Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about adjusting key elements on your website with the goal of driving more targeted traffic from search results. At BARQAR Marketing, we have the chance to review hundreds of websites and see many common issues with how they are search optimized (or lacking SEO).
A recent study conducted by SEMrush, confirmed that our findings weren’t isolated. The study audited 100,000 websites and 450 million pages and found the same common problems we see all the time.
Here are the most common on-site SEO issues:
Here are the SEO issues you should look out for on your website:
Don’t steal content from other websites! In this study, SEMrush found that half of the websites audited had duplicate content issues. That means that the content on their website is either posted somewhere else on the Internet, or posted somewhere else on their own website. While duplicate content won’t carry a direct search engine ranking penalty, it’s still not a best practice. Number one are copyright issues. If you steal content without permission (even if you cite the original author), it can carry a hefty penalty. Duplicate content also offers no ranking value, the ranking value is only given to the original site/page the content appears on.
In short, don’t post duplicate content, focus on building a library of great content that is original and adds value. The SEO value will come organically from that content.
Missing Alt Tributes on Images
With each image on your website, you have the opportunity to add an “Alt” attribute. Search engines don’t have eyes (although their AI is getting really advanced!), so they can’t see your image like humans do. Alt attributes on images tell the search engine what that image is about. While they aren’t a huge ranking signal, they can still help improve results in image and product search. They should also be used if you post infographics and other media. This offers another place to add keywords and provide a bit of value.
Duplicate Title Tags
A title tag is a bit of code behind the scenes that tells the search engine what your page is about. This text shows up in the tab at the top of your Internet browser and in search results. Each page on your site should have unique title tags that include keywords. It should also relate to the content/value on that page. Think of this as a billboard or a Tweet. What can you say with a limited amount of words that adds value and attracts web visitors? For this blog post, my title is:
The 6 SEO Issues Found on Most Websites | SEO Companies Buffalo
The first half of this focuses on the value of the post and includes the keywords “SEO” and “Websites”. The second half is a phrase that we want to rank well for when people are searching. We are headquartered in Buffalo (though we serve clients nationwide), and we want to be found when people are searching for an SEO service provider in the local area. By writing this content focused on SEO issues, and including keywords in the title, it helps increase the chance that over time our site ranks higher when people are searching for that service. It doesn’t guarantee ranking and it takes consistent effort over time, but it pays off if you target the right keywords.
Broken Internal Links
Having broken internal links is like having a front door on a store that doesn’t open. You can do everything in the world to attract people to your business but if they can’t get in, they will leave! Fix your broken links right away. When Google indexes your website and finds broken links it’s also a signal that maybe you don’t provide the best user experience–and it carries a penalty. At BARQAR, we use tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to identify broken links and get them fixed. You can also set up a Google Webmaster account and get insight into how Google indexes your site. This will help you uncover broken links and get them fixed.
Duplicate or Missing Meta Descriptions
The meta description is what appears directly under the Title tag in search results. It’s that brief sentence that describes what the content on that page is about. We suggest including keywords in that description and selling the value of the page. A good meta description will increase the chances that someone clicks on your website, instead of someone else’s. For this post, we use the following meta description:
Want to rank well in Google? Make sure your website doesn’t have these common SEO mistakes! At BARQAR, we are a top SEO company in Buffalo, NY.
Just like title tag mentioned above, we use the first half to sell the value and engage the searcher, and the second half to add in some keywords that we want to rank well for over time.
Low Text to HTML Ratio
In the past, companies used to jam keywords onto a page without much other information. The only goal for that page was to rank well in search, not to add value for the visitor. Google took note and realized some companies were gaming the system. Today, if they index your site and find a low text to HTML ratio (in other words there aren’t many words that add value), then you won’t rank well. To improve this ratio you need to make sure that your programmer used nice, clean code; but also make sure that you provide a decent amount of content that provides value to the reader.
Looking to drive more traffic from Google?
BARQAR Marketing is a top digital marketing agency in Buffalo, NY. From generating original, SEO-rich content to website development, pure SEO to social media marketing, we can help make sure your company is visible online and drives more of the right traffic. Contact us today to learn more: 888-576-6100.