Search Engine Optimization

Common Technical SEO Issues that Could Harm Your Website

SEO

The goal of  SEO  is to have search engines rank a page high and move it to the top of the search page.  There are many factors, like technical aspects, that influence ranking, and people tend to underestimate their importance. This article covers the most crucial issues that can arise and influence your ranking and goes over solutions for each of them.

What is technical SEO?

The ultimate goal of any SEO activity is to move a web page up among search engines and improve its ranking. When we are talking about technical SEO,  we are referring to technical aspects that can improve website performance. It’s extremely important for businesses to look after such aspects, as they influence how visitors interact with the website.

To find and evaluate new content, search engines use robots, called crawlers, that look for content through links. When technical aspects are taken into account, search engines can crawl more effectively as it becomes easier for them to make sense of your website, which ultimately improves  ranking. One way to look out for technical aspects is through website SEO analysis. You can use an automated tool like NinjaReports.com to look after the website’s performance, which will help you build a more effective strategy and drive organic traffic.

Technical SEO Issues and Solutions for Them

Absence of HTTPS Security

Site security has played an important role in SEO since 2014. Additionally, Google considers HTTPS as a positive ranking signal. If you don’t set up HTTPS Security, Google can drop your website out of the index and penalize it. Here’s what visitors will see this when they reach the website:

Secure website

How to fix it?

You can ensure your website is secure with an SSL Certificate — it will protect you from data breaches while ensuring visitors can easily access your website and trust it.

Crawling Issues

Some common crawling issues include incorrect setup of robots.txt and meta robots tags, as well as the absence of  XML sitemaps.

How to fix it?

You can deal with this issue by сhecking the robots.txt file and robots meta tags and setting them up properly to ensure proper indexing. A Robot.txt file can be created with almost any editor (NotePad, TextEdit, etc.). If you have doubts about whether it’s functioning properly, check every line of the file with the developer.

Ensure there aren’t any missing or broken URLs in the XML sitemap.

Status codes

HTTP status codes are the 3 digit responses a server returns at the request of the browser or search engine. The incorrect use of 301,5XX, and 404 codes can cause technical SEO problems.

How to fix it?

Make sure that redirects are set up correctly, and check if you have any broken links — they can also cause  SEO issues.

Slow Speed and poor Core Web Vitals performance

Slow page speed can result in an increased drop-off rate, driving visitors away from the page. Google estimates the page load speed based on the Core Web Vitals:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures how fast the visuals blocks load (images, videos, etc.)
  • First Input Delay (FID) counts how long the browser needs to start responding to user interaction.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) defines how long it takes for all the elements to settle into their places on the page.

Core Web Vitals

Source

If your LCP takes over 2.5 seconds and CLS is more than 0.1, then you’ve got an issue.

How to fix it?

Preloading pages with static content improves website performance, as does resizing images, and improving top-of-page code.

Mobile Optimization

As users have turned to the world of mobile, Google adjusted to the changes and transitioned to mobile-first indexing.  Your website might not have considered this option, however, nowadays, being mobile-optimized is a must. Otherwise, you risk losing a large percentage of your visitors.

How to fix it?

Try updating the website structure and design, switching to a responsive layout so that your website works correctly on both desktop and mobile, optimizing the layout for various screen sizes by testing it on various devices, and getting rid of Flash.

Duplicate content

Duplicate content can have its flaws originating in the sorting parameters in the CRMs or may be the result of dynamically created websites that have web pages with similar content.

How to fix it?

You can set up canonical URLs for the pages you need to be indexed, among others with duplicate content.

Javascript and CSS issues

Both CSS and Javascript ensure that the website is user-friendly and visually appealing. While they serve similar functions, JavaScript is responsible for the more interactive elements. If any of those elements are not working properly or are not well-optimized, you  risk slowing the page down. Moreover, issues with JavaScript can also have an impact on indexing.

How to fix it?

To avoid the issue, do not use over 30 Javascript files on the page, and make sure that the CSS file does not exceed 150 KB. Also, remove everything that isn’t necessary: lines, white spaces, semicolons, etc., to reduce the size of the files.

Big and Broken Images

If an image is broken, it will not be shown to visitors and search engines can’t index it. Images that are too large can also cause problems as they take extra time to load and can have missing tags.

How to fix it?

Check all broken links and make sure to either remove or delete them. For Large images, you can resize or compress them.

Internal links

The absence of internal links is another SEO issue that can influence ranking — links enable users to navigate through your website.

How to fix it?

The best way is to double-check the website structure to see how you can build links between pages, applying UX principles and making it comfortable for the user.

International websites use hreflang

Hreflang is a part of the HTML code that lets search engines show the corresponding version of a webpage in various languages. If you run an international business, having a hreflang is crucial — an incorrect or missing hreflang is a big red flag for SEO.

How to fix it?

Set up custom translation and cross-referencing between stores to avoid issues with  hreflang for international websites.

Key takeaways

Paying attention to the above-mentioned technical issues can have a great impact on your SEO efforts. Your website will become easier for users to navigate, and its ranking will improve. Avoiding technical issues is the best way to drive organic traffic, improve conversion, and assure low drop-off rates.