Are you still having trouble increasing your website ranking on Google even though you have implemented various SEO tips? It could be that there is an undetected SEO issue or there is a technique you haven’t put into practice.
Whatever the situation, this article will cover some of the most common SEO problems and how to solve them. Come on, read to the end!
15+ SEO Problems and Solutions
There are at least 17 SEO problems that you must overcome so that your website’s ranking in search results can increase rapidly. What are they?
1. Not Checking Website Indexation Status in Search Results
You practice SEO so that website pages can rank on top in search results. However, the ranking will not increase if the page itself is never indexed by Google. This SEO problem you should immediately avoid.
Therefore, you should make sure that Google has indexed the website pages. The trick, type site: (website domain) in Google Search. The search results will show the pages of your website indexed by Google as below:
Pay attention to the top of the search results. There is a number of results displayed, right? You can compare it to the number of web pages you have created.
If the numbers are different, there may be pages that are not indexed for the following three reasons:
- Error setting in robots.txt file
- NOINDEX tag left in page HTML code
- Website pages have several versions of addresses
Now, let’s look at how to overcome the three causes above.
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2. Wrong Settings in robots.txt
robots.txt is a website file to determine whether a URL or URL path is allowed to be indexed by Google. Error settings in this file can make all URLs on the web unindexed. Creepy, huh?
To find out the settings in robots.txt, access the file by typing (your domain)/robots.txt in the browser. If the Disallow column only contains a slash (/) like the example below, it means that your website will not be indexed by Google.
As for the solution, luckily it’s quite easy. You simply edit the contents of the Disallow column in robots.txt so that the website can be indexed. If you’re using WordPress, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to edit it.
The trick is first to install Yoast SEO on your WordPress. Then, click the Yoast SEO > Tools menu in the sidebar.
On the page that appears, click File editor.
In the file editor, add the URL paths that you don’t want to appear in the search results in the Disallow field. For example, login page with URL path /wp-admin/.
This way, Google will index all the other pages on your web. If so, click Save changes to robots.txt.
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3. NOINDEX Tag Left on Page
The NOINDEX tag is used to make the page not indexed by Google. The difference with robots.txt, this tag is placed in the HTML code of the page.
There are three forms of the NOINDEX tag, namely:
<meta name='robots' content='noindex, follow'>
<meta name='robots' content='index, nofollow'>
<meta name='robots' content='noindex, nofollow'>
Meanwhile, indexable pages display tags like the following:
<meta name='robots' content='index, follow'>
Developers usually add the NOINDEX tag to the website in the build stage. However, if you forget not to replace it, the tag left in the code of this page makes the web page unindexable and becomes an SEO problem.
Therefore, you need to make sure that the tag displays ‘index, follow’ as in the example above. To check it, just do the following two steps:
- Access pages that don’t appear in search results. Then, right-click on the page and click View page source .
- Next, press ctrl + F and type index to quickly search for noindex/index tags. You will find a line of code like below.
If it displays any of the three forms of the NOINDEX tag, you should ask your developer to change it to ‘index, follow’. Also, make sure you have a list of pages you don’t want to be indexed as a reminder.
4. Many Versions of Website Address
Perhaps you have a web page that can be accessed via several similar URLs, such as:
If so, you must select one of them as a canonical URL or primary URL. Because Google will find it difficult to determine which URLs should be indexed.
If left unchecked, Google will index some or all variations of your URL. This will certainly be an SEO problem because it confuses Google in determining the domain authority of your website.
So, to avoid this problem, you can set a 301 redirect from all URL variations to the main URL you specify. With a 301 redirect, visitors who access the URL variation will be redirected to the main URL.
Most visitors probably won’t even notice they’re being redirected to a different URL. However, these redirects will help Google to find out the main URL of your website.
Setting up a 301 redirect can be done via the .htaccess file or a WordPress plugin. You can see the complete method in our 301 redirect article.
