If you're starting or already running a business, it's crucial to get your SEO right. SEO is how you differentiate yourself from your competitors, and if it’s done correctly, it can be the key to success. However, there are many common mistakes that businesses make when positioning themselves, which can doom them to failure. In this blog post, you’ll find the top 10 SEO mistakes that you need to avoid in 2023. If you’d like to find out more about Search Engine Optimization, download SEO GUIDEBOOK - DIY for small and medium businesses, where you’ll find everything that you need to know about SEO and TOP 10 SEO mistakes to absolutely avoid in 2023. Let’s get started!
Why is your website’s SEO crucial? Studies show that 18% of searchers start looking for a new query in Google before they click on each result on the first page of their original search. What’s more, 75% of Internet users never go on the second and subsequent pages of search results. This is, why appearing on the first site of Google search results is so important for your business if you want to gain new customers. The further your company is in the search results, the chances of being noticed and found decrease.
Most people are now using their smartphones and other mobile devices to access the internet, so it's important that your website is optimized for these devices. This means ensuring that your website is easy to navigate on a mobile screen and that all of the content is readable without having to zoom in or move to the right or left. If developers that are responsible for your website do not take care of its responsiveness, ran away and start looking for professionals! ;) Remember - desktop and mobile websites are two separate entities. If a mobile version of your website is not well-optimized, it can not appear in search results on mobile devices at all.
This means that your website's content is not original, relevant, or engaging enough to keep users coming back for more. Using enough keywords is one thing, but what’s essential to remember is that users visit your website to FIND SOMETHING OUT, and to learn something interesting. While creating content, remember that you don’t have much time, to attract users’ attention. Studies carried out by Searchmetrics found that the average time on site for a top 10 search result is (only) 3 minutes and 10 seconds!
Forget about copying content from other websites! It’s strictly forbidden. Duplicated content on your website can hurt your previous SEO efforts. It can confuse search engines about which version of the content is the most authoritative. As a result, you may not rank as high as you would if the content on your website was original and relevant. Additionally, duplicate content can also lead to lower user engagement rates and a less positive user experience, which can impact your website's ranking as well.
One of the most important aspects of SEO is using headings correctly. There are different types of headings, in HTML code: h1, h2, h3, etc. They are important to Google because they establish the order of importance of the content on the page. It sometimes happens, that web designers focus on how a header looks for the user, without considering how it will be interpreted by Google. There is a rule, that heading h1 is only one on one subpage and identifies what the subpage is about. Other h2 and h3 headings form a logical and related whole in the page source code. Additionally, inappropriate use of headings can also lead to a lower ranking.
Here, opinions are divided. I personally believe that if you’re starting to build your website’s position on the internet, you should use mainly links with no-follow attributes. Surprised? I’ll tell you why I think so. There are two main reasons why using no-follow links is better for your website’s position in Google. First, it helps you to keep the link juice on your own website. This is important because it helps you to rank higher in Google and get more traffic from the search engine. Second, using no-follow links makes your website look more natural and credible to Google. This is because it shows that you are not trying to artificially boost your website’s ranking by spamming other websites with links. Keep it in mind in the future! What you also need to know - sometimes on websites there are links that lead to deleted external pages. It has a very bad impact on SEO!
Surprisingly, it’s one of the most common SEO mistakes. The first thing, that you need to remember about is the size of the graphics. You shouldn’t upload JPG or PNG format. Only WebP is appropriate because it helps the website to run faster. WebP images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs! The second, equally important aspect, is the image’s name. Remember to name each graphic with what it shows. Never use spaces between words, use dashes instead. Spaces can be skipped by Google bot and the sense will be not understood. For example, the picture that shows a developer who is working on his laptop in an office should be named: developer-working-laptop-office. Easy, right? :)
Do you know a situation where some products in your store are no longer available or any subpage is no longer up-to-date, so you decide to delete it? Of course, it sometimes happens. The only thing you have to remember about, are links that lead to these products and subpages. What you can do, is set up a proper redirection so that somebody who visits a non-existing page or clicks on a deleted product will be redirected to a different, appropriate location. There’s nothing worse than frustrated and annoyed customers, so make sure it’s easy to navigate your website.
What happens, if there are links to non-existing pages or files on the website? For a user - it’s “just” an annoying problem. But it’s treated very seriously by Google algorithms - as a not trustworthy page. As a result of this, the visibility of a website is gradually decreasing. If the problem concerns only one subpage, then it loses its position on Google. But if this issue affects the entire website – for example, one of the positions in the menu links to a non-existent subpage - then the visibility and position of the whole website decrease. Therefore, remember to monitor all the links you use on your website, to avoid this kind of situation. Otherwise, all the efforts you put into SEO can be destroyed rapidly.
What you need to remember about while creating your website structure is that each subpage is a separate being for both the user and the Google search engine. It means that it has to be properly optimized and prepared for specific content. What’s more, the website has to be intuitive for users. When they click on a specific phrase or subpage, they should find what they’re looking for. Otherwise, they will get frustrated and probably visit your competitors. The menu on your website is like a map or signs on the road. It helps you to get to the place you want. The menu is essential not only for users to know how to navigate the website but for Google algorithms also! Sometimes I face the situation, when phrases in the menu are not related to the content they lead to or when the menu is super easy and doesn’t correspond to a complicated website structure. In this kind of situation, it’s difficult to reach the place the user wants, and also complicates SEO.
What is SSL? - SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security protocol used to establish a secure connection between two systems. An SSL certificate is an electronic document that proves the ownership of a website and allows the secure transmission of data between the website and its users. SSL certificates are important for both website owners and users because they help ensure that the data transmitted is safe and secure. If you have already implemented the SSL certificate on your website, make sure it works properly. Check if it’s available on every subpage of your website. It’s a problem if the SSL certificate is properly added only to the main page of the website, but it’s not to other subpages. Remember, that there’s no possibility of loading the page without the certificate. When any page opens after both http:// and https://, then Google treats it as two different pages with the same content. It’s called “duplicated content”, and as you probably suspect, it negatively affects SEO.
SEO is increasingly important for modern businesses to ensure visibility in search engine results, attract web traffic, and build brand awareness. Companies that neglect it can find themselves at a great disadvantage as their competitors are able to capitalize on the benefits that SEO brings. If you want to increase your website visibility, download our free SEO guidebook! If you need some help after reading, please don’t hesitate to contact us.