Top 13 Most Common SEO Issues and The Best Ways To Fix Them [+ SEO Checklist]

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From the SEO audit, you have obtained important information about your website and its possible improvements. What should your next step be? Where to start optimizing the website? In our article, you will find the answer to each of these questions. You will learn which SEO errors to pay the most attention to and learn how to fix them quickly without the help of a developer. 

What does the SEO audit report look like?

The audit of your website has been performed, and you have just received a ready report with a thorough website analysis. What can you expect in the report? You will receive the audit results in the form of an extensive electronic file so that appropriate employees from various departments of your company have access to it. The SEO report is an organized list of guidelines that describe each problem found on the website step by step. However, remember that it should be legible, and guidelines must be formulated in a way that can be understood even by non-technical people. Your goal is to take the proper steps to optimize your website. So you must understand every aspect and problem described, even if you are unfamiliar with coding. 

What characterizes a professional SEO audit report?

 

- it is concise

- it is precise

- it is divided into categories and the most important topics

- contains a list of errors with tips on how to fix them

What will you learn after auditing your website?

An audit of your website will aim to find problems and present ready-made solutions to individual errors. During the audit, completely different website areas may be examined, as requested by the ordering party. Each page is treated individually, so each audit focuses on slightly different aspects. The audit will provide you with information about the current situation of your website. What questions will the SEO audit answer?

 

1. Is your website visible in the search results of selected search engines?

2. How should your website be optimized for SEO?

3. Is the website technically correct? If not - what elements are involved, and how can it be fixed?

4. Is internal and external linking correct?

5. Is the content on your website qualitatively excellent and unique?

Haven't you done an SEO audit yet? Check out our text "How to conduct an SEO audit?" [Free tools!]", In which you will find step-by-step instructions on how to carry it out and the characteristics of individual elements of the report obtained from it. 

Why is it worth optimizing a website based on an SEO audit?

There are plenty of benefits of optimizing a website based on its SEO audit report. Here are a few of the most important of them that you can also get - by conducting effective website optimization.  

Increased visibility of the website in search engine rankings

Visibility is the sum of page views for all phrases positioned for it. Achieving good visibility in the search engine is one of the main assumptions of SEO activities. They increase the number of keywords for which a given page is displayed. However, the next step is to increase organic traffic from these so-called phrases to your website. This means introducing subsequent words to higher and higher positions until you reach the top 10 search results. 

 

More and more potential customers appear on your website thanks to such activities. As a result, sales and conversion increase because more traffic means more chances that a potential customer will stay longer on the website and make a purchase.

Increase in sales thanks to internal links 

Internal linking is all links within your website that refer to its subpages. This is an essential part of the SEO process for related keywords. Reference to individual products, services, or topics speeds up their indexation. For example, in e-commerce stores, it is often used in the so-called Cross-selling. It is a method of proposing additional purchases of other products in the offer. Both Google and users perceive this as a natural way of recommending. This is a way to generate sales and improve internal linking on your site. 

Fast and user-friendly website 

If the website loads quickly, preferably in less than 3 seconds, it is user-friendly for users who will want to stay longer or even come back. It mainly affects the so-called page conversion. Slowing a page down by as much as 1 second is significant and can cause a significant drop in sales. If the page takes too long to load, the user loses patience and exits the page. This increases the page bounce rate. A high bounce rate has a very negative impact on the visibility of your website in the search engine. Google's algorithm classifies such pages unattractive to users and rejects them in the rankings. 

 

Your website loading speed has a significant impact on conversion. A page that converts well is an effective website that inspires trust among users. Each company strives to build lasting and positive relationships with customers. But imagine that a customer who wants to purchase on your website has to wait for it to load. What will his reaction be? He will likely lose his patience and purchase from competitors. In order to avoid this, it is necessary to rethink the structure of the website and plan every element so that it is user-friendly.

How to fix SEO issues found during a website audit?

The audit report will show you, among other things, the elements of the website that you can improve and errors that are worth fixing for the website to rank better in search results. However, there can be so many such mistakes that it is sometimes difficult to choose the ones you can correct yourself and which are worth fixing first. Below you will read about the most common SEO problems and the simple solutions you can carry out on the website.

1. How to get a website indexed? 

If Google robots do not index your website, it will be invisible in the search results, and thus - it will not have high traffic. Potential customers will not be able to read it, let alone make essential conversions, such as making a purchase.

How can I fix this problem? 

You can use a free tool - Google Search Console. Then enter the URL of the page you want to index at the top of the search engine (or go to the "URL Inspection" tab). Then select the "Request indexing" option.  