5. Duplicate Content
If a 301 redirect redirects a visitor from URL B to URL A, the function canonical tag indicates that URL B is a duplicate of URL A. So, visitors can still access URL B, but Google will only index URL A.
Canonical tags are suitable for e-commerce website product pages that fall into two or more different categories.
The categorization system used by e-commerce platforms or plugins can make a single product page have multiple URLs at once. Examples are the two URLs below:
Between the two URLs, https://www.xanderblog.com/blog/example is the main URL. However, when accessing the same product page via the category path /collections/men/jackets, the URLs are different. Well, it’s pages like this that you need to have a canonical tag on.
The canonical tag itself is a tag that is located at the head of the HTML code, as in the example below:
To add canonical tags, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin. After installing the plugin, follow the steps below:
- In the WordPress sidebar, click Pages > All Pages to display a list of pages.
- Hover over the title of the page you want to canonical tag and click Edit .
- Scroll down the page editor until you find Yoast SEO. Click the Advanced tab and type the main URL of the page you are currently accessing in the Canonical URL field .
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6. Use Redirect 302 or Meta Refresh for Redirect
Apart from a 301 redirect, there are several other techniques to redirect visitors from URL A to URL B, including a 302 redirect and a meta refresh.
However, you should not use these two techniques as an alternative to a 301 redirect. The reason is that a 302 redirect is only temporary, whereas a meta refresh is actually just code that takes visitors to another URL.
Moreover, the two techniques do not transfer domain authority and backlinks. So, if you need a redirect, it’s a good idea to stick with a 301 redirect.
7. Not Using a Sitemap to Help Website Indexing
One way you can do to help index your website on Google is to create a sitemap. This is an XML document that lists the pages of your website.
Then, how to make it? One of them is using Yoast SEO. Follow the steps below:
- Click the Yoast SEO menu in the WordPress sidebar and select the General menu .
- Click the Features tab and make sure the XML Sitemaps status is On .
With these two steps, your website already has a sitemap. However, don’t move from the Yoast SEO settings just yet. Click the question mark icon next to XML Sitemaps, then click See the XML sitemap.
A new page with your sitemap will appear.
Now, copy the URL of the page to submit to Google Search Console. Next, perform the following steps in Google Search Console:
- Access Google Search Console and click the Sitemaps menu in the sidebar.
- Enter the sitemap URL that you copied earlier in the Enter sitemap URL field and click Submit . Google Search Console will process the sitemap.
Remember! The sitemap stored in Google Search Console is not in sync with your website. So you should update it regularly.
When submitting the latest sitemap, don’t forget to delete the previous version, OK? You can do this by clicking an existing sitemap under the Enter sitemap URL field.
Then, click the three-dot menu in the top-right corner of the page and click Remove sitemap.
8. Leaving Orphaned Content
Try to remember. Do all important pages on your website have internal links?
Don’t let anyone have no internal links at all, okay? Because, these pages, which in SEO are called orphaned content, will be difficult for Google to index. Even if the URL is in the sitemap.
Generally, new pages or posts are prone to orphaned content because they have not received interlinks from previously published ones.
So, in order to know which pages don’t have internal links, you need the Link Whisper plugin. This plugin shows the number of internal links of each of your web pages.
After installing Link Whisper, you can simply click on its menu in the sidebar. On the next page, you will see a list of pages (including posts) followed by three columns to the right of them, namely:
- Inbound Internal Links
- Outbound Internal Links
- Outbound External Links
The column you need to check is Inbound Internal Links. If the number in that column is zero, it means that your page doesn’t have internal links yet.
Next, you just create a list of orphaned pages and add interlinks to each of these pages. It’s easy, right?
9. Losing Backlinks Due to 404 . Error Pages
Another SEO problem is allowing your web page to experience a 404 error, especially one that gets backlinks from other websites. Because the backlinks that the page gets are automatically invalid.
404 errors generally occur because the page is corrupted, deleted, or has been moved to another URL, but was not redirected. One way to find the pages that are experiencing these errors is with Google Search Console (GSC).
