Common On-Page SEO Mistakes That Businesses Are Making
For those of you who are not sure what on-page SEO actually is, let us explain in great detail. The on-page refers to anything related to your actual website. This refers to anything on the website itself. There are far too many companies and business owners that think they can do high-quality backlink building and forget about the on-page SEO factors. Nothing could be further from the truth, as your website believe it or not is the foundation of your business when it comes down to it.
Over the past 10 years, we have seen many common mistakes that SEO companies and business owners frequently make with their website. This article is written for any company that needs website help, and like we said before this comes from our 10 years of experience as we started back in 2007.
Whether your website is currently penalized by Google or just isn’t ranking as well as it could, implementing these changes to your website will reward you with a high boost in website rankings, for all of your keywords.
Before we begin let us say a few things regarding these on-page changes. This is just 1 part of 2 total parts. SEO is not just optimizing the website itself, it also comes down to backlinks. As we mentioned before, many agencies in the USA are using high-quality backlink building services but seem to neglect the actual website content, image optimization, H1 tags, keyword density e.t.c.
As you are aware, backlinks are incredibly important for website rankings, but we don’t suggest you start building any sort of links to your website until it is set up perfectly. We are not suggesting that you have to add all of the blog posts and pages before you begin with link building, we are suggesting that the main pages on your website are completely setup though.
Blog content, for example, does not have to be added all at once, in fact, we recommend adding a weekly blog post or 2 monthly blog posts if time doesn’t allow. Once the site is setup and pages are fully written then that is the time to start with link building.
The main reasons why we are publishing this blog post is because we want your business to run as smoothly as possible. By doing things right the first time, in regards to SEO, you are making sure your website stays safe from all of the Google penalties that unfortunately, hurt many websites and businesses each year.
Now let’s jump into On-Page SEO, what it is and why it is so incredibly important.
Important Fact: Optimize For Your User
The whole reason why you have a website and are spending money each year advertising is because of the users. Without engaging the users and encouraging them to purchase your products or services, you might as well not even have a website! Even if your website received 5,000 searches per month, if everyone leaves within 1 minute of landing on your website, then no sales will be made. So the most important aspect to keep in mind is the following. If a potential customer found my website what would they think of it? Would they be interested in learning more about what we have to offer or would they most likely leave because the site isn’t set up correctly?
Let’s jump into some user aspects when developing a website. This will not only help your rankings increase but will also increase conversions, which at the end of the day is what it all comes down to.
Your Website Should Offer Something Of Importance
Purchasing content from India and copying it and pasting it onto your website won’t land your website high on Google, and it won’t help your users in any way. Whenever you are publishing a new page, always keep the potential client in mind. Make sure you don’t hit that publish button until it is 100% completed.
Your Website Should Naturally Link To Your Most Popular Pages
Keep in mind why you are publishing the content on your website. If you are writing a random blog post it isn’t as important, but if you are offering a main service then it should be an easy to find the page on your website. This not only helps with your users but also passes the link authority from your homepage going down to your inner pages.
Keywords Matter With Your Website
We are not talking about backlinks here but strictly about the keywords on your website. Keep in mind that optimizing a website around keywords and your backlink anchor text profile is completely different! When optimizing a website it is important to use real keywords such as New York SEO in our example. As a side note, building backlinks no matter the quality should never be keyword optimized but always always always branded! This is one of the most important optimization factors when optimizing a new website, especially a brand new one.
Here Are Common SEO Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Website Performance
Having Duplicate Content On Multiple Pages
When we talk about duplicate content, we are not just referring to the content on your website vs the content on other websites. It is also referring to the content that is published on your website itself. Many SEO agencies fail to grasp this concept. If you have 20 different city pages that you are optimizing, it is not enough to copy and paste that same content from one page to another.
Pages That Really Are Pointless To Even Have On Your Website
We still see websites out there that have hundreds of useless pages. Make sure that every page offers something of value, that is once again engaging for the user. This also applies to having lots of pages that are on your XML sitemap.
