We know that SEO is the foundation of a successful website. It can drive traffic, engagement, and conversions if you have paid attention to both, on-page and off-page SEO. With Google’s constant algorithm updates, it is all the more important to ensure you are not making even the slightest mistakes in terms of SEO. After all, Google wants readers to be happy when they land on your page, don’t you?
Search Engine Optimization helps your website to rank higher in search engine results of Google, Yahoo or Bing. On-Page SEO is one of the most vital factors for the success of your SEO campaigns. Unfortunately, most people struggle with SEO and make costly on-page SEO mistakes, and if you reckon you could be one of them, it’s not too late.
In this blog, we will talk about the top 7 common on-page SEO mistakes that are likely to hurt your search engine rankings. As we said, it’s never too late to analyse your website to find if the ranking is suffering from these mistakes and fix them quickly. Are you ready?
1. Not Optimising Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Title tags and Meta descriptions play an important part in SEO; they impact your rankings in every way. The length of the title tag matters because it shows how much of it is visible in the search results. Title tags help search engines to identify what the page is all about. To fix this issue, keep your title unique and between 50-60 characters.
Similarly, meta descriptions serve the dual purpose of informing your users about you and persuading them to click on your article. As we know, good meta description helps increase the click-through rates but might not always implement it. To fix it, keep your meta description shorter than 160 characters, and make sure it is attractive and click-worthy.
2. Duplicate and Low-quality Content on Your Website
Ever read something somewhere and thought to yourself ‘I think I’ve read it before?’ Well, you’ve been attacked by duplicate content. Even for search engines, it’s a tad bit boring to keep scrolling through the same content and this can easily hurt your reputation, as well as rankings.
Google’s Hummingbird update in fact suggested and even alerted us about how content quality will always be on top of Google’s mind. So, it is important to have original and relevant content on your website, as well as other content offerings and resources. Why? Because Google is smart and it takes down all the low-quality content from the search results on its own. So, not only do you need to focus on making sure there is no duplicated content, but you also need to keep creating high-quality content. If you are unsure of how to take care of this, then Siteliner tool is one such platform that helps you find duplicate content by scanning your site and helps you understand how you can improve it.
3. Broken or Missing Alt Tags
Alt tags assist search engines in understanding the images that are used by you. With the textual descriptions of images, it allows the search engines to categorise and index them. Similarly, broken images pose the same issue of Google not understanding what you are trying to post and hence, discarding or not reading them altogether.
To fix this, you need to include Alt tags if you haven't been doing and correct any broken images. SEO chat is a free tool to find the list of broken images or links and empty alt text and scans both, images and links on a web page for a better understanding of what needs to be rectified.
4. Keyword Stuffing in Your Content
Keyword Stuffing is a common practice adopted by many websites where they try to manipulate search engines by adding a lot of keywords in a content piece.
Typically, a keyword is a question the user is searching for. So, to leverage the user query, a lot of sites stuff as many keywords as possible in one or many pieces of content. That way, they enable Google to rank the page higher incorrectly in order to have more traffic directed towards their site. But that only works for a while.
One technique to fix this issue is by using Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords (LSI Keywords) which are related keywords, search terms, and phrases. This way you’ll be able to avoid the overuse of keywords and at the same time, improve the keyword density of your content.
5. External Links Used Incorrectly
External Links are hyperlinks that direct a user to pages on different websites. Sometimes, External links help by showcasing your research skills and that you’ve got the right support in backing up your statements, and sometimes they can hurt the authority search engines assign to your website. Especially, when the outbound or external links are of low quality, it is not necessarily good for your site. In order words, if your site contains links to ‘bad neighborhoods’, it can easily get pushed down in search rankings by search engines.
To fix this, use tools like Moz Link Explorer and Ahrefs to acknowledge and rectify the links associated with poor quality, are broken or missing.
6. Not Being Mobile-friendly
It’s 2019 and the number of mobile users is more than ever. So, how can Google be behind? Just like all search engines, Google also gives high priority to mobile-friendly sites. So, if your site is not mobile-friendly, then chances are, you will start losing your rank in the search engines in 2019. Among many other important ranking factors, mobile-friendliness is of utmost importance.
To fix this issue, create a mobile version of your current site, make your website responsive, compress your images, and improve your site's loading speed. Include a “view desktop version” option at the bottom of your site and regularly check your website’s mobile-friendliness.
7. Slow Page Speed and Site Load Time
Page and site load speed is a large ranking factor. Did you know, Google aims to slightly lower the rankings of websites and pages that take more than 1.5 seconds to load? But how does this happen? Well, a major factor in hampering the site’s loading speed or time is that the image files that websites use are too large.
To fix this, use tools like GTmetrix help in testing and measuring your site’s page speed and load time, and provide you with valuable insights with which you can rectify these issues swiftly.
Everything from duplicated content and broken images to missing Alt tags, mobile-friendliness, and slow loading speed can hurt your site rankings. Use the tips above to fix the on-page SEO issues as soon as possible, and if you don’t have the expertise or bandwidth, then you must consult with an SEO expert to help you improve your search engine rankings.