It is never easy to reach the top of the index in the search engine. Once you have done all the hard work, used all your SEO technical expertise for improving the ranking of the site, you just want everything to go on smoothly.
Good traffic, a high conversion rate that ultimately leads to increased business growth is the main aim. But when you suddenly find the traffic to your site taking a dip, it is time to worry. So how come despite all the best efforts and techniques you are still facing website issues?
There can be many reasons and one of the most important is problems regarding your on-page search engine optimization. Small SEO business services always try to first analyse the SEO issues and try to fix them.
This one small action is sometimes enough to get back your traffic to normal and can even increase it further.
Here are some on-page SEO issues and ways to fix them:
- Referral Spam
Just as discussed above you can lose a lot if you do not solve the website issues in time and may end up losing years of hard work. And one such issue that can really damage your website’s visibility online is referral spam or what you can call spammy referral traffic.
It is true that almost all the sites with better search results suffer from referral spam. But if you neglect it for long, after a while it may grow into a big issue and can lead to fall of your traffic and increase in the bounce rate.
And the only way is to fix the issue. How? First, check your Google Analytics account. It will provide you with plenty of information regarding referral spam. Search for sites that do not have anything to do with your website but still keep on sending you a good amount of traffic.
Search for sites that do not have anything to do with your website but still keep on sending you a good amount of traffic.
Despite smart techniques by Google, Bing, and Yahoo, there are certain spam sites that do manage to introduce referral spam on your website and you can see such referral spam in the report of Google Analytics.
The best way to find which site is a referral spam is by identifying a site that sends traffic to your website without linking you. Why is spammy traffic problematic?
Because these are not the users or customers you would like to come and browse on your website. Rather, more often these are not the real visitors.
These are bots coming from spam webmaster tool that just hit the site and then bounces back.
Why Does This Happen?
It happens because a bug in the Google Analytics has bounced to accept ghost referral spammers that send fake traffic to the website. This traffic data is shown in the analytics reports.
How To Fix Referral Spam?
Of course, you can block these sites spamming your website from showing up in your regular analytics data. But you cannot clear the historic data.
Moreover, you cannot sit quietly after blocking those referral sites that are spamming your website. The process is ongoing as new ghost referrals will keep on showing and you will have to keep on blocking them.
There are two ways to block the spammy referrals.
A. Block With Bots
The Google Analytics come with a webmaster tool that helps you to block hits coming from such traffic bots. For that:
- Log in to your Google Analytics account
- Go to Admin tab and click
- Select the site (in case of multiple properties/sites on Google Analytics account select the one which you are fixing)
- Go to ‘View Setting’ and click
- Click on the option ‘exclude hits’ from spiders and known bots
It is one of the best solutions used by professional SEO services for fixing an issue related to spammy traffic. Although it is not 100% effective, it will definitely save most of your analytics data from the fake traffic effect.
B. Blocking One-By-One
It is a bit slow process as you will have to pick up one referral spam at one time and then accordingly block it. For this:
- Go To Referrals in Google Analytics under Acquisition tab
- Copy the link
- Then Click on the Admin tab
- Go to the ‘Property’ option in the second column and choose the 3rd option-Tracking Info
- In this option, click on Referral Exclusion List
In this way, you can block all the spammy referral links.
Another way to block referral spams is to add filters. However, you will need an expert from the best SEO services to do it as an incorrect configuration of filters can cause irreversible damage to the overall data.
So, I would say the best way to take care of the referral spam issue is by excluding each referral spam from the Referral Exclusion List.
It is a most common conception that search engines; especially Google penalize sites with duplicate content. Of course, plagiarism is not at all accepted; it is not that Google always punishes a site for carrying a duplicate content.
Search engines are aware that duplicate content keeps on happening across the net all the time. They especially penalize only those sites that manipulate the content to improve their search rankings.
However, even then, you should never let go of the issue related to duplicate content just like that as it will surely affect the crawling of the search engines.
It is because whenever the search engine crawlers are directed to various URLs on your website and come across identical content; it drops you from the precious cycles of crawling.
And if that happens, over a time the crawlers will not have adequate resources so that they can crawl even when you have published a freshly written content. Such a duplicate content problem comes when the same URL with multiple versions carry the same information to the Google bots.
Screaming Frog Tool To Identify Duplicate Content
It is the best tool around that can help you diagnose a duplicate content and also detect the issues caused by the multiple URLs on your website. Screaming Frog crawls across your site almost similarly the way the search engine bot does.
It reveals your website exactly in the same way as the Google bots or other search engine bots do. For finding duplicate content problems:
- Download the webmaster tool called Screaming Frog
- Install it following all instructions and then paste the URL of your site
- Run the complete program
- Once the crawling is complete, click the URL tab, choose Duplicate filter
Once you have completed this step-by-step, the result will show the different versions of the same URL on your website.
Fixing Duplicate Content Problem
A. Marking Preferred URL
To fix this problem, top SEO services prefer setting the URL version in Google Webmasters. In case the search engine finds a website linking to a non-www version of your particular website whereas you have set your preference as www one, then the search engine will treat your URL link as www version.
So, set non-www or www version of your website in the Google Webmaster Tools. It can be done very easily. Check out:
· Login To Webmaster Tools
· Go to the ‘gear’ icon in the settings just right on the top
· Select the option Site Settings
· Choose your preferred format for URL
Another way is setting up 301 redirects and alerts for directing your users as well as Google about your preference.