Meta Information Must Be Unique
While there are plugins that allow you to use the same description over and over, but just change out the keyword or titles, that is never the recommended strategy. Every page and every title tag, description, H1 tag, image alt tag but also be unique and describe what your page is about. Yes, it saves time to copy and paste from one page to another but doing things right the first time saves a lot of headache down the road.
Broken Links Destroy Your Website
If your website is built with WordPress, it doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to install the broken link checker tool is available for all WordPress websites. A quick 15-minute scan can find hundreds of broken links that need to be fixed.
How Quickly Does Your Website Load?
No one wants to wait 15 seconds and wait for a single page to load! This hurts your rankings and your user experience, without a doubt. Keep in mind that anything over 3 seconds is too long. There are once again many different tools like GTmetrix that analyze website load times and help you know what is needing further help.
Do You Still Think That More Pages Is Better?
Do not be tempted to mass produce low-grade content just to have more pages on your website. The fact is, having lots of high-quality content on a website is incredibly useful, but throwing out garbage content and pages does not help you become an authority by any means.
How Many Trust Signals Do You Receive Each Month?
Here Are The Best Practices To Use When Optimizing Your Website Pages
Fortunately, there are literally hundreds of tools that help when trying to optimizing the on-page factors of a website. More than 30% of all websites are built with WordPress (and for a good reason). There are many plugins that can easily be installed for this type of platform. Let’s review some of the most common on-page issues and what to do about it.
One of the best tools we have found is one called Siteliner, which helps any business owner find issues on their website. With Siteliner, you can easily scan your website to find broken links, website load speed, duplicate content issues and more. This is a great tool to use that only takes a few minutes to use, and is free. We recommend scanning your website and removing any duplicate content issues that your website has, as this is an incredibly important factor when optimizing a website.
For small business owners and local service websites, it is much easier to setup unique meta descriptions. When selling products online through an E-Commerce website things can get tricky. If you have 1,000+ products on your website, well guess what, 100% of those products need to have unique descriptions, once again, nothing should ever be copied and pasted from one website to another. This includes content, photos, meta descriptions e.t.c.
Best Practices For Fixing Multiple Pages
For E-Commerce website owners this is the section to pay attention to. For small business owners feel free to skip this section and go to the next. If you have an online shopping website that has many products and many product variations then please read carefully.
Whenever optimizing a website keep Google in mind, as this is the search engine that you need to optimize for. Google does not want to see lots of duplicate content, useless content e.t.c. posted on your website. Having 1 product with 5 different size variations, color variations can fill up the search engines with many duplicate pages and variables. So instead of having 5 or more pages with color options, it is best to bring all of the pages into one main page. This will help eliminate the duplicate color pages, sizing pages e.t.c.
How To Fix Product Categories
As we stated earlier, having unique product pages is incredibly important, this applies to your page content, meta content, and categories including your tags and archives. By using a really good plugin like Yoast SEO, it allows you to choose which pages, categories, tags you want to show as indexed and non-indexed. Yoast SEO is one of the best SEO plugins that any website owner can use, whether you are selling E-Commerce products or run a small local service type business.
What To Do About The Canonicalization
If you are using a good hosting company such as Flywheel, they easily allow you to choose what type of URL should display in Google search results. We prefer to have our website Tayloright.com show as www. rather than with the www. If you come to our website via http://tayloright.com it automatically redirects to https://www.tayloright.com which is our final destination. This not only helps the users but is also important when optimizing your website for SEO. We need to make sure that all types of URL’s are directing to the one main website so that all backlinks will come to the same website, which helps Google know this is one website and not 2 different ones.
If you need help use the Siteliner tool in order to scan your website for this information.
One Of The Most Recommended SEO Tools For Any Business Owner
As we stated earlier, there are hundreds of SEO tools and plugins that you can use for your website. One of the best tools we frequently use is the tool called the Screaming Frog tool. We highly recommend you use this free tool, as it helps with hundreds of different SEO factors.
