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Think of technical SEO as your website’s skeleton. Anything that grows on its bones will be affected by the way they are shaped.

But when it comes to technical SEO, it’s often hard to determine where you should start with and what SEO mistakes you should look at first.

Thus, SEMrush (disclosure: I work for SEMrush) conducted some research on the most frequent and harmful SEO issues that negatively affect a website’s performance.

For the study, we collected data on 100,000 websites and 450 million pages to identify the most common technical SEO mistakes and assigned a severity level to each issue. These are the factors that determine your website’s user-friendliness and thus, its overall performance.

It’s important to look at all the issues we discuss below to get a thorough insight into your website’s health. Do make sure that you prioritize the errors made on the most important pages of your website, as, not every mistake needs to be fixed right away. Which is why we are not simply giving you insights on the most common SEO mistakes but are also listing them in regards to how much they affect your website’s performance.

Most Common Technical SEO Issues & Their Severity

At large, there are three layers each website owner should consider in order to evaluate their website’s health:

Crawlability & Site Structure

On-Page SEO

Technical SEO

Each area is like Pandora’s box – once opened, it releases various evils that you will have to deal with. But let’s take it one step at a time.

Area 1: Crawlability & Site Structure

Optimization efforts are only effective when search engines have access to your webpages. The Googlebot has to crawl and index your entire website before it appears in SERPs. So, any error at this point will simply bring all of your optimization efforts to naught.

The Main Crawlability & Site Structure Errors You Should Avoid

Links & Redirects

SEMrush found that every fourth website has link errors, while domain configuration and errors in redirect chains and loops are among the less common but harmful issues.

The biggest problems occur in the internal links – 30 percent of websites have broken internal links.

Also, pay extra attention to 4XX errors – they are present among 26.5 percent of websites.

You can see a more detailed breakdown in the image below:

While links and redirects make up the pathways to your user’s journey through your website, it’s still important to correctly configure your map. As such, let us look at what sitemap and chúng tôi have to do with crawlability and site structure.

Sitemap & Robots.txt

Although most websites appear to do pretty well when it comes to sitemaps and robots.txt’s, some issues are still quite severe.

Check whether you have any format errors in your chúng tôi files – which affect about 13 percent of websites, or any format errors in your chúng tôi which is a less common yet equally severe mistake.

Make sure that, if spotted, these issues are resolved in the first instance.

Area 2: On-Page SEO

Now it’s time to look at your individual webpages, as this is what on-page optimization is all about. This area is of the utmost importance to your valuable pages.

Basically, on-page SEO is all about optimizing content and the HTML code of particular pages to improve their rankings; and a well-optimized page will naturally have a better off-page performance.

Key On-Page SEO Errors to Watch out For

Content

Content is pretty much everything! And it is not only true about the actual quality of your content, but also about its technical aspects.

In fact, most technical SEO issues come from content:

65.88 percent of websites have severe duplicate content issues. Of course, in some cases, it’s impossible to avoid having duplicate content, but you can always add a rel=”canonical” tag to your secondary pages. However, try not to overuse your page-concealment powers, as unique content is always better than well-optimized duplicate content.

An impressive 93.72 percent of webpages have a low text-to-HTML ratio. While this issue is really widespread, its severity level is pretty low because some pages (e.g., a “Contact Us” page) will naturally contain less text. However,  this will still be perceived as an error.

73.47 percent of pages have a low word count, which isn’t always a wrongdoing on your part, as some webpages simply do not require much text. While this may be a minor error, attempt to put at least 250 words on each page where it is appropriate and feels natural.

However, on-page SEO does not stop once you optimize your content. Furthermore, you have to optimize the page, containing that very content, for web search. And this is where meta descriptions, title, headings and images enter the stage.

Meta Descriptions

As shown by the study, meta descriptions are often left out from the optimization process. 63 percent of website owners completely abandon any efforts to create a meta description, and almost 54 percent of websites have duplicates.

Duplicate meta descriptions are highly severe while missing ones aren’t that harmful because search engines will assign a meta description – even if you don’t take the time to do it yourself. But, it is often a bad idea to leave everything up to the search engine.

Title Tags, H1 Tags & Images

Another area of content optimization that affects your SEO has to do with titles, headings, and images.

More than 60 percent of websites are missing alt tags for their images, have title tags that are too long, and are lacking H1 tags.

While these issues aren’t considered to be as severe as many others, they do negatively affect your website’s UX, which, in turn, has a negative impact on your rankings.

Area 3: Technical SEO

You must now be wondering why we left out such significant areas of SEO like site speed and mobile responsiveness. The macro indicators of your website’s performance are in the technical SEO section.

