There are a number of common SEO errors that crop up time and time again and most of them are fixed with very little effort. It’s important that your website has a sound foundation that allows search engine spiders to easily crawl it to give you the best chance of getting those highly sought-after ranks.
Here are some common errors and some very simple steps you can action on your journey to making your website search engine friendly:
Sitemap Not Found
Sitemaps are a useful way of portraying the general structure of your data and allows search engines to see which content takes priority. It by no means guarantees that your content will be indexed but it is very good practice to have a sitemap in place. Google’s Webmaster Tools has an in-depth guide to sitemaps and is a great place to start if you want to learn more about them and implement one on your site.
Canonical Domain Check Failed
Failing a canonical domain check is usually an indication that your homepage is accessible via multiple URLs. The most common reasons for this include having a www and none-www version of your homepage, as well as with and without /index.html.
If you have more than one homepage with different URLs in place, it is important that you have the correct canonical tags or 301 redirects implemented. There are many SEO tools available that offer canonical checks for pages and will aid you in identifying duplications.
Page Load Time
Despite the constant improvement of internet speeds, page load time is still a very common issue for many users. It’s vital that you take into consideration the volume of mobile users and optimise your pages accordingly. Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a fantastic place to start and will help you identify why your page is running slow and how you can fix the issues. Common alterations include optimising your images, compressing scripts and compressing your HTML whitespace.
Missing or Incorrect Header Tags
H1, H2, H3 tags etc are crucial for creating the correct content hierarchy and giving an indication to search engine spiders as to the structure of your page. Ensure each of your pages has a correctly nested H1 tag that is unique, and that any sub-headed content uses appropriate h2 and h3 tags.
Missing Alt Tags
Until the technology has been developed, search engines can’t ‘read’ images. It’s therefore important that they are tagged correctly. Image alt tags should be descriptive and relevant whilst avoiding keyword stuffing.
The above examples are only a select few of the most common SEO errors that occur. It is important that you audit and monitor your overall SEO regularly to maintain and improve your optimisation and rankings. Using tools available through Google and other 3rd parties (such as SEM Rush for example) will assist you greatly in keeping on top of your SEO strategy.