Where to Look for Technical Issues on Your Website for SEO?

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Dazzling content alone isn’t enough; If unresolved technical hitches lurk beneath the surface, the performance and visibility of your website might take a severe hit. This is where the vigilance of SEO experts comes into play – regularly delving into the intricacies of their website’s well-being.

Experts emphasize the broad scope of technical SEO responsibilities, underlining the need for a cohesive approach. Discussions on this topic often highlight the importance of mutual understanding and collaboration to overcome challenges.

The implications of strong technical SEO practices reverberate across all digital aspects of a business. A weak technical foundation can set off a chain reaction, potentially affecting your website’s functionality and performance.

Assuming command of your digital domain requires a keen ability to identify and address critical technical issues. Let’s look at some of the SEO technical issues on your website and how to fix them.

What Is Technical SEO?

With technical SEO, refer to the modifications made to a website or server under your immediate control. These adjustments can directly or indirectly influence your web pages’ crawl ability, indexation, and ultimate search rankings.

However, it’s important to note that technical SEO doesn’t encompass tasks such as analytics, keyword research, building backlink profiles, or crafting social media strategies.

Within our Search Engine Optimization framework, technical SEO takes the lead as the initial phase in cultivating an improved search experience. Before tackling other SEO endeavours, ensuring your site boasts proper usability is paramount. Nevertheless, identifying and resolving potential SEO issues can challenge larger enterprise websites.

Surprisingly, several commonplace technical SEO challenges tend to slip under the radar. Yet, rectifying these issues is straightforward and pivotal in augmenting your search visibility and overall SEO accomplishments.

Immediate Indexation Inspection

Think about it—can your website attract organic traffic if it’s absent from Google search results? The resounding answer is no.

The principle here is rather than driving yourself crazy with an exhaustive 239-point checklist, each point with varying degrees of priority, you take a step back and start with the fundamental query: Are the pages on our website correctly indexed?

You can find answers promptly by conducting a swift site search on Google. Here’s how to do it: Just type site:{yoursitename.com} in the Google search bar, and the number of indexed pages on your website will be displayed.

Now, let’s delve into what this information can reveal and the following steps to take:

Initial Inquiry:

  • Does the count of indexed pages align with our expectations?
  • Are there indexed pages that we want to avoid appearing in search results?
  • Are there any missing pages in the index that we want to rank?

Further Exploration:

  • Dig deeper by examining various categories of pages on your site, like product pages and blog posts.
  • Verify the indexing status of subdomains, ensuring they’re either correctly indexed or not indexed if desired.
  • Investigate whether older versions of your site are unintentionally indexed instead of being redirected as intended.
  • Exercise vigilance against potential spam, significantly if your site has been compromised. Scrutinize search results extensively for unusual content.

How to Resolve?

  • Uncover the root causes behind any indexing anomalies.

By meticulously investigating and addressing these indexation aspects, you pave the way for smoother navigation through the intricate landscape of technical SEO.

Absence of XML Sitemaps

XML sitemaps play a pivotal role in enhancing the comprehension of your site’s pages by Google search bots. This empowers them to execute a thorough and intelligent crawl of your website.

How to Verify?

Input your domain name into Google and append “/sitemap.xml” to the URL. Generally, this is the location of the sitemap. 

How to Resolve?

If your website lacks a sitemap (resulting in a 404 page), you have two options for resolution:

Create Your Own: Generate an XML sitemap manually or employ a web developer to create one tailored to your site’s structure.

Utilize Tools: Opt for the most convenient route using an XML sitemap generation tool. For instance, if your website operates on WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin can seamlessly generate XML sitemaps for you.

Robots.txt Configuration

One of the most potentially detrimental elements in technical SEO is an innocuous forward slash “/” placed erroneously within the robots.txt file.

Common knowledge dictates that one should review the robots.txt, correct? Regrettably, that’s not always the case.

One of the significant culprits responsible for wreaking havoc on a website’s organic traffic is a well-intentioned developer who inadvertently overlooks updating the robots.txt file following a website redevelopment.

How To Verify?

Access yoursitename.com/robots.txt and ensure it doesn’t display the disallow directive for all user agents: “User-agent: * Disallow: /“.

How To Resolve?

If you encounter the “Disallow: /” directive, you must promptly engage in a dialogue with your developer. There could be valid reasons for its inclusion, or it could be an oversight.

For websites with intricate robots.txt setups, such as numerous e-commerce platforms, it’s prudent to meticulously evaluate the file, line by line, in collaboration with your developer, to ensure its accuracy.

Correct Configuration of Meta Robots NOINDEX Directive

The proper use of the NOINDEX tag conveys to search bots that certain pages hold relatively lower significance. This is particularly relevant for instances like blog categories that span multiple pages.