The price of a mistake in any of the technical SEO components can be incredibly high. An Amazon study revealed that 100 milliseconds of extra load time can cause a 1 percent drop in sales.

However, it seems that most website owners have got technical SEO covered. But if you are faced with any of the issues below, you should know that fixing them will affect your entire website’s performance, rather than just a single page.

Your Traffic & Revenue Largely Depend on the Following Technical SEO Areas Page Speed

Page speed is one of the most significant Google ranking factors, influencing user experience and, therefore, affecting metrics like bounce rate. More than 20 percent of websites have a slow page load speed, an issue that deserves the highest level of severity.

Old Technology

Would you notate complex mathematical formulas using Roman numerals? Probably not.

So, don’t assume that search engines want to read old technology: things like Iframes and Flash content are severe issues that still appear on a few websites. 

The Internet never stops evolving, meaning many technical aspects become obsolete. Hence, your job is to simply try to keep up with all the changes.

However, the oldest technology we can now think of is having a website that is not mobile-responsive.

Mobile-Friendliness

Although many websites have already embraced the Mobilegeddon, it has caused some confusion over the technical side of things.

The worst thing you can do is forget to add a canonical tag in Accelerated Mobile Pages. This is a high-severity issue, present across 0.08 percent of AMP adopters.

Conclusion

The importance of technical SEO can’t be overestimated. However, you don’t have to wage a war on every single issue that occurs on your webpages.

Being aware of the most common technical SEO mistakes will guide you in the right direction if you aren’t certain of where to start. Make sure that you prioritize your most important pages and understand the severity level of each error.

Knowing where many others went wrong, and how bad the effect might be, is already half the battle. After all, forewarned is forearmed.

More SEO Mistakes Resources Here:

Image Credits

Featured Image & In-post Photos: SEMrush. Used with permission.

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How Often Should You Perform Technical Website Crawls For Seo?

There is never going to be a set frequency for every SEO professional to run technical checks.

Every site has its own development release schedule, publishing cadence, and a myriad of other variables that could affect the need for technical analysis.

So how often should you perform technical website crawls for SEO? It depends.

What does it depend on? That is the crucial question.

Let’s take a quick look at what a website crawl is and why we run them before diving into how frequently to do them.

What Is a Technical SEO Website Crawl?

A crawl of a website is when a software’s “crawler,” or bot, visits each page on a website extracting data as it goes. This is similar to how a search engine’s bot might visit your site.

It will follow the commands you give it through respecting or ignoring your chúng tôi telling it to follow or disregard nofollow tags, and other conditions you can specify.

It will then crawl each page it can find by following links and reading XML sitemaps.

As it goes, the crawler will bring back information about the pages. This might be server response codes like 404, the presence of a no-index tag on the page, or whether bots would be blocked from crawling it via the chúng tôi for example.

It may also bring back HTML information like page titles and descriptions, the layout of the site’s architecture, and any duplicate content discovered.

All of this information gives you a powerful snapshot of your website’s ability to be crawled and indexed.

It can also highlight issues that may affect rankings, such as load speed or missing meta data.

The Purpose of a Technical SEO Website Crawl

When you conduct a crawl of a site, it’s usually to identify one or more of the following issues that could be affecting:

Running a site crawl is an easy job once you have the software in place. If you are looking to spot potential or current issues with your site, it makes sense to crawl it regularly and often.

Why Wouldn’t You Crawl a Site All the Time?

In SEO, there are near-unlimited tasks we could be carrying out at any given moment — SERP analyses, refreshing meta titles, and rewriting copy with the hopes of ranking higher among them.

Without a strategy behind these activities, you are at best distracting yourself from impactful work. At worst, you could be reducing the performance of your site.

As with other SEO tasks, there must be a strategy behind website crawls.

The flip-side of the question “How often should you perform technical website crawls?” is understanding why you wouldn’t run them all the time.

Essentially, they take up time and resources — if not to run, then at least to analyze effectively.

Time

So why is time a deciding factor in how often you crawl a site?

It’s because there is no point in crawling a site if you are not going to analyze the results. That’s what takes time — the interpretation of the data.

You may well have software that highlights errors in a color-coded traffic-light system of urgency that you can cast your eye down quickly. This isn’t analyzing a crawl.

You may miss important issues that way. You might get overly reliant on a tool to tell you how your site is optimized.

Although very helpful, those sorts of reports need to be coupled with deeper checks and analysis to see how your site is supporting your SEO strategy.

There will likely be good reasons why you would want to set up these automated reports to run frequently. You may have a few issues like server errors that you want alerted to every day.

These should be considered alerts, though, and ones that may need a deeper investigation. Proper analysis of your crawls, with knowledge of your SEO plan, takes time.

Do you have the capacity, or need, to do that full crawl and analysis daily?