- Find duplicate META tags
- Check your website for broken links and missing redirects
- Show missing or duplicated H1, H2, H3 tags throughout your website
Another tool you can use is something like the Broken Link Checker, which is a really easy to use tool for WordPress websites. A quick 5-minute scan can bring up hundreds of 301, 302 and 404 errors.
Keyword Density Is More Important Than Most Businesses Realize
Once again there are more plugins and tools that can be used for keyword density checking. This is a very simple SEO trick that helps websites rank high in the search engines, and for the long run.
Keyword density should be kept from 2-4% on all of your product pages, informational pages, blog posts e.t.c. We typically recommend staying with 2% to be on the safe side. Let’s say you are optimizing your website for “NYC SEO” If you have a page that is 2,000 words about this subject, then you need to have that keyword written in your content from 2% – 4% of the overall content.
Many SEO agencies have troubles with this simple setup, and many agencies try to over-optimize in order to boost client rankings quickly. While this may work short term, this can easily land your website with a penalty and a major jump back in the SERP’s. Once again, when writing content and posting content, it should be natural and engaging for the reader.
Reasons To Pay Careful Attention To Your Keyword Placement
As we stated earlier, we only have a 2-4% keyword density percentage that we can use on our website pages. Since this is a relatively low amount of keywords it is important to make sure that the keywords are placed in strategic areas on your website. Let us explain what we mean by this.
Before we get into the keyword placement for your content, we want to mention a few things first. Your main business keywords should be in the main places of your website such as the title tag, meta description, image alt tag and even your URL’s when targeting inner pages on your website. None of these even apply to your website content but are important areas to properly optimize. Please let us know if you have any questions about these optimization methods. We would be happy to analyze your website and give you our suggestions.
Now moving onto the keyword placement in your website content, let us give you further information so that you can make a knowledgeable decision on your website. We recommend placing the keyword text in the following areas. The most important is to ensure that after the H1 tag you have a paragraph underneath that tag and within the first sentence, you insert your keyword in a natural way that is readable. After the first sentence, we recommend also adding the keyword to the very last sentence on your website. Once you have done this you need to check to see what your total keyword count is on your website. Assuming it is 2,000+ words that means you will need to insert your keywords into every paragraph on your website, keeping a 2-4% keyword density in place.
Further On-Page SEO Optimization Tips
We have found that even though there are hundreds of tools and plugins that help with website optimization, sometimes it is best to leave the tools aside as they can be limited to what they can do depending on the situation. Here are a few more tips that we recommend all website owners make to make sure that your website does not have any on-page issues.
Analyze Your Website Architecture And Make Changes
No matter what type of website you own and operate, it is important to make sure that both the users and the Google bots can easily find and crawl your website pages. With WordPress websites, it is very easy to set up a clean looking and easy to navigate website. We recommend keeping your main menu bar clean and orderly. There is nothing worse than getting to a website and having to browse through pages in order to try and search for the information that you are looking for.
Assuming you have gone through all of the previous steps that we have listed above, your website will be in much better shape compared to the business owners that will neglect to do these on-page website changes.
Rather than getting overwhelmed with what needs to be done, spend 2-hour segments working on these changes and after a few sessions of that everything will be cleared up and optimized well. That is our suggestion.
Website Load Times Matter For A Multitude Of Reasons
In our opinion, this last step is the most important. We have seen many websites and have been contacted by many large businesses that have spent thousands and thousands advertising their website, but it loads in 6+ seconds. There is nothing worse for the user or for your Google rankings than to have a slow load speed. Fortunately, there are many ways to speed up a website. We recommend scanning your website with gtmetrix.com, to begin with. With this free website scan tool, you will be able to see what parts of your website load quickly and what issues your website is having.
With an hour or so of work, you can easily speed things up by following the guidelines that this scanner recommends.
Thank you for learning more about on-page SEO optimization. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us.