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15 Technical SEO Problems and How to Fix It

Technical SEO problems are mandatory for the above. When talking about technical SEO, we mean updates to websites and / or servers that are directly controllable and that have a direct (or sometimes indirect) impact on the ability to crawl, index, and ultimately, browse your web pages. rating. Technical SEO includes components such as page titles, title tags, HTTP header responses, XML sitemaps, 301 redirects, and metadata.

Technical SEO doesn’t include analytics, keyword research, backlink profile development, or social media strategies.

Technical SEO problems are mandatory for the above. When talking about technical SEO, we mean updates to websites and / or servers that are directly controllable and that have a direct (or sometimes indirect) impact on the ability to crawl, index, and ultimately, browse your web pages. rating. Technical SEO includes components such as page titles, title tags, HTTP header responses, XML sitemaps, 301 redirects, and metadata.

Technical SEO doesn’t include analytics, keyword research, backlink profile development, or social media strategies.

Within the Search Experience Optimization framework, technical SEO is the first step towards creating a better search experience.

Any other SEO project should be undertaken after you have guaranteed your site is of proper use. But for company sites, it can be difficult to stay aware of potential SEO issues.

These common technical SEO problems are often overlooked, but they are easy to fix and most importantly to increase search visibility and SEO success. Here are 15 of the most common technical SEO problems and how to solve them

1. Not Using HTTPS

Site security using HTTPS is very important

The first technical SEO problem. If your site is unsafe, when you type your domain name into Google Chrome, it will display a gray background, a red background with a warning “not safe”. This can cause users to immediately exit your site back to the SERPs.

The first step to this quick fix is ​​to check if your site is already using HTTPS. To do this, just type your domain name in Google Chrome. If you see the message “safe” (pictured below), your site is safe.

How to fix it:

To convert your site to HTTPS, you need an SSL certificate from a Certificate Authority. Once you buy and install your certificate, your site will be safe.

2. Site Not Indexed Correctly

Second technical SEO problem. When you search for your brand name on Google, does your website appear in search results? If the answer is no, there may be a problem with your indexation. As far as Google is concerned, if your page isn’t indexed, it doesn’t exist – and it certainly won’t be found in search engines.

How To Check:

Type the following into the Google search box: “site: youritename.com” and immediately see the number of pages indexed for your site.

indexation of sites

How to fix it:

If your site is not indexed at all, you can start by adding your URL to Google.

If your site is indexed, but you have MORE results than expected, take a closer look at either the site hacking spam or the old version of the site that was indexed instead of appropriate redirects to point to your updated site.

If your site is indexed, but you see slightly MORE than expected, do an audit of the indexed content and compare it against which pages you want to rank for. If you are unsure why your content is not ranking, check Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to ensure that your site’s content is appropriate.

If the results are different than you expected, verify that your important website pages are not blocked by your robots.txt file. You should also verify that you haven’t implemented the NOINDEX meta tag incorrectly (see # 5 on this list).

3. No XML Sitemap

The third technical SEO problem. XML sitemaps help Google search bots better understand the pages of your site, so they can crawl your site effectively and intelligently.

How To Check:

Type your domain name into Google and add “/sitemap.xml” at the end, as illustrated below.

This is usually where the sitemap is located. If your website has a sitemap, you’ll see something like this:

How to fix it:

If your website doesn’t have a sitemap (and you’re on a 404 page), you can create one yourself or hire a web developer to build one for you. The easiest option is to use an XML sitemap generator tool. If you have a WordPress site, the Yoast SEO plugin can automatically generate XML sitemaps for you.

4. Robots.txt Missing or Incorrect

The fourth technical SEO problem. A missing robots.txt file is a big red flag – but did you also know that an improperly configured robots.txt file destroys your organic site traffic?

How To Check:

To determine if there is a problem with the robots.txt file, type your website URL into your browser with the suffix “/robots.txt”. If you get a result that says “User-agent: * Disallow: /” then you have a problem.

How to fix it:

If you see “Disallow: /”, talk to your developer immediately. There could be a good reason why it was arranged the way it was, or perhaps it was wrong.

If you have a complex robots.txt file, like many ecommerce sites have, you should review it line by line with your developer to make sure it’s correct.

5. Set the NOINDEX Robot Meta

The fifth technical SEO problem. When the NOINDEX tag is properly configured, it denotes certain pages of less importance to search bots. (For example, the blog category with multiple pages.)

However, if configured incorrectly NOINDEX can seriously damage the visibility of your searches by removing all pages with a certain configuration from Google’s index. This is a massive SEO problem.

NOINDEX generally has multiple pages while a website is under development, but once a website is live the NOINDEX tag should be removed. Don’t just believe that it has been removed, as the results will destroy the search engine visibility of your site.

