Semalt SEO Audit Tips And Errors That Prevent You From Increasing Your Web Traffic
The success of a website and, thus, of a company is decisively influenced by its position in search engines. That is the result of search engine optimization.
Of course, having such success is the dream of every website creator. However, the expected results are not always achieved. In part, this is due to several errors that prevent the proper positioning of a website on search engines.
However, this dream can become a reality if you identify through an SEO audit the potential errors preventing the increase of your web traffic. That's why in this article, you will discover the 12 mistakes that prevent you from getting web traffic on search engines.
One of the most important, but also the most common mistakes, is the slow loading of pages. Indeed, page loading speed and mobile friendliness are basic requirements recommended for a site to attract web users. According to a Google study, a large majority of mobile visitors leave a page if it does not load in a short second.
In addition, slow pages result in a poor user experience and search algorithms, when identifying they are positioned lower in the list of search results.
Thus, slow page speed is one of the technical errors that can prevent your web traffic from ranking.
2. Lack of HTTPS
The absence of HTTPS is also one of the errors preventing the increase of web traffic to your website. This is explained by the fact that in the absence of HTTPS, Internet users are more vulnerable to possible malicious attacks and to downloads of which they are unaware.
Indeed, the basic condition of a technically optimized website is that it is secure. Because the protection of user data is a fundamental requirement in today's world.
A site with an HTTPS protocol can ensure that no one or other malicious site interferes with the connection between the site and the user. However, it is not enough to install the SSL certificate, all internal links and redirects must also be taken into account.
3. Indexing errors
Indexing errors are often noticed during SEO audits. Indeed, during SEO audits, it happens very often to come across important pages that do not appear in the search engine because the meta robots NOINDEX and NOFOLLOW tags have been forgotten.
But it is also possible that such a situation is due to incorrect configuration of robots.txt and sitemap files which can also lead to serious indexing errors.
Indeed, indexing is a kind of border between technical SEO and content SEO, and it is very important for websites.
Thus, poor indexing of URL content can prevent search engines from displaying important parts of your page. That's why a Google spokeswoman has repeatedly said that Google determines the quality of a page based on the content of all indexed URLs. If there are many low-quality URLs, the quality of the website as a whole is also lower in the eyes of Google.
Also, you can avoid these errors with simple canonical parameters and no indexes. In the case of the same content, canonical settings are the solution, while in the case of a low-quality page, noindex (or content development) is the solution.
Of course, not only can tag pages be problematic, but URLs often appear in Google's index that neither the developer nor the page owner is aware of.
That's why it's always worth checking in Search Console the number of URLs indexed by Google from the website and comparing it with the number of pages with unique content that we think we have. If the difference is large, this indicates an indexing error.
4. Robots.txt and Sitemap Error
A common mistake preventing the visibility of websites is to exclude important pages or sources from the robots.txt file.
Indeed, if a directory containing important JS or CSS files is excluded from your page, then the page will appear incorrectly in front of the search algorithm. Not complying with the principles of the Google algorithm, the visibility of the related website can take a serious hit.
Likewise, the format of the sitemap may be incorrect, or it contains so-called orphan pages which cannot be accessed via links on the page. These errors do not offer any possibility for Internet users or visitors to access your website.
Therefore, it is very important to know that search engine algorithms are designed to crawl websites based on robots.txt files and sitemaps. They must therefore be handled or configured with great care.
5. Redirect chains
It is often necessary to use redirects, and that is fine. However, a poorly done redirection can damage your traffic. This is because your loyal customers who are looking for your old page or who have saved it in the favorites bar will no longer have access to your website.
Similarly, redirect errors can be especially serious if URLs are incorrectly redirected during a design change. Indeed, if the old URLs do not receive a 301 redirect to the new URL, the effects can be catastrophic, damaging up to 90% of organic traffic.
