Small businesses might not know what the term “technical SEO” means. Technical SEO (search engine optimization) isn’t as hard as it might sound. In fact, this article talks about a few common Technical SEO Issues that you could fix in just a few hours. You have a website, so let’s make sure it’s technically set up to show up on search engines.
What is SEO Technical?
Technical SEO focuses on the technical parts of making a website better for Google and other search engines. It has to do with making sure that the front-end and back-end parts of your website are up to date with search engine algorithms. Yes, search engine algorithms change and improve all the time, but our SEO experts work hard to keep up with the latest trends.
As these algorithms change, you should make sure that your website is technically correct. If you follow these trends, your website will be more likely to be seen online. Online visibility is a key part of any digital marketing strategy that works.
At first glance, many websites may look interesting and useful, but that doesn’t mean they will rank well on search engines. Technical SEO Issues makes it possible for websites of all kinds to show up on the first page of search engines when people look for certain keywords. Your website’s goal should be to show up on the first page of search results for certain keywords.
Because a website has so many parts, there is room for more Technical SEO Issues to come up. This article talks about the most common Technical SEO Issues and how to fix them. Let’s get started!
Here are 13 Common Technical SEO Issues Small Businesses Face
Come up. This article talks about the most common technical SEO issues and how to fix them. Let’s get started!
Content Common Technical SEO Issues:
1. DUPLICATE CONTENT
With so much content being posted online every day, it’s not surprising that duplicate content is a common problem. In terms of Technical SEO Issues, duplicate content is the text that is on two different web pages but has the same words. It doesn’t mean that a few words or phrases look alike. It’s more likely that two web pages have sentences, paragraphs, or long pieces of content that are the same.
When search engines crawl (search) websites, it is easy for them to look for duplicate content. They know that original content always comes out first. Anything that came out after the original date of publication would be a duplicate. If search engines find duplicate content, it could hurt your technical SEO and cause your rankings to drop.
How to fix it: It’s easy for a small business like yours to keep your site from having duplicate content. As you add content to your site, come up with unique, original, evergreen content that helps your users understand. If you take or use information from another site, you should link to the source and rewrite as much of the information as you can.
If you already have problems with duplicate content on your site, you don’t have to delete the page that goes with it (s). To fix the problem, you need to replace the duplicated content with new, optimized content. Use redirects the right way if you need to move a web page or URL temporarily or permanently. Check out these free auditing tools if you need to look for duplicate content on your site:
2. THIN CONTENT
Thin content is also one of the most common Technical SEO Issues that small businesses will have to deal with. Thin content is content that is short, doesn’t say much, or isn’t very good. Content on a website should teach and tell the user more about the product or service you are selling. Search engines want to give their users the best results and content they can. When a website has little content, it is less likely to rank well on search engines. Even if other parts of your website follow best practices for how search engines work, having little content can hurt your keyword rankings.
How to fix it: Create content that answers people’s questions about your industry or the products or services you sell. Include text, photos, infographics, or videos that are interesting to your target audience to help keep their attention. Use heading tags, meta titles, and meta descriptions to get people interested in your site and make it work better for your target keywords. Link to other pages on your site when you can to keep people interested and on your site for a long time. As you use these strategies, your content will get stronger and more powerful.
3. PROBLEMS WITH META TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONS
Meta titles and descriptions are an important part of SEO, but many websites have trouble with them. On a SERP (search engine results page), the link and description for each result are the meta title and description. If the page is not properly optimized, search engines are unlikely to rank it. Remember that the meta title and description are the first things a user sees when they do a search on Google or another search engine.
What to do:
Optimize the meta titles and descriptions with the keywords you want to rank for.
Follow the rules for the number of characters.
Keep meta titles between 40 and 60 characters.
The length of meta descriptions should be between 140 and 160 characters.
Create unique meta titles and descriptions for each page. Don’t copy titles and descriptions from one page to another.
4. MISSING ALT TAGS
Alt tags also called alt description tags or alt image tags, are the HTML attribute for a picture on a website. Alt tags are the words that are used in the code of a website to describe an image. Even though alt tags are a small ranking factor, not having them can keep you from having a complete, well-optimized web page.
How to fix: It’s easy to add alt tags to your website and make sure they work well. Add a tag (or description) to each picture to tell what it is. Use the keyword in one of the alt image tags if it makes sense. Filling in alt tags will help your SEO efforts, no matter if you use a CMS or HTML to make changes to your site.
