Digital marketing continues to evolve each year encompassing new practices, such as voice search and influencer marketing to offer more holistic services. Through much of these changes, one of the most overlooked aspects of digital marketing has been website design.
Having a sold technical foundation and great UX is both important from a user perspective, as well as a search engine’s. Since a search engine’s main goal is to deliver the best user experience possible, well designed websites are more likely to rank higher.
Here, we’re going to look at the top 5 most common technical SEO mistakes and how to fix them.
According to Kissmetrics, 40% of people bounce from a website that takes 3 seconds or longer to load. That’s essentially half of your profits just navigating to other websites.
There are many causes for slow pages speeds from poor server response times to having too many large images on your website. There’s a number of ways to increase page speed from using a CDN to enabling caching.
To check your page speed you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights. This will provide you with basic strategies you can use to improve your page speed and website speed.
According to an SEMRush study, 50% of the websites they analyzed featured duplicate content. Duplicate content is exactly what it sounds like and mainly arises from technical site issues, rather than writing the same piece of content twice. This could include creating new web pages, such as a printer friendly version, pdf version, or grouping similar content blocks for pagination.
The two best strategies to fix this include 301 redirects and canonicalization. 301 redirects simply redirect the user and all organic signals to the URL of choice. Inserting a rel=canonical tag with the appropriate redirect link will tell search engines that all links and keywords found on a page should actually be attributed to another webpage.
No Image Optimization
As previously stated, oversized images can severely slow down your page speed. Beyond this, many people don’t realize that images have SEO value and the potential to attract website traffic through image search.
First, always use the .jpeg format whenever available for an image. You only want to size your images to the length of your blog or website.
It’s important to optimize image alt text and image titles with specific keywords to attract users during search. Alt text is important because it’s what gets displayed when an image cannot render. This adds more value to your user experience then simply having a black square in the middle of the page.
Missing Meta Tags
Title tags and meta descriptions are important for organic search because they are displayed in the rich snippet that users click on to navigate to your site from search results.
Optimizing these tags for keywords improves your chances of being clicked on in search results. It also helps search engines index content by specific categories and search phrases.
Finally, many older websites suffer from a lot of broken links that they remain unaware of. This includes both internal and external links found across the website.
Having a proper internal link structure is important to promoting hierarchy and organization throughout your website. They help to facilitate conversions on the site through strategic call-to-action buttons and keep users engaged. They are also important in providing contextual information that may be of value to users looking to verify research or explore a topic further.
There are plenty of tools from Screaming Frog to Raven Tools that will allow you to analyze your broken links structure. Simply place 301 redirects on all broken links to navigate users to relevant web pages or rewrite content to resolve broken links at the URL.
I recommend hiring an SEO consultant to help you resolve these issues. The main focus of this article may be to make your website more SEO sound, but it’s also to improve your user experience, which is ultimately more important.