SEO audit: 5 common mistakes

Performing a technical audit of your website is one thing, but actually correcting the errors found as a result of that audit is another story. Fortunately for most business owners, most of these errors are surprisingly easy to fix... as long as you know where to start.

That's why we've compiled a list of the most common errors we've encountered during our technical audits and website evaluations. Below are the steps you can take to correct them.


SEO audit: 5 common mistakes

1. HTTP errors

HTTP errors are often a source of frustration for your website visitors.

These errors are messages from the web server indicating that a problem has occurred.

You will find below the different HTTP errors that can occur on a website:

401 (Unauthorized): This error occurs when someone tries to access an unauthorized page. You can usually correct this error by checking the URL of the page that caused the error; it is possible that the link you clicked is for authorized users only (for example, users who are logged in or where a password is required).

403 (Prohibited): This error occurs when a server does not respond to a request. Slightly different from the 401 error, the 403 error recognizes that a user can log in with a valid user ID and password, but is not allowed to access the page in question. Normally, this means that the user has access granted by the site administrator, but not for that particular page.

404 (Not found): This error is one of the most common. The 404 error occurs when a user tries to access a web page that does not exist (or no longer exists). The causes of this error can be due to broken links, incorrect URLs or a redirected page that is no longer valid. However, this error can be easily corrected by checking for crawl errors in the Google Search Console and submitting redirects for each broken link. This can be done through a WordPress plugin or manually via the .htaccess file.

500 (internal server error) : This error is undoubtedly the most common. It is a generic error message for any type of internal server error that cannot be defined. This error can usually be resolved by reloading the page in the web browser using the F5 key (if the error is related to the fact that the server is busy and cannot process requests fast enough), clearing the cookies or visiting the page at another time, possibly when the server is not so overloaded.

However, if this does not eliminate the error, you will need to contact your web host to follow up on the error to find the cause: server configuration problem, incompatible plugins, etc.

401 (Unauthorized): This error occurs when someone tries to access a page for which they are not authorized. You can usually fix this error by checking the URL of the page that caused the error; it's possible that the link you clicked is intended only for authorized users (e.g., users with a 504 (gateway timeout) connection): a 504 error means that the gateway has expired, which occurs when a server does not receive a timely response from another server when it tries to load the page.

Most of the time, this problem is not caused by a website, but there are a few ways to correct this error.

It may be a problem with the WordPress .htaaccess file. You can also try contacting your hosting company to see if the problem is coming from them.

2. No ALT attribute on images

Search engines process text more easily than images. So they may ignore your images if they are missing ALT text tags.

Fortunately, here's another easy solution: simply go through your images in WordPress or your other content management system and add keyword-rich descriptive titles to each of the images on your website. To make this step easier in many CMs (especially WordPress), be sure to name your images before you upload them.

3. Slow loading speed

Page load speed (HTML) is one of the most important ranking factors. The faster your page loads, the better it ranks. In addition, fast loading pages have a positive effect on the user experience and can increase your conversion rates.

Please note that "page load speed" generally refers to the time it takes for a web page to be fully rendered by a browser on mobile (most of the time).

How to improve the loading speed of your site?

The main factors that negatively affect the generation time of your HTML page are the performance of your server and the density of the HTML code of your web page.
So try to clean up the HTML code of your web page. If the problem is with your web server, you should consider switching to a better hosting service with more resources.

4. URL too long

This problem often appears during an SEO audit. If the URL of your link is more than 2000 characters long, it could be considered by Google as too long.

This is because some browsers cannot handle URLs that exceed this limit. In addition, keeping URLs to a reasonable length will make them much easier to crawl, while extremely long URLs may be ignored by search engines.

5. Broken internal links

Broken backlinks have a negative effect on the user experience of your website. That's why Google often penalizes pages with broken links by dropping them on the SERP.

Please note that our crawler may detect a functional link as broken. Generally, this happens if the server hosting the website you refer to blocks our crawler from accessing that site.


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