Resources

In order to crawl your site, you will need software.

Some software is free to use in an unlimited manner once you have paid a license fee. Others will charge you depending on how much you use it.

If your crawling software cost is based on usage, crawling your site every day might be cost-prohibitive. You may end up using your month’s allowance too early, meaning you can’t crawl the site when you need to.

Server Strain

Unfortunately, some sites rely on servers that are not particularly robust. As a result, a crawl conducted too quickly or at a busy time, can bring the site down.

I’ve experienced frantic calls from the server manager to the SEO team asking if we’re crawling the site again.

I’ve also worked on sites that have crawling tools blocked in the chúng tôi in the hopes it will prevent an over-zealous SEO bringing down the site.

Although this obviously isn’t an ideal situation to be in, for SEOs working for smaller companies, it’s an all too common scenario.

Crawling the website safely might require that tools are slowed down, rendering the process more time-consuming.

It might mean liaising with the individual in charge of maintaining the server to ensure they can prepare for the crawl.

Doing this too frequently or without good reason isn’t sustainable.

Alternatives to Crawling Your Site

You don’t necessarily need to crawl your site daily in order to pick up on the issues. You may be able to reduce the need for frequent crawls by putting other processes and tools in place.

Software That Monitors for Changes

Some software can monitor your site for a whole variety of changes. For instance, you can set up an alert for individual pages to monitor if content changes.

This can be helpful if you have important conversion pages that are critical to the success of your site and you want to know the moment anyone makes a change to them.

You can also use software to alert you to server status, SSL expiration, chúng tôi changes, XML sitemap validation issues. All of these types of alerts can reduce your need to crawl the site to identify issues.

Instead, you can save those crawls and audits for when an issue is discovered and needs to be remedied.

Processes That Inform SEO Professionals of Changes/Plans

The other way to minimize the need to crawl your site often is by putting in processes with other team members that keep you in the loop of changes that might be happening to the site. This is easier said than done in most instances but is a good practice to instill.

If you have access to the development team or agency’s ticketing system and are in frequent communications with the project manager, you are likely to know when deployments might affect SEO.

Even if you don’t know exactly what the roll-out will change, if you are aware of deployment dates, you can schedule your crawls to happen around them.

By staying aware of when new pages are going live, content is going to be rewritten, or new products launched, you will know when a crawl will be needed.

This will save you from needing to pre-emptively crawl weekly in case of changes.

Automated Crawls With Tailored Reports

As mentioned above, crawling tools often allow you to schedule your crawls. You may be in the position that this is something your server and your processes can withstand.

Don’t forget that you still need to read and analyze the crawls, so scheduling them won’t necessarily save you that much time unless they are producing an insightful report at the end.

You may be able to output the results of the crawl into a dashboard that alerts you to the specific issues you are concerned about.

For instance, it may give you a snapshot of how the volume of pages returning 404 server responses has increased over time.

This automation and reporting could then give cause for you to conduct a more specific crawl and analysis rather than requiring very frequent human-initiated crawling.

When Should a Crawl Be Done?

As we’ve already discussed, frequent crawls just to check up on on-site health might not be necessary.

Crawls should really be carried out in the following situations.

Before Development or Content Changes

If you are preparing your site for a change — for instance, a migration of content to a new URL structure — you will need to crawl your site.

This will help you to identify if there are any issues already existing on the pages that are changing that could affect their performance post-migration.

Crawling your site before a development or content change is about to be carried out on the site ensures it is in the optimum condition for that change to be positive.

Before Carrying Out Experiments

If you are preparing to carry out an experiment on your site, for example, checking to see what effect disavowing spammy backlinks might have, you need to control the variables.

Crawling your website to get an idea of any other issues that might also affect the outcome of the experiment is important.

You want to be able to say with confidence that it was the disavow file that caused the increase in rankings for a troubled area of your site, and not that those URLs’ load speed had increased around the same time.

When Something Has Happened

You will need to check up on any major changes on your site that could affect the code. This will require a technical crawl.

For example, after a migration, once new development changes have been deployed, or work to add schema mark-up to the site — anything that could have been broken or not deployed correctly.

When You Are Alerted to an Issue

It may be that you are alerted to a technical SEO issue, like a broken page, through tools or human discovery. This should kick-start your crawl and audit process.

The idea of the crawl will be to ascertain if the issue is widespread or contained to the area of the site you have already been alerted to.

What Can Affect How Often You Need to Perform Technical SEO Crawls?

No two websites are identical (unless yours has been cloned, but that’s a different issue). Sites will have different crawl and audit needs based on a variety of factors.

Size of site, its complexity, and how often things change can impact the need to crawl it.

Size

The need to crawl your website frequently if it is only a few pages is low.

