SEO Mistakes To Avoid
Having worked many clients websites during my career, in both Canadian English, and French I have seen quite a few odd SEO mistakes, and I want to help you avoid them.
Below you will find some amazing tips on fixing up your on-site SEO (Search Engine Optimization). These are really easy to do, and can be easily missed. You would e surprised of how many new clients I saw when working in an agency who had pages filled with multiple H1 headings! Which leads me to my first point below that you should consider when updating your website SEO.
SEO Mistake To Avoid – #1 To Many H1 Tags
H1 tags help search engines such as Google and Bing understand the what type of the content can be found on the page that is being crawled by their bots. If all your pages have more than one H1, you risk losing the message and splitting the relative value on the page for search engines.
I know in HTML5 some argue you can place it in the Nav, Article, Aside, Footer, etc but this is still not best practice from an SEO perspective. The best rule of thumb is H1, think of it like this, after the Title of the page, the H1 is the subtitle, it is your chance to now inform Google, or Yahoo search engine what is important on this page. This is great because this can help avoid the next tip I will discuss which is keyword stuffing!
Just to tie up the H1 topic, remember that you can use H1 to H6 tags, but for H1 it should only be used once on the page. The rest such as H2 to H6 can be used more than once. That said make sure to properly use your H2 and H3 tags as these are also really important in terms of helping you rank for keywords.
SEO Mistake To Avoid – #2 Keyword Stuffing
This one I have seen happen on quite a few website, what this means is having your keyword appear in unnatural ways in the body of the text on your website. Suppose a product you sell is baseball hats, and you want to rank for custom made hats. Here is an example of keyword stuffing:
“Looking for custom made hats in Canada? We have the best custom made hats around, our custom made hats are made from the finest material available in the market! Order your custom made hat today!”
See what I did there? Does it look natural to you? It shouldn’t, the key thing about SEO is keeping it organic and natural. Keyword stuffing is viewed as a negative tactic that can attract the wrong kind of attention from search engines such as Google, as you will be seen as trying to manipulate the websites ranking by repeating a word or phrase. This can result in a drop in ranking for your website, which we want to avoid.
SEO Mistake To Avoid – #3 Single Page Websites
So I had a few clients with single page websites, as they loved how that all their pages live on one domain name and how quickly it would bring up animations. This is not always the best strategy, and it can make ranking for SEO a challenge for most average users at home unless you are a pro coder.
Just like how important it is to have only a single “H1” tag on your web page, it is equally important to have a unique URL for each topic/product/service. By having a dedicated page for each product for example you improve your chances to rank on search engines. However, it should be noted that single page websites can have unique URLs per section and a Meta Description and Title for that section on the page. This as I mentioned before required coding, and can be more time consuming and costly if you are paying someone to it for you.
SEO Mistake To Avoid – #4 Long URL’s
The image above pretty much says it all, imagine having to enter that long URL in your address bar, and you make a typo…that does not sound like a good user experience, and can result in a negative effect on your SEO.
So what should you do? You should look at making the URL shorter, and relevant to the content on the page. For example, this blog’s title is “5 Common SEO Mistakes That You Should Avoid!” and the URL is “https://www.nadeemlodhi.ca/2016/10/01/5-common-seo-mistakes/”. Notice how the URL is shorter than the one in the image and is related to the title?
SEO Mistake To Avoid – #5 Duplicate Content
Duplicate content has many meanings, in this example I am talking about having the same content on multiple parts of your website. For example having the same title on all of your pages. Ever been to a website where it says “My Great Website” on all the pages, and wonder why there is no uniqueness to the titles?
Be original and creative, even if you have 10 different blue jeans you are selling, write a unique blurb for each one of the highlighting the uniqueness of blue jean A over blue jean B. Make it fun to read and make sure it is not a simple copy and paste. At times it can’t be avoided but try your best to make it as unique as possible.
What To Do Next?
Well now that you aware at some of the many mistakes that can be found on a website, take a look at how your SEO is set up on your website and make some changes. I can’t guarantee your site will make it to the first page and you will have 10K visits overnight, but these points above are a great starting point to a higher ranking for your website.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, or suggestions for the next blog on SEO mistakes to avoid feel free to leaving a comment below or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Till next time everyone!
Digital Marketing Specialist
My career in Digital Marketing began back in 2013. I had recently moved to Toronto, and started working at Yellow Pages. Later I worked for Groupé Media TFO, and most recently for Muscular Dystrophy Canada.
Now I work as a Freelancer for SEO fulfillment needs, Google Ads & Bing Ads campaign managment, and I build WordPress websites among other digital marketing services.