9 Pesky SEO Issues and How To Fix Them
Various search engine optimization (SEO) issues are like brick walls that come between you and success. If your website has a shallow foundation, it will have trouble generating traffic and ranking in search engines. Although we strongly recommend hiring an experienced SEO Agency to help with these problems, you can do some of the work yourself.
We list nine of the most well-known optimization problems today:
- Bad mobile experience
- Thin content
- Referral spam links
- Tanking traffic and rankings
- Improper or missing meta tags
- Unoptimized images
- Wrong grammar, spelling, and punctuation
- Poor internal linking strategy
- Outdated sitemaps
Learn how to deal with each of them below.
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9 SEO Issues You Should Manage ASAP
SEO problems bring a different type of headache. They drain resources, remove all of your hard efforts for success, and prevent you from meeting your online marketing goals. In fact, it is more effective to fix these before you even apply other optimization tactics.
As SEO gets more complex and more websites appear, the number of issues to tackle increases. But here are nine of the most common ones and a key strategy you can implement to resolve them:
1. Bad Mobile Experience: Follow Mobile-First Indexing Guidelines
A poor mobile experience can manifest in several ways: unexpectedly long load times, content that does not adjust to different screen sizes, or even difficulty navigating the website on small devices. All these factors hurt user experience (UX), a significant search engine ranking factor.
What to do: Apply the principles of mobile-first indexing. Google, for example, has already outlined everything you should do to make your website visually appealing and functional on mobile devices. Some are more complicated than others, so consider working with an SEO team to get this done.
2. Thin Content: Update and Optimize
Thin content refers to pages with very little information. It is not always a bad thing.
For instance, some websites have dedicated landing pages or contact forms. However, if you are trying to rank for an organic search, this may not help your cause.
What to do: Update old content, starting with focusing on showing your credibility, authority, and expertise. Remove old information, add new pages and blog posts, include visuals such as videos and images, and utilize statistics when possible.
3. Referral Spam Links: Perform a Technical Audit
If your data suggests you have high traffic but are not converting, referral spam links are a possible culprit.
Referral spam is a deceptive approach to artificially inflate website analytics reports. Usually, bots visit sites with specific referral tags that show up in the analytic records.
It happens for many reasons, including spammers tricking you into checking out their pages for curiosity’s sake. However, their sites may be insecure, so proceed with caution.
What to do: Conduct a link audit periodically, although referral spam is easier to spot. They often have low to zero average session times. Then, remove these referrals and create filters to more effectively manage them.
4. Tanking Traffic and Rankings: Wait and See
Nothing is more frustrating than to see your rankings and traffic declining fast. All the SEO issues on this list can possibly cause that, but so can those that are out of your control. These include poor branding, wrong keywords, and search algorithm changes.
What to do: Do nothing if the cause is search engine updates. Usually, ranking and traffic go up again once the rollout is complete. Otherwise, do a technical update and revisit your brand identity, customer persona, and marketing goals. These may be misaligned.
5. Improper or Missing Meta Tags: Enhance Them
Meta tags are snippets of information that appear in search results. If they are missing, incomplete, or incorrect:
- Search engines create them, which may not match the content or cause you to rank for the wrong keywords
- Create a bad user experience, affecting your online reputation
- Hurt your traffic
What to Do: Optimize your meta tags, ensuring they accurately reflect the real content. Avoid using the same tags for your copies, even if they are similar or belong to the same topic cluster.
6. Unoptimized Images: Add Alt Tags
Many marketers and website owners use images without optimizing them. In the process:
- They fail to take advantage of its ranking benefits, such as lower bounce and higher click-through rates.
- The images slow down the website loading time to over three seconds.
- They cannot optimize their content for voice search.
What to Do: Add short but concise, relevant, and accurate image alt tags and captions. Add keywords when they fit. Use compression tools to reduce file size without compromising quality.
7. Wrong Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation: Proofread
Poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation can have dire consequences for your SEO efforts. Studies have shown that site visitors are far more likely to stay on a website if the material is well written
Meanwhile, a mistake-ridden piece of content makes search engine bots think your site is not offering desirable or useful information.
What to Do: Proofread or copyedit before publishing. Run the article on grammar checkers or hire an SEO agency with a capable writing team.
8. Poor Internal Linking Strategy: Be More Creative
Internal links are essential for improving your website’s navigability, usability, and SEO. When not used or done wrong:
- It will be harder for search engine bots to crawl and index your pages.
- Users may find it confusing to navigate the site.
- Keywords are not distributed evenly throughout the page.
What to do: Get creative with internal linking. Place them near relevant words or phrases and link to old content. Diversify the anchor texts by using natural phrases and keywords that match the topic.
9. Outdated Sitemaps: Use a Generator
XML sitemaps are amazing for organizing content and links, guiding search engine bots, stimulating crawlers to visit your site often, and helping with indexing. But they are also often one of the most neglected SEO elements.
When they are not updated:
- The robots.txt might conflict with the sitemap.
- You may miss including important pages or content.
- Search engines may be unable to index or update your content properly in the search results.
What to Do: Use a sitemap generator to automate the process, especially if you have to change URLs or manage a large website, and submit an updated sitemap through the search console.
SEO is so technical that you are bound to make mistakes and encounter issues along the way. It is important to catch them before they significantly ruin your efforts.
These nine SEO fixes are a great place to start. Even so, we strongly suggest working with a digital marketing agency that can perform more comprehensive checks and recommend customized strategic solutions. Contact us now for more ideas.
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