SEO: Technical and Content Issues
By Tony Verga
SEO (or search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing a website to improve rankings in search engine results. There are two main areas of SEO that encapsulate the range of tactics used to optimize websites for search:
Content Optimization - the quality of a site's visitor-facing content with respect to how it engages users, and whether meta content is optimized for search engines and users.
Technical SEO - how well the technical elements of a site enable it to be accessed, crawled, and indexed by search engine bots.
This page is intended to teach you the basics, by helping you get started with:
If this is your first time using this feature, we recommend taking a quick tour with our SEO Overview. You can also reference more ways to learn if you'd prefer to follow along with a webinar, or take a formal course in our academy.
Fixing a Content Issue: Duplicate Meta Titles
When two or more of your pages have the same title, it becomes more difficult for search engines to decide which one should rank best. Consider a scenario where you approach a shelf at a library and come across two books with the same title - which one do you open first? Each page of your website should have a unique title, with appropriate keywords, summarizing its content.
There are a number of ways to address this issue, some requiring more technical know-how than others:
- Change the title of the duplicate page(s).
- Use a canonical tag.
- Use a noindex/nofollow tag.
We provided detailed explanations for each of these options in the help center article linked below.
Help Center Article: How can I fix the error "Duplicate meta titles" (page titles) in SEO?
Fix Duplicate Meta Titles (Video):
Fixing a Technical Issue: Pages Not Included in the Sitemap
A sitemap is an XML file containing a list of URLs on your website. It is helpful in that it allows search engine crawlers to more easily identify all of the pages available for indexing. Ideally, your sitemap will reference all of the most important pages on your site, the ones you want to make sure are returned in search engine results pages.
To address this issue, review the list of pages we have determined to be missing from your sitemap, then take one of the following actions:
- Add the missing pages to your sitemap.
- Use a canonical tag to point search engines toward the more appropriate version of the page.
- Delete the page from your site if it's no longer necessary.
The video included below gives an overview of how to review individual issues affecting your site's SEO efforts.
Help Center Article: How does Siteimprove use sitemaps?
In-App Tutorial: Working with SEO Issues and Recommendations
Individual Issue Overview in SEO Basic (Video):