLs using “crawl directives.” “Robots.txt” can be used to show Google the folders and directories that you don’t want it to crawl. Also, the rel= “canonical” link element can be used to inform Google about the URL that should be indexed. Canonical tags inform search engines that a specific page is a duplicate of another and the page the bots need to index first.
No Meta Description
Meta descriptions refer to short content blurbs of about 160 characters that show the summary of the web page. These snippets help in indexing your web page by Google and other search engines. An engaging meta description can attract your audience’s interest.
Although meta description tags are simple SEO elements, they are missing on many websites. Just like the content of your website, your meta descriptions need to be optimized to align with what your audience will read on the web page. So it is important to include relevant keywords in the meta description.
If your pages do not have meta descriptions, carry out an SEO audit using any SEO software to detect the pages that do not have meta descriptions. You should also determine the worth of the page and rank it based on its worth.
Evaluate web pages that have meta descriptions concerning their performance and value to your business. Pages with meta description mistakes can be detected while carrying out an SEO audit. Pages with high value and are about to rank where you want them to need to be considered first. You must also change the meta description of any web page that you are editing, updating, or changing. Also, meta descriptions must also relate to each of the pages on your website.
No Alt Tags
This is a common technical SEO issue that is found on websites. Alt tags provide search engines and site visitors that are visually impaired with descriptions of all images on your site in text formats. You need to add optimized alt tags to your site’s HTML code so that your users’ experience can be improved. Alt tags will help your website to rank higher in organic search engine results.
You need to carry out a professional SEO audit to find the missing alt tags on your website. Although the importance of alt tags today is not as crucial as what we had a few years ago, they still help Google and other search engines to understand what your content is all about and help your web page to be found on Google Images.
Ensure you use keywords in your alt tags so that you can get the best SEO results.
As stated earlier in this guide an SEO audit will help you detect the technical SEO issues with your website. It is important to know how you can identify the technical SEO issues and how to fix them so that your website can be found in Google search results.
If you don’t have the technical skills to identify and rectify these issues, it is advisable to hire the service of a professional to check your site and see if it has any technical SEO issues. An SEO expert will know the right steps to take to fix each of the issues; thereby helping your website to rank higher on search engines.