SEO is not just building your website’s credibility among search engines through content marketing & ethical link building.SEO(Search Engine Optimization) actually starts from your website itself and if your website is not search engine friendly,you could not achieve the desired results (which is to get more traffic & enhanced ranking positions).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 your SEO’ and in this blog,I am going to share 9 critical issues which you must address before you give a go ahead to your SEO team.
#1 Improper Redirects
These kind of issues generally happen in case of website redesigning.When your web 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
I would not say that its a mistake of your web developer,but I have noticed that most of the website designers or developers would not care about the URL structuring of your website especially if they are not SEO experts.As a result,your webpages show URLs which are not search engine friendly for eg. www.yoursitename.com/index.php?id=1 etc. 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 of Webpages
#4 Poor Navigation
When it comes to SEO,a website’s navigation plays an important role.Having a clean navigation for all the webpages is a must if you want to attain a strong presence on search engines.Having a clean,clear and logical navigation helps not only search engines to crawl all the pages properly but also helps users to navigate your website & browse all the required pages properly.Prior to a new website development or website redesigning,you must discuss with your SEO consultant who can provide you with a logical and SEO friendly navigation structure for your website.
#5 Poor Mobile Experience
Starting from April 21,2015 Google has made it mandatory for all the websites to provide perfect mobile experience to its users which means any website which doesn’t have responsive design will not be considered for higher rankings.A responsive design is one which renders appropriate design automatically on both mobile and desktops.Some webmasters send the mobile users to a different domain like http://m.websitename.com which is again not considered as a good practice because it splits your link equity.
#6 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 same information or same webpage could be opened using multiple variations of the URL (with slash or without 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.
#7 Lack of Image Optimization
Using nice images for your website is not at all a bad idea but it has to be done carefully.While using images,you must make sure that your images are optimized well.In order to optimize your images for search engines,you may consider optimizing its size to help the webpages load faster you may provide meta tags to your images to enable search engine spiders to read & cache them.