From the outset most people are of the perception that all SEO is hard. This is not the case. The vast majority of on-site mistakes are easily avoided and rectified once you understand what to look out for. So, let’s take a look at some of the most common on-page faux pas and provide a better understanding of how to avoid them.
Title Tag Mistakes
The title tag is your page’s title and the part that shows up in search engine results page (SERPs) and also at the top of the browser. In essence, it’s a name for the page or the file and without it, search engines and people can’t be sure what the page is about. One common mistake is to omit it by titling each title tag the same across a website – obviously, don’t do this – vary the tag. Include one keyword from the page in the tag too for best effect.
In addition, title tags can only be 70 characters long – anything extra won’t be read or show up in the results pages. So, keep it below this marker.
Meta descriptions are not a direct SEO factor (for now at least). However they explain what the page is about in the SERPs and are a call to action that encourages a person to click through. So, avoid copying and pasting the same Meta description. Like title tags, there is a character limit here too – 156 characters. So, once again stay below this.
Page Header or H1 Tags
The H1 tag tells the reader and search engine what the page is about and very important for SEO. It should work with the title tag, though not be a duplicate of it. In essence, if it were an organisation item in an office, the title tag is a shelf and the H1 tag a divider on the shelf.
There are also H2-H6 tags and these are different sized headers that break your page up into sub sections. They also help search engines understand what the page is about in decreasing order of importance depending on the tag’s number.
The biggest issue with broken links or 404 errors from links is that it arouses issues with web crawlers. If you’ve a number of 404s it can make a crawler think the website doesn’t provide a good experience and isn’t well cared for. Fixing links and improving the on-site architecture of a site will help. If the now defunct page is on your site, then you should also add a 301 redirect to a working page.
Content is increasingly important and if your site doesn’t have it, web crawlers will once again punish your site. They’ll decide that your site doesn’t have anything worth saying or offering and these impacts on rankings. In real life it also means those that come to your site will just bounce.
Of course, you should also ensure good content can be shared and the easiest way to do this is to add social share buttons. This not only spreads the word about your worthwhile content but will also mean that you send social signals to search engines from your site – something that will be important in the future of SEO.
These are some of the most common issues with on-site SEO and as you can understand most if not all are easy to fix and can add a lot to your site. If you need expert opinion, get in touch with one of our SEO experts.