B. Noindex Tag
One more method is the use of NoIndex tag. Whenever a search engine comes across a webpage with Noindex tag, it does not index that specific page.
Apart from using NoIndex tag if you also use the Follow tag, then Google will ‘Not’ index the page. But it will surely give value to the links to and from the page.
For adding Follow tags or NoIndex tags to your webpage, copy the given code and paste it within the head tag of your page:
<Meta Name=”Robots” Content=”noindex,follow”>
This small change will definitely fix your duplicate content problem but will surely not affect the alt tag and title tag and will eventually result in optimizing the crawling.
3. Outdated Sitemaps
Search engines are fond of sitemaps as they help them understand the exact structure of the website and identifying the links to crawl. However, when the site matures, it undergoes a lot of changes.
These changes can be big or small including URL restructuring or even complete restructuring or at times removal of some sections permanently.
But if you do not update your sitemap with any of the changes you have made, your major site details will not reflect these updates. In that case, search engines may find some broken links or may crawl to irrelevant areas of your website.
To steer clear of such a problem, the best SEO service company always updates the sitemap and then resubmits it through Google Search Console.
Using dynamic sitemap generator is another way of keeping your sitemap updated as you keep on making changes to your website.
You can also use several free tools available online for coming up with a refreshed XML sitemap and then resubmitting it.
4. Using UTM Parameters Wrongly
Many site owners have a tendency to use UTM parameters such as name, medium and campaign source for measuring ROI. However, they are unaware of the fact that it is the wrong way of using of these parameters as UTM parameters should not be used for finding internal links.
So many site owners use these parameters for tracking the on-page marketing performance for items such as sidebars, promo bars as well as banners linked to different parts of the websites.
So how does it matter if you use UTM parameters for tracking internal links? It leads to overwriting of the real details. If you continue using UTM parameters wrongly in this way, it will eventually end up in ruining your raw data.
So how do you track internal links or clicks to your website? For that, instead of using UTM parameters, you can use the events triggered off by particular user actions.
5. Loading Time/Speed of Page
Another major issue for any website that needs immediate fixing is loading time of the webpage or its speed. From 2010, Google’s official format includes loading time of a page as an important factor for ranking.
If your web designs or pages load very slowly, you can be penalized by the search engines. According to Google’s official blog, speed improves user experience and also reduces the operations cost of your website.
So, if there are any issues with your site, then checking the loading time of your page and improving the speed is one way of fixing it. So how do you go about it?
You can identify the speed of your website by using few tools. Once you have found out the current status of your site regarding its speed, you can implement steps to improve it.
A. Use Google Page Speed
This is a free tool from Google that helps the website owners to evaluate their site’s performance. Apart from providing speed statistics, this tool also gives suggestions on how a site owner can improve the loading time of his website by offering positive search engine juice.
It is another very popular speed testing tool. You can measure the performance of your website with the Pingdom Website Speed Test. The tool also offers some valuable tips regarding improving performance and optimizing your site.
Yet another test tool is YSlow that measures the page performance. It shows how your website is performing under the various criteria’s of performance according to the definition of Yahoo.
So for testing your site with YSlow, install (addon) it on your web browser. Once the addon is installed just initiate it on your site.
This tool also is used for measuring the loading speed of your website. Apart from measuring speed metrics, this tool also provides a listing of optimizing checklist that includes the complete items missing as well as configured correctly.
Once you fix these issues, your site can gain more speed.
SEO consulting services run their site through these tools before finalizing the things they need to change or add to improve the speed of the website.
How To Improve Loading Speed?
There are several ways you can improve the page loading speed of your website. Here are a few of the options you must try that are extremely helpful.
A. Image Optimization
Heavy images take lots of time to load and hence it automatically impacts the loading of your site/page. So always try to keep these images under 100kb to prevent bloating.
Another tip is to use jpeg format. Only use the format of png when it is absolutely necessary to have a transparent background.
These two tips work well to reduce your loading speed. But what if you have multiple pages with huge images? In such a situation, you should first take help of the free tool Screaming Frog.
Identify the images that need compressing and add a filter to these images. You will be easily able to track those images above 100 kb.
Compress these images using any of the popular free online tools for image compression such as WPSmush that works well for a WordPress site.
B. Removal Of Unused Plugin
You can also reduce the loading time of your page by removing unused plugins across the web design. These include both plugins as well as unused themes.
More often, the site owners deactivate everything they do not need on their site. Although these deactivated products stop loading any resources they eventually get outdated. And such outdated products can cause threat to the performance and security of your websites.
C. Create Fewer Redirects
With more redirects, your site will create more requests for HTTP and eventually it will affect the speed of your site. SEO marketing services use redirects for handling the issues related to duplicate content.
However, if you are consistent regarding the URL structure from the start, eventually less duplicate URLs will be created and you will then require less redirect.
You can use other measures such as gzip compression, minifying resources for reducing the loading speed of your page and improving traffic to your website.
You may have only one or two or even dozens of SEO issues, you can all fix them one-by-one by identifying them first and then fixing them by using different measures given here.
It is quite possible that you may not do it correctly the first time. But when you keep on trying consistently you will be able to see the difference in the performance of your site.
Either way, you do not have much choice when it comes to identifying website issues and fixing them with on-page optimization. If you neglect problems such as referral spam or low loading speed for long, it will eventually lead to bigger problems.
You can always take help of SEO experts for ensuring that the issues are fixed perfectly and completely and there is nothing that is coming in the way of the success of your website and business growth.