If you’re running an online e-commerce business or offer information blog articles, etc. on a website, your goal is to get people to know you and visit your site. In other words, you want to increase traffic to your website. An essential way of achieving this is by becoming more visible on big search engines – especially Google – and ranking higher on their search engine result pages (SERPs). Therefore, website-owners should invest some time into search engine optimization (SEO). This can be decisive for the success or failure of your website.
But SEO is not always as easy as it looks, and website operators run into all sorts of different issues – sometimes even without noticing. Don’t wait until a small SEO issue turns into a big problem that affects your Google ranking and website traffic. Check your website regularly and look out for anything suspicious. This article offers you a checklist of 5 common SEO issues along with tips on how to solve them.
1. Duplicate content
One of the most common SEO issues concerns so-called duplicate content, that is, content that either completely matches or is very similar to content published on another website. This can happen easily when several websites choose similar words and expressions for their textual content. At first glance this is not really a problem. However, when Google’s ranking algorithms stumble over similar or matching content on more than one website, it can be difficult for them to decide which one is more relevant to users.
Fortunately, there are several ways to fix this problem. Surely, the most obvious one is not to create duplicate content. Think of unique and informative content that others won’t copy as fast – both Google and your website visitors will appreciate it! Other solutions include redirecting duplicate content or using a canonical link. Consult the Google support pages for further information on these linking solutions.
2. Missing alt tags and broken images
Images and logos play an integral role in web design and content marketing, making websites and products visually appealing to visitors. To ensure that images are found by search engines, each image has a unique description called alt tag. Missing or poorly described images with inaccurate key words are considered a sign that a website offers little value to the user. The same goes for broken images.
The most effective way to identify missing alt tags and broken images is to run a site audit. The internet offers several image alt tag checkers and other tools that help you detect missing alt tags and broken images. Once identified, all you need to do is fix it by adding or replacing missing information and images.
3. Broken links
A similar SEO issue that plagues many website providers are broken internal or external links. A broken link is a website that either no longer exists or simply cannot be found or accessed by users. While this may have little impact on your overall website, it will affect your Google ranking. Broken links that lead nowhere create a poor user experience and will ultimately result in a lower SERPs ranking.
The good news is that broken links are easy to identify. Google itself provides a tool – Google Analytics – where you can scan your website for any broken links. Then, all you have to do is get rid of the broken ones or replace these by others.
4. Lack of structured data
Structured data is really the heart of Google search results. This standardized data format helps Google find and read all the necessary information about your website: title, URL, content, opening hours, etc. Google uses this information to generate so-called “rich results”, that is, more informative descriptions which accompany the websites on the search results list.
The richer a result, the higher its ranking. It is therefore crucial to display important information about your website in the form of structured data that Google is able to extract more easily. The Structured Data Markup Helper from Google provides you with all the necessary information and steps to create such data.
5. Mobile device optimization
A final rather common SEO issue that creates much user frustration and, thus, lower rankings are website’s mobile versions. Websites may work flawlessly on the PC, but present countless issues when visited on a mobile phone or tablet. Sites may load more slowly, and design and content layout may vary from the desktop version.
While this has obvious effects on the user experience, Google will also penalize these issues with lower search rankings. Make sure that your mobile and desktop version are identical in content, add structured data informing about your mobile version and create a user-friendly interface for your mobile users. This may be time-consuming, but definitely worth the effort!
The benefits of good SEO work for websites are countless: it improves a site’s overall searchability and visibility, it builds trust and credibility in the users, and it creates a better user experience that will reflect positively in the traffic to your website. However, it is also very easy to stumble across SEO issues that can have negative effects for your Google ranking.
The good news is that, once identified, these are generally easy to fix. There is a long list of common SEO issues and numerous tools and programmes that provide the necessary solutions to your problems. But if you are new to SEO or simply need an assistance with SEO, visit the homepage of the Werbepresse Investing in SEO will definitely pay off – guaranteed!