On-Site SEO Mistakes To Avoid

  • January 7, 2019

When you conduct SEO audits on your website you soon start seeing trends involving the most commonly repeated mistakes. Fortunately, these are typically easy to fix, especially if you’ve hired an SEO expert to work on everything for you. If you don’t have a specialist, there are still some things you can quickly check on for yourself.

Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is the same content that appears in more than one webpage within the same or even a different website. This content isn’t something search engines know how to index, so they simply don’t. There are a few different ways this can occur, including:

  • Homepage duplication
  • Duplicate URLs that use upper- and lower-case URL text inconsistently, which confuses search bots and devalues your website.
  • Duplicate content happens when you borrow content from another website to paste on yours.

Duplicate Content is Bad SEO

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can resolve these duplicate content issues. Some of the best ways, include:

  • Minimalize similar content by combining them into a single page. If this isn’t possible, you should make sure that each page contains unique content.
  • Delete any duplicate page versions. If you use a 301 redirect here, make sure you also use a “rel canonical” tag there so search engines know what version to index.
  • Make sure readability is a primary concern. You should use hyphens when necessary, but don’t use underscores, spaces, or other types of characters for this. Always keep your URLs short, but descriptive and never use all capital letters.

Content Marketing You’ve Let Go by the Wayside

Off-site search engine optimization and link building are great, but you also need a good content strategy if you want to grow your website’s traffic. It can literally make or break your marketing, which is why you shouldn’t do any marketing without it. Pure off-page optimization won’t help your rankings soar anymore.

Poor Site Structure

Best on-site SEO practices really need to be integrated into your website’s structure. This starts with your home page, since it has the most authority (a.k.a. link juice) because it attracts the most incoming and outgoing links. Each step away a web page is from your home page, the less authority it’ll have and the worse it’ll rank. This is why high authority pages that are buried deep within your architecture will dramatically lose their rankings. Of course, the reverse is also true in that the closer pages are to your home page, the better they’ll rank in Google. As such, the best website structure is one that’s flat – where all related pages link to each other through targeted keywords, contain meta titles and descriptions, and also have your keywords in their page content.

Mobile Site Design is Good SEO

Not Having a Mobile Site Design

Google considers your mobile site when ranking you. Some important factors to consider here, include:

  • If your website isn’t mobile friendly, about 61% of your traffic will leave and go elsewhere
  • At least 25% of a “typical” website’s traffic comes from mobile users

It’s not as difficult as you may think to build a mobile version of your website. All you need is a responsive design, which is great for limited maintenance and budgets.

Having Unreasonable SEO Expectations

SEO is no longer easy or inexpensive. The tactics that were once used to exploit an algorithm’s loopholes no longer exist. Today, SEO is more than just simply ranking for specific keywords, because people type in search queries differently – mostly using long-tail keywords now and these aren’t on any list, but they do tend to convert better. As such, you can’t measure your SEO success solely on where you rank in the SERPs. You also need to consider things like traffic, length of visit, lower bounce rates, and sales inquiries. These are all things that are affected by having a good interface and design, reasonable prices, helpful content, and great customer service. While these require time and money, they’re well spent in this regard.

On-Site SEO Mistakes To Avoid

Hiring a bad SEO Consultant

This is the number one mistake most business owners continue to make today and it’s also the most dangerous one, because it can bury you in the SERPs relatively quickly. This is especially true if the consultant builds a lot of bad links from spammy directories. You’ll know you’re dealing with a bad SEO provider, because they’ll be secretive about what they’re doing and unwilling to show you how they’re doing it. In all honesty, you’re better off not having an SEO consultant than to have bad SEO.

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