Why you should fix these SEO mistakes immediately!
It is no secret that Google is becoming smarter every single day. The algorithm is constantly learning, as well as being updated very frequently. When Google are crawling your website, there are positive signals that they are feeding off of, which in turn lets them know to rank you higher.
Most websites are sold to businesses as ‘SEO Friendly’ or ‘SEO Ready’, but all that really means is that the site will look nice to any of the users. In reality, there are so many items that require resolving from an ‘SEO Friendly’ website once it goes live and begins trying to rank well in Google.
We’ve listed below some of the most common SEO mistakes that we see time and time again, most of which can be quickly & easily resolved. Use this as a guide and resolve these issues on your own website as it will allow Google to have a much better experience on your site in future.
1 - Image file names and alt text
Before you upload those professionally shot images to your website in order to look as professional as you are, it makes sense to rename the file first, as most images are uploaded as ‘/IMG-7766.jpg’. Rename the file to something more relevant before uploading it to your website.
When your image is uploaded, make sure to utilize the image alt text. This is where you have the ability to further describe what is in the picture. This is used to enhance accessibility to some website users, but if you’re clever, you can find a way to include your keywords into the alt-text.
2 - Low backlink quality
This one is a bit trickier to resolve for most people, as it can be seen as a bit more advanced, or at the very least, a bit more time-consuming. Most website owners and digital marketers can also think they have had great success earning a link, only to later realize it will be of no benefit.
There is quite a lot that goes into explaining why a backlink could be either beneficial to your website, or practically useless. So instead of trying to fit it all in here (as it would be a whole blog article on its own), we’ve included a great video below which helps to gain a better understanding.
3 - Not resolving 404 errors
We’ve all experienced this at one stage or another. You search for something, find a website that looks like the best result, then BAM – 404 error. There are many reasons why a URL can be returning a 404 error to users, yet many businesses don’t keep an eye on this for their own website.
Using a tool such as Screaming Frog will allow you to crawl your website and discover where all of the 404 errors are occurring on your website. This is one of the first things that we do for all of our clients, including those who order the SEO Starter Package, as this is crucially important.
4 - Not reducing 301 redirect hops
Having 301 redirects on your website is not a bad thing regarding your SEO, in fact in many cases, it can help resolve some SEO issues. However, the problem occurs when you have multiple 301 hops, meaning the redirect leads to a redirect, which leads to a redirect, etc.
As mentioned above in the section about resolving 404 errors, you can also discover all of your 301 redirects by using the Screaming Frog tool. It also creates a handy report of redirect chains so you can instantly see where you have multiple 301 hops occurring and can then resolve them.
5 - Leaving pages as NoIndex
We would always recommend leaving a page set to ‘NoIndex’ whilst it is being created. The reason being is that we’re all busy, and when you start making a new web page for your site, it can take some time to finish it and get it exactly that way that you intend it to be for the visitor.
Once you’re happy with how the page looks & functions, you then publish it live on your website, yet most people forget to then index the page. As you’re waiting for the page to rank in Google, nothing happens, until you finally realize the page has been set to ‘NoIndex’ this entire time.
6 - Leaving staging site indexable
If this is something that your competitor has done, awesome, as you can now see what they are working on before it goes live to the public. However, if this is something that your website is guilty of, then your competitors can easily swoop in and spy on your upcoming projects.
This is usually spotted earlier when a client is benefiting from eCommerce SEO services, as applying a site-wide tag can usually resolve this. Make sure to de-index your entire staging site, essentially sending a signal to Google letting them know they can’t show it in search results.
This is something we actually mentioned when we were featured on another article that went into many more SEO mistakes that are common.
7 - Not creating dedicated landing pages
Clients often come to us as they have a particular keyword they believe their website should be ranking for, yet they are not listed on page #1. The logic to them is usually that their home page should do the trick, but we always advise to have a product/service dedicated landing page.
Having a web page that is focused solely on one particular job (when optimized correctly) can give Google much better positive ranking signals. As an example, we know that there are people searching for SEO services in Tipperary, so we’ve created a dedicated page for that audience.
8 - Not using SSL
This is one of the common SEO mistakes that we can’t believe still occurs in this day and age. It is awful that any website is handed over to a business that does not have an SSL certificate successfully installed. Especially as in most cases it is free and takes literally second to install.
Almost 40% of all websites in the world are run on WordPress, so chances are that your website is also run on WordPress as you’re reading this, so we’ve included a video below where Adam from WPCrafter quickly runs through how to resolve this issue on your own WordPress website.
9 - Not creating custom meta information
This is SEO 101. Your meta title and meta description is what appears to your potential website visitors as they find you in the search results. This is something that is unique to every single page on your website, not your website as a whole over all. So this can be time-consuming to do.
If you don’t create these, Google will do it’s best to try and place relevant wording in place for you when displaying your site in the search results. If you really want to increase your CTR (Click-Through-Rate), then this is your opportunity to let user know why to click on your website in SERPs.
10 - Not creating a great user experience
Google is no longer just looking behind the scenes at the code on your website to see where you have certain keywords included on the page, they are actively aiming to provide a better user experience to their users, meaning they want to send them to websites that have a great UX too.
The advice to follow is make your website for humans first, and Google second. You really need to put yourself in your website visitor’s shoes. So move that bloody homepage pop-up that somebody is instantly greeted with before they know what you do to open further down the page!
It makes sense to think that Google want to see a clean website. Would you want to visit a hotel that you knew had underlying structural issues? Take the time to do the research on your own website in order to resolve these issues and get Google to fall in love with your amazing website.
If you’d like us to go over your website to uncover some of these, along with some SEO opportunities that we can spot, then book a call today.