However, when this configuration goes awry, NOINDEX can substantially harm your search visibility. Incorrect application can lead to removing pages from Google’s index, causing a significant SEO setback.

While it’s customary to employ NOINDEX for many pages during website development, eliminating this tag is of utmost importance once the website goes live. Relying solely on the presumption that it has been removed can lead to detrimental outcomes for your site’s search presence.

How To Verify?

Right-click on your website’s main pages and select “View Page Source.”

Employ the “Find” command (Ctrl + F) to scan the source code for lines containing “NOINDEX” or “NOFOLLOW,” such as:

<meta name=”robots” content=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”>

If you prefer a comprehensive approach, you can utilize Site Audits technology to scan your entire website thoroughly.

How to Resolve?

Upon identifying any instances of “NOINDEX” or “NOFOLLOW” in your source code, it’s advisable to consult your web developer, as these directives might have been incorporated for specific reasons.

In cases where no valid rationale exists, instruct your developer to modify the tag to read:

<meta name=”robots” content=”INDEX, FOLLOW”>

Alternatively, the tag can be removed entirely to rectify the issue. This meticulous attention to your website’s meta-directives ensures optimal search visibility and performance.

Homepage URL Variants

Have you ever noticed that “yourwebsite.com” and “www.yourwebsite.com” direct you to the same destination? While this brings convenience, it can also lead to Google indexing multiple URL variations. Unfortunately, this practice dilutes your site’s prominence in search results.

What’s even more concerning is that multiple iterations of a live page could perplex both users and Google’s indexing algorithm. This confusion might culminate in improper indexing of your site’s content.

How to Resolve?

To tackle this, commence by verifying whether different URL versions effectively redirect to a single standardized URL. This entails checking HTTPS and HTTP variations and potential versions like “www.yourwebsite.com/home.html.” Scrutinize each feasible permutation. 

Upon uncovering instances of multiple indexed versions, the following actions are essential:

  • 301 Redirects: Institute 301 permanent redirects to ensure seamless navigation from duplicate URLs to the preferred, standardized version. This redirection strategy guides both users and search engines appropriately.
  • Canonical Domain: Employ Google Search Console to specify your preferred canonical domain. This not only informs Google about your preferred version but also assists in consolidating the search visibility of your site.

By addressing the proliferation of homepage URL variants, you fortify the coherence of your site’s online presence while elevating its standing in search outcomes.

Rectifying Broken Links

Seamless internal and external links convey to users and search engine crawlers the quality of your content. However, as time elapses, content evolves, and previously reliable links may succumb to decay.

Broken links disrupt the user’s navigation experience and cast a shadow on content quality. This factor holds the potential to influence page rankings negatively.

How to Resolve?

While internal links warrant attention whenever a page undergoes modifications, removal, or redirect implementations, the upkeep of external links demands consistent vigilance. The most effective and scalable approach to address broken links involves conducting routine site audits.

A thorough internal link analysis empowers digital marketers and SEO professionals to pinpoint pages containing these problematic links. This enables them to rectify the situation by substituting the broken link with an accurate or updated page.

By addressing broken links, you bolster the cohesiveness of your website’s navigational structure while reinforcing your content’s reputation in the eyes of users and search engines alike.

Optimizing Website Speed

Undoubtedly, Google has clarified that speed matters in how websites are ranked. Simply put, Google values speedy sites just like we do, which is why they consider site speed when ranking sites. They compare a website’s speed with others to make these judgments.

Even though this advice is crystal clear, many website managers still need to give speed the attention it deserves. Despite the proven benefits of how users experience a site and how well it converts visitors, speed often gets put on the back burner.

With mobile searches now as crucial as desktop searches, speed matters even more. Ignoring speed is no longer an option.

Action Plan:

  • Conduct an in-depth assessment of your website’s speed and page speed, utilizing proficient SEO auditing tools.
  • Unless you oversee a smaller website, collaboration with your developer is pivotal. Strive to attain optimal speed for your site.
  • Advocate incessantly for allocating resources to prioritize site speed across your organization.

By championing the cause of website speed, you align with Google’s preferences and pave the way for enhanced user engagement and improved search rankings.

Wrapping Up

Here’s a reality check for site owners: your developer isn’t closely monitoring and resolving your technical SEO glitches. They likely have their hands complete with other tasks and may not be concerned about your site’s traffic or SEO woes. So, if you lack an SEO specialist to guide you through technical issues, don’t assume your developer has it under control. They have their responsibilities and aren’t necessarily motivated to mend SEO troubles.

This post sheds light on the most pressing technical SEO issues that might impact your website’s performance today and the initial steps to rectify them. For those who haven’t delved into the technical realm before, some of these solutions are remarkably straightforward and can positively influence your site.

Remember, a proactive approach to technical SEO is an investment in the long-term success of your online presence.

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