Common On-Page Optimisation Mistakes

steve@seomark.co.uk or Contact Form or LinkedIn
On-page optimisation mistakes can derail your whole SEO campaign. Even doing one seemingly small thing wrong, or forgetting to do it at all, can prevent your business’s website from ranking for the keywords that you’ve chosen. What follows are the most common mistakes that you might be making.

If the pages on your website contain any of these mistakes, then it’s something that you need to deal with asap. If you know what you’re doing then you can generally fix them in less than 10 minutes (per webpage). Fixing them will, almost certainly, and within a couple of weeks, result in improvements in your site’s rankings.

Using the same page titles and meta descriptions on multiple pages
A page title and meta description should concisely say what the content on a page is about. If you use the same title and description on each page then those titles and descriptions aren’t relevant to the content on the pages and search engines don’t want to display results that aren’t relevant to the keywords a user is searching for.

Listing keywords in your page titles and meta descriptions
A page title and meta description should read like an advert. Together they should attract attention and entice searchers to click on your listing in the search results. They should include the keywords for that page, but in a descriptive and interesting manner.

Writing page titles and meta descriptions that are too long
Search engines only display around 70 characters for a page title and 160 characters for a meta description. Any characters after the 70  and 160 aren’t displayed in their search results. As well as making your listing looking unprofessional, it also means that important information about your page remains unseen by searchers; both of which will reduce the amount of clicks through to your site.

Using your homepage as a landing page for all of your keywords
If you use your website’s homepage as a landing page for all of your keywords then it’s impossible to properly optimise it for all of them. Keywords should be in the page title, meta description, header tags, etc., and if you have 5+ different keywords in each of those elements on your homepage then it gives conflicting signals to search engines, who, not being able to clearly determine what the page is about, won’t then rank it well for any of the keywords.

Using multiple <H1> tags
<H1>means Header 1 and, like the page title and meta description, search engines take it as a strong indicator as to what a page is about. Each page should cover one main topic/keyword and so should have only one <H1> tag. Any sub-topics should come under lesser header tags, such as <H2> or <H3>, so as to give each page a logical structure and to make the main topic/keyword obvious to search engines.

Leaving image alt tags blank
Search engines can’t see images like visitors to your site see them. They can see from the HTML coding of your website that images exist and where they’re located, but unless you add descriptions in the alt tags (alt=”image description”) then they won’t know what those images are, and if they don’t what they are then they won’t give you any credit for them.

Repeating the same keyword in written content
Whilst you do need to include the keywords that you want a page to rank for, you don’t need to keep repeating them. Using a keyword a couple of times in the written content of a page is sufficient. Search engines recognise and give credit for words and phrases closely related to the keyword, and they also have the page title, meta description, header tags and image alt tags to determine what keywords to rank the page for.

Having multiple pages with very little content on them
There’s no definite description of what makes a page ‘thin’ in terms of content, however, a page with only a paragraph of text and no images or videos would be a good example. Such pages result in short viewing times, and search engines are thought to assess page viewing times as part of their ranking algorithms, with short viewing times being considered a negative factor.

Having very similar content across multiple pages
Each page of your website should have unique content that is highly relevant to the keyword being targeted. Using template content across multiple pages of your site, and only changing a few words, such as locations and/or product names on each page, provides a poor experience for visitors and results in those pages not being shown by search engines in their search results.

Further Reading
Citations For Local SEO

Does Web Hosting Affect SEO?

2-Minute SEO Guide

What Makes A Backlink A High Quality Backlink?

Using Keywords On Your Website

steve@seomark.co.uk or Contact Form or LinkedIn