How often do you hear bloggers complain about their technical SEO issues? Perhaps you have heard them say things like, ‘I don’t know why my blog isn’t ranking higher.’ Or maybe they even said something along the lines of, ‘My site has no backlinks or social media shares.’
The simple solution to the problem could be that your site is not optimized properly from the start, and could use some repair of technical issues through the use of technical SEO.
Technical SEO is the practice of optimizing websites for search engines. This involves ensuring that your website meets certain criteria such as having relevant keywords, proper page titles, meta descriptions, etc. If you want your blog posts to rank well in Google, then you should focus on these areas.
There are several common mistakes that bloggers make when it comes to technical SEO. These include ignoring your site’s performance, crawling issues, and not optimizing your site’s URL structure. In order to improve your technical SEO, you’ll need to fix these problems.
You Have Failed to Address Site Performance
Page speed matters. If you want to rank well in search engines, you must prioritize improving your site’s loading times. In fact, according to Google, it could even affect whether people choose to use your site over another one. A recent study found that a slow site could lose up to 30% of traffic because visitors simply gave up waiting for the page to load.
Google offers several tools to help you track down problems with your site’s performance. For instance, you can check if there are too many redirects, or if your server is overloaded. You can also use the Google Speed Test to see what improvements you can make to improve the overall performance of your site.
But while these tools are great for identifying issues, they don’t necessarily provide solutions. To really fix the problem, you need to look into ways to optimize your site, such as reducing the number of requests and images being sent to the browser, optimizing your HTML, and minimizing the amount of data your site sends to the client.
How to Fix Your SEO Mistakes: Optimize Your Website
The first step to fixing any website issue is understanding exactly what the problem is. Once you know what needs to be fixed, you can start looking at different options for doing so. There are two main approaches to making changes to your site:
1. Make Changes on the Server Side
2. Make Changes on the Client-Side
Let’s take a closer look at each approach.
Server-side changes involve changing things like your web host’s configuration settings or installing new software on your server. These types of changes usually require technical expertise, which means hiring an expert to do them for you. However, this type of change will have the most impact on your site’s overall performance.
So how do you decide between server-side and client-side changes? It depends on what kind of changes you want to make. If you just want to add some basic functionality to your site, then client-side changes might be enough. But if you want to completely overhaul your site’s appearance or layout, then server-side changes may be more appropriate.
You Have Neglected Internal and External Links
Internal links are those links from one page of your site to other pages on your site. Having an internal linking strategy is critical to addressing site crawlability issues. For example, for every post, you could link to 10 individual posts within the one post. This can help ensure that other posts are relevant and provide comprehensive additional information on that original post.
Also, if you are not doing this already, you might want to consider creating a method where you include valuable external links for you readers to browse as well. This can go a long way towards adding more authority and additional information to your post that Google craves.
You Don’t Consider Crawlability and Site Structure
An unoptimized site structure is another thing that can negatively impact your site’s crawlability and indexability. If Google cannot easily find your pages, then they won’t be able to index and figure out where your site should be ranked.
There are two schools of thought on what’s considered a valid site structure in SEO: one prefers a flat site structure, making sure that every page is no more than 3 clicks deep from the home page. Others prefer a deep-linking siloing structure, in which silos can be up to 10-15 pages deep, depending on how deeply the silo dives into the topic.
Either way, it depends on how deep your site is and the type of site you are running. If you’re running an e-commerce site, you may want to opt for a deep silo structure. If you’re running a lighter information site (no more than a few hundred pages), then you may want to consider a shallower site structure mirroring the flat structure discussed above.
On-page SEO Issues
Now that you know where to start, let’s take a closer look at each section of our webpage.
The first thing we want to do is make sure that every single element of our site is optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. You don’t want to miss out on traffic because someone visits your site on a phone. We’ll go over how to optimize for both devices here.
You might notice some elements are missing from the following sections. These are things like images, videos, and social media buttons. They’re called “off-site” elements, and while they play a role in helping your page rank, they aren’t part of the on-page optimization process.
We’ve already talked about how important meta descriptions are to your overall SEO strategy, so we’ll skip that one. Let’s move on to the next step.
Optimizing your content
This is probably the most important aspect of your entire SEO campaign. If you write great content, people will come back to your site again and again, and eventually they’ll end up buying something.