Chances are you are well aware of what changes are being made to the small site and will easily be able to spot any significant problems. You are firmly in the loop of any development changes.

Enterprise sites, however, may be tens of thousands of pages big. These are likely to have more issues arise as changes are deployed across hundreds of pages at a time.

With just one bug, you could find a large volume of pages affected at once. Websites that size may need much more frequent crawls.

Type

The type of website you are working on might also dictate how often and regularly it needs to be crawled.

An informational site that has few changes to its core pages until its annual review will likely need to be crawled less frequently than one with product pages go live often.

Ecommerce

One of the particular nuances of ecommerce sites when it comes to SEO is the stock. Product pages might come online every day, and products may go out of stock as frequently. This can raise technical SEO issues that need to be dealt with quickly.

You might find that a website’s way of dealing with out-of-stock products is to redirect them, temporarily or permanently. It might be that out-of-stock products return a 404 code.

Whatever method for dealing with them is chosen, you need to be alerted to this when it happens.

You may be tempted to crawl your site daily to pick up on these new or deleted pages. There are better ways of identifying these changes though, as we’ve already discussed.

A website monitoring tool would alert you to these pages returning a 404 status code. Additional software might be out of your current budget, however. In this instance, you might still need to crawl your site weekly or more often.

This is one of the examples where automated crawls to catch these issues would come in handy.

News

News websites tend to add new pages often; there may be multiple new pages a day, sometimes hundreds for large news sites. This is a lot of change to a site happening each day.

Depending on your internal processes, these new pages may be published with great consideration of how they will affect a site’s SEO performance… or very little.

Forum and User Generated Content

Any site that has the ability for the general public to add content will have an increased risk of technical SEO errors occurring.

For instance, broken links, duplicate content, and missing meta data are all common on sites with forums.

These sorts of sites may need more frequent crawls than content sites that only allow publishing by webmasters.

Multiple Publishers

A content site with few template types may sound relatively low risk when it comes to incurring technical SEO issues. Unfortunately, if you have “many cooks” there is a risk of the broth being spoiled.

Users with little understanding of how to form URLs, or what are crucial CMS fields, might create technical SEO problems.

Although this is really a training issue, there may still be an increased need to crawl sites whilst that training is being completed.

Schedule and Cadence

The other important factor to consider is the schedule of other teams in your company.

Your development team might work in two-week sprints. You may only need to crawl your site once every two weeks to see their impact on your SEO efforts.

If your writers publish new blogs daily, you may want to crawl the site more frequently.

Conclusion

There is no one-size-fits-all schedule for technical website crawls. Your individual SEO strategy, processes, and type of website will all impact the optimal frequency for conducting crawls.

Your own capacity and resources will also affect this schedule.

Be considerate of your SEO strategy and implement other alerts and checks to minimize the need for frequent website crawls.

Your crawls should not just be a website maintenance tick-box exercise but in response to a preventative or reactive need.

More Resources:

6 Most Common Roadblocks To Link Building Success

When done successfully, link building can lead to some truly stellar results.

We know that links are extremely important for SEO, especially given all of the buzz in the search community around the November 8, 2023 Google algorithm update and how it may have been strongly related to site links (though Google’s John Mueller warned against jumping to this conclusion).

While link building should unquestionably be a part of your overall SEO (and business) strategy, it takes time, planning, and dedication to drive actual success.

For this reason, I’ll cover six of the most common challenges and roadblocks to link building success and how you can avoid them.

1. The Need for Quality Assets

Don’t underestimate the need for quality assets on your site, particularly when it comes to link building.

Creating link-worthy content will help offer valuable information to your readers, reach and engage key targets, and strengthen your authority in the eyes of Google and users.

Assets include everything from articles to products and services pages, research and data, and even the people who work for your organization.

These all present the opportunity to generate links back to your website organically, or by reaching out about a link.

Influencer-based content: Create content centered around industry influencers and experts that share exclusive insights, perspectives, and opinions. This also presents the opportunity to reach out to them directly and encourage shares with their new and highly targeted audiences.

Research and reports: I’ve consistently found research, data and statistics-oriented content outperforming other types. What common questions are your customers/prospects asking? Do the research to get them the answers they are looking for and break it down in an easily digestible way.

Other strategic resources: Share premium assets that assist your audiences in their daily responsibilities and help combat common challenges. This includes how-to/user guides, tools, eBooks, whitepapers, FAQ material, infographics, and other multimedia collateral.

In today’s exceptionally competitive search landscape, SEO pros can no longer get away with generating links from mediocre content.

Site owners and managers have no shortage of information to leverage and link to, so you must offer something unique and, simply put, better.