How To Check:

Right click on the main page of your site and select “View Page Source”. Use the “Find” command (Ctrl + F) to search for lines in the source code that say “NOINDEX” or “NOFOLLOW” such as:

<meta name = “robots” content = “NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”>

If you don’t want to check, use Clarity Audit, a site auditing tool like Screaming Frog, to scan your entire site.

How to fix it:

If you see “NOINDEX” or “NOFOLLOW” in your source code check with your web developer as they may have included it for some reason.

If there is no known reason, ask your developer to change it to read <meta name = “robots” content = “INDEX, FOLLOW”> or remove the tags altogether.

6. Slow Page Speed

The sixth technical SEO problem. If your site doesn’t load fast (usually 3 seconds or less), your users will go elsewhere. Site speed is important to user experience – and to Google.

How To Check:

Use Google PageSpeed Insights to detect certain speed issues with your site. (Make sure to check desktop as well as mobile performance.)

How to fix it:

Solutions to site speed problems can vary from simple to complex. Typical site speed solutions can include image optimization / compression, browser cache enhancement, server response time improvement, and JavaScript minification.

Talk to your web developer to determine the best solution for your site’s specific page speed problems.

7. Multiple Versions of the Homepage

Remember when you found “yourwebsite.com” and “yourwebsite.com” going to the same place? While convenient, it also means that Google may index multiple versions of the URL, which reduces the visibility of your site in search.

How to fix it:

First, check that the different versions of your URL successfully flow to one standard URL. This can include HTTPS and HTTP versions, as well as versions such as “www.yourwebsite.com/home.html”. Check every possible combination. Another way is to use “site: youritename.com” to determine which pages to index and whether they come from multiple versions of the URL.

If you come across multiple versions that are indexed you will need to set up 301 redirects or have your developer set them up for you. You must also set your canonical domain in Google Search Console.

8. Canonical Rel = Canonical error

Rel = canonical is essential for all sites with duplicate or very similar content (especially e-commerce sites). A dynamically rendered page (such as a blog post or product category page) can look like duplicate content for Google search bots. The rel = canonical tag tells search engines which “original” page search engines are most important (hence: canonical) – similar to URL canonicalization.

How to fix it:

You should also check your source code. Fixes vary depending on your content structure and web platform. (This is Google’s Guide to Rel = Canonical.) If you need assistance, contact your web developer.

9. Duplicate Content

With more and more brands using dynamically created websites, content management systems (CMS), and practicing global SEO, the problem of duplicate content plagues many websites.

The problem with duplicate content is that it “confuses” search engine crawlers and prevents the correct content from being served to your target audience. Unlike content issues such as too little or “thin” content where you don’t have enough content on a page (at least 300 words), duplicate content can occur for a variety of reasons:

An e-commerce site store item appears on multiple versions of the same URL.

Printer-only web pages repeat content on the main page.

The same content appears in multiple languages ​​on international sites.

How to fix it:

Each of these three problems can be solved by:

Rel = canonical proper (as mentioned above).

Correct configuration (setup instructions are also mentioned above).

Correct implementation of the hreflang tag.

Google’s support page offers other ideas to help limit duplicate content including using 301 redirects, top-level domains, and restricting boilerplate content.

10. Alt Tag Missing

Those broken images and missing alt tags are missed SEO opportunities. The image alt tag attribute helps search engines index the page by notifying bots about the image. This is a simple way to increase the SEO value of your pages through image content that enhances your user experience.

How to fix it:

Most SEO site audits will identify broken images and missing alt tags. Running regular site audits to monitor the content of your images as part of your standard SEO operating procedures makes it easier to manage and stay current with image alt tags throughout your website.

11. Broken Link

Good internal and external links show users and search crawlers that you have high quality content. Over time, the content changes and the once good links break. Broken links create a poor user experience and reflect low quality content, a factor which can affect page rank.

How to fix it:

Although internal links must be confirmed every time a page is deleted, modified, or redirects are applied, external link values ​​require regular monitoring. The best and most scalable way to deal with broken links is to carry out regular site audits.

A site audit will help you find pages where there are internal links and you can then fix those links by replacing broken links with correct / new ones.

12. Not Enough Use of Structured Data

Google defines structured data as:

“Standard format for providing information about pages and classifying page content”

Structured data is a simple way to help Google search crawlers understand the content and data on a page. For example, if your page contains recipes, an ingredient list would be the ideal type of content to display in a structured data format.

Address information, like this example from Google, is another type of data that’s perfect for structured data formats:

<script type = “application / ld + json”>

{

 “@Context”: “https://schema.org”,

 “@Type”: “Organization”,

 “Url”: “http://www.example.com”,

 “Name”: “Unlimited Ball Bearings Corp.”,

 “ContactPoint”: {

   “@Type”: “ContactPoint”,

   “Phone”: “+ 1-401-555-1212”,

   “ContactType”: “Customer service”

 }

}

</script>

This structured data can then present itself in the SERPs in the form of a rich snippet, giving your SERP list visual appeal.

