11 Technical SEO Issues That Could Hurt Your Rankings in 2020
For many small business technical SEO issues plague their sites bringing search ranking down and yet they remain unresolved, Why?
Several technical SEO issues go unattended. Such issues can turn out to be quite risky as it can lead to a negative outcome. Many website owners do not realize that their Google ranking can be impacted gradually and by the time they would notice this, it might be late to reverse this negative impact.
In this article, we have explained what exactly is technical SEO and also listed the top 11 technical SEO issues that can hurt a website’s ranking in 2020. Keep on reading to find out about these issues.
What is Technical SEO?
The technical actions that are taken to improve the ranking of a website in a search engine results page comprise technical SEO. Technical SEO is basically what happens ‘behind-the-scenes’. It can be called as the set coordinator of the SEO strategy. It covers all the aspects of SEO such as site structure, crawling, indexing, page speed, etc.
If you are concerned about your website’s ranking, technical SEO cannot be ignored. In the absence of a good technical SEO strategy, you wouldn’t be able to get the desired results. Your search rankings would suffer in the long run.
Most Common Technical SEO Issues
According to SEO experts, it is important to know about the most common technical SEO issues before you can address them. The common technical SEO issues are as follows:
Using Duplicate Content Can Penalize Your Site
With the growth in digital technology, several businesses are utilizing the benefits of dynamically created websites, global SEO and content management systems. This has led to problems such as the emergence of duplicate content.
Duplicate content can prevent search engines from displaying correct content to the target audience. There are many reasons why duplicate content can occur on websites. Some of these reasons are:
- E-commerce website store items may appear on different versions in a single URL
- Similar content might appear in multiple languages on an international website
- Printer-only web pages might repeat the same content on the main webpage
Broken Internal Links on Your Website
Having good internal links can show both the users as well as the search engines that your website content is of high-quality. Content keeps on changing over time and internal links might break. Such broken links can create a bad user experience by reflecting low-quality content. This can impact the search engine ranking of a website.
You can conduct a site audit to find out the webpages where such broken internal links exist. These broken links can then be fixed by replacing their URL with that of the new or correct page.
You’re Not Using Local Search and Structured Data Mark-up
Conducting local searches can help in driving a good number of search engine queries. Search engines such as Google can easily recognize that. Presence on search data providers such as Facebook, Yelp, etc. as well as on Google My Business page thus becomes essential.
Structured data is another easy way to help the search engines in understanding your website content. Including the address of your business is an example of data that is important for structured data mark-up.
Broken images can turn out to be a missed SEO opportunity. Including an image alt, tag attribute can help the search engines to index a webpage by informing the bot about the image. This is a simple way to boost SEO ranking of a webpage through image content. This also enhances the user experience.
Most of the site audits can identify broken images easily. Conducting regular SEO site audits can help in monitoring the image content as a part of the standard operating procedures of SEO. This also makes it easy to manage the image content and keep it updated.
Incorrect Language Declaration
All website owners have one main goal- to deliver content to the right target audience. For this, your content should be delivered in the language that your target audience understands. In case your website fails to declare its default language, it might hurt the website’s ability to translate to the local language. It can also impact your target location as well as international SEO.
Using 302 Redirects Instead of 301
It is first important to understand what 301 and 301 stand for. 301 refers to permanent redirect whereas 302 stands for a temporary redirect. It is advisable to use a 301 redirect if you are looking to permanently redirect or replace a webpage. This way the search engines wouldn’t continue to index or crawl the web page that you are not using anymore.
Multiple Versions of Homepage
This point falls into the category of duplicate content. This can be a bigger issue if the homepage is at fault. Most of the modern search engines can easily solve this problem, however, it is a good practice to remove such issues, if possible. This problem can be solved easily by including a 301 redirect to the respective duplicate page so that it points to the right webpage.
A robots.txt File Error
Such an error can be a huge hit to the technical SEO of your website. Even something very small, such as “/” in the incorrect place can result in damage. Make sure everything is in order as a misplaced “disallow” is also something you need to look out for. This is because such a mistake can signal Google to not crawl the web page which contains disallow. This can prevent it from being indexed properly.
You’re Not Using HTTPS
Website security using HTTPS is quite important. In 2017, Google issued a “not secure” warning to Chrome whenever a user landed on an HTTP website. For a quick fix, the first step is to check the website for HTTPS. For this, all you need to do is type the domain name of the website in Google Chrome. If a green-colored “secure” message is displayed in the URL, that means that your website is secure.
Your Website Has a Slow Load Time
In case your website does not load quickly, chances are that the users would go to another website. The speed of the website is important to search engines as well as users. You can make use of Google’s Page Insights to find out issues related to the site speed.
Poor Mobile Experience
In 2018, Google had announced that mobile-first indexing represents a major percentage of the sites that appear in search results. You can use the URL Inspection Tool by Google to check if your website has undergone this transition. Ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly would ensure that you can deliver an exceptional user experience. Professional SEO agency in Sydney, claims that having a responsive website design is a great way to ensure this.
Technical SEO issues might not be easy to spot by the untrained eye. However, the above list is sure to have given you an idea about what to look for when it comes to technical SEO. In case you suspect one or more of the above issues on your website, it is time to have a good look at your website as well as SEO efforts.