Before you dive into writing anything though, there are a few things you need to consider. First, keep in mind that no matter how much content you produce, you won’t see a significant improvement in your rankings unless you use specific keywords throughout the text. Second, try to avoid keyword stuffing. Third, remember that quality beats quantity. Finally, don’t forget about the basics such as grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting.
Other elements of on-page optimization include things like images, image alt text, Schema markup, code optimization, and much more.
Our guide to on-page optimization covers all the areas you need to focus on in order to create a high quality page that’s well-optimized.
Technical SEO Issues
Technical SEO is the backbone of any good website. In fact, it is one of the most important aspects of SEO because, without it, there is no way to rank well. While SEO is about getting traffic to your website, technical SEO is about keeping visitors on your site once they arrive. If your site loads slowly, people won’t stick around long enough to read what you’ve written. And if they don’t want to read your content, how likely are they to buy anything from you?
The three main technical elements of SEO include:
1. Page Speed – This refers to how quickly a web page loads. Pages that take longer to load are less engaging, and therefore fewer people will return to those sites. A slow loading page can lose potential customers because they will assume that the website isn’t worth visiting.
2. Mobile Responsiveness – When someone visits your site via a mobile device, it needs to look great. To ensure that happens, make sure that the layout works smoothly across different screen sizes.
3. URL Structure – Are your URLs easy to remember? Do they follow best practices? Is everything linked properly? Are breadcrumbs in place? These are some of the questions that you should ask yourself when determining whether your site structure is optimized.
Images Are Missing Alt Text
Broken images and those missing alt text are a missed SEO opportunities. This is a problem because the image alt text attribute helps the search engine bots know what each image is about. Without this information, search engine spiders don’t understand the context of the image and how it relates to the rest of your site.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend hours manually tagging each image on every page. A quick audit can help you find out where your alt tags are lacking and make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
For alt text, you want to make sure that you don’t go beyond 150 characters. Also, don’t keyword stuff your alt text. Make sure that your alt text is descriptive enough, while also having enough keywords included, to add context for spiders to understand it.
The Site Doesn’t Use Enough Structured Data
Google says it uses structured data to improve the quality of its search results. But according to Search Engine Land, there are still plenty of opportunities to use structured data to enhance your site’s visibility. In fact, according to Google, just 12% of sites use structured data.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to wait for Google to do the heavy lifting. You can start implementing structured data today. While Google does provide some tools to help you identify opportunities for structured data, there are many ways to build structured data into your webpages.
For example, you might want to add structured data to your contact information. If your customers ask questions about your products, you could answer those questions via a Q&A widget. Or perhaps you sell a product that requires specific instructions. A step-by-step guide could be a great opportunity to showcase your expertise and attract potential buyers.
You can even use structured data to highlight your most important content. If you have blog posts, videos, articles, etc., you can use structured data to make sure searchers know where to find each piece of content.
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our Ultimate Guide to Using Schema.org Structured Data.
There Is No Optimization for Mobile Devices
The biggest issue facing businesses today is how to optimize their mobile presence. Businesses must now focus on creating a mobile-friendly version of their website. A mobile-friendly website provides a great user experience across different platforms and devices.
Google announced a few years ago that it would begin rolling out mobile-friendly indexing across desktop searches. This change impacts how Google indexes sites, including those with responsive designs.
With mobile-first indexing, Google starts crawling and indexing mobile versions of websites first. Then, once enough data has been collected, Google begins crawling and indexing desktop versions of the same website.
If you haven’t already implemented responsive design, now is the perfect time to start. A responsive website allows your visitors to access your content whether they are viewing on a mobile device, tablet, laptop, etc.
If you run a “m” mobile site you need to make sure your m-dot site has the right implementation. You may want to consider implementing responsive design on your m-dot website. Responsive design allows you to provide a consistent user experience across multiple screen sizes.
You might think you already know whether your website is mobile-ready, but there are still some things you should check out. First, look at your analytics data. If you see traffic coming from smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and even TVs, you are likely ready for mobile-first indexing. Second, take a look at your website code. Is it optimized for mobile?
