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Common Technical SEO Issues

9 Common Technical SEO Issues that Hurt Your Website Traffic & Rankings and Their Solutions

SEO, when done wrong, can hurt your website adversely. Here are 9 common issues that you need to tackle...

In today’s bustling online landscape, visibility is the key to success. And that’s where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes into play. 

You’ve got an amazing website loaded with fantastic content, eye-catching visuals, and products or services that are simply irresistible. But wait, there’s a catch! If your potential visitors can’t find you among the billions of web pages out there, you’re missing out on a whole lot of opportunities. This is where SEO swoops in like a superhero, ensuring that your website not only gets noticed but also ranks high on search engine results pages (SERPs). 

I know, I know – everyone talks about getting to that elusive first page of Google results. But really, it’s not just about bragging, right? 

Being on that coveted first page means more eyeballs on your content, more clicks to your site, and, ultimately, more conversions. After all, when was the last time you ventured to page 7 of search results? Or even page 3? That is exactly my point! 

How is Technical SEO different from other ranking factors?

While we often hear about creating compelling content and building backlinks, there’s another unsung hero in this story: technical SEO. Think of it as the backstage crew that ensures everything runs smoothly during the show. From website speed and mobile-friendliness to security and structured data – technical SEO is the magic that transforms your website. 

So, in this blog, we’re diving headfirst into the realm of technical SEO issues that might be stealthily sabotaging your website’s traffic and rankings. We’ll unravel the mysteries of page speed optimization, mobile-friendliness, HTTPS security, XML sitemaps, URL structures, and much more. Fasten your seatbelts because, by the end of this ride, you’ll be armed with the knowledge to not only spot these issues but banish them for good. 

Let’s light up those SERPs, shall we? 

Here are a few common technical SEO issues you need to keep a tab on to help boost your website’s ranking. 

1. Keyword Research and Implementation

Keyword research is like detective work. You’re on the hunt to uncover the exact terms that your potential visitors are typing. This isn’t just any guesswork; it’s about getting inside their heads and understanding their intent. 

Are they looking for information? Are they ready to buy? Or are they simply seeking entertainment? Knowing this helps you tailor your content to match their desires.

Tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush are like treasure maps that guide us to the most valuable keywords in our niche. With these tools, you can unearth keyword ideas, discover their search volume, and even peek at what your competitors are up to. 

Here is how you can eradicate your website’s issues related to keyword research:

a. Selecting Relevant Keywords for Your Niche 

Selecting the right keywords for your specific niche is like choosing the perfect ingredients for a recipe. Start by brainstorming a list of potential keywords that relate to your content, products, or services. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes – what would they search for? 

Next, look for a balance between broad and specific keywords. Broad keywords cast a wide net but might attract less targeted traffic, while specific ones reel in the folks who are truly interested in what you offer.

b. Keyword Placement: Titles, Headings, and Content 

The title is like the main course – it should give a clear idea of what’s on the plate. Including your primary keyword here tells search engines, “Hey, this is what I’m serving!”

Headings are like the different courses of your meal. They break down your content into bite-sized pieces and provide a roadmap for both readers and search engines. Don’t forget to sprinkle keywords here, too, but remember – it should feel natural, not forced. And finally, your content itself – the heart and soul of your website. 

2. Page Speed Optimization

Imagine clicking on a link and waiting… and waiting… and, yep, still waiting. Sounds infuriating, doesn’t it? That’s why page speed matters – it’s all about delivering a seamless user experience. When your website loads quickly, visitors stick around, engage more, and are more likely to convert into loyal fans or customers.

Speaking of speed, Google’s got its formula for measuring how fast your site loads. It’s called the Core Web Vitals, and it’s like the referee judging your site’s performance. These metrics, including elements like Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), determine whether your site gets a thumbs up or a thumbs down in terms of user experience. 

