In times when SEO is one of the most valuable tools in creating a successful website, there are plenty of ways to check if the optimization really works. Technical SEO issues happen more commonly than you would think, but luckily, there’s an easy way to spot and fix these problems. Creating quality content on one’s website takes time, effort, and most of all – knowledge in SEO. If only the success of SEO would depend on the creators themselves, we wouldn’t be talking about technical SEO issues. However, there are plenty of structural aspects of website optimization that could be challenging. Whether it’s duplicated content, broken links, or problems with titles and descriptions – we listed some solutions for fixing these problems. Take a look at some of the most common technical SEO issues and simple ways to fix them.
What is technical SEO, and how does it work?
When optimizing one’s website content, there are plenty of technical aspects of the job. Technical SEO allows you to understand the connection between the website, its performance, and search engine optimization engines. If technical SEO is a success, the website shouldn’t have any concerns with ranking on SERPs. Things like titles, tags, descriptions, link building, content and metadata, and the site’s internal structure are all parts of technical SEO. If all of these aspects work well together, we could say that there are no issues with technical SEO.
Optimizing a website for SERPs is directly related to SEO optimization. In other words, if SEO content shows any errors, the website will lose its relevance and credibility on search engines, which will further affect its user experience. For example, if Google recognizes a concern with the site’s internal structure or detects duplicated content, it will lower the website’s ranking and credibility. Luckily, most of the technical SEO issues are easy to spot and solve, especially after understanding how each of them works. Take a look at some of the most common problems you can expect with technical SEO and ways to solve them.
Title tags and descriptions
Most SEO experts realize the importance of optimizing title tags and descriptions. This work usually requires coding, since most of these can be found only in the SERPs. Unlike visual content on the website, title tags and descriptions are not easy to see, so any occurring issues require an SEO specialist.
Some of the most common technical SEO issues you can expect are duplicated tags, missing tags or descriptions, and non-visible content on SERPs. If you want search engines to recognize your website as credible, you will have to work on resolving these issues. When creating a page, it’s important to do a good job with configuration and create the right information that search engines will recognize. So, here are some examples of how you can fix these problems.
- Write title tags with just the right number of characters.
- Create a new strategy for primary and secondary keywords.
- Be smart when choosing title tags for every page. These should be distinctive so that your pages could be easy to recognize for SERPs.
- Use keywords at the beginning of the title tag
Bad web loading time
Whether you are running an e-commerce store or advertising your services online, a great user experience on your website will be the key to success. With so many competitive websites online, taking too much to load the page could turn your customers and make them give up. No matter how great of content you present, your page visitors will not wait to see it if it takes too much time to load the page.
Bad web loading time is one of the most common technical SEO problems. The task of loading a web page normally takes a few seconds, which is why page loading time is not something to be neglected. This problem can occur for various reasons, so make sure to get familiar with all the rules set by search engines regarding your website vitals. Once you can detect the core of the issue, you’ll know why your page loading time is slow and how to fix the difficulty.
The first thing you should do is to use one of the tools to help you test your webpage loading speed. Once you detect the problem, you should check for one of the following solutions:
- Use better content and image optimization
- Check browser caching
- Look for the best solution for specific page loading problems
- Enhance server response time
For those who are not SEO specialists, this might not sound like a big website-related issue. However, the duplicity of its content can be the number one technical SEO problem you can encounter, and for a simple reason. By duplicating written and visual content on your page, you can “confuse” the SERPs so that engines will not know how to rank your website.
This problem doesn’t imply simply putting identical pages right next to each other. However, big similarities in the two pages can create confusion, since search engines will not know which one to prioritize. For example, two different pages could have similar content but distinctive URLs. If you try to rank both pages for the same keywords, Google will not know how which one to rank first, so they would end up “competing” with each other. Instead of having one credible page with high rankings, you could end up having two ineffective ones. Here are some of the most efficient ways to avoid this technical SEO problem:
- Check if you’re using canonical links correctly. This is the URL of the best representative page from a group of duplicate pages that you want to rank.
- Manage webpage configuration. Make sure to know the average session duration and correct cookie settings.
- Check the usage of hreflangs. These are HTML attributes that specify the language and geographical targeting of a webpage.
URL structure issues
Most complex websites have an internal hierarchy between their pages. However, the further building of the content will make the website grow, so you can lose track of the URL structures. Further, the disruption of your pages’ hierarchy will make it difficult to navigate and create confusion with SERPs. This is why you should pay close attention to your URL structure and create a website infrastructure that will work. Here are some of the common URL structure problems that can happen:
- Improper page structure and hierarchy
- Wrong usage of folders and subfolders
- Using specific characters that are not recognized by search engines
There are different ways you can find out if your website has URL structure issues. For example, 404 errors and 302 redirects can be a sign that your website needs a structure revision. Using tools like SiteBulb or ScreamingFrog can help you find these problems, too. If you are trying to rank your website on Google, make sure to check Google Search Console reporting and find crawl errors. Finally, you can check for URL structure problems by letting the audience find the problem. All you need to do is make them search for specific content on your website, so you can test their experience.
In order to avoid these technical SEO problems, you can do one of the following:
- Create a good infrastructure plan from the start. While building a website, plan your pages’ hierarchy, as well as the right place for folders and subfolders.
- Avoid complicating your URL paths. These should be easy to read and recognized by search engines.
- Avoid duplicated pages – consider building the ones you want to rank for a specific keyword.
- Try using no more than 3 levels of subfolders or directories.
All the technical SEO issues we mentioned above happen on a daily basis. If you are not an SEO expert, recognizing and fixing them could be problematic. However, if you consult your SEO person, most of these issues can be solved in a day, which will further help you achieve better rankings for your website and provide the best experience for your customers.
Melissa Gray is a freelance writer and an organizational psychologist. Her focus is primarily on marketing and new digital trends across the world. She is also a passionate gamer, with special interest in narrative design. She writes for Digital Strategy One.