When conducting an SEO audit, there are a handful of repeat offenders that you will encounter.
The good news is that they’re generally simple to identify and resolve.
1. Duplicate Content
This sounds like what it is. The same content appearing in more than one place.
This results in Google not knowing which page to prioritize, tanking the ranking for search results.
There are common instances of duplicate content:
- Homepage duplication. You may have multiple versions of your homepage for various regions, or with a /index or /home tagged onto the end.
- Duplicate URL. This occurs where you have the same URL with a variance in upper and lower case.
- Different webpages have very similar content. This is a more common occurrence than you may expect. It happens when you copy and paste product descriptions across multiple pages or include a How To from an FAQ in a blog post.
How can you fix these issues?
- Minimize similar content across your site. Combine similar pages or add some variance to the copy.
- Remove duplicated pages.
- Use a 301 redirect to the page you wish to rank for or place a “rel canonical” tag on the main page.
- Use best practices in your URL structure.
2. Forgotten Content Marketing
You can fix all the onsite errors you want and practice link building, but you still need an effective content strategy.
After all, content is still king.
It will help you to rank for more words, improve your rankings and help them stay on top.
3. Poor Site Structure
Your web developer isn’t always going to be an SEO expert.
It’s common that the organization of a site might not lend itself to SEO.
Every page on your site should never more than a few clicks away from your homepage. Don’t send site visitors down a wormhole for the information they’re seeking.
Create a site that’s user-friendly and easy to navigate and it will benefit your rankings.
4. Not Being Mobile Friendly
Google seems to be prioritizing sites that are optimized for the mobile user.
If your site doesn’t look right or won’t load quickly, site visitors will go elsewhere.
Google prefers a responsive design, but you can also create a mobile version of your webpage or create a native application.
5. Unreasonable Expectations for SEO
SEO is not quick. Nor is it always simple or inexpensive.
Managing expectations is key, because it’s a strategy you need for the long haul.
For example, don’t get lost in the battle for short-tail keywords. After all, long-tail keywords have proven to have better conversions.
Good rankings don’t always mean a good user experience once on your site. Difficult navigation, high costs and outdated design can cancel out your SEO efforts.
6. Trusting the Wrong SEO Expert
Unfortunately, there are some snake oil salesmen in the SEO world.
There’s really no secret sauce when it comes to good SEO. Hard work pays off.
Is your SEO consultant telling you the same things you’ve just read?
You’re probably on the right track.
SEO isn’t always easy, but it can be a lot less daunting when you know what to look out for.
Avoid these pitfalls and fix the mistakes as they are identified.
Your hard work will pay dividends.
About Author: Jamie FitzHenry is the founder of Grizzly, a digital agency based in Bristol, UK.