There is nothing more frustrating than working hard to craft the perfect website just to have search engines shun it. I get it, content creators are already stretched too thin. The last thing they want to worry about is dealing with a technical SEO issue. But sometimes we got to put on our digital forensics caps and take a peek under the hood. We will address 3 of the common SEO issues and how to avoid them!
Blocking the site crawling from search engines
Your robots.txt file gives instructions about its website to web robots. Blocking a site to a search engine can occur through a variety of unfortunate scenarios.
For example, blocking a website at the robots.txt level by accident when launching a site into production.
How To Avoid:
This can be avoided by checking your robots.txt file prior to launch. The robots.txt file is located at:"https//:www.example.com/robots.txt".
There are two important considerations when using /robots.txt:
- Robots can ignore your /robots.txt. Especially malware robots that scan the web for security vulnerabilities, and email address harvesters used by spammers will pay no attention.
- The /robots.txt file is a publicly available file. Anyone can see what sections of your server you don't want robots to use.
Internal Site Content Duplication
Duplicate content while does not technically cause website penalties it can still impact search engine rankings. Duplicate content is defined as content that appears on the Internet in more than one place. That "one place" consists of a unique web address or URL. So when the same content appears on multiple web addresses, you've got a nightmare scenario.
How Duplicate Content Issues Appear:
- URL Variations: URL parameters can cause duplicate content problems.
- HTTP vs. HTTPs or WWW vs. non-WWW pages: If your site has separate versions like "https://example.com/" and "http://example.com" you've got duplicate content. Also, if your site has "http://www.example.com" and "http://example.com" then you also got duplicate content issues.
Properly establish self-redirect canonical tags that point to their original version. This will help combat duplicate content issues.
Compromised Website Speed
Google has been very vocal about their preference for websites that load fast. In fact, they are so gung-ho on page speed they have built a variety of tools to measure your site’s page speed performance.
Page speed is the silent killer of websites!
Additionally, site speed is also important for user engagement. Websites with slower page speed tend to have higher bounce rates and lower than average time on site.
To see if your site has page speed issues you can use GT Metrix to run a quick site speed audit of your site. This neat tool will give you an aggregate performance score. If you get a poor score then behind making plans for site speed improvements.
How To Avoid:
Google has provided recommendations on how to improve overall site speed:
- Enable Compression
- Reduce Redirects
- Leverage Browser Caching
- Improve Server Response Time
- Use a content distribution network
- Optimize your images
Google’s mobile-first index is coming and page speed plays a critical role. Get a head start and ensure your site renders quickly for your users.
These 3 common SEO issues plagued many sites' optimization efforts. Forewarned is forearmed. Happy optimizing!