Pankaj Shah

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10 Technical errors that harm your website: How to find and fix them with SE Ranking



Running a website seems easy. Some think it is about having a user-friendly design and well-thought-out content, which leads to conversions and profits. But the harsh reality is, that you constantly have to deal with technical issues that prevent your website from driving traffic.

Even if you are a regular website owner and not a dedicated SEO specialist, you need to be aware of common technical errors and know how to fix them for your website to be successful. In this article, we will briefly review typical SEO issues and how to deal with them.

10 Technical errors that harm your website - How to find and fix them with SE Ranking

What are technical issues?

Technical SEO issues are problems that affect site performance. Most technical issues are caused by updates on the website or its server, but there could be other reasons for them. Technical issues can directly affect website crawlability, indexation, and prevent your website from getting higher ranking positions. As a result, the user experience may worsen, and traffic may drop significantly.

To ensure everything works properly, you should track technical SEO elements: page headings and titles, HTTP header responses, XML-sitemaps, redirects, etc. Fortunately, you can use special tools like SE Ranking’s website audit software to automatically detect possible issues and get tips on how to fix them. For example, you can run an audit and get a list of pages that contain technical problems.

What are technical issues

Most common technical issues

Now let's take a look at the most common issues.

1. Status codes

HTTP response status codes show whether the server can process requests, pages are broken, and redirects are set up correctly. In other words—how well your website works.

For example, the 200 response code indicates that the page is working correctly and the server has successfully completed the request; 301 means that a redirect is set up and the page is located at a different address; 404 means that the page has not been found. The status code indicates issues that require your immediate attention.

Where to find this in SE Ranking: Go to the HTTP Status Code tab in the Issue Report section.

Status codes

How to fix it: If you see pages with canonical links pointing to 4XX or 5XX problem codes, you should replace them with links to the valid 200 version of the page.

2. Website security

Website security is crucial. If, for some reason you have not switched HTTP to HTTPS—do it immediately. HTTP websites are not secure, and Google might penalise and drop such sites out of the index. Moreover, your visitors will get a notification that your website is not secure, which might scare them into leaving your site.

Where to find this in SE Ranking: Find information about your security certificate in the Website Security tab.

Website security

How to fix it:

  • Get an SSL certificate and safely migrate the website from HTTP to HTTPS
  • Make sure you have a 301 redirect from the website’s HTTP to HTTPS version

3. Crawling and indexing issues

Your web pages need to be crawled and then indexed to appear in the search results. It takes time for Google to find, crawl and index pages, and sometimes the search engine may not index them at all. Problems with indexation may appear in several cases:

  • When there are disallow directives in your robots.txt file
  • When the robots meta tag in the HTML code of the page is set to noindex
  • When the needed pages in your sitemap.xml are missing or broken
  • When you have duplicated pages or content on the website, which Google avoids indexing
  • When you have incorrect canonical tags

Where to find this: In the Crawling tab in the Issue Report section.

Crawling and indexing issues

How to fix it:

  • Check the robots.txt file and robots meta tags and set them properly to allow indexing
  • Update the sitemap and include all URLs that need to be indexed
  • Implement canonical tags for duplicated content. Use the rel=canonical tag to tell Google which page is preferred for indexing

4. Speed and performance

Page speed and user experience are crucial factors that Google uses for ranking. For example, if the page loading time is too long, it may affect your overall website performance and ranking.

Where to find this in SE Ranking: Check out the Website Speed and Performance tabs.

Speed and performance


Speed and performance

How to fix it:

  • Consider moving to a faster website server
  • Optimise the HTML code to reduce the page loading time
  • Optimise images, CSS, and JS code to reduce their size

5. Mobile optimisation

Google uses mobile-first indexation, which means that the mobile version of your website is the primary version. If the website is user-friendly for smartphones, it will provide a better user experience and might help with search engine rankings and, finally, the number of conversions.