How to fix it:

When you launch new content, identify opportunities to include structured data on the page and coordinate the process between your content creators and your SEO team. The use of better structured data can help increase CTR and possibly improve ranking positions in the SERPs. After you implement structured data, review your Google Search Console reports regularly to ensure that Google doesn’t report any issues with your structured data markup.

Popular Tip: Use Schema Builder to create, test and apply structured data with a simple point and click interface.

13. Mobile Device Optimization

In December 2018, Google announced mobile prioritization for more than half of the websites that appear in search results. Google will send you an email when (or if) your site is redirected. If you’re not sure whether your site has undergone a transition, you can also use the Google URL Inspection tool.

Whether or not Google has transitioned you to mobile-prioritized indexing, you need to ensure your site is mobile friendly to ensure a great mobile user experience. Anyone using a responsive website design is probably in good shape. If you run an “.m” mobile site, you need to make sure you have the right implementation on your m-dot site so that you don’t lose search visibility in a mobile-first world.

How to fix it:

Since your mobile site will be an indexed site, you must do the following for all “.m” web pages:

Guarantee proper and correct hreflang code and links.

Update all meta data on your mobile site. Meta descriptions must be equivalent on the mobile and desktop sites.

Add structured data to your mobile page and make sure the URL is updated to the mobile URL.

You can also install the AMP version.

Use our backlinks feature to find all broken external links. From there, you can reach the sites with broken links and provide them with the correct link or a new page.

14. Missing or Not Optimized Meta Description

Meta descriptions are short descriptions, up to 160 characters long, that describe what a web page is about. These little snippets help search engines index your page, and a well-written meta description can stimulate audience interest on the page.

This is a simple SEO feature, but many pages miss this important content. You may not see this content on your page, but it is an important feature that helps users know whether or not they want to click on your results after they have created a query. As with your page content, meta descriptions should be optimized to match what users will read on the page, so try to include relevant keywords in the copy.

How to fix it:

There are several ways to solve this problem:

For pages that don’t have a meta description: run an SEO site audit using Screaming Frog to find all pages that don’t have a meta description. Define page values ​​and prioritize accordingly.

For pages with meta descriptions: evaluation of the page based on performance and value to the organization. Audits can identify any page with meta description errors.

High-value pages that almost rank you want should be optimized first. Any page that is subject to edits, updates, or changes should also have a meta description that is updated at the time of the change. It is important to make sure that meta descriptions are unique to a page.

15. User Posted to Page In Wrong Language

In 2011, Google introduced the hreflang tag for brands involved in global SEO to improve user experience. The hreflang tag signals to Google the correct web page to serve to users based on the language or location of the search. This is also called rel = “alternate” hreflang = “x”.

The code looks like this:

<link rel = “alternate” href = “http://example.com” hreflang = “en-us” />

Hreflang is one of several international SEO best practices including site hosting on local IP and linking with local search engines. The benefits of serving locally tailored content to users in their native language, however, cannot really be underestimated. Using the hreflang tag requires a fair amount of detail work to ensure all pages have the proper code and links with unusual errors.

How to fix it:

Google provides a free International Targeting Tool, and there are a variety of third-party tools you can use as well. For example, with our site audits, you can perform in-depth hreflang audits and verify your implementation by cross-checking referenced URLs.

Effectively fixing the hreflang error involves two steps:

Guarantee the code is correct. Tools like the Aleyda Solis hreflang Tag Generator Tool can simplify the effort.

When updating pages or creating redirects, update the code on all pages that refer / link to them.

Conclusion

An SEO audit reveals a complete overview of site health and optimization efforts. Investigating the top technical issues – and their respective solutions – in this blog post is a great way to quickly increase your SERP visibility, and this can have a very positive impact on your site’s user experience.

Technical SEO problems are mandatory for the above. When talking about technical SEO, we mean updates to websites and / or servers that are directly controllable and that have a direct (or sometimes indirect) impact on the ability to crawl, index, and ultimately, browse your web pages. rating. Technical SEO includes components such as page titles, title tags, HTTP header responses, XML sitemaps, 301 redirects, and metadata.

Technical SEO doesn’t include analytics, keyword research, backlink profile development, or social media strategies.

Within the Search Experience Optimization framework, technical SEO is the first step towards creating a better search experience.

Any other SEO project should be undertaken after you have guaranteed your site is of proper use. But for company sites, it can be difficult to stay aware of potential SEO issues.

These common technical SEO problems are often overlooked, but they are easy to fix and most importantly to increase search visibility and SEO success. Here are 15 of the most common technical SEO problems and how to solve them

1. Not Using HTTPS

Site security using HTTPS is very important

The first technical SEO problem. If your site is unsafe, when you type your domain name into Google Chrome, it will display a gray background, a red background with a warning “not safe”. This can cause users to immediately exit your site back to the SERPs.

The first step to this quick fix is ​​to check if your site is already using HTTPS. To do this, just type your domain name in Google Chrome. If you see the message “safe” (pictured below), your site is safe.