If you haven’t used it yet, connect your website with Google Search Console. After GSC has loaded your website data, in the sidebar, click the Coverage menu under the Index tab.
GSC will display various errors that occur on your website.
Look for the 404 error in the error list in the Details section . If it’s not there, click Excluded .
Once you’ve found the 404 error in the list that appears, click it. Then, scroll down until you find the Examples section. This is where the flat URL of the 404 error page is displayed.
Next, check the URLs in the list. If it has been moved to another URL, do a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new one. Although the effect is not immediate, this redirect will restore backlinks to the URLs that were moved.
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10. Leaving Unnatural Backlinks
The number of backlinks is one of the SEO ranking factors. However, you have to maintain that the backlinks you get are of quality and natural. Otherwise, Google may assume that you are engaging in prohibited link building practices and remove your website from search results.
The characteristics of unnatural backlinks are that they are numerous and unnatural. Usually, these links are obtained from buying and selling backlinks, URL spam in other web comments fields, and online forum threads.
Even if you have avoided backlinks with the criteria above, other people can do it on your website, you know. This SEO problem is called a negative SEO attack and you should be aware of it.
For that, you must monitor backlinks to your website regularly. You do this by downloading a list of backlinks from Google Search Console with the following steps:
- Akses Google Search Console.
- Click Links in the sidebar.
- In the top right corner, click Export External Links .
After downloading, check whether the backlinks you get meet the six factors below:
- Relevance to your website
- Domain authority is high
- Lots of traffic
- The contents of the page are well written
- Provide backlinks to other quality websites
- Indexed by Google
If you don’t meet these factors, it means that the backlink is not natural or quality.
Next, collect unnatural backlink URLs and submit the list to the disavow tool in Google Search Console.
The following are Google’s provisions for a list of backlinks that you want to submit:
- The list of backlink URLs must be a .txt file. You are free to name this file.
- One line contains only one URL.
- Each URL begins with the text domain: . For example domain:example.com/page-name .
After creating the file, follow the steps below:
- Akses tool disavow Google Search Console.
- Select your website property/domain, then click Upload disavow list .
Within 24 hours, Google will process the list of URLs you submitted and exclude them from your list of web backlinks.
11. Meta Title and Description Too Long
Meta title and meta description are important places to put your target keywords. In addition, both are also used to attract the attention of search engine users. However, sometimes the optimization is forgotten.
The meta title should be less than 60 characters, while the meta description should be under 160 characters. If more than that limit, the title and description will be cut by Google. If the target keyword is cut off, your optimization will be in vain, right?
So that it doesn’t become an SEO problem, you should check the length of the meta title and description of each of your web pages with Yoast SEO. The method:
- Open the page in the WordPress editor.
- Scroll to the Yoast SEO section.
- Check the bar under the SEO title and Meta description columns . If it is green, the number of title and description characters is sufficient.
12. Website Doesn’t Use HTTPS
Website security is one of the points on Google’s list of ranking factors.
Well, one of the easiest ways to increase website security is to use SSL. With it, data traffic on your website will go through the HTTPS protocol. Thanks to the encryption that occurs in the protocol, the data cannot be read by anyone.
Besides being useful for SEO, HTTPS is also a sign that visitors can access your website safely. The reason is, now web browsers display the label “Not secure” for websites that do not use HTTPS. Pay attention to the following Google Chrome address bar:
Meanwhile, the browser displays a lock image for websites that use HTTPS
In fact, it is not uncommon for Google to prohibit you from accessing websites that do not use HTTPS. The message “Your connection is not private” as below will appear:
So, if you don’t use HTTPS yet, you need to install SSL on your website.
13. Website Speed Is Not Optimal
You must be annoyed when you access a slow website, right? Google is the same. Therefore, website speed is also one of the SEO factors.
Well, to optimize website speed, of course, you have to know the things that are obstacles. There are many causes for a slow website, including poor server performance, website files not being compressed, and not activating cache.