If you don't have Google Search Console, you can use the regular Google search engine. Then you report the entire site map instead of individual subpages. However, it is simple - enter the completed formula in the search engine window: https://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=FULL_URL_OF_SITEMAP

 

Since indexing the entire sitemap by the search engine does not guarantee that the one page you care about will also be indexed, it is best to report all content using Google Search Console, a free tool.

2. How to make URL SEO friendly?? 

URLs should be short and convey the page's content they are pointing to. If there are addresses on your website that consist of meaningless characters, it is worth correcting them to convey the specific page's purpose better. Here is an example of the address of one of the articles on the BOWWE Blog: https://bowwe.com/en/blog/how-to-create-a-website. By only seeing the URL itself, it's easy to guess what the article will be about without opening it. Make sure this is the case with every address on your site. 

How do I fix this error? 

First, think about the purpose of the page you want to have a properly optimized URL. Is it an address that points to a price list or one of your blog articles? It is also worth researching what keywords are essential for a given topic of the page and including them in the corrected URL name. Be sure to also apply 301 redirects from the old URLs to the new, corrected ones - this way, you will avoid the 404 error (non-existent page). 

 

Using website builders can effortlessly change the website's address without interfering with the code. In the case of BOWWE, enter the page or post settings to change the URL freely.

The section to edit the URL in the BOWWE Creator

3. How to fix the 404 error?  

Broken links on the page are a common problem that is discovered during an SEO audit. They often arise as a result of changing URLs - the owner of the website owner changes one URL, but the memory of devices of people regularly visiting the website is the old URL. Then they enter the site and see that it does not exist. This is a serious problem that negatively affects the experience of using the site and lowers the position in search results. That's why constant 301 redirects from old to new URLs are important.

How do I fix this error?

a) Use the 301 redirect

 

Using the 301 redirects mentioned above will allow you to fix the error that harms the user experience while using the website and replace it with a working link that will strengthen (if it leads to a valuable page) the page's position in the results search.

Setting up redirects in BOWWE

b) Correct the content of the link

 

This point was also discussed earlier. It consists of correcting the link itself because, for example, it could contain an error composed of a wrong spelling of a word. A simple URL correction should be enough if the page the broken link was supposed to lead to is working fine. 

c) Create a 404 page 

 

This should always be done, even if there is currently no 404. What is a 404 page? This is the common name of what will be displayed to your user when he sees a 404 error. Instead of the usual "Given page does not exist" it is better to show him an article from your blog or a place where he can find help.

4. How to get an SSL certificate? 

Having an SSL certificate by a domain gives a clear signal to the user that it is secure, as it means that the transmission of data sent over the Internet is confidential. This builds trust in the website and confirms its credibility. If users see that your website does not have an SSL certificate, they can exit immediately because they will not consider it safe.

How do I fix this error?

In most cases, you can buy SSL from vendors of such certificates. The fees and period for which the purchased certificate is valid depending on its type and the rules specified in the price lists of specific SSL certificate providers. When building a website in some builders, such a certificate is often included in the purchased plan. In BOWWE, you will get it automatically. 

 

If you've already purchased a certificate for the site, run it. In this case, its activation method depends on where we got it from. If you activate the certificate yourself, you can do it by entering the .htacess file and manually adding such a code with the appropriate data:

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on 

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

Using website builders makes your task easier because the certificate can be activated using dedicated plugins or settings in your domain. In the case of BOWWE, after entering such settings, it is enough to uncheck and activate the certificate, which will be connected to the domain in less than 24 hours. 

Activation of the SSL certificate in BOWWE

Remember that you can always check if a website has an activated certificate by looking at the closed padlock in the search box. 

5. How to write a meta tag for SEO?

Meta tags (i.e., meta title and meta description) are very important - this is the first thing the user sees when entering a given key phrase in the search engine. They decide whether the user enters your website. Never underestimate the role of meta tags in drawing traffic and attracting new customers.

How do I fix this error?

There are a few essential things to keep in mind when improving your meta tags. 

 

First, the length - for the meta of the title, it will be a maximum of 60 characters with spaces, and for the meta of the description, a maximum of 160 characters with spaces. Of course, you can exceed this limit, but you have to consider that the message will be cut off in the search results. Use this tool to check if your meta tags are of the correct length.

 

Second, grab the reader's attention. Meta tags are supposed to attract attention and communicate the high value of the content.

 

Third, compliance with the content of the page. Google pays a lot of attention to the fact that meta tags are relevant (in line with the page's topic). If Google decides that your meta description does not adequately describe your page, it may replace it with another text of its choice from the page. Often, a few sentences taken out of context do not convey well the value and purpose of the page. 