2. Lack of On-Site Optimization

Too often people look to develop off-site website initiatives (i.e., link building) before optimizing on-site.

Link building is far more powerful when it’s supported by on-site optimization.

If your own site isn’t in good shape, it’s extremely difficult to get buy-in from other site owners.

No one wants to send users to a bad site experience.

This is why building trust and authority is essential.

Have a solid technical foundation for your website to get the most out of your link building efforts.

Doing regular technical site check-ins can help ensure this.

Here are a few key elements to consider:

Site architecture and URL structure.

Desktop and mobile experience.

Page load time / page speed.

Redirect paths.

Broken pages, links, and images.

Optimized page tagging elements.

Internal cross-link strategy.

And more.

3. Insufficient Research

Forbes. Washington Post. The Guardian. The Wall Street Journal. Wired. Star Tribune.

Yes, it would be nice to acquire links from any and all of these well-known and authoritative websites.

However, it’s important to look beyond the obvious (and likely long-term) link building targets to identify quick wins and more strategic opportunities.

Competitive Analysis

Find link building opportunities that are worth pursuing in both the short-term and long term by doing a thorough competitive analysis.

Things to consider as part of your competitive analysis:

Where are your competitors getting links from?

What publications are linking to competitors’ sites?

What tactics are being executed in order to do this?

Can any of these findings be applied to your existing tactics?

Keyword Research & SERP Analysis

With that said, it may come as no surprise that keyword research and SERP analysis is key when it comes to link building target identification as well.

Considerations when conducting your keyword and SERP analysis:

What sites are showing up in top Google search results around your priority terms? Note: These will likely be different from your direct competitors.

Where are these sites getting links from?

What tactics are being executed in order to do this?

Are any of these site (showing up in top Google results) publications that present an opportunity for link building?

Are any of these site business listings or review sites? Disclaimer: Although some of these may be nofollowed links and not directly beneficial from an SEO perspective, it’s still important for getting your brand found.

Industry Research

Know the key influencers, authors, and publications in your space.

While there are certainly some overarching business publications that are relevant across industries and worth exploring, you want to build authority in your specific industry by acquiring links from respected publications.

Additionally, this will help ensure you’re reaching new and relevant audiences that may be interested in working with you.

This can be done by leveraging social media tools and the platforms themselves. A couple of my favorite tools are FollowerWonk and Twitter Advanced Search.

4. Poor Tracking & Automation

Organization is essential when it comes to link building.

Without organization, your link building campaigns will likely fall flat.

Why?

You and other team members will need to know or be able to easily find the status of each link building opportunity as well as contact information.

Storing appropriate contact information in one place will also make your outreach more effective and help save time spent researching based on relationships that have already been established.

In addition to tracking, some level of automation can help take your link building efforts to the next level.

By automation, I do not mean sending mass emails and not customizing your outreach communication.

I do mean having templates saved that can be tailored to individual targets and leveraged in the future.

Having follow-up sequences or reminders in places is also useful.

5. Bad Outreach 

Poorly executed outreach is the number one death of link building.

OK, fine, I don’t have the actual research to support this statement but I am making an educated assumption.

There are a few key elements to consider around outreach, including

Find the right contacts and details for outreach.

Connect with targets prior to making a request.

Craft customized and engaging communication.

This all sounds easy, right?

Not so much.

Let’s dive into each aspect of link building outreach a bit more.

Find the Right Contacts & Details for Outreach

Do your research to identify the right contacts for outreach, and the right way to reach them.

Dig into the website to find out who the editor or site manager is.

If it’s not available on the website, LinkedIn is a great way to get more information.

Look at the company page, who works for the company and specific job titles that would be relevant.

Connect with Targets Prior to Making a Request

Following and engaging with targets on social media prior to reaching out about a link building opportunity can make all the difference, as it helps build familiarity and trust with your brand prior.

One of the ways that I like to do this is by building Twitter lists to monitor targets’ activity and engagement opportunities on the platform.

Tools like BuzzStream can help automate this process by identifying targets’ social media profiles for you.

Craft Customized & Engaging Communication

Mass emails no longer cut it. I mentioned this briefly above, but there is more to be said.

If you want to grab the attention of your targets, crafting highly customized outreach templates is essential.

Consider these email outreach tips:

Don’t use standard templates.

Avoid coming off spammy or robotic.

Be clear and concise. Get to the point.

Get to know your link target and display this knowledge.

Have a solid reason to reach out.

Consider the ideal timing.

6. Short-Term Thinking

One of the most common roadblocks to link building success is short-term thinking.

Be patient. Play the long game.

Spend time establishing those long-term and extremely valuable relationships with industry influencers, site owners/managers, editors, and authors.

It’s easy to get discouraged when outreach emails go ignored.

