Performing technical SEO is important, as this makes a website easy to understand, indexable and crawlable for search engines. This is vital, as it can prompt Google and other search engines to rank you higher.
Technical SEO, however, can be daunting. Knowing where to begin can feel difficult, especially for the uninitiated. What’s more, you could derail your entire digital marketing efforts if you make an error while you’re doing technical SEO.
If you’re going to do this kind of SEO to your business website, make sure that you avoid the following mistakes:
Internal Linking Errors
Internal linking is essential to any website because it helps spread the link juice (a ranking factor) and establish site architecture. Website owners, unfortunately, make the common mistake of linking to pages that they shouldn’t.
The technical SEO error includes linking to pages, such as:
- URLs considered as non-canonical
- Broken or pages, such as page not found errors
You can uncover and fix errors in internal linking by using crawl tools, such as Screaming Frog. Also, don’t forget to link to end-state and canonical URLs. This technical SEO best practice offers many benefits, including better distribution of link equity to the right pages, improved indexation and enhanced crawl efficiency.
Improperly Formatted Robots.Txt
This file, located at the root domain of your website, gives instructions on how a search engine should crawl your website. Many subdomains and domains have this file at yoursite (dot) com (slash) robots.txt.
Think of the robots.txt file as a blueprint for Google, Bing and other major search engines. After all, a search must crawl your site first to index and rank your website.
Robots.txt files offer specific directives about areas and pages of your site to avoid by adding disallow statements. This can serve as an effective way to avoid crawl traps for big websites and manage duplication.
Unfortunately, this process can also restrict search engine access to vital website content. When you start using robots.txt to disallow too many folders, you can cause search bots to disregard files for indexing.
So, make sure that you format your robots.txt correctly. You could, for instance, use noindex tags on individuals instead of disallowing folders.
Not Having a Mobile-Friendly Website
According to Google, more than 50 percent of online traffic comes from mobile. If your business doesn’t have a mobile-friendly website, you’ll want to make this your number one SEO priority right now. Google penalizes sites not optimized for mobile users.
You can avoid this mistake by checking both the mobile and desktop versions of your site. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool and follow the recommendations generated by this platform.
Slow Page Loading Speed
Ignoring page speed and site latency is a big mistake. Page speed isn’t just critical for user experience and conversion. It’s also a ranking factor for both desktop and mobile searches. Quicker page loader sites can help you rank on the first page of the search results.
Ideally, desktop sites should load in less than three seconds. Mobile websites, on the other hand, should load in less than a second. If your business website is loading ever so slowly, make sure to put site speed optimization at the top of your to-do list.
Incorrect Use of Search Directives
Search directives can come in a few different formats, including x-robots tags, meta robots tags, robots.txt crawl directives and HTTP status codes. Four of the most common directives tell search engines to crawl a page (follow), index a page (index), avoid crawling a page (nofollow) and not index a page (noindex).
The default is “index, follow.” If you have no meta robots tag on your page, then Google and the other search engines will index and crawl it.
You want to make sure that you have the right tags on all the important pages that you’d like indexed and crawled.
Neglected Structured Data
Structured data, also known as schema markup, is a way of talking directly to search engines, so they won’t need to work to interpret the content on your site.
Rather than leave Google to figure out the context of a particular content piece, tell the search engine giant exactly what kind of information it’s interpreting without altering the experience for users.
This enables Google to crawl and index your business website more effectively, which will help bump up your organic rankings.
When doing technical SEO, don’t forget to work on your site’s structured data. You can obtain the best results by reading Google’s guidelines to implement schema as effectively as possible. Also, use a plugin that enables you to add structured data to your site’s pages without you needing to hire a developer or tinker with the source code.
If your business website is full of technical SEO problems, it will have a hard time ranking for your target keywords. Avoid these technical SEO errors when you’re working to improve your site.