To build a presence in a local or speciality market, having a robust SEO strategy will help to connect a business with customers who are interested in their services. Technical SEO is the process of the optimising a website for the crawling and indexing activities performed by search engines.
Without sufficient experience of SEO, mistakes are likely to be made – with online advertising, even a couple of seemingly small errors can be the difference in a website getting the most from its marketing budget.
Here, we're going to look at the most common technical search engine optimisation mistakes that businesses make, their impact and how to avoid them.
Common Technical SEO Mistakes
Technical SEO is referred to as the 'skeleton' of a website – anything that grows on there will be affected by the organisation and shape of the 'bones'. Having all the bones in the right places ensures that everything works together to get you to where you need to go – in this case, it's the ability to attract people who are searching for what you have to sell.
With that, here are five major mistakes that people make that negatively impact their search engine rankings:
The Website Isn't Mobile Responsive.
Thanks to the rapid development of mobile phones in the last decade-or-so, browsing the web has become easier and more accessible for people. Today, more people use mobile devices to access the internet than those who use desktop computers or laptops – so sites need to be readable and fully-functional on mobile.
To reflect this surge, search engines are placing the experiences of mobile users at the forefront – so if the design of a website doesn't lend itself well to mobile phones, it's likely they will slip down the rankings of a keyword search.
Google announced in 2018 that they would start to rank their search results based on the 'mobile experience' – as their remit is to ensure that the results they display are of a high-quality, ensuring that you're on the first page of the biggest search engine in the world is vital. According to Moz, around 70% of users will only click through the results they see on the first page – making your site readable on mobile is a great place to start.
Your Site Isn't Using 'HTTPS'.
As part of ensuring that its users can have a good searching experience, Google looks to rank sites that can offer extralayers of security. The basic URL will start with an 'HTTP' – an HTTPS is a more-secure address in which the communication protocol used to access it is encrypted.
Google announced back in 2014 that HTTPS had become a ranking factor in their search algorithm – as time has gone on and more websites have adopted it, anyone without it will struggle to make an impact in any keyword search.
Why not do a test yourself? Perform a search for any keyword phrase and look at the sites that are on the first page – they will likely all start with 'https', showing just how widespread its usage is.
You Haven't Checked For Broken Links.
At their fundamental level, a search engineis a directory – it exists to provide people with the exact service that they're searching for. Therefore, if a user clicks through a website that displays '404 error pages', they definitely aren't going to find what they're looking for.
Hyperlinks are an important part of a website's on-page SEO – if it can display useful information and evidence of the things it talks about (linking to pages on their own site, as well as external ones), then it will be providing a high-quality user experience, significantly improving their rankings in the bargain. Broken links mean that the website won't be providing that useful information and only offers a bad user experience, negatively impacting its position in a search.
No Optimisation For Fast Loading Speeds.
Loading speed has become one of the most important factors in technical SEO – it all plays into creating a high-quality user experience, after all.
The 'page speed' is how long an individual page takes to load on the website – whilst different pages can have different speeds (due to having different images and scripts), they need to appear in 2 seconds (or ideally less). Any longer and the site will be at an increased risk of upping their bounce rate – the amount of traffic that clicks away from the site.
One of the major reasons why mobile browsing is so popular (aside from being able to give the user internet access wherever they may be!) is that websites on phones tend to load quickly. As they lack the processing power of a desktop PC, mobile sites will need to be minimalist; sans the massive images and long scripts that require a huge amount of data to be processed for them to be rendered. Moving towards a more minimalist design will give a business the opportunity to present their information/services and have a fast loading speed – two massive steps in it being ranked highly.
No 'Robots.txt' File.
For a site to be ranked, Google will send out its crawlers (affectionately known as 'spiders', as they crawl the world-wide-web) – so they can understand the site's content and how well optimised for the user it is. Being able to access directions when we're in unfamiliar places is a great help – and the internet's spiders are no different. A robots.txt file tells them which pages (or files) they can or can't request from the site.
Advance Your Digital Marketing With Us
Here at Advansys, we are an eCommerce web design and marketing company that has a wide and varied experience in providing technical SEO to a whole host of business operations. No matter your requirements – whether you need to promote your products/services in your local area, or if you need a new platform from which to sell, our team can help your business to establish itself in the online marketplace.
Feel free to browse our website to learn more about us and the services we offer – our portfolio contains a plethora of different website design and marketing work that has helped our clients to progress their online business.
If you would like further information on how we can help with your technical SEO, please feel free to give us a call on 0845 838 2700. Alternatively, you can send an e-mail to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.