When it comes to Technical SEO it’s easily to get mired in the details. When I do a technical SEO site audit, it’s not uncommon for me to find 60 or more issues, which can be overwhelming and make it more challenging to know where to start. The thing is not every technical SEO issue is critical to fix. So the question is:
Which technical SEO issues are the most important?
While you can find many listicles of top technical SEO issues, zeroing on the one or two fixes that will really make a difference for your traffic is a matter of having both knowledge and experience. And what many articles miss, is that it’s not just the type of issue you need to consider, but also the scope.
Here are the key questions you can ask yourself to help determine the urgency of the issue.
Since it was introduced in 2018, Google Search Console’s URL Inspection Tool has been an indispensable aid to webmasters and SEOs, helping them understand the indexation status of their site’s URLs. One handy feature of the URL Inspector is the Live URL Test button, allowing you to test your current version of your page as Google would see it.
But when I used Live Test to test some redirects, I found that it reported a HTTP Status Code 200 instead of a 301 (redirect) which confused me greatly!
You never know what’s going to happen when it comes to SEO, but 2021 stands out. Compared to 2020, we had more than 6 confirmed Google Updates and even more unconfirmed updates. Google also made some refinements to rankings and to how the SERPs (search engine result pages) work.
This post was updated December 30, 2021 because even more Google Updates occurred after it was first published!
The latter caused consternation among SEOs and a flurry of tweets showing examples of crappy web titles in the Google SERPs snippets. Below is an example where Google got it wrong even for its own web site.
Fortunately Google adjusted the system in September and it has been performing better.
Google 2021 Updates
So much happened in 2021, I found myself losing track. Accordingly, I created this post as a reference for myself and others.
So Google Search Console has told you you have pages with poor LCP. Or you have run Google Lighthouse on a page that complains of a LCP longer than 4 seconds.
LCP, Largest Contentful Paint, is one of the new Core Web Vitals, which include FID (First Input Delay) and CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift). The Core Web Vitals are part of Google’s new ranking factor: Page Experience that will be implemented in 2021.
The HTML title tag is a HTML element that defines the title of a web page. HTML document titles are used in a number of ways, including by the search engines such as Google.
Title tags are significant for SEO because:
They are used as a ranking signal by search engines
They appear in the search engine result pages as the clickable headline of a search listing (commonly called snippets).
Title tags are different than, and should not be confused with the H1 tag which also sometimes is referred to as the title of a page.
Unlike a H1 tag, you won’t find the title tag appearing anywhere on the web page. Like HTML meta tags, the title tag is part of a collection of tags that convey information about the page rather than containing the text that is visible is on the web page.
How many times have you heard or read that it is critical for SEO to have keywords in your title tags? And that you want your keywords in the front of the tag?
There’s no shortage of advice out there about title tags and keywords, many advocating a “keyword first” title tag rule.
… “Having the keyword first means better rankings” …
… “inserting your keywords at the start of your title tag will enable search engines to crawl those words faster.” …
… “keywords closer to the beginning of your title tag may have more impact on search rankings” …
So after seeing this good advice, a site owner then pops into a keyword research tool and looks for the most relevant and highest volume keyword they can find that is a match for their page. And they create a title tag that looks something like this:
Home Workout Equipment – Sitename
I hope you agree, this is not a winning title tag that get clicks.