How to fix it:

To convert your site to HTTPS, you need an SSL certificate from a Certificate Authority. Once you buy and install your certificate, your site will be safe.

2. Site Not Indexed Correctly

Second technical SEO problem. When you search for your brand name on Google, does your website appear in search results? If the answer is no, there may be a problem with your indexation. As far as Google is concerned, if your page isn’t indexed, it doesn’t exist – and it certainly won’t be found in search engines.

How To Check:

Type the following into the Google search box: “site: youritename.com” and immediately see the number of pages indexed for your site.

indexation of sites

How to fix it:

If your site is not indexed at all, you can start by adding your URL to Google.

If your site is indexed, but you have MORE results than expected, take a closer look at either the site hacking spam or the old version of the site that was indexed instead of appropriate redirects to point to your updated site.

If your site is indexed, but you see slightly MORE than expected, do an audit of the indexed content and compare it against which pages you want to rank for. If you are unsure why your content is not ranking, check Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to ensure that your site’s content is appropriate.

If the results are different than you expected, verify that your important website pages are not blocked by your robots.txt file. You should also verify that you haven’t implemented the NOINDEX meta tag incorrectly (see # 5 on this list).

3. No XML Sitemap

The third technical SEO problem. XML sitemaps help Google search bots better understand the pages of your site, so they can crawl your site effectively and intelligently.

How To Check:

Type your domain name into Google and add “/sitemap.xml” at the end, as illustrated below.

This is usually where the sitemap is located. If your website has a sitemap, you’ll see something like this:

How to fix it:

If your website doesn’t have a sitemap (and you’re on a 404 page), you can create one yourself or hire a web developer to build one for you. The easiest option is to use an XML sitemap generator tool. If you have a WordPress site, the Yoast SEO plugin can automatically generate XML sitemaps for you.

4. Robots.txt Missing or Incorrect

The fourth technical SEO problem. A missing robots.txt file is a big red flag – but did you also know that an improperly configured robots.txt file destroys your organic site traffic?

How To Check:

To determine if there is a problem with the robots.txt file, type your website URL into your browser with the suffix “/robots.txt”. If you get a result that says “User-agent: * Disallow: /” then you have a problem.

How to fix it:

If you see “Disallow: /”, talk to your developer immediately. There could be a good reason why it was arranged the way it was, or perhaps it was wrong.

If you have a complex robots.txt file, like many ecommerce sites have, you should review it line by line with your developer to make sure it’s correct.

5. Set the NOINDEX Robot Meta

The fifth technical SEO problem. When the NOINDEX tag is properly configured, it denotes certain pages of less importance to search bots. (For example, the blog category with multiple pages.)

However, if configured incorrectly NOINDEX can seriously damage the visibility of your searches by removing all pages with a certain configuration from Google’s index. This is a massive SEO problem.

NOINDEX generally has multiple pages while a website is under development, but once a website is live the NOINDEX tag should be removed. Don’t just believe that it has been removed, as the results will destroy the search engine visibility of your site.

How To Check:

Right click on the main page of your site and select “View Page Source”. Use the “Find” command (Ctrl + F) to search for lines in the source code that say “NOINDEX” or “NOFOLLOW” such as:

<meta name = “robots” content = “NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”>

If you don’t want to check, use Clarity Audit, a site auditing tool like Screaming Frog, to scan your entire site.

How to fix it:

If you see “NOINDEX” or “NOFOLLOW” in your source code check with your web developer as they may have included it for some reason.

If there is no known reason, ask your developer to change it to read <meta name = “robots” content = “INDEX, FOLLOW”> or remove the tags altogether.

6. Slow Page Speed

The sixth technical SEO problem. If your site doesn’t load fast (usually 3 seconds or less), your users will go elsewhere. Site speed is important to user experience – and to Google.

How To Check:

Use Google PageSpeed Insights to detect certain speed issues with your site. (Make sure to check desktop as well as mobile performance.)

How to fix it:

Solutions to site speed problems can vary from simple to complex. Typical site speed solutions can include image optimization / compression, browser cache enhancement, server response time improvement, and JavaScript minification.

Talk to your web developer to determine the best solution for your site’s specific page speed problems.

7. Multiple Versions of the Homepage

Remember when you found “yourwebsite.com” and “yourwebsite.com” going to the same place? While convenient, it also means that Google may index multiple versions of the URL, which reduces the visibility of your site in search.

How to fix it:

First, check that the different versions of your URL successfully flow to one standard URL. This can include HTTPS and HTTP versions, as well as versions such as “www.yourwebsite.com/home.html”. Check every possible combination. Another way is to use “site: youritename.com” to determine which pages to index and whether they come from multiple versions of the URL.

If you come across multiple versions that are indexed you will need to set up 301 redirects or have your developer set them up for you. You must also set your canonical domain in Google Search Console.

