12 SEO Mistakes to avoid highlighting some important aspects of SEO you shouldn’t overlook or ignore. Be it Onsite, Offsite, or Technical SEO, anything SEO or any aspect of SEO should be taken seriously by every website owner as SEO determines whether your website appears or not on the natural search result.
Therefore paying attention to and optimizing your website ( pages and posts ), will help improve your website traffic and search results.
1) No Sitemap for your website and blog
One of the ways to let the search engines know about the existence of your website/blog is through your site sitemap. We have two types of sitemaps one for the human eyes (HTML Sitemap) and the other for search engines ( XML Sitemap). Creating and submitting your sitemap to search engines like Google and Bing doesn’t guarantee that your website pages and posts will rank for their targeted keywords, but it is a sure way of getting your website and blog content noticed quickly.
2) Not paying attention to your site metadata
Ignoring your page/post title (which happens to be the first thing a user pays attention to whenever your page/post is returned in search engine result pages) and description is a crime.
Your page/post title should contain your target keyword and also give your target audience reasons to click through to your page/post. Whereas the meta description has no direct influence on your Onsite SEO fortune but it still offers indirect influence by enabling the user to have a glance at what the page content is all about and if it fits its purpose or not.
I personally read through the description of returned pages, before deciding to click or not. Here aside from your target keyword, you must use write it in a way that will persuade your users to click through.
3) No header tags
Outside your page title, the header tags especially your page <H1> are a very important OnPage SEO ranking factor while the others like <H2>, play an important role in the structure and organization arrangement of your page/blog post.
The rule is that you make sure that your page/post <H1> tag reflects exactly what your page or blog post is all about including having the page. blog post targeted keyword in it. Aside from using the <H2> tag to properly structure your page/blog post content, also make sure that it contains a variant of your page/blog post’s targeted keyword in it.
4) Site Slow Speed
Speed is one of the SEO factors one needs to pay attention to both on mobile and desktop. With so many tools available for easy identification and resolving of website speed issues, one shouldn’t fail foul of this. Simply test your website using any of these tools ( Pingdom, GTmetrix, Google PageSpeed Insight and your normal Chrome Browser Dev Tool ).
- Some common issues that normally affect website speed include
- Lack of cache.
- Oversize images and multimedia files.
- And not making use of CDN (Content Delivery Network) were necessary
The test tools normally highlight these issues in a comprehensive fashion, stating also possible solutions to them. All you need do is to follow their suggestions and resolve your site speed related issues.
5) None optimized images
Having an optimized image on your site pages and blog posts involves a couple of things.
- First, it involves it having an appropriate name, a name that reflects what the page and post are all about and not just any name.
- It involves it having an appropriate size. You can’t just throw an image of any size into your page or blog post.
- It must have an appropriate ‘ALT’ attribute specified for it. This is very important considering that search engines don’t read images the way we do, it needs the alt tag to understand what your image is all about.
- For the sake of the visually impaired, you should also specify your image description
6) Keyword Stuffing
Having your page/blog post targeted keyword in the right places ( your page/post URL, title, your header tags, images etc ) is very important but overdoing it is a very bad practice.
It should neither be too little none too much. Have not just your target keyword but it’s variant which should come into your page/blog post content naturally.
If the target keyword for this article is “SEO Mistakes to avoid”, I should not go about throwing ‘SEO Mistakes to avoid” everywhere. I have to find a variant of this / other thing users may search for around this topic and let them come into the post naturally.
7) Failed canonical domain check
This arises when your site homepage or any other page/post is accessible through more than one URL. Eg doerstechnologies.com.ng, doerstechnologies.com.ng/index.php, doerstechnologies.com.ng/home.php all points to the same home and users access the same home page through these.
This is not healthy for your site SEO, as these multiple URL loading the same contents will end up dividing your site’s inbound link equity and diminishes your site overall SEO value. A perfect solution to this is to have a 301 redirect to point the other duplicate pages permanently to the right one so that when users eventually try accessing those, they will be pointed to the right one.
8) Duplicate Content
This Is normally a common issue with eCommerce sites and other forms of larger sites with product listing. It’s important to pay attention to this and handle it by using canonical tags to point duplicate pages/posts to the main pages.
9) Dubious external links
Having other sites point to your website/website contents, is an important offsite SEO ranking factor especially when the links are from sites within your niche and sites with strong domain authority. This becomes an issue if the links are dubiously acquired or the links are not in any way relevant to your niche.
10) Poor Internal linking
It’s always a good practice to have relevant links to other pages/posts within an existing page or post especially if they are relevant to each other. In doing this, we need to do it right by paying attention to the anchor text use and making sure those are not generic terms like ‘Click Here’ or ‘Read More’ but have to be relevant text that will serve the SEO purpose of the page.
This, I have done with the examples I have in this post.
11) Not Paying Attention to Local SEO
Every business is localized in one way or the other especially small and medium-scale businesses. It’s a lost opportunity not to take advantage of this fact and get your business found by the people within and around your business location actively searching for what you offer. This is where Local SEO comes in. It’s not rocket science, all you need do is to pay attention to your
- Locality when specifying your target keywords for your products/services offering pages.
- Make sure your claim all available local listings for your business eg Google My Business and any available niche directory that serves your business interest and more.
12) Thinking That SEO is a One-Off Thing
Ok now you have built your website, done your SEO ( Onsite, Offsite, and Technical SEO ) and then you have signed off? all done and well? Nope, your work just got started. SEO is not a one-off thing.
You need to constantly review your work to know what works and what works not. Constantly review your stats, and your analytics against your SEO-defined goals and objectives and repeat what works for your brand.
Rutherford Ejimonu is a Digital Marketer, Content analyst, and SEO Specialist with many years of experience in the industry.