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Top 5 Common Technical SEO Mistakes That Are Hurting Websites

Website Design

To keep your website’s performance to a maximum, you need to keep up with continual updates and avoid any technical site issues as much as you can.  

It’s one of the ways you can help your website rank better on search engine results pages and provide a good user experience to web visitors.  

If you’re already aware of a couple of problems with your site, you need to address them as soon as you can because they can build up. And, trust us when we say that it could grow to a point where your website is no longer suitable for a positive user experience because it takes forever to load.  

As a result, your bounce rate is pinging through the rough, and nobody wants to go to your site ever again.  

Sometimes, it’s the simplest and smallest technical SEO mistakes, that seem unimportant at first, that are actually hurting your organic rankings.  

But, in this ever-changing world of SEO, maintaining the health of your website can be a challenge. So, as your go-to SEO company in West Palm Beach, we’ve compiled a list of the top five common technical SEO mistakes you can use to make a site audit checklist to keep your site’s technical issues to a minimum and its performance to a maximum.  

Without any more delays, let’s get started!

What Are the Top 5 Common Technical SEO Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Website?

1. Slow Page Speed

man-bored-waiting-for-slow-page-speed

We all know that page speed has a huge impact on a site’s success. If your website takes more than three seconds to load, web visitors will leave right away. That’s because users no longer have the patience to wait.  

The longer your website takes to load, the higher your bounce rate becomes, leading Google to rank your site poorly.  

Having a fast page speed not only improves user experience and boosts your ranking, but it can also help reduce your site’s operational cost.  

So, how can you speed up your site?

There are a few tools you can use to evaluate your site’s performance concerning speed:

If your site speed is indeed slow, here are some tips to improve it:

  • Optimize the images on your site by keeping them under 100kb. As much as possible, stick with the jpeg format. In case your images are in PNG format, use tinypng.com to reduce their file size.
  • Get rid of unused plugins or themes from your web design. It’s not enough that you deactivate them. Over time, unused products get outdated and they can pose potential performance issues and threats.  
  • Reduce your number of redirects or avoid them at all costs. Redirects are usually used to deal with duplicate content issues.  
  • Compress your HTML, JS, and CSS code to dramatically improve your site speed and accessibility.  
  • Prioritize optimizing the image or video in your above-the-fold area to make sure your site renders well. Huge files can take a while to load and so, to prevent users from hitting the x button, you want to make sure that you preload that image or video first before loading the rest of your website.  

2. Neglecting Server Problems and HTTP Status

looking-for-broken-links

One of the most common website problems is related to HTTP status or server problems, such as:

  • 4xx errors
  • Permanent redirects
  • Temporary redirects
  • Broken internal images
  • Broken internal links
  • Broken external links
  • Pages not crawled  

These may seem harmless at first, but they can actually break a user’s trust in your website.  

Imagine if you keep on getting interrupted by a 404 page ‘not found’ error while you’re trying to look for a certain product you want to buy on a specific site. Isn’t it just annoying? And, wouldn’t that make you switch to a competitor?

When users cannot access the content they need from you because of these server problems, they can get frustrated and leave your website right away. This will reflect on your bounce rate and dwelling time, which can hurt your rankings and lead to a loss of traffic.  

To fix this, you can tap into an SEO Company in West Palm Beach to help you deal with matters that require expert knowledge.  

3. Under-Optimized Meta Tags

Meta tags provide search engines with additional information about the different pages of your website. They can use this information to connect them with the keywords and phrases searchers use in their queries and to display snippets in search results, which can help with your ranking.  

Think of meta tags as your elevator pitch or as the packaging of your product. If you don’t get your pitch right or if your packaging isn’t spot-on, nobody will ever be interested in what you have to offer.  

This is why you need to optimize your meta tags. Before we discuss some of the best practices, however, let’s first discuss common meta tag mistakes:

  • Duplicate title tags and meta descriptions in two or more pages confuses search engines. It makes it difficult for them to properly determine which page is more relevant and which of them they should index and rank.  
  • Lack of H1 tags makes it hard for search engines to identify the subject of your content.
  • Lack of meta descriptions can affect your click-through rates. A well-written meta description has the power to encourage users to click on your result and help Google understand the relevance of your page.  
  • Lack of alt attributes can be a challenge for search engines and visually impaired people to identify what the images on your page are about and establish their relevance.  
  • Redundant H1 and title tags can make your page over-optimized. It can also mean that you just missed an opportunity to rank for other relevant keywords.  

