Technical SEO mistakes are a big deal as they are the backbone of your online marketing strategy. A mistake in your SEO plan can lead to dramatic changes in your search engine results. Let’s look at some of the most common technical SEO mistakes from a SEMrush study conducted with 100,000 websites and 450 million pages.
To start, there are three main areas you should look at when evaluating the health of your website. First is crawlability and site structure. Second is on-page SEO. Third is technical SEO.
Starting with crawlability and site structure, the biggest issues reside with links, redirects, sitemap and robots.txt files. SEMrush found that one in four websites have some type of link error. More specifically, 30 percent of websites have broken internal links. The problem with this is that your audience isn’t actually getting to your content and are instead arriving at a 404 page. The biggest issues are temporary redirects, internal links with non-follow attributes, broken external links and external links with a non-follow attribute.
With on-page SEO, issues arise in content, meta descriptions, and title tags, H1, and images. Content refers to almost everything on your site. Problems on many sites include duplicate content, low text-to-html ration, and low word page count. Unique content is always better as duplicate content can lead to Panda or manual action penalties from Google. SEO experts often reference a text-to-html ratio which is a just fancy way of saying there is little text on a page. SEMrush found that 73.47 percent of pages have thin content which can impact a page’s ability to rank well.
Meta descriptions are often overlooked when developing an SEO strategy. In fact, about 63 percent of website owners have overlooked them and 54 percent of websites have duplicates. Duplicate meta descriptions can lead to Google developing their own meta descriptions for your site which may not line up with your SEO strategy. Title tags, H1 tags and images are also important to your SEO performance. More than 60 percent of websites miss alt tags on their images, have title tags that are too long or are lacking H1 tags. All of these issues can negatively impact your rankings.
Technical SEO factors such as page speed and mobile responsiveness are part of Google’s 200+ ranking factors. One Amazon study found that 100 milliseconds of extra load time will result in a 1 percent drop in sales. Ensuring faster load times can help decrease bounce rates.
To avoid making common SEO mistakes first start by developing a check list for every page on your site. Each page should have strategies for: page titles, meta description, alt tags, H-tags and content. Broader concepts such as redirects, site structure, load times and mobile friendliness will require a more in depth analysis. A good place to start the evaluation of your site is with the installation of Google Search Console (GSC). GSC will help you identify broken links, internal link structure, duplicate or missing meta data, site speed and a host of other technical SEO factors.
Since technology is constantly changing, digital marketing must change their