 

How to enter the correct meta title and meta description on your website? You can do it using HTLM in your page code. It is enough to add in <head>:

 

 <meta name = "title" content = "YOUR META TITLE CONTENT">

<meta name = "description" content = "YOUR META DESCRIPTION CONTENT">

If you are using CMS, you may need to install a special plugin to be able to add meta tags without interfering with the page code. In BOWWE, on the other hand, you can add a meta title and meta description in a few seconds by entering it in the appropriate field in the page settings.

Meta tag section in BOWWE Creator

6. How to write an ALT attribute?

ALT (Alternative text) attributes are designed to provide search engine robots and visually impaired or blind people with information about what is in the image. For this reason, they should be as accurate as possible. You can also use keywords here, but only in such a way as to keep the message simple. 

How do I fix this error? 

You can complete ALT attributes in the page code by adding alt = "description".

In BOWWE, the ALT and TITLE attributes can be completed without interfering with the code, with one click - in the graphics settings.

Completion of the ALT attribute to a graphic in BOWWE

7. How to optimize H1-H6 headings? 

Proper marking of the headings is extremely important. They organize the structure of the website and make it transparent not only for the user, but also for search engine robots. There are several degrees of headings, starting with H1 being the most important and going down to the less important ones.  

How do I fix this error? 

H1-H6 headers can be changed in the page code by typing: <h1> Heading text </h1>.  

However, many programs and page builders allow you to quickly change the header without having to change the page code. It works as fast and convenient as changing headings in Google Docs. 

Editing H1-H6 headers in BOWWE

Want to learn more about using page headers correctly? This tutorial will show you how to apply H1-H6 headings properly.  

8. How to optimize images? 

Various types of graphic materials have become an inseparable element of websites because they attract users' attention and diversify the content of the website. However, you need to add them wisely because if they are placed on the website in too large a number and without optimization, they may harm the website's results, e.g., its loading speed. 

How do I fix this error? 

a) Take care of the correct format of the graphics. Webpage performance measurement tools recommend webP or AVIF format as they often provide the best compression. To change file formats, you can use graphics programs in which they were made or free internet tools.

 

b) Pay attention to the file names so that they do not duplicate and best represent what is contained in the graphic. Remember that the filename is visible to every user and search engine robot.

 

c) It is also important to compress the files to reduce their weight. Here you can also use free tools, e.g., https://tinypng.com/

9. How to fix duplicate content issues?  

Duplicate content means that the same content has appeared on two or more pages with different URLs. This situation may occur within one site and on several unrelated sites. This situation negatively affects the position of your website in the search results because Google will position it much lower than the original page.

How do I fix this error? 

a) Internal duplication (inside the website)

 

The content may be duplicated on your website, e.g., in the description of products, in meta tags, in the content of articles, etc. Therefore, when planning the content on your website, always remember that it should be unique. 

 

A website audit will show you exactly where the problem occurred, so you won't have to browse the entire website yourself in search of duplicate content. When fixing duplicate content, think carefully about what you want to convey and how it differs from other content on or off your page.

 

 

b) External duplication (outside the site) 

 

If you plan (or have already done so) to publish your content on your site and outside it, you can protect yourself against duplicate content. All you have to do is insert the <canonical = PAGE LINK WITH ORIGINAL CONTENT> tag in the <head> section in the code of the copy of the added content. This way, Google will know where to look for the original version of the content.

10. How to optimize website for keywords?  

Keywords are how users search for a given problem, service, product, etc. This means that if your website and its content are properly optimized for the keywords entered in the search engine related to the topic of your website, it will appear high in search results, which will result in high traffic, which may also translate into high conversion. 

How do I fix this error? 

From the site audit, you should get information about the keywords that your site is already ranking for. So let's review them first and consider whether they actually correspond to the purpose of your website. If not, you should conduct keyword research for your industry and then optimize your content on the website for the right keywords while getting rid of irrelevant ones. Find out how to research your competitors with Ahrefs here.

 

On the other hand, if it turns out that your website is already positioning itself on keywords that are important to you, it is worth raising its position in the search engine as high as possible (at least so that it is on the first page of the search). You can do this in many ways: adding eye-catching graphics, supplementing with more keywords, and getting backlinks. The best results are achieved when all these solutions are used simultaneously. Remember, however, to always remember the purpose of the article and the recipients' needs; only in this way all activities aimed at optimizing the page for keywords make sense.

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11. How to make website load faster?

The optimal page loading time should not exceed 5 seconds. With many other sites at their disposal, users won't be patient to wait a dozen seconds for your site to load completely; they will simply go to another, more efficient site. 

How do I fix this error? 

 From the website audit, you should find out what the performance score of your website is (e.g., by testing it in PageSpeed ​​Insight or GTmetrix). If her loading speed was above 5 seconds, that's already a problem that needs to be fixed.

