Search engine optimization is a key component of any successful website. However, many webmasters need to be made aware of the common technical SEO issues that can arise and how to fix them. From not having an HTTPS security certificate installed to missing meta tags, these problems can seriously affect your site’s visibility in search results if left unchecked.
In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the most common technical SEO issues and provide actionable tips on identifying and addressing each quickly so you can maximize your website’s potential!
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO refers to updates and changes made to a website or server that immediately affect web pages’ crawl ability, indexation, and search rankings. This includes page titles, title tags, HTTP header responses, XML sitemaps, 301 redirects, and metadata.
It does not include analytics, keyword research, backlink profile development, or social media strategies. In SEO Clarity’s Search Experience Optimization framework (SEO), technical SEO is the first step in creating a better search experience.
The Importance of Technical SEO
Good technical optimization ensures that your web pages appear higher in organic search results. Hence, drive more traffic towards them over time; without proper indexation techniques employed across all areas of your website, you won’t see the same success here compared with competitors who have their sites technically optimized correctly – potentially leading leads customers away from yours instead.
Additionally, implementing quick loading times through various methods such as minifying HTMLCSSJS code snippets, etc., and optimizing images using tools such as Compressorio help keep visitors engaged longer once they land on one of your pages too – ultimately resulting in better conversions rates overall.
Common Technical SEO Problems And Solutions
Here are some common technical SEO problems you can fix to improve your SERP rankings
No HTTPS Security
The lack of HTTPS security on a website can have serious consequences for both the website and its users. It is important to ensure that your site has secure encryption to protect sensitive data, such as credit card information or passwords. Without this encryption, hackers could easily access confidential information stored on the server.
What Is HTTPS?
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, an encrypted version of HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). When you visit a website with HTTPS enabled, all communication between your browser and the web server is encrypted using SSL/TLS technology. This ensures that any data sent over the internet remains private and secure from third-party interception.
Why Is It Important?
How to Fix It?
An SSL certificate from a Certificate Authority is required to convert your site to HTTPS.
Your site will be secure once you have purchased and installed your certificate.
The site needs to be Indexed Correctly.
If your site isn’t indexed properly, it won’t be visible on search engine results pages (SERPs). This can greatly impact the traffic and leads you to receive from organic searches.
What Is Indexing?
Indexing is when a search engine crawls through all the content on your website and adds it to its database. Once this happens, your website will appear in SERPs for relevant queries. It’s an essential part of SEO because, with indexing, people can find your website in Google or other major search engines.
How To Check?
Enter “site:yoursitename.com” into Google’s search bar to see the number of indexed pages for your site.
Common Causes Of Incorrect Indexing
Some sites may also suffer from technical issues, such as server downtime, which can prevent bots from crawling their content correctly.
How To Fix Incorrect Indexation Issues?
If your site still needs to be indexed, you can start by adding your URL to Google.
If your site is indexed, but there are many MORE results than expected, investigate further for either site-hacking spam or old versions of the site that are indexed instead of appropriate redirects pointing to your updated site.
If your site is indexed but sees a lot LESS than expected, audit the indexed content and compare it to the pages you want to rank. If you need to figure out why your content isn’t ranking, check Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to ensure it’s compliant.
If the results differ in any way from what you expected, double-check that your robots.txt file does not block your important website pages. You should double-check that you haven’t accidentally added a NOINDEX meta tag.
No XML Sitemaps
XML sitemaps assist Google search bots in understanding more about your site pages, allowing them to crawl your site more effectively and intelligently.
How To Check It?
Enter your domain name into Google and follow it with “/sitemap.xml,” as shown below.
This is typically where the sitemap resides. If your website has a sitemap, it will look like this:
How To Fix It?
If your website lacks a sitemap (and you land on a 404 page), you can create one yourself or hire a web developer. The simplest method is to use an XML sitemap generator. If you have a WordPress site, the Yoast SEO plugin can automatically generate XML sitemaps for you.
Missing or Incorrect Robots.txt
If you don’t have a robots.txt file or contain incorrect information, the search engines won’t be able to index your site properly and may even penalize you for not following their guidelines.
What Is Robots.txt?
A robots.txt file is simply a plain-text document that resides in the root directory of your website (e.g., www.examplewebsite/robots.txt).
