What are some on page SEO mistakes

The most common SEO mistakes and how to avoid them

“A website is designed for users and not for search engines!” The statement is correct, but what use is the best UX design if you cannot be found on the web? As annoying as it may seem, especially for graphically oriented web designers, there is no getting around the topic of SEO. Because once your website is ready, you will quickly reach your limits with subsequent SEO optimizations. As a rule, it saves a lot of time and money if you avoid SEO mistakes while planning your website.

Below, I'd like to introduce you to the six most common SEO mistakes and give you some tips on how to avoid them.

SEO mistake 1: no metadata or incorrect metadata

Unfortunately, it is often the case that the creation of metadata is simply forgotten when building a website. In fact, metadata is an important part of any website. They help search engines find a website because they provide valuable information about the content of the page. Metadata is the title tag of a page (this can be 50-60 characters long, ideally up to 53 characters) and the description, which can be up to 140-150 lines long. Title and description are what search engines throw out as text references to the URL of the page found, whereby the title is, so to speak, the heading of the Google search result.

In our case, we have chosen the search term “website builder” and found the following search result.

The corresponding website with the Host Europe product is titled: "Homepage Builder - Host Europe". The description contains an explanation of the content of the page: “In three steps to a professional website. With the website builder you can easily design your website yourself. Try it for 30 days for free! "

While the title is a direct ranking factor, the description is an indirect one. The description is primarily aimed at the user and is intended to encourage him to click on the page. The more appealing you formulate the description, the more positive is the influence on the "click-through rate" and the "conversion rate" of your site.

If no metadata is defined for a website, the link to your page will appear in the search engine results without a title or heading. If you have not defined a description, the search engine "creates" a description for itself. As a rule, she “pulls” the first few lines of text that she finds on your page. Of course, this does not produce an appealing description.

The second most common SEO mistake when dealing with metadata arises from laziness. There are a number of websites with identical metadata. Usually the title and description of the start page were simply copied to all sub-pages. The consequences are not only duplicate content and improper keyword optimization, but above all page descriptions that do not match the URL displayed in the search engine and confuse the user.

Therefore, even if this causes additional work, you should create individual metadata for each page of your website. It's worth the effort. For content management systems such as WordPress, Joomla and many more. there are practical extensions (plug-ins, components ...) with which you can maintain the metadata of your pages quickly and easily.

SEO mistake 2: Too much graphic content, too little "real text"

As they say? "A picture is worth a thousand words". But search engines cannot see images. On many websites, however, you can still find graphically prepared text that was saved as an image, such as pure image headers. The consequence: These pages usually have no real headline and / or subheadline.

As important as a clear and graphically appealing page design is, make sure that there is enough "real", that is, search engine readable, content on the page. This particularly includes structured texts with headlines, subheadlines and copy.
That is not to say that you are smacking your visitors with text. Distribute the content clearly on the page and place larger text blocks such as further information at the bottom of the page. With CSS you can also make your text content graphically attractive.

SEO mistake 3: You have optimized your page for wrong search terms

If you want to be found via search engines, it is not enough that you randomly assign search terms to your page, but you have to optimize your page for those search terms that really get you ahead. Common mistakes in keyword optimization are:

  • You use search terms that are too general, e.g. "clothing", although you have specialized in "sportswear", for example. If your keywords are too unspecific, you will attract the attention of people who ultimately are not even interested in your content. You only increase the bounce rate.
  • You are using top search phrases that are already being used by websites that you cannot compete against. If you have no chance of landing your page in the top 10 or top 20 (1st or 2nd page) of the generic search results, the effort is disproportionately high. It is better to save your money and your energies for a more promising approach.
  • You are using global search terms even though your business is local. In this case you may reach people who may be interested in your products or your services, but you do not have the opportunity to serve them because your business area is, for example, in a completely different region. If you do this, you will increase the bounce rate, but you will certainly not increase your sales.

As you can see, it makes sense to start your content building with a systematic keyword search, for example with a keyword analysis tool like Google Adwords. If you find that a desired keyword is already occupied by the competition, it is better to switch to the second or third-placed favorite, provided that it is "little" or "medium" frequented. Long-tail keywords such as "Sports fashion in Frankfurt" often lead to the goal better, especially if you are a local dealer or service provider.

SEO Mistake 4: Your images have empty alt attributes

You will probably also use images to design your website. But search engines cannot “see” images. So that these can be classified correctly, you should always describe images using the alt tag or alt attribute. In addition, use context-relevant file names whenever possible.

Always remember: when using images, alt tags or alt attributes are mandatory! For content management systems such as WordPress, Joomla and many more there are practical plug-ins with which you can easily create and edit image titles, alt attributes and image descriptions.

SEO mistake 5: You are using no or wrong internal linking

Links are also an important ranking factor, because search engines rate pages according to, among other things, whether, from where and how they are linked, whereby linked pages are usually classified as more relevant.

You should therefore ensure that your website has a good and clear internal link structure. Linking can help you get more pages recognized and indexed by search engines. In particular, make sure that the key pages of your website, such as product pages, overviews, decision-making aids and all pages that should rank high in search engines, are well linked.

If you have older websites that have a good ranking, you should use this for your new website. Link!

SEO mistake 6: Identical link names

A link has a name. In the case of a text link, one speaks of the link designation or the anchor text. A typical SEO mistake is to use generic anchor texts such as “more” or “next” exclusively or too often. But if too many links point to a page with the same anchor text, search engines could possibly interpret this as a spam signal. So be careful! It is better to follow the rule: the more individual and precise a link designation, the better! Use short and meaningful anchor texts that give your users information about what to expect on the respective page.

Conclusion

Here they are, the six most common SEO mistakes you can make when building your new website. Therefore, pay attention to: Individual metadata, well-structured text content, the right keywords, old attributes for images, good and clear internal links and meaningful anchor texts. If you consider these points, you have already cleared some of the most important hurdles to an SEO-optimized website.

Do you know of other common SEO mistakes or have tips on how to avoid them? Then write to us! We look forward to your comment.

More articles on the topic: