Ranking well takes steady and consistent work and it’s important to stay on-top of any issues. Whilst smaller problems might not seem like a big deal, they can quickly have an cumulative effect and impact your rankings – destroying any of the good work that you’re doing in other areas towards your SEO.
Here are a few of the most common issues that get ignored and can create issues later on down the road.
Sites that don’t link to you that are sending you traffic are rarely desirable. Usually the visitors referred from the sites aren’t real visitors at all. Usually they’ll be on your site for less than a few seconds before bouncing back; this will push up your bounce rate and affect the reliability of your analytics results.
It is possible to block known bots within Google analytics, and also manually block any ghost referrals under the acquisitions setting in Analytics.
Unfortunately there’s no way to fix historic data but this will prevent inaccurate data from being reflected in the future.
Proper schema mark-up is important to Google and help it to deliver rich snippets and better search results. Stuffing or using schema inappropriately will be viewed as spammy by Google and it will be caught by Google and penalize you.
You can check your structured data by running it through Google’s testing tool, this should tell you if there’s anything wrong. Google search console will also alert you to any potential issues, so you should check their regularly as alerts will appear in the webmasters account.
Small variations in traffic are normal, it’s common for websites to experience some dips in traffic based on the time of year, the season, day-of-the-week or because of a variety of other factors. It’s to be expected and not something to panic about, however big decreases in traffic are a sign that there is something more seriously wrong.
This is usually a sign that something has been forgotten or implemented incorrectly, usually your Google analytics script.
It might also be a clear sign that Google is penalizing your website. Dramatic traffic decreases are a symptom of a larger issue, so it’s time to start diagnosing the problem!
If it’s a penalty you’ll be able to find alerts and information in your Google Console. If you can’t see any signs of a penalty then consider whether you have change any of your site design or template recently, or consider whether there has been a recent change to your URL structure.
If it’s none of the above then check whether your website might have been hacked.
Sitemaps are very important for search engines to discover links and understand site structure, but changes are updates are a regular occurrence, especially as a website grows and matures. If a sitemap isn’t updated at the same time then it can quickly become the case that the sitemap is very outdated in comparison to the website, this will lead crawlers to dead ends and broken links. To combat this you should use a dynamic sitemap generator, or make updates and resubmit them through Google search console.
Speed is a ranking factor for webpages, so slow loading websites are penalized by search engines. Search engines want users to have the best user experience with the recommendations they provide, so slow sites are not look upon favorably.
Poor performance when it comes to speed can have a negative impact on your websites ranking. Improving loading times can also reduce operational costs.