Updated: Aug 12, 2021
Do you know in the world of SEO, even the experienced SEO professionals can make reckless mistakes?
If your business has an online presence, you must already know the importance of SEO. Promoting your business online involves a variety of traffic generation techniques. Of all the digital marketing strategies, Search Engine Optimization is certainly the most effective strategy to generate massive amounts of traffic to your website.
As a smart business owner, you might have already started to work on your search engine optimization. But are you doing it the right way?
With a firm grasp of the most common (and potentially harmful) mistakes, you can give yourself a fighting chance of keeping technical issues to a minimum and website performance to a maximum.
This guide gives you a comprehensive site audit checklist that will help you improve your ranking, no matter how large or small your site might be.
1. 4xx Errors
4xx codes mean that a page is broken and cannot be reached. They can also apply to working pages when something is blocking them from being crawled.
2. Pages Not Crawled
This occurs when a page cannot be reached for one of two reasons:
The response time of your website is over five seconds, or
Your server denied access to the page.
3. Broken Internal Links
These are links that lead users to pages to a non-functioning page, which can damage UX and SEO.
4. Broken External Links
These are links that lead users to pages that don’t exist on another site, which sends negative signals to search engines.
5. Broken Internal Images
This is flagged when a picture file no longer exists, or its URL is misspelled.
6. Incorrect Pages Found in sitemap.xml
Your sitemap.xml should contain no broken pages. Check it for any redirect chains and non-canonical pages and make sure they return a 200 status code.
7. Keyword Stuffing
Most people believe that SEO is all about keywords. It is a myth that stuffing your website with keywords will quickly boost your search ranking.
However, the truth is that overusing keywords is now considered a black hat technique.
Keyword stuffing is using one keyword after another keyword mindlessly. Inserting multiple keywords in the content makes it difficult to read. The users will find your content confusing and unreadable that will ultimately hurt your rankings. If your content is not user-friendly, you may also get penalized or banned.
So, always create high-quality content, user-friendly content. Never stuff your landing pages with too many keywords that hurt your page’s readability.
8. Paid Links or Link Buying
Another black hat practice is buying or selling links that pass PageRank solely for SEO. Using paid links is a common practice that is not completely wrong. It becomes a black hat practice when you use mass links to fool search engine algorithms. Moreover, buying mass links through guest posts, manual outreach, and influencer marketing can be costly and resource-intensive.
For SEO, the quantity and quality of unique referring domains to a web page is a vital ranking factor. So, it’s best to acquire links naturally by creating link-worthy content. Instead of obtaining additional links to your from spammy websites, you should build links by networking with potential collaborators and guest blogging.
Committing any of these SEO mistakes can hold your website back from reaching its full potential, so it is vital that you keep on top of them as a webmaster with regular site audits.
Make a habit of looking after your SEO and UX health with tools like the Site Audit tool and you will be rewarded with the kind of search visibility and user engagement that have positive impacts on your bottom line.
Need help improving your SEO ranking and get more traffic to your website?