SEO plays a critical role in digital marketing because it can drive more traffic to a company’s website and subsequently generate more sales. Creating and managing a successful SEO strategy can be cumbersome work, therefore, businesses and marketers can easily make mistakes.
Making errors in this marketing strategy can result in Google search engine algorithms penalizing the website by bumping it down to lower rankings. Thus, it is important to identify the most common mistakes with the intention to avoid them early on before you go in too deep your SEO strategy. Here are mistakes business owners and marketers are prone to make according to results of research conducted by Sitechecker.
The results of this research
Sitechecker used 52,000 audits conducted on its platform and analyzed 6 million websites pages to identify the most common SEO mistakes business owners and marketers make. The most common SEO errors you might make are categorized into three types:
· Technical SEO mistakes
· Errors with on-page SEO
· Crawlablity errors
Here are detailed explanations of each SEO error type that has been listed above.
Most common technical errors you can make
Technical SEO errors generally lead to a higher bounce rate and in most cases, visitors leave the website before even reading the content. Therefore, resolving technical errors is your first line of defense that will prevent the business’s website from being bumped lower on search engine results pages.
Canonical tag errors
When you are running a large business website, there will be a lot of content on the page and some of them might be similar to another. Business owners and marketers may also have duplicate content on their website, creating confusion on which page should be ranked on search engine results.
Google bots will fail to understand which page to rank and subsequently deny the website preferred rankings at the top of search engine results pages. You can easily resolve this issue by using canonical tags that indicate which page should gain preference. By adding the rel=”canonical” line on your code, the search engine algorithms will understand that the tagged page should be the one ranking.
4xx and 5xx errors
You have probably recognized pages that have results written “404 error” that is also known as HTTP errors. These error results indicate that there is something wrong on the client-side but 5xx errors mean that your servers may be faulty.
Whatever error code you get, ensure that this mistake is resolved as soon as possible because it affects the website’s ranking. You do not have to manually check each website page because an SEO analysis tool can provide reliable and accurate results in a quick time and very accurately.
Fixing these technical errors can improve the chances of the website ranking higher and getting a loyal following. The users will also have a great user-experience making them stay longer on the website which relays a positive SEO message to Google Algorithms.
On-page SEO mistakes
Apart from errors incurred on the technical side of SEO, there are also on-page mistakes that marketers and businesses can make. Those mistakes involve internal links, external links, and meta tags.
Meta tags play a critical role in boosting your on-page SEO efforts because they tell search engines and visitors what the website page is all about. For example, the title tag lets search engines and customers know more about the contents of the web page.
The H1 tag also has the same purpose of indicating the title of the website page and the use of keywords in this section is essential. Another essential section that some marketers forget to include or optimize is the meta description. The latter aspect of SEO marketing summarizes the website page’s content and can appear as a snippet on search engine results pages.
Internal links are very important because they increase the time visitors spend on the website. There are common SEO mistakes you can make in this section of your strategy like linking content pages without an HTTPS certificate. You should also use internal links meaningfully and with related content instead of linking just for the sake of it.
Websites may be so keen on getting external links that they can get involved in low-quality link building techniques. For example, they might pay to be linked on a lot of low-quality blogs and that negatively impacts their SEO efforts. Instead of focusing on such disastrous link building strategies, you should focus your efforts on getting linked by high-quality sites.
Remember, one link from an authoritative site can benefit the business website’s SEO way more than a lot of links from low-quality blogs.
Mistakes that affect the crawlability of a website
Search engines crawl every page that is live on the internet and if your site is not crawlable it will not make it on the search engine results pages. Here are the most common issues related to the crawlability of a website:
303 status code
The 303 status code appears on website pages that have been moved to a new page and thus transfer link equity. If the redirect to the new page is not valid and wasn’t intentional, it can create confusion and it should be fixed.
A redirect chain happens when a website page URL bounces on different pages before it reaches the new destination. That makes crawling impossible and should be resolved to avoid getting a lower ranking on search engine results.
Meta nofollow pages
You can block links on a website page from being crawled by using the nofollow tag but this imposes negative SEO results. Pages that have nofollow cannot be crawled and anything that can’t be crawled is penalized by not being ranked. You can ensure that your website page is crawlable by checking the source code and ensuring that all pages do not have a nofollow tag.
Duplicate website pages
Duplicate website pages can dilute the link strength of external links and making the content rank lower. Therefore, you should ensure that your site is free of any duplicate content and that canonical tags are used.
The results of SiteChecker’s research indicate the most common mistakes that you can possibly make that have been listed above. There are mainly 3 common mistakes that you can make when implementing an SEO strategy. Those mistakes are related to the crawlability of a site, on-page SEO, and technical errors. By auditing your site regularly, you will identify these mistakes early and fix them before they cause an SEO dilemma for the business and lowers the website performance.
About the author:
Natalia Fialkovska is a freelance content writer engaged with a series of online publishers dedicated to web design, digital marketing, content writing, and education. Her work is based on extensive experience and the desire to share it with the audience. Each article is the product of in-depth research and the will to bring practical value to the readers.
Yan Anderson is the Head of Content Marketing at CS-Cart with over 10 years of experience in the eCommerce industry. He's passionate about explaining complicated things in simple terms. Yan has expertise in building, running and growing eCommerce marketplaces. He loves to educate people about best practices, new technologies, and trends in the global eCommerce industry.