Are you making sure your code is compatible with mobile browsers? Third, review your site map. Make sure your navigation is accessible and easy to follow. Fourth, test your site on different devices. Look at how your site looks on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, and TV. Fifth, don’t forget about site speed. Make sure that Google Page Speed Insights has scores as close to 100 as possible on mobile (and desktop).
Search Intent Is Not Taken Into Consideration
Google wants to show us everything we want to see. And while it does a great job of showing relevant information to people, it doesn’t always do a good job of showing us things we don’t care about. This isn’t just a problem for mobile devices; it happens on desktop too. For example, one might search for “best laptops” because they wanted to buy a laptop. But no matter how hard one may try, they may not find things that fit their needs.
In fact, most of the sites listed in the top 10 results may not offer anything useful, and some of them may not even be real businesses. They might even be spammy sites trying to trick Google into thinking they had something worth seeing. What could a user end up finding? A bunch of ads.
The same thing could happen when one searches for “laptop repair shops near me.” Even though they knew exactly where they needed to go, there wasn’t a single site that offered a solution. In both cases, Google failed to understand search intent.
This issue is common across many industries. When one may search for “top hotels in New York City,” they might expect to see reviews, photos, and pricing info. Instead, they may get a bunch of listings for cheap hostels. Why? Because Google thinks they want to read reviews of hostels by editorial magazines, not hotel reviews by customers.
So what does this mean for marketers? You must learn to think like a searcher. As a marketer, you know what kinds of products and services you sell. But if you aren’t clear about the types of queries being asked by your customers, you won’t know whether you’re producing content that helps those searchers solve problems.
If you’re struggling to answer questions like “what is the best car insurance?,” “how much does a house cost?,” or “where can I find a good restaurant?,” then you might be missing out on opportunities to help people.
But if you’re already answering those questions well, consider making a list of every question someone might ask about your product or service. Then use the data you collect to determine the type of content you need to produce.
There is Too Much Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is one of those things that sounds good in theory, but turns out to be terrible in reality. This is because Google doesn’t like it anymore, and it penalizes sites that do it.
In fact, Google says that “keyword stuffing” could cause a site to lose rankings entirely.
The reason why Google frowns upon this is simple: keywords are supposed to provide value to searchers. If you’re trying to stuff too many keywords into your copy, it looks spammy and people won’t trust what you say.
So how does one avoid this problem? Well, there are three ways to mention your keywords naturally without looking spammy. First off, use synonyms whenever possible. For example, if someone is writing about a product called “Aquaflex,” I might write something like “water resistant.” Second, make sure that you don’t repeat words within your body text. Third, don’t overuse your keywords; use them sparingly.
Don’t forget about the overall content and how it appears as well. Don’t think that just because you’re doing SEO that you have to write terrible content which doesn’t address the overall topic. In fact, Google prefers higher quality content that addresses topics thoroughly when compared to keyword-stuffed content.
When in doubt, consider the overall topic.
Homepage Content Is Not Visible to Google Crawlers
The content of the homepage was completely invisible. This wasn’t because of some sort of weird CSS issue. Rather, it was because the text was simply missing. Even though the site had a few pages, none of them contained any visible content.
To confirm this, I did another crawl with a sentence copied from one of the homepage’s pages in quotation marks. Again, no results were returned. In addition, we utilized Google Search
Console’s URL inspection feature to verify that content was not being returned by the page.
Speed Scores Are Terrible
One problem that can impact a site negatively is terrible page speed scores. When page speed scores are slow, users are not going to want to read or return to your site.
This is something you want to avoid.
A great page speed score is high and close to 100 as possible.
Terrible page speed scores can include anything less than 70 in any category of Core Web Vitals.
Making sure that your page speed scores are at least decent is a great goal to strive towards, to make sure that you’re not making this critical mistake on your blog.
Technical SEO Is Just a Small Part of SEO Practices as a Whole
As a result of making changes to your site’s technical SEO, you could see a significant change in how it performs.
But, technical SEO should not be considered as the be-all, end-all of your SEO efforts. Instead, you must consider that it’s just a small foundation of a much larger picture, which includes link building and other marketing promotion efforts.
By ensuring that your technical SEO has a solid foundation, however, you set yourself up for success in other areas.
When do you plan on repairing your site’s technical SEO?