Onsite SEO: Mistakes to Avoid!
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Every business wants to get their website to the top of Google. This move can be the game-changer – securing the top spot on Google will boost your click-through rates, leads, and ultimately sales.
But achieving this feat is increasingly difficult, considering everyone wants the same spot. While everyone cannot be at the top, getting the basics right will improve your chances of landing the prize.
So, in this piece, we will be discussing the pitfalls you should avoid in your quest to rise through the ranks.
Having no sitemap.
Let’s describe what a sitemap is – it is an XML file that feeds data to search engines. What type of data? The sitemap provides data about the most important pages of the website. These may include the date of the last update and what a page has over the others.
With this information, the spider is better positioned to crawl the site more efficiently and accurately. Note that having a sitemap does not automatically translate to search engine success; it is one of those little moves that can better your chances.
Unsuccessful canonical domain check.
Your domain may fail a canonical check if your homepage can be accessed via multiple URLs. As harmless as it may appear, different URLs loading the same content is an issue. This leads to the division of inbound like equity, which depletes the SEO value of the website.
When this happens, configure the 301 redirects to redirect the duplicate pages to a single location or fix the canonical tags.
Slow load times.
When Google announced its decision to consider the loading times of a website as part of its algorithm in 2010, it forces websites to work on reducing their loading times both on desktop and mobile.
Not sure what your site’s load time is? Use the PageSpeed Insights tool from Google or any other page analysis tool to estimate your site’s load time. If the analysis confirms that your website has a slow process speed, you should make some changes.
Not having header tags.
The importance of header tags cannot be overemphasized. The structure it brings into the mix makes it easier for search engines to understand the important parts. The header tags also help in prioritizing the content on a page for correct and effective uses.
When using header tags, adopt a unique main tag that clearly states the page’s purpose using the main keywords. Consider using tags where applicable in your subheadings.
Having no image description.
Using the right image is half the job; the other half is adding the proper image description. Your image description should be a descriptive and relevant text. You can have it as an Alt attribute.
Image descriptions help search engines to understand your images. When adding descriptions to your images, make them clear, concise, relevant, and keyword-rich.
Having inadequate metadata.
Your SEO success still largely depends on your metadata, especially title tags. Your title tag is the first line of text a user sees about your website on the search result page.
For best results, keep your title tags brief – not more than 70 characters – and use the relevant keywords. Alongside title tags, you should also focus on meta descriptions. It is your best chance of convincing the user to click through to your page.
Your meta descriptions should appear like a copy. You can easily add and edit your meta descriptions if you are using a CMS system.
It is not enough to research and identify the right keywords. You must also use them correctly. Copywriters must understand the need to balance the use of target keywords naturally in a page’s body.
Using the keywords excessively and unnaturally will put your SEO score at risk. The search engine will struggle to identify what to rank for. Instead, use selected variations of the keywords of the page. While using keywords to impress Google, do not confuse your readers.
You must satisfy your readers and Google spiders.
It is common to see duplicate pages within the same website, especially on larger eCommerce websites. This can be counterproductive. For instance, applying filters to product listings on eCommerce websites may lead to duplication. Likewise, having several slight variations on a product on the same website can lead to duplication.
To fix this, use a canonical tag. Canonical tags help to identify duplicate pages by linking them with the corresponding main pages so that a single page gets all the SEO values.
Not naming links correctly.
When you add links to your page, you do so via anchor texts – the text’s clickable part. Now, when the search engine spider crawls your website, one of the reasons is to assess the relevance of any associated page.
It is easier to use random anchor texts like ‘follow this link’ when linking external pages. But this will not do any good for your SEO efforts. Instead, use anchor texts containing relevant keywords that you want your page to rank for.
More importantly, avoid over-optimizing your anchor texts – it can be counterproductive.
The mistakes we have discussed above, if fixed, will definitely help your online marketing efforts and improve your overall results. But more importantly, it will contribute more to your revenue.
Understandably, it may seem like a lot of work. However, start with one or two and add more gradually until you have ticked the boxes. If you ever encounter a hitch while at it, feel free to contact professionals for help.
You can reach us via (insert email), we will be delighted to help you get the best out of your digital marketing efforts.
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