5. MULTIPLE H1 TAGS
Heading 1 tag, or H1 tags, show the descriptive heading at the top of every web page. Search engines look for these tags on websites because they should tell what the content is about. Many websites have problems with having too many H1 tags, which makes search engines confused and hurts keyword rankings in the end. When small businesses make websites, they often use more than one H1 tag by accident. Yes, it’s important to use subheadings in your writing, but make sure you do it right.
What to do: Yet another easy fix! Just get rid of any website pages that have more than one H1 tag. Only one H1 tag should be used. It’s still important to keep the main H1 tag near the top and make sure that tag is optimized for the keyword. Use H2 and H3 tags for the other H1 tags you don’t need. It’s best to use H2 and H3 tags to break up the length of the text and use relevant keywords at the same time. Most of the time, an optimized web page will have one H1 tag and several H2 and H3 tags.
Performance Common Technical SEO Issues
6. SLOW SITE SPEED
Think back to the last time you clicked on a website page and it took a long time to load. It’s annoying, right? You might have even clicked “back” or left the page because you didn’t want to wait for it to load. Several studies show that faster site speeds are directly linked to higher bounce rates and fewer conversions. Slow site speed, along with other common Technical SEO Issues, makes it hard for users to use the site. As a small business, you should put the needs of your customers first.
How to fix: Site speeds can be harder to fix, and depending on your situation, you may need to work with a web developer. But these three ideas have helped other small businesses quickly speed up their sites on desktop and mobile devices:
Optimize the image sizes and republish to keep the file size under 100KB
Website plugins that aren’t being used should be deleted, and plugins that are being used should be updated regularly.
Remove photos and videos that you don’t need. They take up a lot of space.
Check out these free tools to test the speed of your site today: PageSpeed Insights
7. POOR MOBILE USABILITY
Since more and more searches are being done on mobile devices, it makes sense that mobile usability is a part of Technical SEO Issues. Google now crawls sites based on how well they work on mobile devices first (mobile-first indexing). For years, websites were made to work with desktop computers. Because of how technology has changed, more than half of all searches are now done on mobile devices.
How to fix: Google Search Console is the best tool to track and audit your site for bad mobile usability. It’s easy to set up Google Search Console, especially if you’ve already set up Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager. Once you’ve set up Google Search Console, do these things:
1.Click on “Usability on Mobile Devices” in the main menu.
2. Look at the report to see if there are any mistakes that Google’s smartphone crawler found when it looked at the site to see if it was mobile-friendly.
3. You can look at the “type” of mobile usability problems and the pages they affect under “Details.”
4. Fix the problems on the back end of your website by following Google’s rules. If you need to, work with a web designer.
5. Keep looking at Google Search Console for more mistakes and fix them if you find them.
8. NAVIGATION ISSUES
The navigation of a website is an important part of the user experience because it helps the user move from page to page as they look for information. No matter what page a user is on, they should be able to find their way back to the main menu. Small businesses with old websites that aren’t optimized often have trouble with navigation. Fix any problems with navigation so you can keep up with the competition.
What to do: When you build your site or make changes to it, make a main navigation menu that makes it clear how users can find each page. If you need to, you can make sub-menus that drop down from the main navigation menu. If you put links inside the text of a page, make sure that each link loads quickly. Note: avoid orphan pages. Orphan pages don’t link to any other pages and can make search engines and site visitors confused.
Technical SEO Issues With Files
9. MISSING (OR OUTDATED) XML SITEMAP
An XML sitemap is kind of like a plan for a website. It makes it easy for search engines to crawl the pages of a website. Sitemaps also show which pages on a site have the most authority, which tells search engines which pages to look at first. If a website doesn’t have an XML sitemap, or if it has an old one, it might not rank well on search engines.
If a website doesn’t have a sitemap, it’s likely that search engines will skip it or mark it as “low priority” when they index it. Also, problems with the sitemap could cause the current rankings to drop. Keeping your XML sitemap up-to-date is a key part of improving your online ranking.
10. INTERNAL LINKING
Internal links, in a nutshell, are the links on a website that connect different pages. Even though sitemaps are important for pointing out the most important pages, internal links can be even more important. When you link to important pages on your own site, it shows search engines how important those pages are. In turn, search engines are more likely to list pages that have more internal links coming in. When search engines crawl your site, you can also point them in the right direction by linking to other pages on your site.