Here is how you can boost your page speed. 

a. Minimizing HTTP Requests 

Review your design and see if there are unnecessary elements that can be eliminated. Fewer requests mean a faster load time and a happier audience. 

b. Optimizing Images and Multimedia

Compress your images without compromising quality, and you’ll have a website that’s as snappy as it is stunning. Also, consider lazy loading – an ingenious trick where images load as the user scrolls, saving precious seconds during the initial load. 

c. Leveraging Browser Caching 

A visitor lands on your site, and their browser stores certain elements, like images and scripts, for a specified time. The next time they visit, their browser doesn’t need to fetch everything from scratch – it simply uses the stored information. This is browser caching at its finest.

3. Mobile-Friendliness and Responsiveness

Think about it – when was the last time you saw someone without a phone in hand? That’s why having a mobile-friendly website is more than just a trend; it’s a necessity for success. 

Now imagine a website that fits perfectly on a desktop screen but turns into a chaotic mess on a phone. Not the best user experience, right? That’s where responsive design comes into play. It’s like having a chameleon website that adapts its appearance to any screen size – be it a smartphone, tablet, or desktop. With responsive design, your content remains crystal clear and user-friendly, no matter how small or large the device is. 

Here’s how you can make your website mobile-friendly and more responsive.

a. Responsive Design Implementation 

Implementing responsive design is all about using flexible grids and layouts, adjusting images and fonts, and even hiding certain elements that might not work well on smaller screens. 

b. Mobile-Friendly Testing Tools 

Tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and Browser Developer Tools can give your website a thorough checkup. They’ll tell you if your site meets the mobile-friendliness criteria and highlight any areas that need improvement. It’s like having a personal trainer for your website’s mobile experience. 

4.  HTTPS and Website Security

Think of it as a secure handshake between your site and its visitors, ensuring that every interaction is private and tamper-proof. Secure websites get a nod of approval in search rankings, giving them a little extra boost. In other words, switching to HTTPS is a win-win – you’re protecting your users and earning SEO brownie points at the same time.

Here’s how you can protect your website from going down in search results due to HTTPS and website security issues. 

a. Migrating from HTTP to HTTPS

Migrating from HTTP to HTTPS is like moving your website to a safer neighborhood. You’ll need an SSL certificate, which is like the key to your new digital fortress. Once you’ve got that, you’ll need to update your website’s links and make sure all content is loaded securely. 

b. Mixed Content Issues and Fixes

You’ve switched to HTTPS, and some of your content isn’t loading properly – you’ve got mixed content issues. These occur when your secure HTTPS site is trying to load resources from insecure HTTP sources.

Update your links, scripts, and images to use the secure HTTPS protocol, and your website will be as solid as a digital vault.

5. XML Sitemaps and Robots.txt

Think of XML sitemaps as the treasure maps that lead search engine bots to all the hidden areas of your site. These structured files list all your important pages, ensuring that no nook or cranny goes unexplored.

Similarly, robots.txt is like the gatekeeper of your digital kingdom. This simple text file tells search engine bots where they’re allowed to venture and where they should tread lightly.

Here’s how you can save your website from these problems.

a. Creating and Submitting XML Sitemaps

You list all your pages, posts, and content categories, making it easier for search bots to crawl through every nook and cranny. Once you’ve created this treasure map, you submit it to search engines like Google via their webmaster tools.

b. Robots.txt Best Practices

It’s crucial to play nice with search engines and tell them what parts of your site to avoid. But remember, even though you want to keep search bots away from sensitive pages, you don’t want to lock them out of the entire party. 

6.  URL Structure and Canonicalization

Imagine navigating a maze where every turn is a dead end or leads to the same place. Not fun, right? That’s why a clean and structured URL is important- it is like a clear path that guides your users, making their journey smooth and delightful. 

However, duplicate content can confuse both visitors and search engines, damaging your rankings and user experience. Canonicalization points out the main version of a page, ensuring that search engines know which one to index. 

a. URL Hierarchy and Breadcrumbs

Each section of your website should have a clear place in the hierarchy, making it easy for users to understand where they are and where they can go next. Think of it as categorizing your books so that readers can find what they’re looking for without getting lost. And breadcrumbs? They’re like Hansel and Gretel, leaving a trail of digital crumbs, guiding users back to where they started.

b. Canonical Tags Implementation 

Implementing canonical tags on pages with similar or duplicate content ensures that search engines understand your intentions. It’s like giving search engines a map with a clear “You are here” marker. 

