Are you done with constant SEO issues that hold you back from achieving your organic ranking goals? If you want your web pages to rank higher in the search results, then it is essential for you to get a basic understanding of how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works.
Unfortunately, most of the marketers just rush into SEO and begin optimizing their websites without making an effort to gain a basic knowledge of SEO. For this reason, website owners often struggle while managing the technical aspects.
Well, that is nothing new considering the fact that a basic SEO checklist will have at least a dozed SEO issues to address, before a website can actually begin performing well. But, which are the SEO issues that you should be focusing on?
How about finding out using some real data? SEMrush used their Site Audit Tool to collect anonymous data accounting to 100,000 websites as well as 450 million web pages. They were able to determine the following:
• Major SEO issues
• Number of websites affected by these SEO issues
In this blog, we have discussed some of the common on page SEO issues, technical SEO issues, website SEO issues and the way in which they impact search engine rankings.
Once you identify the SEO issues, you will be able to fix SEO problems, SEO errors and other common SEO problems. Error onpage and SEO canonical issues, squarespace SEO issues and shopify SEO problems can negatively impact your rankings.
The SEO issues list below will help you to identify your weak areas, check SEO optimization and ultimately help you understand how to fix SEO issues. Let us now get started.
1. Duplicate Content SEO Issue
According to Google, duplicate content can be defined as “substantial chunks of content across or within domains, which either match completely or considerably similar”. So, duplicate content is one of the common SEO issues that negatively impacting websites.
Almost 50% of the websites suffer this. In a latest Q&A Session by Google, Andrey Lipattsev, Senior Strategist, Search Quality at Google, revealed that “there is nothing called as a penalty for duplicate content”. However, it certainly does not mean that it is an SEO issue to which you can turn a blind eye.
• First and foremost, having duplicate content on your site will make it difficult for you to choose the page, which you would want to rank. Next, search engines will find it difficult to identify which are the pages that you want them to consider as landing pages to be presented in the search results. Worst part is those two pages might end up competing with each other.
• Second, the search engines are particularly designed to make web extremely useful for the search users. So, unique and valuable content is highly preferred by both the users as well as the search engines alike.
2. Broken Images and Missing Alt Tags
Images are an integral aspect when it comes to content marketing. However, images can actually create some huge SEO issues. While 45% of the websites lack a proper alt tag for their images, in 10% of the websites their internal images are broken.
Both these scenarios can be problematic and require a thorough SEO issues check. Alt tags are extremely important for image search. While search engines are now pretty clever, they still require alt tags to understand what your images are all about.
Simply put, alt tags are the textual descriptions of your images. They help search engines to categorize your images. So, your image alt tag should always contain the target keyword. These are also vital for the visually impaired readers who use scree readers, the readers will in turn use the image alt tags for describing the images.
Better User Experience
As search engines are very particular about user experience, they consider websites without image alt texts as the ones that are less concerned about adding value to the users, and hence might not rank you higher.
Also, when you have images without alt tags on your web page, it can result in higher bounce rate – one of the major causes of compromised performance across the search engines.
Broken images often create the same SEO issue like a broken link. Broken images are regarded as dead ends for the search engines and the search users, which ultimately results in degrading of your website because it makes poor user experience.
3. Incorrect Title Tags
Also known as page titles, title tags are used by search engines to determine what your web page is all about. It appears at the beginning of the search listings. So, they also users in deciding whether they should follow your link or not.
Title tags are an important on page SEO elements, when appropriately optimized they will positively impact your organic rankings. Following are the four major title tag related SEO issues:
• Duplicates in title tags
• Lengthy title tags
• Completely missing title tags
• Extremely short title tags
4. Missing meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions show up in the SERPs and help users to decide whether they should follow the link to your website or not. While meta descriptions do not directly impact page rankings, their relevancy affect Click Through Rate (CTR), which is extremely important.
30% of the websites often have duplicate meta descriptions, while 25% of them do not have any. It is important to identify and fix this SEO issues immediately. Besides, if you are a WordPress user, then there are SEO plugins that help you to ensure your content has meta descriptions.
5. Broken External and Internal Links
Broken links are huge SEO issues. As your website grows, you will be updating the resources. While it is okay to have one or two broken links here and there, it is important for you to set up your 404 pages properly. But when you have hundreds of broken links it can be a potential danger.