Instead of giving up, look for ways to grab the attention of your targets and stand out from the hundreds of other emails they are receiving each day.

Don’t just approach your targets with requests, instead:

Connect with them on social media.

Build familiarity before just reaching out.

Provide valuable information for them.

Make your expertise known.

Share and link to their content.

Offer opportunities that will benefit them in return.

Although it may not be an immediate win, it’s important to have a bigger picture vision and plan in place. I promise, the payoff is real.

Final Thoughts

Remember, if executed successfully, link building campaigns can generate stellar business results. These include:

Increased authority.

Strengthened brand awareness.

Thought leadership.

Boosted referral traffic just to mention a few.

Avoid the common roadblocks listed above to make your link building efforts more impactful than ever.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, November 2023

5 Technical Seo Problems Within Shopify & How To Solve Them

Back in August, I wrote an article looking at Magento SEO issues, and soon after a couple of business owners reached out asking about another popular e-commerce platform, Shopify.

Shopify has been around since 2004 and in my experience is a great alternative platform for small businesses that don’t have developer skills or the capital to hire development agencies, but want to be able to easily manage stock and content before they graduate to larger platforms that allow greater scale.

Shopify can be a great solution for smaller businesses due to its simplicity and ease of use. It also has a number of aesthetically pleasing templates that can be bought and a simple analytics platform within the content management system (CMS), so the user doesn’t need development skills or be au fait with Google Analytics.

Also like most e-commerce platforms, Shopify isn’t without its technical issues. In this article, I will explore those issues as well as solutions to them.

(New to Shopify? Check out Brock Murray’s awesome article on how to get started with Shopify.)

1. Title Tags & Meta Descriptions

One of my annoyances with the Shopify CMS is the fact that it contains a Twitter-like counter of the number of characters that you use on the title tags and meta descriptions, and they’re wrong.

Seventy characters for a title is a misleading number given that Google establishes width by measuring pixels, and research shows that this is typically 600-pixels. This translates to roughly 60 characters (a W is wider than an I, so there is some leeway around the 60; even crawl emulators like Screaming Frog include a report which highlights title tags longer than 65).

A lot of Shopify websites I come across fall into this trap, as not everyone using the platform works with, or has a great knowledge of SEO basics, and as a result, are missing out on fully optimizing their title tags.

With meta descriptions, however, Shopify have limited these to 160 characters, which is typically taken as a good number to stay under to avoid truncation.

Some changes may take a few minutes to propagate within Google, so don’t always expect instant results.

2. Setting Image ALT Tags

The SEO value of setting image ALT tags is debatable, but they do have user value.

If an image fails to load, due to a slow connection, a timeout or an error, the browser will display a box where the image lives, along with its ALT attribute. They are also used by users with screen readers, who have difficulties viewing content.

Unlike in other platforms, such as WordPress, Shopify asks you to set the ALT text at an image level. This means if I use the same product image, or model image across various parts of the website, I need to keep repeating the process of entering the ALT attribute.

Solution: Unfortunately there is no real solution to this, other than being consistent with how you write your ALT text, and making sure it’s descriptive (i.e., “bearded man in sunglasses”) but not keyword-stuffy.

3. Forced URL Structure

Without a doubt, one of my biggest pet hates of the Shopify platform is that it forces the user into having to adopt a subfolder structure.

For the product and product category pages, these are forced into chúng tôi and chúng tôi This isn’t something you can overcome, even on Shopify’s most premium plan:

So I was chatting to the team to see if this can be done with Plus stores and it seems there is no possible way to override the /pages/collections/subfolders. – Aisling D, Shopify Customer Success Guru, November 2023

For products and product category pages, this isn’t necessarily the end of the world, because even though there is a lack of control over the URL structure and products can take multiple URL forms…

a) /products/product-name

b) /collections/collection-title/products/product-name

… Shopify canonicalizes the product back to the product “root”, so in the above example B canonicals to A, and A is self-referencing. So this alleviates the duplicate content issue.

This is also the same for the blog and admin sections of the website, who inherit /admin/ and /blogs/ subfolders.

Solution: Unfortunately, there isn’t an available fix to this forced URL structure, as highlighted by a member of their customer team.

