8 Technical SEO Mistakes That Are Pulling Down Your Ranking
Updated on: 7 April 2021
A common perception is that SEO is all about the keywords and content marketing. But it’s worth it to remember that the driving force behind your website is just as important.
Yes – I’m referring to technical SEO! These are aspects of optimising your webpages that take place behind the scenes of your website. They might relate to page performance, which directly affects the user-friendliness and ranking of your webpage. Or, it might have to do with making your website easily crawled and indexed by search engine bots, which also has an impact on your search ranking.
There’s always something more that can be done to improve your site’s technical SEO. Sometimes, you might be sitting on errors that are quietly weighing down your SEO efforts. Discovering them and correcting them fast is often quick and easy – with wonderful results to your website ranking!
So, read on as I walk you through 9 very common SEO mistakes lurking in your website, along with suggestions on how to fix them!
1. Linking to redirected pages
Doorway pages are those that rank for the keywords a user is searching for, but then redirects to another page, often unrelated to the search query. They are typically used as a blackhat SEO technique to funnel visitors to a website.
Google penalises such a practice as it may lead to multiple webpages linking back to the same page, which may not even be relevant to the initial search terms.
Having large numbers of links to redirects may cause Google to treat your webpages like offenders, jeopardising your ranking.
Instead, make sure your links lead to actual landing pages. Use redirects sparingly, only when absolutely necessary.
2. Having links from low authority websites
The more backlinks, the better, right? Or that’s what I thought.
Being linked from a website with poor reputation will do more harm to your page ranking than good. Sometimes, this is done deliberately as sabotage by malicious SEO marketers.
What you should focus on are building links from reputable, high domain authority websites. If you find your page being linked from a dubious website, you can apply to disassociate your page from the other website with Google’s disavow form.
3. Duplicating content within your website pages
Having duplicated content may impact your rankings negatively, as search engines struggle to decide between ranking your website and other versions of the same content.
Moreover, since Google strives to offer the best search experience – there can only be one victor. And, having duplicated content from other websites may lead to traffic losses and a drop in rankings.
To avoid this problem, ideally, you want to make sure your pages are all unique, including their title tags and meta descriptions. You may also use canonical tags to tell search engines which pages you want to prioritise for indexing.
4. Unnoticed noindex tags
Who else here can’t keep up with all their webpages in their website? That’s me a lot of times – until I realised the importance of keeping track of certain crucial elements on pages I’m targeting to rank.
Noindex tags are one of those elements. These tags are used to signal to search engines not to index a page, which is the total opposite of what you want when you’re trying to optimise a page. But sometimes, being forgetful humans, we miss it out amidst the sea of other pages we are working on.
The solution: Keep track of the pages with noindex tags, and remember to remove them once your page is ready to be seen by the world!
5. Not having enough content
Here’s a disclaimer: Word count is not a ranking factor. However, word count is often associated with the usefulness and relevance of a page’s content. Naturally, a page with very few words is highly likely to contain little information. And these things, like relevance and comprehensiveness, contribute to your page’s ranking.
But adding content blindly wouldn’t solve your issue. SEO experts suggest adding content that is valuable to your audience, using keywords and semantically linked terms to increase the content’s relevance. And regardless of its length, keep it readable – adding headings help tremendously.
6. Not clearing outdated tags in AMP
AMP is well and dandy for creating mobile-friendly sites – a must in this era of digital marketing.
However, it can give problems when there are outdated elements within your site’s AMP document. Spend some time doing housekeeping regularly to rid the AMP document of deprecated elements.
7. Encountering HTML error status codes
HTML errors are detrimental to page ranking as they significantly affect user experience on your website.
Seeing a 4xx status code means crawling on your website will be limited, causing some of your pages to be unindexed. On the other hand, 5xx errors are server issues that will also put page ranking and linking opportunities at risk.
These errors are high priority issues that should be fixed immediately, and most are not difficult to solve.
8. Mixing HTTP and HTTPS content
Mixing secure (HTTPS) and insecure (HTTP) content makes a page susceptible to hacker attacks. Ideally, HTTPS pages should not have access to HTTP resources, but mixed content opens up this risk.
As such, Google has decided to stop supporting pages with mixed content altogether. Pages with mixed content are ‘autoupgraded’ to HTTPS – at the risk of HTTP elements not showing up in the webpage. So, having mixed content might mean that some of your content will be rendered unreadable and invisible to users.
Avoid this problem entirely when you convert your important content to HTTPS, and remove all other unnecessary insecure content.
We’ve gone through 8 common technical SEO mistakes, along with quick suggestions on where you can begin fixing them. Hopefully, you’ll begin to see improvements to your page ranking once you’ve cleared this list!
But with SEO, there’s a million and one other things more than you can do to further crank up and maintain your position. Be it in technical SEO, on-page SEO, or SEO localisation, you’ll need an expert on your side if you really want to make it work.
That’s what we’re here for! Known as a digital marketing agency in Singapore that delivers, we’re here to help you execute SEO strategies for steady and lasting results. Speak with us to know more!