8. Canonical Rel = Canonical error

Rel = canonical is essential for all sites with duplicate or very similar content (especially e-commerce sites). A dynamically rendered page (such as a blog post or product category page) can look like duplicate content for Google search bots. The rel = canonical tag tells search engines which “original” page search engines are most important (hence: canonical) – similar to URL canonicalization.

How to fix it:

You should also check your source code. Fixes vary depending on your content structure and web platform. (This is Google’s Guide to Rel = Canonical.) If you need assistance, contact your web developer.

9. Duplicate Content

With more and more brands using dynamically created websites, content management systems (CMS), and practicing global SEO, the problem of duplicate content plagues many websites.

The problem with duplicate content is that it “confuses” search engine crawlers and prevents the correct content from being served to your target audience. Unlike content issues such as too little or “thin” content where you don’t have enough content on a page (at least 300 words), duplicate content can occur for a variety of reasons:

An e-commerce site store item appears on multiple versions of the same URL.

Printer-only web pages repeat content on the main page.

The same content appears in multiple languages ​​on international sites.

How to fix it:

Each of these three problems can be solved by:

Rel = canonical proper (as mentioned above).

Correct configuration (setup instructions are also mentioned above).

Correct implementation of the hreflang tag.

Google’s support page offers other ideas to help limit duplicate content including using 301 redirects, top-level domains, and restricting boilerplate content.

10. Alt Tag Missing

Those broken images and missing alt tags are missed SEO opportunities. The image alt tag attribute helps search engines index the page by notifying bots about the image. This is a simple way to increase the SEO value of your pages through image content that enhances your user experience.

How to fix it:

Most SEO site audits will identify broken images and missing alt tags. Running regular site audits to monitor the content of your images as part of your standard SEO operating procedures makes it easier to manage and stay current with image alt tags throughout your website.

11. Broken Link

Good internal and external links show users and search crawlers that you have high quality content. Over time, the content changes and the once good links break. Broken links create a poor user experience and reflect low quality content, a factor which can affect page rank.

How to fix it:

Although internal links must be confirmed every time a page is deleted, modified, or redirects are applied, external link values ​​require regular monitoring. The best and most scalable way to deal with broken links is to carry out regular site audits.

A site audit will help you find pages where there are internal links and you can then fix those links by replacing broken links with correct / new ones.

12. Not Enough Use of Structured Data

Google defines structured data as:

“Standard format for providing information about pages and classifying page content”

Structured data is a simple way to help Google search crawlers understand the content and data on a page. For example, if your page contains recipes, an ingredient list would be the ideal type of content to display in a structured data format.

Address information, like this example from Google, is another type of data that’s perfect for structured data formats:

<script type = “application / ld + json”>

{

 “@Context”: “https://schema.org”,

 “@Type”: “Organization”,

 “Url”: “http://www.example.com”,

 “Name”: “Unlimited Ball Bearings Corp.”,

 “ContactPoint”: {

   “@Type”: “ContactPoint”,

   “Phone”: “+ 1-401-555-1212”,

   “ContactType”: “Customer service”

 }

}

</script>

This structured data can then present itself in the SERPs in the form of a rich snippet, giving your SERP list visual appeal.

How to fix it:

When you launch new content, identify opportunities to include structured data on the page and coordinate the process between your content creators and your SEO team. The use of better structured data can help increase CTR and possibly improve ranking positions in the SERPs. After you implement structured data, review your Google Search Console reports regularly to ensure that Google doesn’t report any issues with your structured data markup.

Popular Tip: Use Schema Builder to create, test and apply structured data with a simple point and click interface.

13. Mobile Device Optimization

In December 2018, Google announced mobile prioritization for more than half of the websites that appear in search results. Google will send you an email when (or if) your site is redirected. If you’re not sure whether your site has undergone a transition, you can also use the Google URL Inspection tool.

Whether or not Google has transitioned you to mobile-prioritized indexing, you need to ensure your site is mobile friendly to ensure a great mobile user experience. Anyone using a responsive website design is probably in good shape. If you run an “.m” mobile site, you need to make sure you have the right implementation on your m-dot site so that you don’t lose search visibility in a mobile-first world.

How to fix it:

Since your mobile site will be an indexed site, you must do the following for all “.m” web pages:

Guarantee proper and correct hreflang code and links.

Update all meta data on your mobile site. Meta descriptions must be equivalent on the mobile and desktop sites.

Add structured data to your mobile page and make sure the URL is updated to the mobile URL.

You can also install the AMP version.

Use our backlinks feature to find all broken external links. From there, you can reach the sites with broken links and provide them with the correct link or a new page.

14. Missing or Not Optimized Meta Description

Meta descriptions are short descriptions, up to 160 characters long, that describe what a web page is about. These little snippets help search engines index your page, and a well-written meta description can stimulate audience interest on the page.

