A Note for the Webmaster: 3 Technical SEO Issues to Watch out For
If you’ve got the off-page optimisation bases all covered, and your ranking has not improved in a while, perhaps it’s time to look at some on-page technical SEO issues afflicting your website.
We pick out the top 3 technical SEO issues webmasters should guard against for improved rankings and better overall SEO management:
1. Declining Domain Authority Score
MOZ created Domain Authority as a metric for websites to see how you stack up against the fierce ranking competition among domains that are in the same niche as yours. The score gives your website a rating between 1-100 which tells if it is likely to place high on the results page following a search.
This score is determined by a range of different ranking signals. Like Google, MOZ uses an algorithm that compares domains against the search keyword/term used. Simply put, the higher your website ranks, the more authoritative it is in the eyes (or crawlers!) of search engines. For example, a website like The New York Times has much more domain authority than an ordinary blogging site.
Naturally, the top websites, which MOZ rates as high domain authority, are popular websites like the following:
Keep in mind that Domain Authority is not a ranking factor for Google. That score approximates how your website is likely to be indexed because your DA score looks into virtually the same factors that Google holds important, such as the site structure, content, and link profile. It’s virtually impossible to reach a DA of 100 because it’s typically reserved for the most popular brands and websites, but your current DA score provides valuable insights for how your website measures against your competitor, and then adapt ways to improve it.
2. Messy Backlink Profile
If you’ve got a landfill of toxic backlinks attached to your website, it’s only a matter of time before your ranking takes a hit. Whether the bad links were a result of a previous gung-ho effort to game the system or your website was previously a target of a malicious black hat SEO campaign, you have to take steps to disavow said links even before it negatively impacts your ranking.
Some examples of toxic links come from the following:
● Excessive link exchanges
● Guest posts that inordinately use keyword-rich anchor text
● Automated s that create links for your website/pages
● Buying or selling links
● Low-quality directories
● Bookmark site links
● Forum comments with excessive mention of keyword-rich links
The best way to know your link profile is to use tools that let you identify the sources of those nasty backlinks. For starters, you can use Google Search Console to have a quick snapshot of your link profile. You can use other tools, some by paid subion, to get a more in-depth look of your backlinks and its characteristics.
Only by submitting a disavowal list via Google Search Console will address the litany of problematic links associated with your website. A disavowal basically tells Google to skip indexing those links and not calculate their existence against your SEO score.
It also pays to check if you have broken links on your website as they can be counted as bad or poor user experience. Content-wise, missing images and robust.txt can hurt your SEO score as they impact user experience and proper rendering of content on your site, respectively.
3. Unvalidated Codes and Markup
It’s not enough that you have a beautiful, aesthetic website. Nowadays, despite the proliferation of drag and drop website builders, the way you code your website also influences its ranking.
Since the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) community has immensely contributed to the development and adoption of web standards, serving its goal to provide “Web for all, Web on everything,” these standards became the rule book for webmasters who want to optimise their website through codes embedded within the site’s architecture.
The line of codes should carry an intention, and if your code isn’t validated by those rules, your website will have cross-compatibility issues, which simply screams bad SEO. Validating your codes against W3C standards can resolve a host of issues such as malformed codes, content rendering, microdata markup, heading structure, among other things.
All of this ensures that you have taken steps to make your website user-friendly and accessible for all, regardless of device, screen size, operating system, browser version, etc.
Technical SEO is one of the hardest parts of on-page optimization. While the task certainly won’t get easier, a keen webmaster can get better at monitoring these issues even before they snowball into something drastic i.e. getting bumped down into the bottom of the SERPs.