In the worst case, these redirect errors are observed when the URL is redirected to an already redirected page. This being contrary to the criteria set by the search engines, the traffic of your site will also be penalized. We also notice as another error that the redirected page returns to the starting point, causing an endless chain of redirects. For this, it is good to know how and when to use 301 and 302 web redirects.
Difference between a 301 and 302 redirect
What distinguishes the 301 redirect from the 302 is that one is used to definitively direct a URL to another URL which indicates to users that the page has been moved definitively while on the contrary, the 302 redirect represents a one-page temporary redirect.
Using a 301 and 302 redirect
The 301 redirect is used when you want to:
- Eliminate duplicate pages
- Redirect crawler and user from an outdated page or 404 server response code
- Change the URL or URL structure of your site
- Move to a new domain
- Switch the site from HTTP to HTTPS
- Resolve duplicate content issues just like combining two pages
- Check the operation or design of a page
- Allow an originating page to remain in the index or check if the destination page changes frequently
- Search for information on a new page without wanting to impact the original page
6. Broken internal and external links
The only thing more annoying than a slow page load is if you get a 404 page when you click on a link. Not only visitors but also algorithms do not like to run into "holes". Any website can have broken links over the years, but auditing your site regularly will uncover them in time.
7. Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is one of the errors preventing the increase in web traffic.
Indeed, if more than 85% of the page is identical to another page, the SEO tools already indicate a duplicate content error. The problem with duplicate content is that if the algorithm comes across such pages, it will only index one, and that may not be good for you.
8. Duplicate Title and Description
The title tag contains the title of the page, while the description tag contains a brief description. If several pages have the same title and description, it can confuse not only the user but also the robots. Hence, it affects your web traffic.
The uniqueness of each of your pages is, therefore, crucial. Because of this, each page should have a unique title and description text that allows search engine crawlers and users to understand the content of your page.
9. Lack of Hreflang for multilingual sites
A common error on multilingual international sites is the absence or incorrect use of the Hreflang tag. The Hreflang tag is used to indicate to search robots in which other languages the given page is available on our website. So if someone searches in German, the search engine will present the German version.
10. Lack of structured data
Unstructured data does not help people understand your website, your content, and the products you sell. It's quite common to notice that websites don't even use the most obvious structured data.
Many such brands are observed nowadays and from an SEO point of view, only those which offer a unique appearance on the list of search results are the ones with the highest importance on search engines.
The same applies to online shops, in particular, which also lack the display of price, stock or user ratings as structured data. This unstructured data will not be able to appear in the list of results, which does not guarantee a better click-through rate.
11. Missing analytical data
Even today, it is very common to see that when asked to do an SEO audit, the website does not have a Search Console account. However, it is the basis of any SEO analysis, which provides a lot of information. This clearly shows that the website owner is completely blind when it comes to search engine optimization.
12. Stop SEO
This is one of the big mistakes made by website designers. Indeed, at some point, it is observed a stoppage of all SEO work for reasons like these: there is traffic, there are sales, everything is fine anyway!
This is actually a mistake because competitors, always looking for ways to take away some of your customers, will not miss this opportunity to take the first place from you. This can be compared, for example, to removing an advertisement from a downtown billboard. By taking it down, you can be sure that the billboard will not remain empty for long. The same is true for an unlisted site.
In addition, the updates made by the search engines will be a drain in the long run.
So, traffic is actually a changing value; to keep it to be at the top of the search list, you have to be always innovative and always moving forward.
If you stop all SEO work, it's only a matter of time before the fall begins...
The errors preventing web traffic are multiple and vast, for this, it is advisable to use SEO experts who can do it for you in record time. Indeed, these SEO specialists use special tools that will allow you to completely analyze the site, find technical errors and determine which pages need improvement.
However, make sure you know what skills these experts have as there are times when it is found that a customer places an order and later no progress has been made in implementing what has been described.
So, do not hesitate to ask for a guarantee from these experts. However, we hope this article will help you avoid the most common SEO mistakes so that you can not only save time and money but also invest wisely.