What to do: Follow the steps in our Technical SEO Issues guide to make an XML sitemap or update an existing one. Your website’s CMS can automatically make an XML sitemap for you (content management system). Most CMS platforms make it easy to make a new sitemap that you can send to Google and other search engines. If you can’t do this, you can create a sitemap manually by using a third-party sitemap creator or following the steps in Google Search Central.
Follow these easy steps to send Google a new sitemap:
Launch the Google Search Console.
Click “Sitemaps” under “Index.”
Enter the URL for the new sitemap to send it in.
11.NON-SECURE WEBSITE (HTTP VS HTTPS)
A site that isn’t secure doesn’t have an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate to protect it. If the site is not secure, “HTTP” will show up in the URL instead of “HTTPS.” The SSL certificate encrypts and protects files that come into and leave your website, making it safer. A site that has an SSL certificate is also harder to hack. This keeps your website’s data and information safe.
Search engines have confirmed that the security of a website is a factor in how it is ranked. Along with other common Technical SEO Issues, a site that isn’t secure can make it harder to find. A secure website also gives users a better experience because they can trust that the site’s information and data are safe.
How to fix: It’s easy to put an SSL certificate on a website. First, use a trusted provider with a dedicated IP address to host your site. Next, work with your hosting provider to buy and install the SSL certificate to secure your website. Once it’s done, test it often to make sure the connection to the website is safe and encrypted.
12. MISUSE OF ROBOTS.TXT
Another common Technical SEO Issues for small businesses is when they use robots.txt in the wrong way. There may be pages on your site that you don’t want search crawlers (robots) to crawl and rank on SERPs (search engine result pages). A robots.txt file tells robots which pages they should crawl and which ones they should skip. Small businesses can sometimes misuse robots.txt by telling search engines to skip pages that are important to their goals. This is obviously bad for SEO, since you want to make sure that important pages on your website rank well in search engines.
How to fix it: In the “Disallow:” section of your robots.txt file, remove any important or relevant target pages. Also, check the file to make sure that the “Disallow” section has a list of pages that shouldn’t be indexed.
Additional Technical SEO Issues
13. IMPROPER USE OF URLS
When making URLs for your site, try to keep things clean and simple. Search engines and users can get confused by URLs that are full of numbers, characters, and extra words. Keep in mind that search engines want to give their users the best results. A URL structure that is messy and hard to understand doesn’t look organized and can hurt your online visibility.
When redirects are used wrong, search engines and users can get lost. If you don’t do redirects right when new pages or websites go live, your website could lose its authority online. To rank higher on SERPs, you need to be an authority online.
When redirecting old URLs or broken web pages temporarily or permanently, you should use 301, 302, and 307 in the right way. When making permanent changes, use 301 redirects. This will help move authority from the old page to the new page. Use the 302 and 307 redirects to send a URL somewhere else temporarily. Use 307 redirects most of the time. Only use 302 redirects if you want people who search for the page or URL to see the original content.
What to do: Once a page has been made public, you can’t change its URL. Redirects, on the other hand, can help you move authority to one place. As you build your site, pay attention to the URL structure. Use redirects when you can to get rid of URLs that aren’t being used and to combine authority.
15. DISREPUTABLE LINK-BUILDING
As we’ve already talked about, most Technical SEO Issues have to do with the front-end and back-end of a website. But building links is also an important part of a website’s technical success as a whole. Link-building is the process of making or adding links that lead back to a certain web page.
Some small businesses may try to build links in shady ways or hire companies that do so. Usually, it includes “black hat” link building, where you can pay money to get a lot of backlinks quickly. Most of the time, these backlinks are neither authoritative nor helpful. When done right, building links helps your domain and website get more trust and authority. If a search engine sees your website as a reliable source, or if you have high-quality backlinks, it will rank your website higher.
16. BROKEN EXTERNAL LINKS
A broken external link is a link on your website that leads to another website but doesn’t work. Your SEO will be better if you have links to other sites that are trusted. When the link goes to a page that doesn’t exist or when the page it was linked to is taken down, the link breaks. Broken links could hurt your SEO by making people spend less time on your site. Also, they could hurt your rankings because they show search engines that your site is old or no longer relevant.
What to do: Pay attention to building good links the right way. It can take time, but it will help your website in the long run. When external links stop working, you should remove them and, if necessary, replace them with new links or text. You can also find and fix broken external links with these tools:
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