4. chúng tôi Access

Like a number of platforms targeting SMEs, Shopify limits access to users being able to edit their FTP and chúng tôi files, and automatically creates the below file:

# we use Shopify as our ecommerce platform User-agent: * Disallow: /admin Disallow: /cart Disallow: /orders Disallow: /checkout Disallow: /25686620/checkouts Disallow: /carts Disallow: /account Disallow: /collections/*+* Disallow: /collections/*%2B* Disallow: /collections/*%2b* Disallow: /blogs/*+* Disallow: /blogs/*%2B* Disallow: /blogs/*%2b* Disallow: /*design_theme_id* Disallow: /*preview_theme_id* Disallow: /*preview_script_id* Disallow: /discount/* Disallow: /apple-app-site-association Disallow: /checkout Disallow: /carts Disallow: /orders Disallow: /25686620/checkouts Disallow: /discount/* Disallow: /*design_theme_id* Disallow: /*preview_theme_id* Disallow: /*preview_script_id* User-agent: Nutch Disallow: / User-agent: MJ12bot Crawl-Delay: 10 User-agent: Pinterest Crawl-delay: 1

The technical SEO in me immediately notices that there isn’t an XML sitemap declared, and given that Shopify automatically creates one for you, I consider it as a big oversight.

It would also be interesting to know why the folks at Shopify have decided to disallow Nutch and add a big crawl delay to Majestic’s MJ12.

5. Shopify Handling Redirects

Ending on a positive note, and to Shopify’s merit, the platform is able to handle redirects well and they have made it simple (to a point even easier than WordPress) to implement them.

For example, on the test site I’m using for this article, I’ve added an exclamation mark to the product URL and the CMS automatically reveals a pre-populated tick box:

When adding redirects yourself, the platform has also made it easy to add one to one redirects in the CMS, but you will need to download adds on from the Shopify AppStore to perform bulk redirects.

More Shopify Resources Here:

How To Use Technical Seo To Optimize For Pinterest Rich Pins

Pinterest can impact search engine rankings, especially Google. However, it doesn’t work the way other SEO factors do. This is Google puts pins on the nofollow list. However, they can still serve as a crucial factor for SEO. 

Quality pins with high-resolution images and appealing content, and relevant keywords promote repins and likes. All repined images come with their original links attached to them. This directs more traffic to the website. As people interact with the pins, it increases the quality of backlinks to your website. 

As we know, backlinks are the lifeblood of SEO; more quality backlinks mean better ranking in Google search results.

As alluring and lucrative as it sounds, SEO through Pinterest can go wrong in many ways. 

Firstly, adding a product image doesn’t is not going to work unless you make the product accessible to the users. This means you need to provide a buying link to the product. 

You should also take care of the following −

Make sure your pins don’t lead to the wrong products.

A pin with a broken link will lead to nowhere.

The product image in the pin must match the image on the website.

Using Technical SEO to Optimize Pinterest Rich Pins Fix Any Crawling Issue on Your Site

By creating billions of pins, Pinterest aims to help people discover what they love. That’s why Pinterest has web crawlers to identify the data type behind every pin.

Downloading image files of each product from your catalog.

Collect rich metadata like price, description, and product availability.

Ensure the site is safe to visit.

This is where Technical SEO can help.

Start by uploading high-quality images to your website. Make sure you use the same image on your site while pinning on Pinterest. It is essential as Pinterest revolves around images. You are more likely to garner likes and engagement if you have a good picture.

When a real Pinterest crawler visits your site, it will do that by sending a valid user agent. This agent is connected to the network of Pinterest. 

Pinterest crawlers also crawl chúng tôi As a result, it will scan the most important pages first and ignore links as directed by you.

With technical SEO, you can increase the crawlability of your site. So, when Pinterest crawls, it can easily index the page files.

Verify the Pinterest Crawler

Pinterest generally crawls using US-based IP addresses. It usually starts with chúng tôi However, there is no fixed range for non-US-Based IP addresses. 

Sometimes, malicious sites or bots may access your site, pretending to be crawlers. So, with technical SEO practices such as Reverse DNS lookup, you can verify the crawler’s authenticity. 

To verify −

Pull out all the IP addresses from the logs. 

Use the host command to execute a reverse DNS lookup on these IP addresses.

Use the host command to run a forward DNA lookup. 

Make sure it includes the same IP address as the reverse DNS lookup.

Use chúng tôi on the Main Domain

Pinterest doesn’t support chúng tôi files on subdomains. Therefore, you can use chúng tôi on domains to limit’s Pinterest access to all contents of a website. This is because a large number of crawl delays can impact Pinterest’s content distribution and recommendation. Hence, a crawl delay of up to 1 second is appreciated. 

Help You Get to Pinterest Analytics

Gaining access to precious Pinterest analysts is critical to understanding user behavior. It also allows you to use Rich Pins and other existing insights. To start, you need a business account. Setting up an account is easier than signing up for any social media platform.

Claim Your Website

Claiming your website gives you access to analytics for all pins you published from your site. It also includes analytics for pins others create from your site.

Technical SEO can help claim your website. You can add an HTML tag to your site’s source code. Once you have done that, it’s time to upload the HTML file to your site. An HTML file helps search crawlers define page layouts and contents, including images, text, and other elements.