This is a simple SEO feature, but many pages miss this important content. You may not see this content on your page, but it is an important feature that helps users know whether or not they want to click on your results after they have created a query. As with your page content, meta descriptions should be optimized to match what users will read on the page, so try to include relevant keywords in the copy.

How to fix it:

There are several ways to solve this problem:

For pages that don’t have a meta description: run an SEO site audit using Screaming Frog to find all pages that don’t have a meta description. Define page values ​​and prioritize accordingly.

For pages with meta descriptions: evaluation of the page based on performance and value to the organization. Audits can identify any page with meta description errors.

High-value pages that almost rank you want should be optimized first. Any page that is subject to edits, updates, or changes should also have a meta description that is updated at the time of the change. It is important to make sure that meta descriptions are unique to a page.

15. User Posted to Page In Wrong Language

In 2011, Google introduced the hreflang tag for brands involved in global SEO to improve user experience. The hreflang tag signals to Google the correct web page to serve to users based on the language or location of the search. This is also called rel = “alternate” hreflang = “x”.

The code looks like this:

<link rel = “alternate” href = “http://example.com” hreflang = “en-us” />

Hreflang is one of several international SEO best practices including site hosting on local IP and linking with local search engines. The benefits of serving locally tailored content to users in their native language, however, cannot really be underestimated. Using the hreflang tag requires a fair amount of detail work to ensure all pages have the proper code and links with unusual errors.

How to fix it:

Google provides a free International Targeting Tool, and there are a variety of third-party tools you can use as well. For example, with our site audits, you can perform in-depth hreflang audits and verify your implementation by cross-checking referenced URLs.

Effectively fixing the hreflang error involves two steps:

Guarantee the code is correct. Tools like the Aleyda Solis hreflang Tag Generator Tool can simplify the effort.

When updating pages or creating redirects, update the code on all pages that refer / link to them.

Conclusion

An SEO audit reveals a complete overview of site health and optimization efforts. Investigating the top technical issues – and their respective solutions – in this blog post is a great way to quickly increase your SERP visibility, and this can have a very positive impact on your site’s user experience.

Within the Search Experience Optimization framework, technical SEO is the first step towards creating a better search experience.

Any other SEO project should be undertaken after you have guaranteed your site is of proper use. But for company sites, it can be difficult to stay aware of potential SEO issues.

These common technical SEO problems are often overlooked, but they are easy to fix and most importantly to increase search visibility and SEO success. Here are 15 of the most common technical SEO problems and how to solve them

1. Not Using HTTPS

Site security using HTTPS is very important

The first technical SEO problem. If your site is unsafe, when you type your domain name into Google Chrome, it will display a gray background, a red background with a warning “not safe”. This can cause users to immediately exit your site back to the SERPs.

The first step to this quick fix is ​​to check if your site is already using HTTPS. To do this, just type your domain name in Google Chrome. If you see the message “safe” (pictured below), your site is safe.

How to fix it:

To convert your site to HTTPS, you need an SSL certificate from a Certificate Authority. Once you buy and install your certificate, your site will be safe.

2. Site Not Indexed Correctly

Second technical SEO problem. When you search for your brand name on Google, does your website appear in search results? If the answer is no, there may be a problem with your indexation. As far as Google is concerned, if your page isn’t indexed, it doesn’t exist – and it certainly won’t be found in search engines.

How To Check:

Type the following into the Google search box: “site: youritename.com” and immediately see the number of pages indexed for your site.

indexation of sites

How to fix it:

If your site is not indexed at all, you can start by adding your URL to Google.

If your site is indexed, but you have MORE results than expected, take a closer look at either the site hacking spam or the old version of the site that was indexed instead of appropriate redirects to point to your updated site.

If your site is indexed, but you see slightly MORE than expected, do an audit of the indexed content and compare it against which pages you want to rank for. If you are unsure why your content is not ranking, check Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to ensure that your site’s content is appropriate.

If the results are different than you expected, verify that your important website pages are not blocked by your robots.txt file. You should also verify that you haven’t implemented the NOINDEX meta tag incorrectly (see # 5 on this list).

3. No XML Sitemap

The third technical SEO problem. XML sitemaps help Google search bots better understand the pages of your site, so they can crawl your site effectively and intelligently.

How To Check:

Type your domain name into Google and add “/sitemap.xml” at the end, as illustrated below.

This is usually where the sitemap is located. If your website has a sitemap, you’ll see something like this:

How to fix it:

If your website doesn’t have a sitemap (and you’re on a 404 page), you can create one yourself or hire a web developer to build one for you. The easiest option is to use an XML sitemap generator tool. If you have a WordPress site, the Yoast SEO plugin can automatically generate XML sitemaps for you.

4. Robots.txt Missing or Incorrect

The fourth technical SEO problem. A missing robots.txt file is a big red flag – but did you also know that an improperly configured robots.txt file destroys your organic site traffic?

How To Check:

To determine if there is a problem with the robots.txt file, type your website URL into your browser with the suffix “/robots.txt”. If you get a result that says “User-agent: * Disallow: /” then you have a problem.