7. Structured Data and Schema Markup

Imagine searching for a recipe and seeing not just the link but also star ratings, cooking time, and even calorie counts. That’s the power of structured data, the behind-the-scenes code that helps search engines understand your content in a more meaningful way.

Why settle for plain text results when you can stand out with rich snippets? That’s where schema markup comes to the rescue. By adding schema markup to your content, you’re telling search engines, “Hey, this is a recipe,” or “Hey, this is a product review.” 

Here’s how you can maintain cohesiveness between structured data and schema markup. 

a. Choosing Appropriate Schema Types 

Each schema type serves a different purpose – from articles and events to recipes and local businesses. For instance, if you’re running a recipe blog, adding a Recipe schema helps search engines display cooking times, ingredients, and even mouthwatering photos directly in the search results. 

b. Implementing Schema Markup

There are two main ways to implement schema markup: JSON-LD and Microdata. JSON-LD involves adding a script to your page’s code. Microdata, on the other hand, requires adding specific attributes to your HTML elements. 

8. 404 Errors and Redirects

Imagine wandering through a forest, following a path that suddenly disappears into thin air – that’s what a 404 error feels like for your website visitors. These errors occur when a page they’re looking for simply isn’t found. But here’s the kicker – 404 errors aren’t just frustrating for users; they can also wreak havoc on your search rankings. 

This is where redirects come to your rescue. They guide users and search engines to the right page, even if the original link is broken or changed. The two most common types are 301 (Permanent) and 302 (Temporary) redirects.

Here is how to get rid of these issues. 

a. Identifying and Fixing 404 Errors 

Use tools like Google Search Console or website auditing tools to find those pesky broken links. Once you’ve located them, it’s time to fix the issue. You can update the link, restore the missing content, or create a custom 404 page that’s both helpful and charming. 

b. Implementing Redirects Properly 

A 301 redirect is like permanently moving to a new home – you’re telling search engines and users, “Hey, we’ve relocated, and we’re not coming back.” This is perfect when you’ve changed your URL structure or moved content. On the other hand, a 302 redirect is like temporarily vanishing and leaving a “Be Right Back” sign. 

9. Website Accessibility and User Experience

Imagine visiting a museum where some exhibits are locked away, leaving you feeling left out. That’s what happens when websites aren’t designed with accessibility in mind. Accessibility is like building ramps and elevators, making sure that everyone can fully engage with your digital space. 

Now, think about this – accessibility isn’t just a nice thing to do; it’s a necessity. That’s why accessibility guidelines like WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) exist. These guidelines are like the golden rules for creating inclusive digital spaces.

a. Alt Text and Image Accessibility 

Alt text helps describe images to those who can’t visually perceive them. Adding meaningful alt text to images is like painting vivid pictures with words. 

b. Semantic HTML and Proper Heading Structure 

Using semantic HTML is like building a sturdy frame that’s easy to navigate. Semantic elements like headings (h1, h2, h3, etc.) give your content hierarchy and structure, making it easier for everyone using assistive technologies such as screen readers to understand and engage with your content. By using proper heading structure, you’re creating a clear roadmap that enhances user experience and accessibility. 

Key Takeaways 

Addressing common technical SEO issues is essential for maintaining and improving your website’s traffic and rankings. These issues, such as slow page load times, broken links, and duplicate content, can significantly hinder your site’s performance in search engine results. 

I hope you found what you were looking for and more to ace your SEO game. 

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Ahmad Jamal

Ahmad works as a content writer at Mavlers. He’s a computer engineer obsessed with his time, a football enthusiast with an MBA in Marketing, and a poet who fancies being a stage artist. Entrepreneurship, startups, and branding are his only love interests.

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