Technical SEO Problems to Avoid

Technical SEO: Most Common Problems To Avoid

Technical SEO problems can really crush your website’s ranking. Even if you spend hours upon hours creating top-quality material, investing in website design, and chasing organic traffic, a few simply mistakes could set you back anyway.

Before you can focus on creating content, you need to think about the backbone of every website – search engine optimization.

This is what gets you views and potential new customers. This is what puts your business on the map and earns you top rankings for keywords you care about.

And to top all of that off, technical SEO serves as a prerequisite to on-page and off-page SEO. If the website is broken technically, nothing you do with keywords, content, or links will make a difference.

The goal of this post is to shine some light on the most common technical SEO problems and discuss efficient ways to solve them.

Technical SEO: Which Issues Are Most Important

One of the biggest challenges for most businesses when going online is making a technically strong website that will start generating views from day one.

With that in mind, let’s cover some of the technical SEO elements that websites often mess up:

  • complex navigation
  • duplicate content
  • poorly optimized images
  • terrible mobile experience
  • wrong redirects
  • slow website loading speed
  • unorganized URLs

Let’s see how these issues can hinder your progress and what you should do to fix them.

Avoid Complex Navigation Systems

There are millions of websites on the internet. They are all different, but also the same in many ways.

Most websites consist of very similar basic elements. One of the ways you can stay ahead of the competition is by coming up with something new and exciting.

While that approach will certainly attract attention, you don’t want to overcomplicate your website’s navigation. Rather, you want to keep it simple and easy to use.

Some people think that it’s a good idea to create a unique yet complex navigation system to stand out among other domains.

Don’t fall for this foolish though process. The whole point of the navigation is to help visitors navigate to the important pages of the website quickly and efficiently. It should not be complex or weird-looking.

The web design and development team at Movers Development always remind their clients that the goal is to create something visually stunning, but never at the expense of usability and simplicity.

If you confuse your visitors, they will not be impressed. And they will not come back a second time.

Navigation also affects your SEO performance, because it is a key piece of page experience and usability. Both of these items are important to Google these days.

So structure the website hierarchy and navigation to be intuitive, and you’ll avoid this issue altogether.

Make All Content Unique — Avoid Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is a big ‘no’ in Google’s book. However, it is one of the most common technical SEO problems that websites encounter.

One of the reasons is that there are hackers who duplicate websites intentionally to create negative SEO.

Some website owners plagiarize content, thinking that no one will notice.

There are also cases where blog owners create multiple items with the same subject, just with a different title, but otherwise nearly identical.

This will all negatively impact your website’s SEO. What you should do instead is create topic clusters and pillar pages with unique content.

Topic clusters are groups of similar content that cover one major topic.

This is exactly what Google wants to see: pages that complement one another. All of the content on your website needs to work together towards creating one extensive source of unique and high quality information.

Optimize Your Images For Performance Benefit

Images play a vital role on every website. They are the visuals that help keep visitors engaged. However, images also work as keywords.

If you are blogging about cars, you need relevant images that can tie to the content you are creating.

But Google also highly prioritizes Core Web Vitals in the latest algorithms. And images can cause major headaches with CWV if they are unoptimized.

How can you optimize images for performance benefits? First, the time has come to make the switch from legacy formats to next-gen file formats, such as WebP.

Secondly, you should compress images as much as possible.

And finally, you ideally want to have different file sizes and compressions for various platforms.

Mobile phones, tablets, standard laptops, and high end retina displays all need different resolutions to balance load time and image clarity. If you get this part right, you’ll stand to benefit greatly from image optimization.

Build A Fully Responsive Website for All Platforms, Especially Mobile

Speaking of optimizing images for various platforms, you should also have a fully responsive website to ensure that ALL elements are suitable for the proper platforms. Mobile is the most important one to get right, with Google having moved to mobile-first indexing years ago.

It is simply unbelievable that some businesses still don’t have their website optimized for mobile phones.

The majority of people use mobile phones to browse the internet, and almost 100% will leave if there is no mobile version.

After all, your website will be awful to use if it’s only a desktop version that visitors are viewing on mobile phones. And Google hates it as much as users do.

Luckily, It’s easy to fix this problem: be sure your domain is fully responsive from day 1.

This is a common mistake among business owners. Don’t be one of those people.

If you don’t have a fully responsive website, make it happen. You’ll be happy you made the switch.

Fix Any Old, Broken, or Otherwise Problematic Redirects

If you are moving your website to a different domain or moving pages within the navigation, you need to create 301 redirects.

This is how to ensure you don’t lose links to the old URLs (which help boost domain authority for SEO) or visitors who have bookmarked them.

However, if you make mistakes, that’s exactly what will happen.

Look for ‘404 page not found’ pages on your website and redirect them to the new URLs. And when you make changes to URLs or the domain, ALWAYS redirect those old URLs to the best match new location.

You’ll be glad you did it the right way moving forward.

Get Your Overall Performance and Load Times In Order

The average user will leave a website it does not load between three and five seconds, particularly on mobile sessions. Website loading speed is one of the essential SEO strategy elements.

There are many possible reasons your website could be loading too slowly, including:

  1. Poorly coded theme or bloated content management system
  2. Too many scripts and plugins
  3. Lack of server or browser caching
  4. Unoptimized images (see above)
  5. Loading order of any of the above
  6. Potential for shifts in layout during loading

Regardless of which of these items you’re dealing with, they all provide a poor user experience. And that’s sure to raise your bounce rates, reduce time on site, and discourage repeat visitors.

Take time to audit your website performance and deploy the proper remediation steps via a qualified developer. This will not only improve your on-site metrics, but it will also help you position better for boosted organic rankings.

Structure URLs in SEO-Friendly Formats

Every website needs to be appropriately structured. That means that all pages should be connected logically, with clean, short URLs. Every page should have a meaningful name.

Furthermore, all pages should be grouped together into a clear hierarchy, based on their relevance and correlation with one another.

This task requires time and effort, but it is a must. You need an organized data structure because that affects many areas of your website, and the loading speed is one of them.

It can also cause havoc with search engine crawlers. All too often we see websites with all pages of the root, and that lack of hierarchy tells Google that none of your pages matter more than the rest of them. It also fails to establish clear lines of connection between similar content types.

This is all bad for SEO and user experience, so the time and effort is more than justified in the end.

Technical SEO: Key Takeaways

As you can see, there are many things to consider when talking about the most common technical SEO problems.

You cannot fix just one issue and hope for the best. You need to work on the entire website and fix all problems. That is the only way to improve your SEO ranking.

Your best best is to be proactive. It is better to avoid these mistakes than to have to fix them.

This could be a difficult thing for people who already have a website.

However, if you are just starting, build your website properly from the beginning. Do not be lazy when it comes to technical SEO.

It is a tedious and time-consuming process, but it is necessary for today’s competitive market.

Feature Image courtesy of Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay under Creative Commons licensing.

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MIchael Waschak

Freelance Writer
Michael Waschak is an SEO and marketing expert. As a freelance writer, Michael aims to help businesses improve their online presence by implementing best SEO practices and guidelines.

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