This document contains instructions for web crawlers (also known as “spiders”) about which pages they should or shouldn’t crawl on your website and where they can find other resources, such as XML sitemaps and meta tags that help them understand what type of content exists on each page of your site more accurately so that it can be indexed correctly by the search engine algorithms when users are searching for relevant terms related to those topics online.
Why Are Robots txt Important?
Having an accurate robots txt file helps ensure that only relevant pages from your website get crawled by web crawlers like Googlebot, Bingbot, etc., thus ensuring better visibility in organic searches when users are looking for specific topics related to those pages online.
Additionally, having up-to-date robots txt also prevents any unwanted files from being indexed by these bots, which could harm user experience due to slow loading times or broken links, resulting in lower rankings overall within SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
How To Check?
To determine if there are issues with the robots.txt file, type your website URL into your browser with a “/robots.txt” suffix. If you get a result that reads “User-agent: * Disallow: /,” you have an issue.
How To Fix?
If you see “Disallow: /,” contact your developer immediately. There could be a good reason for this, or it could be an oversight.
If you have a complex robots.txt file, as many e-commerce sites do, you should go over it with your developer line by line to ensure it’s correct.
Slow Page Load Times
Slow page load times can greatly impact your website’s performance. Visitors may leave before they even get a chance to explore it, resulting in higher bounce rates and lower rankings in SERPs. This is why it’s important to optimize your site for speed.
How To Check?
Use Google PageSpeed Insights to identify specific site speed issues. (Make sure to test both desktop and mobile performance.)
To avoid spot checks, use seoClarity’s Page Speed to monitor and identify page speed issues across your site monthly or bi-weekly.
How To Fix?
Speak with your web developer to determine the best solution for your site’s page speed issues. Other solutions include:
One of the most common causes of slow page load times is large images that must be optimized properly. Unoptimized images take longer to download and render, which slows down the entire process.
To fix this issue, you should compress all images before uploading them to your website and use an image optimization plugin like WP Smush or EWWW Image Optimizer if you’re using WordPress.
By Minifying Code
Enable Browser Caching
Enabling browser caching also helps speed up page loading times because cached versions of webpages are stored locally on users’ computers after their first visit, so they won’t need to be downloaded again when revisiting the same webpage later on (this reduces server requests).
You can enable browser caching via .htaccess or through plugins such as W3 Total Cache for WordPress sites.
This is because each redirect requires additional HTTP requests, which adds more time to download a web page’s content from the server hosted onto visitors’ devices or browsers where they view it online.
To reduce these redirects, try not linking directly URLs that have already been redirected but instead link back-end URLs directly whenever possible – e-commerce stores often have many redirects due to product links.
It occurs when the same content appears on multiple pages or across different websites. This can lead to confusion for search engines, which will need to know which page should be indexed and ranked in their results.
For example, if you create two versions of your homepage with slightly different URLs (e.g., www.example.com/homepage and www.example.com/index), both pages may be indexed by search engines, but only one version will rank higher than the other in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
To fix this issue, use canonical tags to indicate which page should be indexed by search engines and use 301 redirects to consolidate duplicate URLs so that all traffic goes to one version of the page instead of being split between two versions of it.
Another way duplicate content can occur is when someone copies your web pages without permission and posts them elsewhere online. In these cases, you can contact Google directly via their Webmaster Tools service and submit a DMCA takedown request for removal from their indexing system altogether due to copyright infringement laws being violated here too!
You also want to make sure any syndicated content appearing on third-party sites includes proper attribution backlinks pointing back at its source URL address located within each article snippet shared externally, so credit is given where credit is due accordingly.
Lastly, always check for any internal links linking outbound from within your domain name property because broken links are bad news, regardless of type.
Missing Meta Tags
Meta tags are essential for SEO success. With them, your website will be able to rank as highly in SERPs as possible. Meta tags provide search engines with information about the content of a web page and help them determine which pages should appear in their results.
Title tags are one of the most important meta tags and should include relevant keywords that accurately describe the content on each page. For example, if you have a blog post about “SEO Tips,” then your title tag should include those words so that search engines can easily identify what the page is about.
Additionally, title tags should be unique for each page on your site so that they are clear from other pages or posts when indexed by search engines.
Meta descriptions are another important type of meta tag and serve as an additional way to tell search engines what a particular webpage is about. When writing meta descriptions, make sure they accurately reflect the content on each page while still being concise enough to fit within 160 characters or less (including spaces).
