You must be already familiar with the general SEO tricks like keyword research, content writing/posting, image optimization, etc. We have no doubts that you know how to compose super-catchy descriptions and relevant titles, make reliable backlinks, and promote your content on social media. However, even with all those strategies mastered, you still have problems with traffic. Why so?
Maybe, you have made some common SEO mistakes and they are preventing your website from becoming the most popular one. We mean, some technical aspects of website building, code, and structure. These mistakes are not easy to track and fix, so we are going to help you.
Some basics of technical SEO
Technical SEO makes your website understandable for Google and other search engines. This is not something your visitors see, but rather a foundation of it. The way your site looks with all its attractive features is very important, however it is useless when you don’t have a serious technical back-up. Indeed, people and search engines see your website in very different ways. If the technical part of your website is not good enough, the outlook and performance won’t be perfect either.
Don’t worry, there is no need to learn code to fix those problems. Check this simple guide and learn how Google rank the sites from within.
Does your site have any technical issues? How to find out?
To find technical problems with your SEO, you have to make an audit and find out what exactly makes your traffic fall. There are some specific tools to help you do that. For instance, SEMrush or Screaming Frog are efficient when you want to detect some technical problems with your SEO.
According to SEMrush statistics, even the most popular brands have technical errors. Some of the use Flash, which arises problems with users’ safety. The other have a small amount (or even a single one) of links, leading to their resource from the outside pages. Most of them have errors like 404 and other. Audit is something that you have to perform before trying to improve any aspect of your website, because this is the only way for you to find out which problems prevent your site from being perfect. Now let’s discuss some critical SEO mistakes your website might also have.
Unoriginal content is perceived by Google as plagiarism, therefore it has reasons to ban it. At the same time, matching expressions and words are not always connected with plagiarism, but Google is just a machine and has no opportunity to distinguish the cobwebs. You may think that it is easy to avoid plagiarism – just make sure that your page is different from all the other pages. However, some site-owners make a typical technical mistake here – they create two versions of one page (http and https) and the pages match entirely. This is why you should use 301 redirects.
301 redirects and https
Https marks the secure sites that have extra level of safety (SSL). Google prefers secure web pages over everything else, therefore failing to have this additional security measure can end up with low search rankings. It means that every page of your resource should have https. In addition to https, you also need 301 redirects because the initial versions of the pages use http. As we have already mentioned above, you need them to avoid any problems with unoriginal content. If you don’t have any site-building and development skills, then make sure to use special plugins to do so because there is a risk that you can ruin your own site when fixing the problem manually.
Your website has a low speed
Websites stuffed with heavy visual elements look amazing, but their loading speed is usually low. As a rule, 50% of users never wait for more than a couple of seconds; they simply leave the overloaded sites and find the similar services (your competitors, of course). What is more, low speed has a negative influence on the mobile version of your site and damages its search ranking. If an impatient user clicks the “back” button to leave the website after a couple of seconds, Google believes that your resource doesn’t deserve a high position in the rankings.
To improve your website performance, you should try audit tools like Pingdom or GTmetrix. They are free and simple. With the help of these programs, you will define the loading speed and discover what exactly slows the pages down. GTmetrix will show which sections are the slowest. Remove the plugins that interrupt the process too much. Also, avoid locating too large images on your site and let their resolution be below 4000×3000 pixels.
Your site doesn’t have a high-quality mobile version
As you may know, half of the Internet users prefer mobile devices over their computers and this number is not going to decrease. Therefore, Google tracks this aspect making mobile-friendly resources more prioritized. First, you need to find out whether your website is convenient for those who use mobile devices. To do so, make sure to check it with the help of Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test program. The problems with a mobile version might be as follows:
- The fonts are small
Your fonts might look perfectly on the screen of a PC, but it doesn’t mean that they will look the same on a screen of a mobile phone. Check and fix it.
- The links are located too close
There is one thing users really hate: trying to tap the link on a screen and missing it. The buttons and links should be large and comfortable to push.
- Your website has a non-responsive design
Check and configure the meta viewpoint tag to make the page easier to use.
Your website has errors
If your site has links that lead to pages that no longer exist or have mistakes in URL address, then your users will see 404 error. The broken links have a very negative impact on your SEO, so you need to track and eliminate them.
These are the basic mistakes anyone might have in their technical SEO, but you still have so much to learn about proper optimization. However, you need to start somewhere, so make sure that you check you resource and fix these possible issues that might have a negative impact on your traffic. Good luck!
About the Author
Jennifer Pauli graduated from Corvinus School of Management and finished the faculty of Journalism at Corvinus University of Budapest. Currently, she is an editor, business writer, and copywriter, working with 1ws.com and other well-known companies, blogs, and personalities. Follow her on Twitter, G+ and read the personal blog.