 

How to do it? It is best to use the hints you will find in the report on the website analysis. They will show you clearly what elements on the website need to be improved to improve its speed. However, there are a few universal solutions that are always worth using:

 

- compress the graphics and take care of their proper size 

- use the "lazy loading" function for graphics

- optimize and shorten the website code 

- take care of stable and fast hosting

12. How to make a website responsive?

As every website should be responsive today, there should be no doubt. When the amount of traffic from mobile devices increases year by year, each page should adapt to the requirements of this group of recipients because it affects not only the website's positioning in the search engine but also the quality of use of the website by users. 

How do I fix this error? 

As long as you already have a responsive page created (ideally, make it right at the beginning of the page build) but it still yields the wrong results, there are a few things you can try:

 

 

a) Adjust the font size 

 

If the font looks good on laptop monitors, it doesn't mean the same it will look good on phone screens. Therefore, you need to control that it is understandable and pleasant to read in both cases. 

 

 

b)  Fix the CTA buttons

 

 CTA buttons are an essential element of each page, so they must work well on each device. In the case of devices such as telephones, there is often a problem where the CTA buttons are simply too small, do not stand out or are too close to some text on the page. The most common solution is to enlarge them and increase the distance from other elements on the page. 

 

 

c) Take care of intuitive navigation 

 

A user using a tablet or phone will expect the navigation bar in a different, more convenient place than on the website in the desktop version. You have to browse a few of the most frequently visited websites on your phone to notice that the menu they contain is different from the desktop version  (it is usually more minimalist, or it is located, e.g., at the bottom of the page). Therefore, adjust the navigation in the mobile version of the website to the needs and habits of users to increase their comfort of using your website, e.g., on the phone. 

Editing the page for individual devices in the BOWWE Creator

Many developers build two websites - one for computers and the other for mobile devices. However, this solution makes it difficult to edit the website and its content -  every time, you have to do it twice. A simpler solution is to create one page and adapt it to different devices. You can see it, for example, in BOWWE, where you have access to the appearance of the website on other devices while editing. Thanks to this, you can make any necessary changes and corrections at every moment. 

13. How to make link building?  

Correct and extensive linking internal and external will allow you to better position your website in search results. Linking within the domain will help you boost the results of your other pages. On the other hand, getting high-quality external links (from trusted sites, not spammy sites) is essential for the high positioning of your website. Many quality links are an obvious sign for Google that your website is valuable, so it is worth placing it higher in the rankings.

How do I fix this error? 

Many analytical SEO tools indicate the so-called "Link opportunities," that is, the possibility of creating new links between the pages of your website. If this information is included in your website audit, you will immediately see all the places where it is worth placing the link. 

 

You can list keywords around which you've already created content and then use those keywords as the anchors of your links. For example, always using your brand name, link to its home page, and if there is a word in another text for which you have created a separate article on your blog, go ahead and link to it. This way, you will get into the habit of building internal links quickly and intuitively.

Tool "Link opportunities" in Ahrefs

On the other hand, there are many different solutions for external linking. For example, you can publish material from your blog on platforms such as Medium or Vocal and then set up a canonical link in them, leading to the original place of publication of the article. You can also use broken links on other websites and submit a proposal to change the link to your content. 

 

It is also possible to buy links, but it is not worth using such a solution in most cases. These links are usually of poor quality and are placed on spammy sites that Google doesn't trust.

Fixing SEO problems  - what you should remember about? 

Using the SEO audit report to eliminate errors on your website quickly will help you easily get it to a higher position in the search results, speed up its speed, and improve visitors' UX. All this will allow you to reach many new audiences, which may include many of your future customers.

 

It is best to create a website with good SEO in mind from the very beginning. Thanks to this, you will be able to avoid many mistakes on the website that would reduce its effectiveness and position in search results. When you decide to build a website in BOWWE, you don't have to worry about whether your website will be properly optimized for search engines and users. Whether you create a website based on templates or entirely from scratch - your website in BOWWE will stand out with excellent SEO.

Do you want to be sure that every aspect of SEO will always be monitored on your website? Download the SEO checklist with which you will effectively optimize each page!

Download the checklist!

Read more:

Karol Andruszków
CEO BOWWE

Karol is a serial entrepreneur, e-commerce speaker, among others for World Bank, and founder of 3 startups, as part of which he has advised several hundred companies. He was also responsible for projects of the largest financial institutions in Europe, worth over EUR 50 million.

 

He obtained two master's degrees, one in Computer Science and the other in Marketing Management, during his studies in Poland and Portugal. He gained experience in Silicon Valley and while running companies in many countries, including Poland, Portugal, the United States, and Great Britain. For over ten years, he has been helping startups, financial institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises to improve their functioning through digitization. 

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