Image Alt Text
Image alt text is another meta tag search engine crawlers use to understand what images represent on a web page without actually seeing them visually as humans do. This helps ensure that even if an image doesn’t load properly due to slow internet speeds or technical issues, its meaning will still be conveyed correctly in SERP results, so users know exactly what kind of content awaits them once they click through from Google’s organic listings.
Alt text should always accurately describe whatever image it accompanies and contain relevant keywords whenever possible.
Broken links are a common technical SEO issue that can significantly impact your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). Broken links occur when the page you’re trying to access no longer exists or has been moved, resulting in an error message.
This can be caused by internal issues such as outdated content, incorrect redirects, missing files; or external issues like expired domains and changed URLs.
To fix this issue, regularly check for broken links using tools like Google Search Console and Screaming Frog. These tools will help you identify any errors on your site so that you can replace them with working links.
Additionally, it’s important to keep track of any changes made to other websites that may affect yours—such as when another domain expires or a URL is updated—so you can update your own accordingly.
When creating new content for your website, always double-check all internal and external links before publishing it live. Use 301 redirects instead of 404 errors whenever a link needs to be removed from your site due to an expired domain or updated URL; this will ensure visitors can still find what they need without getting lost.
By taking these steps now and monitoring for broken links regularly going forward, you will be able to maintain good SEO practices while simultaneously providing visitors with an optimal user experience.
Multiple Versions of the Homepage
Having multiple versions of your homepage can be a huge issue regarding SEO. When multiple URLs lead to the same page, search engines may not know which version should be indexed and ranked in their results. This could result in lower rankings or, even worse, none!
When creating multiple versions of your homepage, you need to ensure they are properly set up so that only one version is visible to search engine crawlers. You can do this using 301 redirects from additional pages to the original. This will ensure that only one version is indexed and no duplicate content issues arise.
Canonical tags tell search engines which URL should be used as the primary source for indexing and ranking purposes, helping them determine which version should appear on their results pages.
Ensure all internal links point directly toward a single canonicalized URL so everyone knows where to go when looking for online information about your website or business.
Finally, ensure that your website has an effective site architecture with appropriate navigation elements linking between the various sections. This will help keep visitors engaged while ensuring they stay aware of incorrect URLs or link structures within the website’s hierarchy.
Meta Robots NOINDEX Set
The most common use of the meta robots tag is to set the NOINDEX value, which instructs search engines not to include a page in their index. This can be useful for preventing duplicate content from appearing in search results or for hiding certain pages from being seen by users who don’t have permission.
What Is Meta Robots?
Meta robots is an HTML element that instructs web crawlers on how to crawl and index your website’s content. It allows you to control what information appears in search engine results and prevent duplicate content from appearing multiple times in the same SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
When Should You Use Meta Robots NOINDEX?
You should use the meta robots NOINDEX tag when you want a particular page or post on your website not to appear in any search engine result pages (SERPs). This could be due to various reasons, such as wanting privacy for certain members-only areas of your site, preventing duplicate content issues, or simply because you don’t want people finding it through organic searches.
How To Check It?
Click on your site’s main pages and select “View Page Source.” Use the “Find” command (Ctrl + F) to search for lines in the source code that read “NOINDEX” or “NOFOLLOW,” such as:
Use Site Audits technology to scan your site to avoid spot checks.
How Do You Set Up Meta Robots NOINDEX?
If you see any “NOINDEX” or “NOFOLLOW” in your source code, check with your web developer, as they may have included it for specific reasons.
If there’s no known reason, have your developer change it to read <meta name=”robots” content=” INDEX, FOLLOW”> or remove the tag altogether.
Common technical SEO issues can be daunting to tackle, but they can be easily fixed with the right knowledge and tools. Knowing what common technical SEO issues to look for is key to ensuring your website is optimized correctly and ranks well on search engine results pages.
Taking the time to audit your website regularly will help you identify any potential problems that may arise, allowing you to address them before they become major issues quickly. Remember, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to common technical SEO issues and how to fix them!
Do you need help with common technical SEO issues? Do not worry; we can help. Our team of experts is ready to provide tailored solutions for all your Search Engine Optimization needs and will ensure that your website gets the visibility it deserves. We understand how important a good user experience (UX) and site architecture are when achieving success in organic search rankings; let us help you reach the top!