Optimizing a website for SEO (search engine optimization) is as important as its development.
SEO is not just an off-page process to build your website’s credibility among search engines by creating quality backlinks and optimizing the content of your website. SEO also includes several on-page activities as well.
Technically speaking, on-page SEO is even more important than the off-page SEO.
No matter how good is your off-page SEO, if your website is not SEO-friendly, you may not achieve the desired results, which is to get more traffic & higher rankings on search engines.
In other words, SEO starts from the website. And if your website has technical issues related to SEO, it could be an alarming situation for you.
Hence, before you plan to initiate any SEO activity for your business, just make sure that your website is free from the major possible bugs.
Now the question is ‘what are the issues/bugs which could affect a website’s SEO?‘.
In this blog, I am going to share 7 critical issues that you must address before you give a go-ahead to your SEO team.
If your website is affected by any of these issues, you must hire a website developer to fix them as soon as possible. Because these errors can really affect your SEO.
#1 Improper Redirects
These kinds of issues generally happen in the case of website revamping.
When your website designer creates a new website for your business, it is likely that the new web pages may have different URLs.
In this case, you must make sure that you use 301 (moved permanently) redirect for all those old web pages which now have new URLs.
It is even better if you enlist the URLs of your existing website before you go for a redesign so that you can compare your list with the new web page links and make necessary redirects if required.
You must also make sure that all the pages which are not found (404), should be moved permanently (301) to the new location.
You can easily find such 404 links through Google webmaster tools.
#2 Improper URL Structure
If your website developer is inexperienced, his ultimate objective could be just to deliver a functional website without considering the SEO-friendliness of its URL structure.
As a result, your webpages show the URLs that are not SEO-friendly for eg. www.yoursitename.com/index.php?id=1, etc.
Talking about SEO, the poor URL structure is really a major issue to fix immediately.
But professional website developers would always understand the importance of URL optimization for SEO.
Therefore, you must make sure that all of your webpages must have SEO friendly URLs like www.yoursitename.com/your-service-name/
#3 Slow loading webpages
In other words, the websites that take too long to load may have no or low chance of getting ranked on noticeable positions of search engines.
You may be asking “How can I test the loading speed of my website?“.
You may use tools like https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ for checking the loading speed of your website and finding out the possible fixes or solutions.
Search engines like Google seriously consider the webpage loading speed as one of the important factors to rank the website on the top pages of search engines.
Check out my blog in which I have shared the 2 best tools to test & fix the loading speed of a website.
#4 Poor navigation
When it comes to SEO, the website’s navigation plays an important role.
Having clean & intuitive navigation for all the webpages is a must thing to have if you want to attain a strong presence on search engines.
How can the navigation help your website to rank on search engines?
By having a clean, intuitive, and logical navigation system, your website can help the search engine crawlers index all the important webpages. Additionally, intuitive navigation also helps the users to navigate your website & browse all the essential webpages seamlessly.
Does your website have intuitive navigation? If not, hire a website developer to fix this issue as soon as possible.
Whether you are looking to create a new website or redesign your existing site, you must consult & confirm with your website developer for the implementation of user-friendly navigation.
Recommended post: 7 Tips to make your website’s navigation look great
#5 Poor mobile experience
Is your website responsive (mobile-friendly)? If not, you may have slim chances of securing higher positions on search engines.
The major search engines like Google have officially shared that they will rank the websites which are optimized for mobiles higher in mobile searches.
What does this mean?
This simply means that the responsiveness of a website is one of the major SEO ranking factors.
How can you check whether your website is responsive or not?
You may use any of the free online tools such as https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly to check the responsiveness of your website.
A responsive website can help you in several ways:
- Get noticeable positions on search engines.
- Help your mobile users to browse the website seamlessly.
- Reduce the bounce rate of your website.
- Enhance the user experience.
Recommended post: 5 Website design tips to ensure the responsiveness of a website
#6 Lack of image optimization
Using high-quality images for your website is not at all a bad idea but it has to be done very carefully.
While using high-resolution images, you must make sure that your images are optimized well. Especially, if you have an e-commerce website, the optimization of images becomes even more crucial.
In order to optimize your images for search engines, your website developer should always consider optimizing their sizes to help the webpages load faster.
Additionally, your developer may provide appropriate alt tags to your images to enable search engine spiders to read & cache them.
#7 Duplicate content
Last but not least, you must make sure that your website doesn’t have any duplicate content.
Duplicate content could be in many forms for eg. several pages on your website may contain the same information or the same webpage could be opened using multiple variations of the URL (with a slash or without the slash, with www or without www).
Or even sometimes, displaying a particular block on all the webpages could also create the issue of content duplicity.
Other than this, you must also make sure that your webpage content is not available in any of the other websites or directories across the web. In order to avoid content duplicity on your website, you can also use canonical tags.
Canonical tags can help with duplicate content issues because they tell search engines that one page is a duplicate of another.