To achieve a successful SEO campaign, combined technical, on-page, and off-page efforts are essential. It makes SEO (search engine optimization) more than inbound marketing or a way to bring more audience to the website. However, the technical SEO is often neglected which result in lowering of website ranking.
If you want to improve the ranking of your web pages, there is no way you can neglect anything in the process. I needn’t say what it feels when you fail to rank in the top of the search result despite investing a lot of time, effort and money in the SEO services.
As a website owner, it is essential to learn the basic SEO and some advanced stuff to analyze and find mistakes for quick rectification. Unfortunately, most of the owners don’t and struggle in the campaign leading to many mistakes.
Mistakes in the optimization give wrong signals to the ranking algorithm affecting your chance to rank higher in the search result. According to an SEM Rush study, a list of common mistakes and their percentages have been revealed on the website. Here is the list:
- Duplicate content -50%
- Missing ALT attributes -45%
- Duplicate title tags - 35%
- Broken internal links -35%
- Duplicate meta descriptions -30%
- Low text to HTML ratio -28%
- Missing Meta description - 25%
- Broken external links - 25%
- Multiple <H1> Tags - 20%
- Missing H1 -20%
- Low word count -18%
- Duplicate content in H1 and Title -15%
- Too much text within Title tag -15%
- Too many on-page links -15%
- Correct language declaration is missing -12%
- Temporary redirects -10%
- Broken internal images -10%
- Missing title tags-8%
- Not enough text within title tag -4%
In this blog, I will cover some 5 common mistakes that create obstacles in getting the top ranking in the search result. It is the right time to analyze your website to find if the ranking is suffering from these mistakes and fix them quickly. Are you ready?
Duplicate content on your website
Over 50% of the websites have duplicate contents as revealed in the SEMRush study.
Search engines consider a content duplicate when a substantive block of your contents matches with other contents found in one or two places. When the copy of your blogs, articles, and others get published in one or multiple sites - it creates problems in all cases.
As you know, Google Hummingbird regularly update to check the quality, relevance, and uniqueness of web pages contents before ranking them in the search result. As Google picks only the best to include in the search result, it is important to have engaging, concise, and original content on the website. The entire low-quality contents are taken down in the search engine rankings which will hurt you.
How to fix duplicate content issues?
The only way to clean the duplicate content is by removing them from your website. Many tools are available where you can find unoriginal contents published on the site. Find and replace with fresh, unique and original content in its place.
Broken or missing Alt tags on images
Did you know Alt tags assist search engines to understand the images? That is because they contain a textual description of the images so that search engines can categorize and index. That is why most of the CMS comes with a feature to add Alt tags easily when images are used.
From the SEMRush study, it has found that over 45% of websites didn’t have Alt tags and 10% have broken internal links on images. Beautiful and relevant images can boost engagement while they can be an SEO issue if not used properly.
Remember the images not displaying and missing Alt tags are a similar problem as the broken links. And, you know broken links are neither loved by search engines or web users. Presence of broken or missing Alt tags can quickly downgrade your web pages ranking.
How to fix that problem?
To fix the problem of broken and missing Alt tags, you must find out them first. SEO chat offers a free tool that scans images and links with this problem. Get the problem fixed as soon as possible to negate adverse effects.
No-follow in your URLs
No-follow tags are used to prevent search engines from crawling specific web pages of your website. That may be done to avoid duplicate content issues, hide sensitive information and customer-only pages from coming up in the search result.
It creates no problem in doing so, but you should know that a “no follow” tag is not enough to prevent being indexed by search engines. However, it makes a mess on your site and impacts your SEO efforts negatively.
If you wish that search engines not to crawl your site, use this tag: <meta name=”robots”noindex, nofollow”>. Simply add this code to the HTML head of a page to search engines to ignore it.
How to fix no follow tag?
A couple of free tools are available to scan web pages for no follow pages such as Varvy’s Link Count and No follow Tool for use. Scan your website to find no follow-ed pages and fix them now.
Incorrect Outbound (external) links
External links are the hyperlinks that are directed to pages of other websites from your website. The external link can help or downgrade your website authority that search engines give to every site.
Link building is still an important method to increase the ranking of your website. So, where the external links may hurt or help you in the ranking?
The problem arises when these outbound links are of low quality and use keyword anchor texts in the header or footer to rank high. It creates confusion in the internal website navigation degrading the user experience.
Acquiring outbound links from the main contents are not an issue but make sure to look at the quality and authority of the website. The domain authority should not be less than 50 to let Google know that you are making vital links. If you build links with low quality and spammy websites, search engines will pull down your ranking in the anti-spam algorithm updates.
How to fix them?
Check your link profile using the excellent and premium tools like Moz Link Explorer and Ahrefs to find bad links which might be hurting you in the future. After seeing them, you can decide which one to fix and remove from them.
Confusing internal link structure
Internal link structure is an essential way of giving an idea of your website structure. Right internal link structure allows search engines to build a hierarchy of pages based on values and show on the search result. Owners follow many ways to create internal link structure which often get wrong creating problems in your SEO efforts.
Google wants every site to have a logical link structure which would allow visitors to reach every page within three clicks. Thanks to the modern CMS like WordPress, Wix, Shopify which enable you to handle these tasks automatically.
Another misleading belief is that you should embed a canonical tag to multiple pages with similar content which is not true. You should add only one canonical tag to a page having the post, not on other parts. The multiple canonical tags on pages increase the risk of removing the link from search engine indexes which can negate your SEO benefits.
Google's search algorithm has over 200 ranking factors, and some updates are coming daily. A flat hierarchy of your pages allows search engines to understand your website semantically and improve ranking.
How to fix them?
As you found the common on-page SEO mistakes that you may be committing on your website, it is the right time to rectify them. If you can’t fix them yourself, you must consult with an SEO expert to handle your campaign for the best ranking result on search engines.