Now that you know what the common meta tag mistakes are, let’s tackle the best practices you should follow:

  • Create a one-of-a-kind title tag for each page. Remember, no two pages of your website should contain the same title or description.  
  • Make your meta descriptions short and sweet. Get straight to the point, but at the same time, leave your audience wanting more.
  • Avoid vague titles and vague descriptions. If users don’t know what they can expect from clicking on your results, chances are, they won’t click at all.  
  • Avoid clickbait titles. They’re a major turn-off and can break the trust of users.  
  • Create titles and descriptions with search intent in mind. The more you can develop content that matches your audience’s search intent, the more clicks you’ll get.
  • Integrate keywords into your title tags and meta descriptions naturally. If it doesn’t make sense, then don’t push it. Otherwise, it will look like you’re stuffing keywords.  
  • Don’t go beyond 60 characters. There’s no point in going beyond 60 characters if searchers won’t be able to read them. Like we said, keep it short and sweet!

4. Ignoring Crawling Issues

robot-reading-sitemap

 

The crawlability of your site determines how visible your pages are to Google. If you ignore crawling issues, it could mean that you’re making it impossible for Google to find the right links on your site and display them for SERPs.  

This is why your site architecture matters so much.  

A good website information architecture makes it easy for both users and search engine crawlers to go about your website. It’s like a roadmap that tells them where to go next and how to get to where they want to be.  

Here are some of the most common problems about a site’s crawlability:

  • Nofollow attributes in internal links prohibit “link juice” from flowing to and from your site.  
  • Broken pages in your sitemap.xml stop crawlers from discovering pages on your website.  
  • Missing sitemaps can prevent crawlers from indexing the pages of your site for relevant searches.  
  • The missing link between your sitemap and your robots.txt file will create a gap and make it difficult for search engine bots to understand the structure of your site.  

Below are tips on how you can improve the crawlability of your site:

  • Make sure your URL structures are easy to read. Isn’t  https://www.example.com/tips/common-seo-mistakes easier to read and understand compared to https://www.example.com/index.php?id_wca=470&clcp27sap?  
  • Use a site map to make it easier for search engine bots to find your content. In fact, Google encourages webmasters to use XML sitemaps and RSS or Atom feeds.  
  • Use robots.txt to tell bots what pages they shouldn’t crawl, like directories, shopping cart pages, author pages, etc.  
  • Be mindful of your anchor text. They serve as a signal to both bots and users about the content on the other end of the link. It also affects how the different pages on your site flow to and from each other.
  • Make your site secure by using HTTPS protocol. Nobody wants to click on a link that looks spammy or suspicious.  

5. Ignoring Referral Spam

man-fixing-referral-spam

Spam traffic referrals happen when a site that has nothing to do with you sends a lot of traffic to your site.  

Any URL can be used as a referral source. Domains that don’t have any backlinks to your site yet continue to send you traffic are most  likely a case of spam traffic referrals.

It’s important to address this problem because although they might seem harmless, they can actually find their way into your Google Analytics report and hurt your ranking.  

How?

Well, the traffic that they’re sending in aren’t real web “visitors”. They don’t even stay on your site for a second and leave right away. This bot-generated traffic is meant to drive your bounce rate very high, which means you’ll rank poorly in SERPs.  

So, how can you fix referral spam?

There are two ways to address this:

  • Use Google Analytics to block known traffic bots  
  • Block spam referring domains manually

Looking for an SEO company in West Palm Beach?

Slow page speed, neglecting server problems, under-optimized meta tags, ignoring crawling issues, and ignoring referral spam are the top five common technical SEO mistakes you need to address to keep your site’s technical issues to a minimum and its performance to a maximum.  

If you know you need expert assistance, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Digital Resource is one of the best SEO companies in West Palm Beach that offers comprehensive digital marketing services from SEO to web design to reputation management; you name it, we’ve got it all for you!  

Check out our client testimonials to know how we were able to help businesses in West Palm Beach succeed online!

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