How to fix it:

If you see “Disallow: /”, talk to your developer immediately. There could be a good reason why it was arranged the way it was, or perhaps it was wrong.

If you have a complex robots.txt file, like many ecommerce sites have, you should review it line by line with your developer to make sure it’s correct.

5. Set the NOINDEX Robot Meta

The fifth technical SEO problem. When the NOINDEX tag is properly configured, it denotes certain pages of less importance to search bots. (For example, the blog category with multiple pages.)

However, if configured incorrectly NOINDEX can seriously damage the visibility of your searches by removing all pages with a certain configuration from Google’s index. This is a massive SEO problem.

NOINDEX generally has multiple pages while a website is under development, but once a website is live the NOINDEX tag should be removed. Don’t just believe that it has been removed, as the results will destroy the search engine visibility of your site.

How To Check:

Right click on the main page of your site and select “View Page Source”. Use the “Find” command (Ctrl + F) to search for lines in the source code that say “NOINDEX” or “NOFOLLOW” such as:

<meta name = “robots” content = “NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”>

If you don’t want to check, use Clarity Audit, a site auditing tool like Screaming Frog, to scan your entire site.

How to fix it:

If you see “NOINDEX” or “NOFOLLOW” in your source code check with your web developer as they may have included it for some reason.

If there is no known reason, ask your developer to change it to read <meta name = “robots” content = “INDEX, FOLLOW”> or remove the tags altogether.

6. Slow Page Speed

The sixth technical SEO problem. If your site doesn’t load fast (usually 3 seconds or less), your users will go elsewhere. Site speed is important to user experience – and to Google.

How To Check:

Use Google PageSpeed Insights to detect certain speed issues with your site. (Make sure to check desktop as well as mobile performance.)

How to fix it:

Solutions to site speed problems can vary from simple to complex. Typical site speed solutions can include image optimization / compression, browser cache enhancement, server response time improvement, and JavaScript minification.

Talk to your web developer to determine the best solution for your site’s specific page speed problems.

7. Multiple Versions of the Homepage

Remember when you found “yourwebsite.com” and “yourwebsite.com” going to the same place? While convenient, it also means that Google may index multiple versions of the URL, which reduces the visibility of your site in search.

How to fix it:

First, check that the different versions of your URL successfully flow to one standard URL. This can include HTTPS and HTTP versions, as well as versions such as “www.yourwebsite.com/home.html”. Check every possible combination. Another way is to use “site: youritename.com” to determine which pages to index and whether they come from multiple versions of the URL.

If you come across multiple versions that are indexed you will need to set up 301 redirects or have your developer set them up for you. You must also set your canonical domain in Google Search Console.

8. Canonical Rel = Canonical error

Rel = canonical is essential for all sites with duplicate or very similar content (especially e-commerce sites). A dynamically rendered page (such as a blog post or product category page) can look like duplicate content for Google search bots. The rel = canonical tag tells search engines which “original” page search engines are most important (hence: canonical) – similar to URL canonicalization.

How to fix it:

You should also check your source code. Fixes vary depending on your content structure and web platform. (This is Google’s Guide to Rel = Canonical.) If you need assistance, contact your web developer.

9. Duplicate Content

With more and more brands using dynamically created websites, content management systems (CMS), and practicing global SEO, the problem of duplicate content plagues many websites.

The problem with duplicate content is that it “confuses” search engine crawlers and prevents the correct content from being served to your target audience. Unlike content issues such as too little or “thin” content where you don’t have enough content on a page (at least 300 words), duplicate content can occur for a variety of reasons:

An e-commerce site store item appears on multiple versions of the same URL.

Printer-only web pages repeat content on the main page.

The same content appears in multiple languages ​​on international sites.

How to fix it:

Each of these three problems can be solved by:

Rel = canonical proper (as mentioned above).

Correct configuration (setup instructions are also mentioned above).

Correct implementation of the hreflang tag.

Google’s support page offers other ideas to help limit duplicate content including using 301 redirects, top-level domains, and restricting boilerplate content.

10. Alt Tag Missing

Those broken images and missing alt tags are missed SEO opportunities. The image alt tag attribute helps search engines index the page by notifying bots about the image. This is a simple way to increase the SEO value of your pages through image content that enhances your user experience.

How to fix it:

Most SEO site audits will identify broken images and missing alt tags. Running regular site audits to monitor the content of your images as part of your standard SEO operating procedures makes it easier to manage and stay current with image alt tags throughout your website.

11. Broken Link

Good internal and external links show users and search crawlers that you have high quality content. Over time, the content changes and the once good links break. Broken links create a poor user experience and reflect low quality content, a factor which can affect page rank.

How to fix it:

Although internal links must be confirmed every time a page is deleted, modified, or redirects are applied, external link values ​​require regular monitoring. The best and most scalable way to deal with broken links is to carry out regular site audits.