Instead of bothering to check the causes one by one, you can use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights. This tool will not only assess how fast your website is loading but also tell you why the speed is not optimal.
The good news is that this tool is free and doesn’t need to be installed. You just have to access the website, enter the URL into the column provided, then click Analyze.
At the very top of the PageSpeed Insights analysis results, you will see the website speed score.
Scroll down and you’ll see a detailed PageSpeed Insights analysis divided into sections. Well, the part that you need to pay attention to is the Opportunities section. In this section, PageSpeed Insights mentions speed optimizations that you should make.
If you click on each optimization, PageSpeed Insights also mentions how to perform the optimization. However, the explanation is brief.
To learn how to speedup your site, check out our article on how to easily speedup your site.
14. The number of words on a web page is too much
Websites can be pulled from search results if Google considers them to be cloaking.
Cloaking is the act of displaying different content between Google and web visitors. Here’s an example: a web page displays only a few hundred words to a visitor, but the number of words that Google bots read runs into the thousands.
Well, to prevent SEO problems as above, check the word count of your web pages with Screaming Frog. The free version of this web crawler tool is capable of analyzing up to 500 pages.
If you find a page with thousands of words, check the code by right-clicking > View page source in a web browser.
15. Leaving Images Without Alt Text
Alt text helps Google to understand the images on web pages. In addition, alt text can also help images appear in Google image search results.
Because it looks trivial, not a few people upload images without giving them alt text. In fact, this is a mistake because you squandered optimization opportunities.
If you intend to fix this error, you don’t have to bother remembering which images don’t have alt text. You just use the Alt Text Tools plugin.
After installing the plugin, click Tools > Alt Text Tools in the WordPress sidebar. Then, click Download Alt Tag CSV on the next page.
In the downloaded CSV file, you will see a list of images on the website and their alt text. You can use this list to find images that don’t have alt text.
16. Not Using Schema to Display Rich Snippets
Have you ever seen search results with additional information, such as in the recipes below?
Such additional information is the rich snippets that Google displays. In addition to recipes, there are several other types of rich snippets, including business places, products, and tutorials.
The benefits of rich snippets are not only adding information in search results, you know. Google also uses this information to understand the content of your page.
Well, to display rich snippets, you must add a schema. One way is to add code to the web page.
However, there is also an easy way, namely using the All In One Schema Rich Snippets plugin. With this plugin, you just need to fill in the information fields that can be displayed as rich snippets.
17. Websites Are Not Mobile-Friendly
Besides all the SEO issues that have been discussed, you should not forget to optimize the appearance and performance of your website on mobile devices. Moreover, mobile-friendliness is one of the SEO factors.
If you use WordPress, you have been helped to customize your website so that it looks neat on mobile devices. The CMS provides thousands of responsive themes. Plus, the theme editor makes it easy for you to customize the look of the web for mobile.
However, there are several factors that you must do to make the website more mobile-friendly. These factors can be identified by checking the website on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
How to use it is easy. You just type the domain into the field provided and click Test URL. In addition to telling you if the website is mobile-friendly or not, the test results will show you several other pieces of information, including:
- Screenshot of your website in mobile view
- HTML structure of the page
- Problems found by Google when loading the website
Well, to ensure that the website is truly mobile-friendly, at least there are ways that need to be done, including:
- Ensure that the website display is clearly visible on mobile devices
- Create a simple menu
- Use easy -to -read fonts
To know more about mobile-friendly optimization steps, also read our article on how to create a mobile-friendly website .
Ready to Solve SEO Problems on Your Website?
There are also many SEO problems that can occur? Most of these issues are directly related to indexation on Google, such as using sitemaps, setting up robots.txt, and implementing canonical URLs.
Meanwhile, other problems are things you can do to improve website ranking in search results such as websites that are slow, not mobile-friendly, and don’t use HTTPS yet.
Well, the list of SEO issues discussed earlier is quite long and we appreciate the time you could spend on other things. For example, managing a website and running a business.