Where to find this in SE Ranking: Mobile optimisation tab

Mobile optimization

How to fix it:

  • Switch to a responsive layout that allows your website to work correctly on desktop and mobile. We recommend working closely with your developer for this
  • Update website design and structure (the mobile-first approach is a good idea here)
  • Optimise the layout for different screen sizes and test it on different devices
  • Get rid of Flash

6. Duplicate content

Duplicate content is one of the most common issues that can worsen your website SEO. Duplicates can appear in many different ways. For example, when your website runs www and non-www versions simultaneously or has the same content on a few pages without having rel="canonical" specified.

Having duplicates in titles, meta descriptions, URLs, and headings can negatively affect SEO. Furthermore, duplicated content on different pages can decrease the rankings of all of them.

Where to find this in SE Ranking: Check out the Duplicate Content and Textual Content tabs.

Duplicate content

Duplicate content

How to fix it:

  • Configure redirects and rel="canonical" tags
  • Make sure you don’t have issues with slashes
  • Specify unique titles, meta descriptions, and headings for each page

7. Javascript and CSS

Web developers can create interactive and visually appealing websites by using JavaScript and CSS. At the same time, JavaScript and CSS files are relatively heavy and, if not optimised, can significantly hurt the website's loading speed and performance metrics.

Where to find this in SE Ranking: JavaScript and CSS tabs.

Javascript and CSS

How to fix it:

  • Reduce the number of JavaScript and CSS files. Use them only when they are essential for the correct operation of your web pages.
  • Work on minifying or compressing files to reduce their size.
  • Try caching to speed up the loading time.

8. Images

Images are essential for websites. Images make websites look more compelling and help users to grasp information. At the same time, unoptimised images can seriously harm website loading speed. Meanwhile, alt tags as part of images on an HTML markup help search engines to understand your page better.

Where to find this in SE Ranking: Images tab.


How to fix it:

  • Use compressors to reduce image size
  • Add alt tags to images

9. Internal links

Internal links are vital for SEO as they help search crawlers find pages on the website and help users navigate your website. However, broken and nonessential links can worsen user experience, increase bounce rate, and confuse Google, wasting your crawling budget. All this affects your overall SEO performance.

Where to find this in SE Ranking: Internal Links tab

Internal links

How to fix it:

  • Review your internal linking structure and make sure each page has internal links to it
  • Remove all links that lead to non-existing pages or replace them with new ones
  • Avoid using the rel="nofollow" attribute for internal linking of important pages

10. External links

External links are frequently used to improve the authority and quality of content on the website. They also provide users with good sources to explore. But when links are outdated, spammy, or broken, they may deteriorate your SEO efforts.

Where to find this in SE Ranking: External links tab.

External links

How to fix it:

  • Review the external links, make sure you are linking to trustworthy websites that are worth your website visitors’ attention
  • Aim to use concise phrasing in anchor texts

Keeping tabs on SEO issues

As we mentioned before, these issues seem simple and easy, but it is almost impossible to take care of all of them at once. Instead, it is best to concentrate on solving the most serious issues. The SE Ranking website audit features the Crawl Comparison tool, which allows you to compare and analyse technical audit results for several dates to see how website performance has improved over time.

Keeping tabs on SEO issues

Another helpful tool is the Page Changes Monitor, which allows for tracking changes on the pages of a website. After you have added pages for monitoring, you will get notifications every time someone makes changes to the page: deleted keywords from the title, changed headings or added outbound links, or even if someone has hacked your website. So nothing will get past you unnoticed.

Keeping tabs on SEO issues


Now you are aware of the most common SEO errors and ways to take care of them. Though this list is not exhaustive, it is enough for a good start. Analysing and fixing technical issues is an essential part of technical SEO strategy. Luckily, you are not alone on your journey to the top of the SERP—modern SEO website audit tools offer a wide range of ways to detect and fix such errors. Make good use of such tools if you want your website to prosper.

Article by Pankaj Shah: DCP Web Designers London

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