A site audit will help you find pages where there are internal links and you can then fix those links by replacing broken links with correct / new ones.

12. Not Enough Use of Structured Data

Google defines structured data as:

“Standard format for providing information about pages and classifying page content”

Structured data is a simple way to help Google search crawlers understand the content and data on a page. For example, if your page contains recipes, an ingredient list would be the ideal type of content to display in a structured data format.

Address information, like this example from Google, is another type of data that’s perfect for structured data formats:

<script type = “application / ld + json”>

{

 “@Context”: “https://schema.org”,

 “@Type”: “Organization”,

 “Url”: “http://www.example.com”,

 “Name”: “Unlimited Ball Bearings Corp.”,

 “ContactPoint”: {

   “@Type”: “ContactPoint”,

   “Phone”: “+ 1-401-555-1212”,

   “ContactType”: “Customer service”

 }

}

</script>

This structured data can then present itself in the SERPs in the form of a rich snippet, giving your SERP list visual appeal.

How to fix it:

When you launch new content, identify opportunities to include structured data on the page and coordinate the process between your content creators and your SEO team. The use of better structured data can help increase CTR and possibly improve ranking positions in the SERPs. After you implement structured data, review your Google Search Console reports regularly to ensure that Google doesn’t report any issues with your structured data markup.

Popular Tip: Use Schema Builder to create, test and apply structured data with a simple point and click interface.

13. Mobile Device Optimization

In December 2018, Google announced mobile prioritization for more than half of the websites that appear in search results. Google will send you an email when (or if) your site is redirected. If you’re not sure whether your site has undergone a transition, you can also use the Google URL Inspection tool.

Whether or not Google has transitioned you to mobile-prioritized indexing, you need to ensure your site is mobile friendly to ensure a great mobile user experience. Anyone using a responsive website design is probably in good shape. If you run an “.m” mobile site, you need to make sure you have the right implementation on your m-dot site so that you don’t lose search visibility in a mobile-first world.

How to fix it:

Since your mobile site will be an indexed site, you must do the following for all “.m” web pages:

Guarantee proper and correct hreflang code and links.

Update all meta data on your mobile site. Meta descriptions must be equivalent on the mobile and desktop sites.

Add structured data to your mobile page and make sure the URL is updated to the mobile URL.

You can also install the AMP version.

Use our backlinks feature to find all broken external links. From there, you can reach the sites with broken links and provide them with the correct link or a new page.

14. Missing or Not Optimized Meta Description

Meta descriptions are short descriptions, up to 160 characters long, that describe what a web page is about. These little snippets help search engines index your page, and a well-written meta description can stimulate audience interest on the page.

This is a simple SEO feature, but many pages miss this important content. You may not see this content on your page, but it is an important feature that helps users know whether or not they want to click on your results after they have created a query. As with your page content, meta descriptions should be optimized to match what users will read on the page, so try to include relevant keywords in the copy.

How to fix it:

There are several ways to solve this problem:

For pages that don’t have a meta description: run an SEO site audit using Screaming Frog to find all pages that don’t have a meta description. Define page values ​​and prioritize accordingly.

For pages with meta descriptions: evaluation of the page based on performance and value to the organization. Audits can identify any page with meta description errors.

High-value pages that almost rank you want should be optimized first. Any page that is subject to edits, updates, or changes should also have a meta description that is updated at the time of the change. It is important to make sure that meta descriptions are unique to a page.

15. User Posted to Page In Wrong Language

In 2011, Google introduced the hreflang tag for brands involved in global SEO to improve user experience. The hreflang tag signals to Google the correct web page to serve to users based on the language or location of the search. This is also called rel = “alternate” hreflang = “x”.

The code looks like this:

<link rel = “alternate” href = “http://example.com” hreflang = “en-us” />

Hreflang is one of several international SEO best practices including site hosting on local IP and linking with local search engines. The benefits of serving locally tailored content to users in their native language, however, cannot really be underestimated. Using the hreflang tag requires a fair amount of detail work to ensure all pages have the proper code and links with unusual errors.

How to fix it:

Google provides a free International Targeting Tool, and there are a variety of third-party tools you can use as well. For example, with our site audits, you can perform in-depth hreflang audits and verify your implementation by cross-checking referenced URLs.

Effectively fixing the hreflang error involves two steps:

Guarantee the code is correct. Tools like the Aleyda Solis hreflang Tag Generator Tool can simplify the effort.

When updating pages or creating redirects, update the code on all pages that refer / link to them.

Conclusion

An SEO audit reveals a complete overview of site health and optimization efforts. Investigating the top technical issues – and their respective solutions – in this blog post is a great way to quickly increase your SERP visibility, and this can have a very positive impact on your site’s user experience.

About the author

Digital Marketer: Facebook, Google Ads, Intagram Ads, SEO Specialist, SEO Content Writer, SEO Copywriter, Blogger

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