Having a beautiful website won’t necessarily guarantee its success. You must also utilize a variety of tools and online marketing strategies to ensure your website achieves its goals. If you want to properly optimize your website, you need to know SEO rules and how to apply them correctly. This also means knowing what mistakes to avoid. To help you get it right, you’ll find the list of top 5 most common SEO mistakes other sites are making and what you can do to avoid them.
1. No Sitemap
Not setting up and submitting the sitemap to Google is one of the most common mistakes people make.
After you launch your website, the first thing you should do is setup Google Analytics and Google Console accounts. Once you link to your Google Analytics to your website, you need to go to Search Console and submit your site.xml sitemap file. See the video below.
If you have a WordPress site you can generate sitemap.xml file using Yoast SEO plugin or Google sitemap generator plugin.
2. Improper URL Structure
Google looks at many factors when it comes to website ranking. Having a proper URL structure is one of these and plays an important role in helping Google indexing your pages correctly. You want your URL to be descriptive of what your page is about and contain main keywords you want your page to rank for.
If you’re using WordPress, you need to change permalink structure after you launch your website. This can be done by going to your wordpress settings in the admin panel and then selecting and changing permalinks.
Finally, it’s usually a good idea not to use underscores in your URLs and keep them short. Long URLs are hard to remember and often get abbreviated when displayed in the search engine results.
3. On-page SEO Mistakes
The new website won’t succeed if it doesn’t get noticed. One way to make sure your website brings in traffic is by performing On-page Optimization. This will require that you go through your website and optimize each page and post for number of important factors.
You need to check each page to make sure they have unique titles and meta tags, proper H1 and other heading tags, and alt tags for all the images. There are many articles that provide much more detailed information. Here are a few on-page SEO optimization articles I found to be most helpful.
4. Neglecting Keyword Research
Ranking for the proper keywords can make or break the new website. No wonder many companies compete and pay hundreds of dollars for a single click using specific keywords.
Many designers fail to do proper keyword research and as the result get no traffic from organic results. Another mistake you can be making is optimizing your pages for keywords that you have no chance of ranking. By doing a simple search on Google for a specific keyword, you can easily find out which companies competing for that keyword. If you see a lot of big players in the top results, the chances are, you won’t be able to outcompete them and rank highly for that keyword. So all your time and energy will be wasted trying to rank for the keywords you never be able to rank for.
One helpful strategy is to find long tail keywords and phrases. Long tail keywords are essentially phrases that are less competitive but can be valuable in drving traffic to your website. They more accurately describe your page content and thus offer the users exactly what they’re looking for.
There are many free tools you can use to find the right keywords. There is a long list of popular free keyword tools you can find on this website.
5. Not Checking for Broken Links
Finally, not checking for broken links is another common mistake. It’s important for each page to have internal and external links. However, often websites disappear, urls change and pages get deleted. If your website has any broken links it will not only result in the pool user experience but can also penalize your website in terms of seo.
You need to run regular checks to ensure your links point to the right pages. Fortunately there are many tools to help you ensure all your links are working correctly.
Online Link Checkers
If you’re using WordPress, there are many free plugins available. I prefer to use Broken Link Checker that runs automatic checks regularly and notifies me when it finds any broken links.
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This article covers only some of the most common SEO mistakes. There are many more seo issues that can plague the website. Below is infographic showing other common SEO problems and how to resolve them.