It’s important to regularly scan your website for possible issues, scanning your website is similar to what the Google Search Console does, but scanners that run on your own computer can offer more suggestions about improving your website functionality and you can run your scanners anytime you want to run them.
The most popular no cost scanning solutions are below:
Thanks to the scanning programs above, you can search for the following problems:
Sometimes links that previously worked can now point to a “Not Found” page, there can be a number of reasons for a link that used to work to no longer send the user to a working page:
- the page might have been moved to another address
- the page might have been deleted
- the link might have been mistyped in the first place
Whatever the reason, you should find and repair all broken links on your website.
If you change the address of an existing website page you should redirect your old url to the new url, ensuring proper redirects is important for the following reasons:
- the old address might already be indexed by Google, you want to catch any traffic that is going to the old address and make sure the traffic is directed to the correct address so the end user does not run into a “Not Found” page
- there might be links to the old url on other websites and you want to be sure to capture traffic coming from 3rd party links as well
- people might have the old url address in their browser history or have the old url address bookmarked
When you delete a page off of your website, you should redirect the deleted url to another page on your website that might be helpful to people who wanted to see the original page.
There is a WordPress plugin called “Redirection” that allows you to easily create redirects directly in your WordPress panel.
To activate the plugin, go to “Tools” and then click “Redirections”, after an easy set-up process you’ll be ready to start adding new redirections.
Images without ALT attributes
You can read about this problem in the WCAG chapter.
Missing or duplicate H1 tags, titles, meta descriptions
Thanks to scanners you can locate pages on your website that are missing H1 tags, titles or meta descriptions or locate the pages that repeat the same headings or repeat the same title tags as other pages on your website. If you are trying to get a page ranked by Google in the search results, you don’t want two or more pages repeating the same headings or title tags as repeating the same headings and title tags can cause keyword cannibalization which waters down the effectiveness of both pages. It is a much better SEO tactic to create a single page that is compelling to your end users as a page that is compelling to your users will likely be compelling to Google as well.
You can read about writing effective headings and title tags in the Writing chapter of this eBook.
Sometimes a website can be seen from multiple addresses, for example using:
When a website homepage has canonical issues, Google sees multiple homepage urls which means your own homepage is competing against itself and for search engines, indexing your website correctly can be an issue.
In order to correct your canonical issues, you need to redirect all problem urls to your main website url. Ensuring that all users and search engines are always directed to the same homepage will clean up your canonical issues and also clean up any issues that Google or other search engines are having when indexing your website.
If you have a canonical problem you should pick one of the HTTPS versions (with or without “www”) and force all the other addresses to redirect to the URL you choose. We would recommend checking which url has been indexed by Google already and use the url that Google has already indexed and the url that Google has already indexed is the url that already has visibility and traction. To check and see which url Google has indexed, type “site:DOMAIN.COM” into the Google search box.
Once done, use the Easy HTTPS Redirection plugin mentioned previously in the HTTPS section and force your chosen address to be the main url from this point forward.