SEO Issues You Can’t Ignore
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day business routine and neglect the ongoing maintenance of your website. Then one day when the leads come creeping to a halt, you ask why. Often key SEO issues are to blame for declining organic traffic. It’s best to be vigilant about SEO issues, as these can potentially harm your search visibility and lead generation efforts.
Here are several important SEO issues that you can’t ignore.
- Low index coverage. Ideally, you want almost all of your website’s pages to be in Google’s index, so they can show up in organic search engine results. Submitting a sitemap in Google Search Console can encourage indexing of your website pages. However, if you’re seeing less than half of your submitted pages indexed, you may need to be concerned. If this is a widespread issue, then it can limit your search engine visibility and the leads you get from it. A few simple fixes to low index coverage: check your no-index settings or resubmit your sitemap to get rid of outdated errors.
- Mobile usability errors. Increasingly, search engines prioritize websites that load fast on mobile phones and provide a positive user experience. If mobile website elements overlap, text is unreadable, or content is larger than the screen width causing the user to expand the width, it can frustrate the user. If mobile usability drops, this can have a negative effect in search rankings. Search engines want to rank websites with high mobile usability. Google Search Console highlights pages with mobile usability errors, so you can use this tool to improve problematic pages’ layout.
- Redirect chains. A redirect chain is a simple term for when one page redirects to a page which redirects to another page, and so on. This usually happens when a website has a lot of redirects and the page that is redirected to gets deleted or is out of date, and redirected elsewhere. Redirect chains are problematic because they provide a negative user experience — a user might see a page show up in search results, click on it, and keep on being redirected until they land on a page that doesn’t have anything to do with what they were looking for. To fix redirect chains, audit your redirects, ensure that you don’t redirect to 404 pages, and only redirect from the original URL to a final, relevant destination page.
- Missing or multiple H1s. An H1 tag is wrapped around a relevant keyword at the top of your page, signaling the theme of your website’s content to both search engines and users. Search engines see multiple H1s on a single page as spammy, with keyword stuffing. Missing H1s are a missed opportunity for SEO purposes and user purposes. The key is to wrap relevant keywords in one H1 tag at the top of your page to maximize your keyword optimization opportunity.
- Structured data errors. Structured data, implemented through schema tags, helps search engines digest information about your organization. It spoon feeds name, address, phone, and business category information to search engines. This increases the likelihood of your business information appearing in dynamic search engine results like rich text snippets, which looks good and can answer common questions. However, sometimes the structured data tags are implemented incorrectly — wrapped around the wrong information, structured in a misleading way, or containing syntax errors. Google Search Console and the Structured Data Testing Tool can help detect and debug any structured data errors to avoid penalties and maximize your opportunity.
Whether you own a pluming company, real estate agency, accounting firm, dentist office, or a moving company, it can be easy to put ongoing SEO maintenance on the back burner, but doing so will end up costing you money long term. As SEO is an ever-evolving beast, it’s important to keep on top of important updates so that it does not decrease your search engine rankings and ultimately a loss in lead generation.