Google algorithm updates, website migration, manual actions… It’s hard to find a website the SEO performance of which has never been affected by any of these activities.
Though all websites are unique and their technical SEO problems may greatly vary, there are 7 issues that are extremely common, especially for new online business owners.
Let’s take a look at them one by one and try to understand the underlying reasons.
Note: We have created blog posts on SEO for different industries. Keep reading to find them below.
Symptom 1: I can’t see my site when I search my business name in Google
Problem: If your site is new, it may take up to a few weeks before it’s indexed. If that’s not the case, you should check whether you are on Google/Bing by going to the search field and typing site:yourdomain.com.
Provided you don’t appear in the search results, you can now be sure that your site is not indexed. It can be due to multiple reasons – website redesign, website migration, manual actions by Google, etc.
Solution: Make sure that you are implementing 301 redirects properly, not blocking the page with a noindex directive, password protection, etc. If everything is correct, you can send a crawl request to Google.
Symptom 2: I can’t see my site on Google when I’m searching for the most important keyword for my business
Problem: If your site is indexed, but you don’t see it when searching for a certain keyword, it’s probably because of poor rankings.
First of all, go to the Google/Bing search field and type site:yourdomain.com intext:your keyword or inurl:your page URL.
If your page appears in the search results, there isn’t any indexing problem, there’s a ranking problem. And your website is probably somewhere on the 20th page of the search results.
Solution: Review the page that you want to rank high and make sure you are not delivering thin content. In fact, SEMrush studied 100,000 websites and found out that 18% of them had low-word content on them. Make sure you don’t belong to this group.
Besides, start building quality backlinks for your page and disavow spammy backlinks that are pointing to that URL. Research what high-ranking posts on that topic look like and do your best to outperform them in terms of content length, comprehensiveness, and overall quality.
Btw, we have articles dedicated to SEO for different industries (the ones we mentioned in the beginning). Find your industry below and start improving your organic rankings. Here are blog posts on SEO for:
Symptom 3: My site shows as not mobile-friendly in Google
Problem: Your website design is not responsive and you don’t provide the best user experience to your visitors.
Since 2016, mobile traffic has overtaken desktop traffic. Besides, more than 70% of users will access the web only via their smartphones by 2025. That’s why it’s not surprising that Google wants your website to be mobile-friendly and satisfy user needs.
If you received a similar alert, any of these mistakes are probably available on your website:
- Links are not clickable
- Links are too close to each other
- Content is hard to read, etc.
Solution: Whichever website builder you are using, switch to a mobile-friendly template that automatically improves your website’s mobile performance. If the problem is still present, check out your Google Search Console and you will probably find a similar notification:
Discover the issues and try to fix it with your website developer or a technical SEO specialist/agency.
Symptom 4: I get organic traffic but no one makes a purchase on my site
Problem: The main SEO-related reason is that you’ve got the wrong visitors. The average conversion rate differs from industry to industry but the global average is 2.58%. If more than 98% of your visitors aren’t the ideal ones, you should definitely start looking for solutions.
Solution: Review the keywords that you are targeting and using throughout your content. Don’t they have a double-meaning?
For example, the keyword “SaaS affiliate program” has 110 search volume. Different user groups might be searching for this keyword.
One group consists of digital marketers who are looking for SaaS affiliate programs to join. The other group consists of SaaS companies who are looking for tips on how to organize/improve their affiliate program.
So if you are targeting the second group, but receive traffic from the first group, your visitors, of course, won’t convert.
Before writing a page, analyze the top-performing results to understand what visitors are actually looking for and what type of content you should produce.
Note: People might also not be buying from you because your website is not conversion-ready or doesn’t inspire trust. Or because visitors are at the very beginning of their buyer’s journey and you need to nurture them.
Symptom 5: I had stable organic traffic, but it suddenly dropped considerably
Problem: Did you know that on average 53% of website traffic comes from organic search results? And if you are experiencing a ~50% sudden decrease in your organic traffic, get to the root of the problem asap.
Visitors that appear on your website from organic search are considered the most quality, the most interested visitors. And you can’t afford to lose even a little percentage of them.
The sudden drop could happen if you fell victim to one of Google penalties or algorithm updates. Other reasons include:
- receiving too many low-quality backlinks,
- not handling redirects properly during a website redesign or migration,
- massively losing backlinks that were pointing to a specific page or multiple pages,
- publishing thin content that contains a few hundred words and doesn’t teach anything, etc.
Solution: The first thing you should do is heading to your Google Search Console account and checking whether you have a notification from Google. If errors have been detected on your website, you will definitely be notified and receive some tips on how to fix it.
The next thing that’s worth checking is your website tracking code. You should make sure that it’s installed properly and the data you receive on your website traffic is correct.
If the reason is related to backlinks, you should use an SEO tool and audit your link profile. It will show you what kind of and how many links you have acquired/lost in a given period.
As reasons may hugely vary from website to website, the best approach will be conducting an audit and understand what action needs to be taken. You can order a free SEO audit with the Andava team here.
Symptom 6: I’ve received a message that Google took manual action on my site
Problem: In 2014 Google reported that they are taking over 400,000 manual actions against websites every month.
Even though these statistics aren’t fresh, you can easily notice how huge the number is. If a similar action has been taken against your site, it means you violated Google Webmaster Guidelines and applied black-hat SEO tactics. Such tactics include:
- paying for links,
- engaging in link farms,
- serving different content to search engines and users (aka cloaking), etc.
Solution: Maybe you have heard this “tip” hundreds of times already, but you have to focus on the QUALITY of your content. Earn links based on merit, by blogger outreach, by guest posting, by submitting pitches, by creating linkable content (infographics, stats).
Symptom 7: My website loads slow
Problem: Studies show that users want the pages to load in 2 seconds or less. So if your website is loading in more than 2 seconds, it’s the right time to detect the problems and work on solutions.
Heavy images, ad banners, too many plugins installed, too many HTTP requests… All these factors can negatively impact your website loading time.
The loading time may also increase:
- when you implement an SSL certificate the wrong way,
- when you have a complex website architecture,
- when there are problems with shared hosting,
- when your website has been hacked, etc.
Solution: Once you are noticing an increase in your website loading time, consider checking the website code and removing unnecessary elements. Optimizing image sizes and enable caching. Go to PageSpeed Insights, type your website URL, and check out what suggestions are included in the report.
You might also want to use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) but it’s not recommended for all cases. Again a quick audit would be beneficial to understand the real problems and fix them accordingly.
We hope that you liked our post and acquired valuable knowledge on how to fix your current SEO problems.
If you are still unsure what to do and how to deal with technical stuff, contact the Andava team. You will get your website audited for free and receive a clear road-map on what to fix, where, and how.