On-Page SEO is arguably just as important as off-page, and with an abundance of off-page penalties being handed out to those who step out of the lines, we are more reliant on on-page SEO than ever.
That’s why it’s so important that business owners know the mistakes that they should avoid, so that they can ensure that they’re hiring a capable agency, like ourselves.
Choosing the Wrong Keywords to Target
One of the most common mistakes that agencies will make is in choosing keywords. It takes years of practice to truly get an intuitive understanding of keywords so that you can analyze the competition, understand the user intent and decide what content will work best.
In choosing the wrong keywords to target, you’re likely going to spin your wheels trying to rank for a keyword that is out of your reach. No matter how good the agency, it’s going to take years to rank a new website for a competitive keyword.
That’s why the best SEO agencies will tell their clients that they need to be reasonable about what to expect in the first year. Similarly, you could pick a keyword that you can easily rank for, but the searcher intent isn’t there.
In this case, you’re likely going to see increased traffic but no corresponding increase in revenue.
Misunderstanding Searcher Intent
Not recognizing the intent behind a keyword can cause you to spend huge amounts of resources to pursue a keyword that was never going to lead to sales.
An example of this would be the keyword “beautiful house interiors” for a real estate company. It’s likely that the searcher is looking for inspiration for their house interior, rather than looking to buy a new house.
Understanding this intent can prevent you from pursuing worthless keywords and will allow you to find golden terms that others haven’t spotted.
In the past, you might have been able to get away with stuffing your page with the keyword that you wanted to rank. Not any longer. If you try that these days you’ll find that you pick up a penalty within a week and your website might even get de-indexed.
In fact, it’s often best to disregard keywords entirely and focus on writing the best content for the searcher. In this way, you’re likely to rank organically for phrases that you didn’t think about and will help to solve the user’s problems, for which you will be rewarded.
Creating Low-Quality Content
As the internet has expanded, we’ve seen the quality diminish drastically. If you want to stand out and succeed online, then you need to ensure that you’re breaking away from the pack and creating amazing content.
This means; custom graphics, unique content that engages the reader and video format materials to make consuming the information easier.
Skipping Meta and Title Tags
We’d agreed that meta and title tags aren’t as important as they once were, but they still play an important role. More importantly, it sends a signal to Google that you’re proactive about playing by their rules and you’re trying to help them understand the context of the content on the page.
Misusing Internal Links
Internal links can be an extremely powerful way to help users navigate your website and also to pass ‘link juice’ around your website. However, there’s a right and a wrong way to use internal links.
Firstly, you shouldn’t be stuffing exact match anchor text in your internal links. We’re aware that the tolerance for exact match anchor text on internal links is high, but there’s no reason to abuse this.
Secondly, you shouldn’t be trying to hide or use obscure internal links. Keep everything above board, and you’ll help yourself to avoid penalties.
Slow Page Speed
In this day and age, there is no excuse for having slow pages. Many website owners have taken the idea that because internet speeds have increased, they can put more on their pages. This is the wrong page to look at things.
Instead, you should recognize that speeds have increased, and so has our expectations. Pages need to load in less than 2-seconds, no excuses.
Horrible Mobile Experience
With more users on mobile now than ever, you need to ensure you have a strong mobile experience and if not, you should introduce an app.
Customers are willing to make significant purchases via mobile, but they won’t trust a company that doesn’t have a mobile responsive website. It suggests that you’re no keeping up with the times and aren’t testing everything that you produce.
Not Using Header Tags
Most websites will automatically use the title as the H1 tag, but many owners forget that they can also use H1 – H6 tags as well. These tags can be extremely powerful and can have a significant impact on your rankings.
Using H2 and H3 tags should be the absolute minimum, even in smaller posts, and using them for your subheadings can help you to rank for more keywords.
Poor Use of Outbound Links
Finally, ensure that you’re using outbound links in a good quantity and in the correct way. If you look at any serious online publication, you’ll see that they regularly link out to other websites, as well as their competitors.
Don’t be scared of linking out; it’s the sign of a good resource. Most users don’t want to visit a web page that is a dead end; there need to be substantial numbers of internal and external links for the user to take.
However, those links need to mean something. Link to genuinely helpful resources for a good reason, don’t stick in random links to Wikipedia because you read that outbound links are useful. Instead, add extra value to your viewers.