• First of all, it irritates the users and drops down your web traffic and they will consider your websites to be of lower quality.
• Second, these broken links will waste your crawl budget because when bots search your website, they will crawl only a few pages, not all. Multiple broken links divert bots from your web pages and prevent them from getting crawled or indexed.
You can use link checker plugins or site audit tools to find such broken links and then fix all of them. Next, you can find inbound broken links and seek webmaster’s suggestion to get a new resource to which it can be linked.
6. Lower Text-to-HTML Ratio
28% of the websites analyzed by SEMrush (as discussed above) often get this warning. It means that the website contains back end HTML code much more than the text what people can read. While the acceptable lower limit is 20%, we suggest to address and fix this SEO issue completely.
Often, this problem is a sign of various other underlying SEO issues, which have to be addressed. Some of the underlying reasons include:
• A website that is not well coded (excess java script, inline styling or Flash and invalid codes)
• Your website has some hidden texts – this is huge red flag because this is exactly what spammers do
• Slow loading website – the higher the script and code your pages contain, the higher will be the chances of them loading slowly
You can fix this by doing the following:
• Reducing page size by removing unnecessary code
• Moving styles and inline scripts to different pages
• Adding highly relevant text where needed
7. SEO Issues Associated with H1 Tags
H1 tags are an integral part of your SEO, as it indicates the important content on your web page. Every page should have a single H1 tag, often the title. While HTML5 has changed the way H1 tags are used, they are still used to create a hierarchy for web users as well as search engines.
Wait a minute. . ..
Hope you are not confused between the title tags and the H1 tags. While title tags get displayed in the search results, H1 tags are the ones that users find it on your web page.
Although you can have many H1 tags on a single web page, it is important that you use the correct HTML5 markup for dividing sections of equal significance.
8. Lower Word Count
Yes, this is an extremely important factor that you should be looking into. This is an extremely complicated metric because while there is nothing called minimum word count, Google ranks the pages with lengthier content on SERPs.
This is because when done without fluff, in depth content indicates more information, which adds value. As discussed above, it is important to add relevant content wherever possible. Doing anything to add some depth to your content will make it valuable for the users.
Just look at it this way: when you view an infographic, will you not appreciate it when the owner has invested some extra time to add more content? You do right? Same is the case with your users as well.
9. Too Much On Page Linking
You might be thinking that linking is difficult to get. This could be mainly because the these websites have too much on page links on some of their web pages.
Google imposed marketers to keep their threshold for on page links to a certain percentage. This is a good development because SEO is all about maintaining a natural link profile, which includes high-quality relevant links.
Too many links will just dilute the overall value of your web page and will repel your web traffic. However, if you have useful and relevant links then the chances are that your website will continue to rank well.
If you want to tackle on page link issues, then do link auditing just to ensure that all the URLs on your web pages actually add value to the users. If you feel that any link is not up to the mark, just get rid of it immediately. This step is also great for your SEO efforts.
10. Improper Language Declaration
You will have global audience on web. So, it is extremely important that you add language declaration on your web page and declare the default language of the content on your web page.
Language declaration is a critical tool that:
• Informs the browser about the language of your web content (essential for page display and translation)
• Helps text-to-speech converters correctly hear your content in the right dialect (like Latin American, Castilian or Spanish)
• Positively impacts international SEO and geolocation
You can use a list of language codes, as it helps you to get your language declaration right. Google uses language declaration to make sure that right content will be presented to the right users.
While this does not affect your SERP rankings directly, just remember that helps you to boost the “relevancy score” of your website pages. Now this is crucial part of search engine optimization.
These are the top 10 SEO issues that are actually negatively impacting most of the websites. Several websites will have major SEO issues. However, not all of them will negatively impact your organic rankings.
But, bad SEO is definitely not always about directly violating the search engine rules. It is majorly associated with not taking the required care of the search users and your website.
Temporary manual redirects might not impact your organic rankings severely when compared to the other issues such as on page issues. While there is no penalty for incorrect title tags and duplicate content, it is important to eliminate these to get higher organic rankings.
Forewarned is forearmed! Therefore, just look out for these SEO issues and fix immediately to get the desired SEO results.