Marketing

8 Common Mistakes That Hurt SEO Rankings

 

We all know the importance of organic SEO, and we also know how difficult it is to stay on top of best practices. All sites are bound to have SEO errors that directly impact your rankings, and if you are facing some of these errors, you are not alone.

To help you uncover some of these common technical SEO mistakes, let’s dive into the most common issues that hurt rankings.

Duplicate content

When you have two or more duplicate pages, search engines don’t know which page to crawl and display in search engine results pages (SERPs). There are a few ways around this problem, but the best advice is to use a canonical tag. This tells search engines which pages are preferred for indexing.

Legacy No-index tags

When you want to hide a page from search results, you use a noindex tag. Sometimes users forget to delete it, which means search engines skip pages that should rank.

To avoid this very common mistake, it’s a good idea to keep a list of all pages marked noindex. We’re adding this step to our publishing checklist.

Mixed content

A mixed content website is a site that contains both HTTP and HTTPS content. You may have SSL installed, with HTTPS on most pages, but you have scripts, images, videos, or other types of content that are served over a standard, insecure protocol (HTTP).

Since 2015, Google has confirmed that secure websites and HTTPS are important ranking signals, which means that upgrading your site with an SSL certificate is a valid demonstration of reliability, resulting in a significant increase in Google search results.

To fix this common error, go to the source code of the insecure page and simply look for any reference to HTTP instead of HTTPS. The best way to do this is to inspect with your browser, we use Google Chrome for this. Once you find the insecure resource, just replace the content with a secure version.

Check out our blog on maintaining your WordPress site for some great performance tips.

Orphan pages

An orphan page is a page that is not linked to any other page on your site, which means a user cannot access the page without knowing the direct URL. These are usually marketing landing pages. These pages cannot be tracked by search engines, which mean that they are very rarely indexed by engines like Google.

In order for search engines to crawl the site and find your pages, they must link to other pages.

Getting links from other websites to yours is an important factor in improving search engine rankings. But when it comes to building links, it’s quality, not quantity, that makes the difference.

While every backlink is theoretically a vote of confidence for your site, links from high domain authority sites are the links you want. They signal to search engines that a trusted authority stands behind your content. Even a no-follow link from a high domain authority site can boost rankings.

Conversely, links from a spammy site with low domain authority will not improve your ranking. They will not improve your ranking. On the other end of the spectrum, links from a low authority site or a “spammer” site may not improve your rankings. Oftentimes, toxic backlinks not only hurt your rankings, but also result in penalties from search engines.

How to solve this problem? We use tools like SemRush which analyse and rank all backlinks. There are many ways to deal with toxic backlinks, for example, you can simply contact the site administrator and ask for the link to be removed. At Visibility 24 web agency, we use Google’s Disavow tool to remove any toxic backlinks.

Do not use browser caching

Browser caching is the ability to use a browser to store website files locally, on the user’s computer, making it possible to lend the files locally the next time the user visits the site website. This drastically reduces page load time, which has a big impact on search engine rankings.

Iframes

Search engines consider content in iFrames to belong to another website, so the best you can hope for is zero effect.

Since the content is not technically embedded in the page’s code, content in iFrames is considered “invisible” by search engines, often leading to poor quality pages with minimal content.

iFrames can also hurt loading speed and user experience because they are likely to contain malware, they are confusing, and people generally don’t like them.

Low content

If your article or pages are short, they may not be seen as doing justice to the subject matter and Google may consider the content to be of “low value”.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that word count is a ranking factor, it certainly isn’t. What matters is that this content explains what the reader came to learn.

Ultimately, it will be harder to rank because you won’t be using enough keywords and semantically related words to satisfactorily answer your users’ questions.

To conclude

It’s important not to fall for the common SEO mistakes above, as they can really impact your search engine ranking efforts.

By making a few simple changes, you will see an improvement in your rankings and click-through rates quickly and you will be on your way to SEO success in the future.

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