Top 10 technical issues in SEO and how to fix them
5 min read
Top 10 technical issues in SEO and how to fix them
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process that gets your website higher up on the search results when a potential client asks Google a relevant question.
There are a number of facets to SEO, including SEO copywriting, keywords, link building and some more technical aspects. Here are 10 technical SEO issues that commonly affect websites and how you can fix them.
1. Poor website structure
Illogical navigation on your website makes it difficult for search engines to crawl and index. For users, a difficult-to-use website is more likely to have them click away, resulting in lower conversions.
Ensure your website follows a logical path with clear menus and consistent categories. Keep the paths to important pages, such as your services offered and contact page, short and direct. It should not be difficult for users to find this information on your website.
A well-thought-out content strategy that directs users to your website will not help if your users can’t work out how to get to the next relevant page.
Provide search engines with a clear roadmap of your website structure using an XML sitemap. This is a map listing your website’s key pages for crawling and indexing.
2. Slow page speed
Speed matters for both potential clients and SEO. A slow website, even if it has engaging content, can put a client off and send them to the next search result, which could be a competitor.
Search engines also use website page loading speeds as one of the ways in which they rank websites, so a slow website could mean you rank lower.
Some tips for improving page speed:
Compress images: Use JPEG or PNG format for images. Resize them to fit the display dimensions of your site. You can also implement lazy loading, which loads images only when they come into view.
Use browser caching: Browser caching saves time by storing static elements like images and text on users’ devices. This can mean a smoother, quicker website for returning visitors.
3. Lack of internal and external linking
Internal linking connects your content across your website, leading users and search engine crawlers to other parts of your website. Strategically using internal links to direct users to key pages and information on your site can help keep them on your site for longer, allowing you to get more of your engaging content in front of them. For SEO, internal linking helps draw the roadmap of your website, ensuring all pages are indexed by the search engine.
‘Link juice’, or the value assigned to a page, is based on the number and quality of links pointing to the page. Internal linking allows you to distribute your link juice across your website.
Backlinks from other sites that lead to your website also play an important role. They can show authority and credibility, both to the user and search engines. They also help diversify your link profile, so that you are not relying solely on internal links which can sometimes build a loop.
You can get external links by asking non-rival businesses to include a reference to your website in their content writing. Alternatively, you could offer to write the content yourself. For example, a mortgage broker might write a blog on loan types for a buyer’s agent.
4. Broken links
When writing for the web, it is helpful for your readers to include links to other pages on your website or pages on other websites, where appropriate. Links can also direct potential clients to your “Contact Us” form or to sign up for your newsletter.
In SEO, a search engine ‘crawls’ through not only your website content (the text, images and videos) but also the technical makeup of your site, including links. If your website has broken links, it makes it difficult for the search engine to accurately plot the path a user might take to answer their question.
To prevent broken links, regularly audit your website, checking that all links are working. In cases where pages have changed or moved, implement permanent ‘301 redirect’ links. This signals a permanent redirect from one URL to another, meaning all requests for the original URL will automatically be sent to the new one.
5. Non-responsive design
Make sure your website is responsive on mobile devices. This means including easy-to-read fonts, tap-friendly buttons and optimised images. SEO writing is useless if your potential client can’t read your website on their phone.
6. Inadequate meta tags and descriptions
Meta tags and descriptions are the HTML elements that provide information about a webpage, including titles, descriptions and keywords for search engine visibility. They are important for indicating to search engines what the page is about and what keywords it can be ranked for.
A top blogging tip is to make sure each blog post has its own meta title and description. Each title and description should include the keyword you are aiming to rank for. The same should apply for each page on your website.
Having identical or similar content across pages or posts on your website can confuse search engines and dilutes your SEO.
Regularly conduct a site audit to clear away any duplications. This is common on sites that have a regular blog. Using an article writing service like Hunter & Scribe that keeps track of your blog for you can prevent this.
If you want to keep some of the duplications, use canonicalisation to indicate to the search engine that a specific URL represents the master copy of a page.
8. Limited security
Search engines are unlikely to send potential users to an unsecure site. The bare minimum you can do to protect your site is implement HTTPS encryption. This encrypts communication between web servers and browsers, shielding sensitive information.
9. Unclear URL structure
Use descriptive keywords in your URLs that accurately reflect the content of the page. For example, a page about refinancing on a mortgage broker’s website could have a URL of:
This indicates the service being offered and the location of your business. It is not too long and does not include long tail words.
When planning a content strategy, remember to include an outline of your desired URLs so that each post is loaded correctly.
10. Unoptimised images
In addition to your text and code, images are another aspect of your website crawled by search engines for SEO. Optimise your images by using descriptive file names when you upload them, including your targeted keywords. Also ensure you have adequate alt text for each image, that also includes the keywords.