Conclusion

With a few extra steps, you can ensure that your content reaches its target audience and is optimized for Pinterest Rich Pins. By doing the key things shared above, SEO optimizing your content for Pinterest Rich Pins will be your gateway to drive traffic back to your website and see strong results from your SEO efforts.

What Are Fosmids And How Do They Work?

Introduction

Fosmids are vectors used for cloning large fragments of DNA. They were developed in the 1990s to improve on the capabilities of other cloning vectors, such as bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) and yeast artificial chromosomes (YACs). Fosmids are particularly useful for studying large and complex genomes, and they have become an important tool in modern genetics and genomics research.

Fosmids are derived from F-plasmids, which are small, circular pieces of DNA found in bacteria. F-plasmids are often used as vectors for cloning small DNA fragments, but their usefulness is limited when it comes to cloning larger fragments. Fosmids were developed to address this limitation by incorporating several key features that make them better suited for cloning larger fragments of DNA.

Features

One of the key features of fosmids is their larger size compared to other cloning vectors. Fosmids are typically around 40-50 kilobases (kb) in size, which allows them to accommodate larger DNA fragments.

This contrasts with BACs and YACs, which can be several hundred kb or even megabases in size. While larger vectors may be useful for cloning very large DNA fragments, they can also be more difficult to work with and may have lower stability.

Another important feature of fosmids is their ability to maintain stable and high-copy numbers in bacterial cells. This means that once a fosmid has been introduced into a bacterial host cell, it can replicate and produce many copies of itself.

This is important for several reasons. First, it allows researchers to amplify the DNA fragment of interest, making it easier to work with and analyze. Second, it ensures that the fosmid and the DNA fragment it contains will be stably maintained in the bacterial host cell, even after many generations of cell division.

Fosmids also contain several other useful features, such as selectable markers that allow researchers to identify and isolate cells that contain the fosmid. For example, a common selectable marker used in fosmids is the antibiotic resistance gene.

This gene confers resistance to a particular antibiotic, such as ampicillin, and cells that contain the fosmid will also contain this resistance gene. By growing the cells in the presence of the antibiotic, researchers can select for cells that contain the fosmid and the resistance gene.

To clone a DNA fragment into a fosmid, researchers first insert the fragment into a special type of plasmid called a fosmid vector. Fosmid vectors contain the necessary features for replication and maintenance of the fosmid in bacterial cells, as well as unique restriction sites that allow for the insertion of DNA fragments.

The DNA fragment is typically prepared by cutting it with a restriction enzyme, which creates sticky ends that can be easily ligated into the fosmid vector.

Once the DNA fragment has been inserted into the fosmid vector, the resulting construct can be introduced into bacterial host cells using a process called transformation. The host cells take up the fosmid construct and begin replicating it, producing many copies of the fosmid and the DNA fragment it contains.

The transformed cells can then be grown on selective media containing the appropriate antibiotic or other selectable marker, which allows researchers to isolate cells that contain the fosmid and the DNA fragment of interest.

Once the fosmid has been isolated and amplified, researchers can perform a variety of experiments to study the DNA fragment it contains. For example, they may sequence the DNA fragment to determine its nucleotide sequence, or they may use it to create transgenic organisms that express the gene encoded by the DNA fragment.

Fosmids can also be used to construct large genomic libraries, which are collections of clones that together represent the entire genome of an organism.

Conclusion

Fosmids are powerful tools for cloning large fragments of DNA and have become an important tool in modern genetics and genomics research. Fosmids are derived from F-plasmids but are larger in size and can maintain stable and high-copy numbers in bacterial cells. They also contain selectable markers that allow for the isolation of cells that contain the fosmid and the DNA fragment of interest. Once the fosmid has been isolated and amplified, researchers can perform a variety of experiments to study the DNA fragment it contains, including sequencing and creating transgenic organisms.

Fosmids are an essential tool for studying complex genomes and are an important contribution to the field of molecular biology.

FAQs

Q1. What is a fosmid?

Ans. A fosmid is a cloning vector used for cloning large fragments of DNA. It is derived from F-plasmids and contains several key features that make it better suited for cloning larger fragments of DNA.

Ans. Fosmids are larger in size compared to other cloning vectors, which allows them to accommodate larger DNA fragments. They also maintain stable and high-copy numbers in bacterial cells, contain selectable markers, and can be easily amplified.

Q3. How do researchers clone a DNA fragment into a fosmid?

Ans. Researchers insert the DNA fragment into a fosmid vector, which contains the necessary features for replication and maintenance of the fosmid in bacterial cells, as well as unique restriction sites that allow for the insertion of DNA fragments. The resulting construct is then introduced into bacterial host cells using transformation.

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