Optimizing a site for better search engine ranking is no cakewalk. It requires a thorough knowledge of the technology behind it. When administering the technical aspects of SEO, a number of errors may take place. These flaws can adversely impact the ranking of your website and in turn the business as a whole.
After the launch of Google algorithm updates such as Penguin and Panda, and Hummingbird, winning over the highly competitive SEO game is all about publishing and updating high-quality content to earn links. However, even quality content cannot come to rescue if your website has structural or technical issues.
As per expert opinion, successful SEO formulas now consist of:
- One-third on-page optimization
- One-third off-page optimization
- One-third a clean site structure
A clean site structure means one with no technical issues. Here, we will discuss three top technical problems which CIO’s are most likely to come across. We will also explore some solutions to help you out.
1) Handling Duplicate Content:
SEO professionals and content developers know about the threat that duplicate content poses to a site. Even the most innovative digital marketing strategies cannot prevent such a site from getting penalized. Therefore, there is no room for uploading plagiarized content on your site if you are aiming for high ranking in the SERPs.
Moreover, Google’s crawlers cannot consume all the data. As that would require them to revisit each page on the internet over and over again from time to time to find the changes and take new material. Anything that slows down this crawling and discovery process is unwelcome in SEO.
The dynamic websites which add pages on the fly from the back-end databases may be counted as ‘misconfigured’ from the SEO point of view. These sites tend to create a lot of URLs and pages, which may contain the same content.
Some other possibilities of duplicate content occur from the use of generic and secure protocol URLs, post tags, and RSS feeds. Duplicate content may also be a result of the functionality of content management system (CMS) and sorting parameters. . You can also use “robots.txt,” which lets you to custom-control how Google’s bots index your web pages. It also tells Google the specific folders or directories which you do not want them to crawl.
You can also tell Google which URLs you prefer to index by applying the link element of rel=”canonical” for preferred URLs. Canonical tags can effectively help eradicate the duplicate content issues. As they can inform the search engines clearly that a page is a duplicate of another.
2) Mobile Experience:
If your site has a poor mobile user experience, visitors will simply get away from your site, and you will be troubled with an increased bounce rate. So, it is essential to make sure that your site is light and gets loaded fast. Mobile friendliness is not just a need, but a necessity now.
Previously, many websites used to drive the users to a separate site, but this had many problems. It was done by using a separate subdomain as http://m.domainname.com, which splits the link and drives traffic from the URL. It also ends up in higher resource conception and maintenance overhead.
Responsive design is the most practical solution to this problem as it optimizes the website to be displayed appropriately on all devices. This way, it can take advantage of the secondary search engine ranking signals such as page visits, average time spent on a particular page, duration of the visit, and bounce rate to name a few.
3) Muddled URLs:
Content management systems may sometimes create awkward URLs for the new posts and pages. For example, you may simply see an URL ending with “index.php?p=283589”. Google bots cannot identify such URL structures as they cannot determine what the page is all about. These messy URLs will adversely affect the credibility of your website as well as decrease the click through rates.
So, the first thing that CIO’s need to do is clean up all such messy URLs to effectively include the key phrases, which rightly infer what the page is all about. For example, URL for this post can be custom edited by including “/a-cios-guide-on-how-to-fix-the-top-technical-seo-issues/”. If you find it too lengthy, it is advisable to shorten it by adding the most relevant key phrases.
However, the points mentioned above are just the basics of technical SEO troubleshooting. Once the base is made strong, you can further try and identify more SEO adversities by using efficient SEO tools and plugins.