TOP 14 SEO mistakes to absolutely avoid

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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 a fragment from our latest ebook - the top 14 SEO mistakes that you need to avoid. If you’d like to find out more about Search Engine Optimization, download our SEO GUIDEBOOK, where you’ll find everything that you need to know. So let’s get started!

#1 No image optimization on a website

It’s a very common mistake. In most stores and websites that we optimize, graphics are huge, and their names are not connected with what it shows or with the website’s content. Under no circumstances the name of the image should be made up of random characters. Also, don’t use spaces or underscores between characters. Instead of them, use dashes to separate words. For example, the picture that shows a person working on the laptop should be named developer-working-laptop and not developer_working_on_the_laptop or developer working on the laptop. Otherwise, the bot can skip these separators and combine several words into one.

#2 Inappropriate internal linking

Usually, companies don’t take care of internal linking on their website. In practice, it means that these websites don’t have blogs. Even if they have a blog section, it has an informative function, so it does not contribute in any way to building internal links, which means that it doesn’t increase the website’s visibility on the internet. As you can see on spinbits blog, in each post, there are internal links to other subpages on our website. It really does increase visibility in Google. Check it out, and you’ll see results in 3-4 months!

#3 Blocked access for search engines

Links can have or not have “dofollow” and “nofollow” attributes. Websites or online stores can have a “noindex” parameter set in the page code, which is clear information for Google “please, don’t index this page”. This is a common mistake caused by a company that created the website on the draft server, didn’t set the appropriate attribute when it was completed, and moved to the destination URL.

#4 Links to draft versions

When we audit websites to detect and correct errors that negatively impact the page’s visibility on the Internet, we often face a situation where some elements link to the draft version of the site. In practice, it means that somewhere on the Internet, there is an exact copy of your website, and because both of them are new, Google doesn’t index any of them because its algorithm is unable to determine which one is the correct one.

#5 Links and downloading non-existing elements

We often face a situation where there are links to non-existing pages or files on the website. For a regular Internet user, it’s just an annoying problem, but it’s a crucial issue for the entire service's visibility. Google’s algorithm treats this type of issue very seriously and thinks that if your website links to non-existent pages, it is not trustworthy, and its visibility is gradually decreasing. If this problem appears on only one sub-page, then that particular sub-page loses its position on Google. However, if this issue concerns the entire service – for example, one of the menu items links to a non-existent page, then the visibility of the whole service gets worse. Therefore, it is essential to monitor the pages we link to, to prevent this kind of situation.

#6 Deleted sub-pages or products

It sometimes happens that you have to delete some sub-pages or products because they are no longer up-to-date or available. However, you need to remember that some links can lead to the pages you want to remove. This is why we recommend not to delete pages, but if you need to do so, set up a proper redirection so someone who visits a nonexisting page will be redirected to a different, appropriate location.

#7 SSL certificate problems

If you have implemented the SSL certificate, ensure it works properly, so:

  • it’s available on every page of the service. It sometimes happens that the certificate is correctly added only to the home page, but to other subpages, it’s not - then it’s a problem.
  • there’s no possibility of loading the page without the certificate. If any website opens after both http:// and https:// - Google treats it as two different pages with the same content. This situation is called duplicate content, which negatively affects SEO. Make sure to check out, if your website opens using both http:// and https:// and then, fix it.

#8 Duplicated content

Duplicated content is a nightmare for most websites. To better understand this problem, you need to realize that for Google:

these internet addresses are four different websites - even if they lead to the same page. So if your website opens in several variations, the content is duplicated.

It’s a similar situation - when you have several subpages or blog posts on your page that are thematically related. In these cases, Google doesn't know which site is better in the specific topic, so it indexes each of them into a phrase, so your pages compete with one another for a Google position instead of competing with other competitors.

Duplicated content is also when the text on your website is copied from another page.

To better understand this problem, we have to know how the Google algorithm works. Imagine you're surfing the Internet, and there are ten pages with the same content. So how do you choose the best one? How do you know which page was the first one and which ones have copied the text? What if you finally visit another website about the same thing as the previous ones, but it’s written in other words? From the search engine perspective - this content is the most valuable because it’s different from the rest! So make sure your content is not duplicated to better position your website!

#9 Too many headings on the page

On websites, we regularly use different types of headings, in html code: <h1>,<h2>,<h3>, etc. They are crucial for Google because they inform about a hierarchy of content on the page. It often happens that web designers suggest how a particular header looks like for the user but completely ignore how it is interpreted by Google search. For example, due to such actions, there are three <h1> headers on one subpage. For Google, the information in the <h1> heading identifies what the subpage is about and to what this phrase should appear. When the <h1> heading contains phrases such as: “contact”, “our clients”, and “discover our offer”, Google doesn’t know how to interpret this page. The same applies to <h2> and <h3> headers, which should form a logical and related whole in the page's source code. Unfortunately, this negligence has a terrible impact on the SEO of the page in Google search results.

#10 The menu is not clear

The menu is an essential element of the page for both the user and the Google algorithm. It’s a kind of signpost that tells you what the site is about and helps you get to the place you want. However, there are often situations when anchors in the menu are not related to the content they lead to. What’s more, there are also situations when a page with a lot of subpages has a super easy menu, which not only makes it difficult to reach them but also complicates SEO.

#11 Pages indexing

It is crucial that Google correctly indexes your website, but you don’t need each subpage to be indexed. There are some pages like shopping cart, terms of use, or privacy policy that do not need to be indexed. Using this simple trick will slightly increase your website’s visibility. :)

#12 Unconsidered structure of the website

As we have mentioned before, each subpage is a separate being for both the user and Google search engine, so it must be properly optimized and prepared for specific content. The page must be created very intuitive - so when you visit a sub-page from a specific phrase, you find there what you're looking for.

#13 Too general and too little content

There are also customers who do not have enough content on their websites, even if it’s nice and good-looking. It’s making it impossible for Google to interpret what a subpage is about correctly. Sometimes it's enough to fill a page with good-quality and SEO-optimized content to see how its visibility is suddenly increasing, and customers start calling you.

#14 No CTA elements

Even if this paragraph is not connected with SEO, it should be essential for you, if you’re interested in increasing the profitability of your website.

Don’t be afraid to include all kinds of call-to-action buttons on your website. Examples of these buttons are: “buy now”, “call us now”, and “estimate your project”. These elements work and can significantly increase the number of calls and customer inquiries.

As you can see, making small tweaks to how your website is positioned can make a big impact on your SEO. While we’ve only outlined 14 SEO mistakes in this blog post, there are many more that you should avoid if you want to rank higher in search engines. That’s why we put together this SEO GUIDEBOOK - to help you avoid common SEO mistakes and put your website in the best light possible. If you want more information on how to properly market your business, our team is available for consultation. We have years of experience in SEO and digital marketing, and we know what it takes to get results. Download our free SEO GUIDEBOOK today for more information on how to correctly position your website! Thanks for reading!



Marketing Specialist

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